View Full Version : Light pack for bottle drinker

03-19-2011, 08:25
I am looking for a new pack that allows access to water bottles on the side while wearing it. I am not a bladder drinker and want to be able to reach for my bottles. Hip belt pockets are a big plus too.
I tend to carry a base load of 12-15lbs and not more than 25-30lbs for any reason.
I prefer to go as light as I can and would like to hear your suggestions.
The ULA Ohm looks nice, but not sure I can access my water with that one.

03-19-2011, 09:47
I have an Ohm, and I can easily reach and replace my water bottle while wearing the pack.

Two Tents
03-19-2011, 10:00
If you get a ULA pack and it doesn't feel right on the water bottle location, their return policy is top notch. You could keep it and try a water bottle holder that goes on the hip belt. Someone makes a holder that goes on the shoulder strap too. I have and sometimes clip my water bottle somewhere within easy reach. A large squeeze pancake syrup bottle, the type with the built in handle, makes a nice water bottle too. Lots of ways to rig for easy water access. Don't let the pocket thing be a deal killer for a pack that you love the fit and feel of. Adapt, improvise, overcome. Just sayin.

03-19-2011, 12:03
Take a look at the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus.

03-19-2011, 16:59
From what I understand, most of the ULA packs are made so that the water bottles are easily accessed when in the side pockets. However, I have found that is not the case for me. I have the Circuit and I cannot get to my bottle "easily." But, I have not found any pack that I can get to my bottles if they are in side pockets "easily." I have concluded that it is just me though! :)

What I do like about my Circuit though is the bottle straps on the shoulder straps. I am pretty sure (but I could be wrong) that these bottle straps are made to work better with taller, slimmer bottles, but I have not found that to be true. I tried a tall SmartWater bottle first and found that the straps wouldn't hold no matter how tight I cincehed them down. The bottle is too smooth. So, I tried wrapping a single layer of duct tape around the bottle, and still, didn't work as well as I liked. I even tried to make sure the top strap was just under the lip of the bottle, but still, with just a few steps the bottle bounced free.

So, on this last trip, I decided to try a Gatorade bottle. I was afraid that it would be too short though. What I found is that it works almost perfect! Since the bottom of the bottle is wider than the SmartWater bottles, there is more of an area for the elastic cords to grip to the bottle. Also, since the Gatorade bottle is not completely round, but has indented grips, the elastic cord seem to get a hold better on the Gatorade bottle. And lastly, the mouth of the Gatorade bottle is wider so the strap fits around the top of the Gatorade bottle better. So, as you may can tell, for me, the Gatorade bottle works best, and this will be the system I will use for now on.

Now, I said almost perfect... There was a time or two in which the Gatorade bottle fell out of the bottle straps. Usually when I removed the pack from my back the Gatorade bottle would usually come loose, but after a few times I managed to remove my pack so that it didn't always happen. Also, while I was hiking I decided to get a little goofy and jump over a section of trail and the jar from landing made the bottle come loose.

So, it is not perfect, but I will keep toying with it and trying to get it more perfect. Until then though, I definitely plan on using them. It is very convenient to have my water bottle on my strap. It is very easily accessiable and just as easy to return when done drinking from.

So, that's my long version of my 2 cents...

03-19-2011, 17:03
I have an Ohm, and I can easily reach and replace my water bottle while wearing the pack.

Agreed. One thing I found that made taking bottles out if you do carry 4 1L bottles worth (for ultra-dry stretches) is to use 1L Smartwater bottles: they're MUCH easier to take out/put back in than any other 1L bottles I've found.

03-20-2011, 10:55
how about this?