View Full Version : Water bottle slings or preferred alternates

01-06-2013, 14:16
Seeking opinions on use of water bottle slings. Better yet, access to water bottle without wrenching a shoulder. Not a big fan of hydration bladders/tubes.

01-06-2013, 14:36
I have a friend who cut off the bottom several inches of the sleeves from a jacket. She then sewed up the cut arm holes, put some loops on them and hung them on the chest straps of her pack. The wrist holes had velcro to make the sleeves tighter. Just stick the water bottle (whatever size) in the sleeves velcro them up. You can find jackets to cut up at goodwill, salvation army, etc for a couple of bucks. You could also velcro them to your packs cheststraps

01-06-2013, 14:39
ULA packs have a pair of bungee cords on each shoulder strap that allows a water bottle to be attached. Even though I have a ULA pack, I hang a water bottle holder off a shoulder strap to hold a blender bottle. The hanging loop eventually wears out, so it'll require repair or replacement on a thru hike.

01-06-2013, 14:50
Another option is a Platypus bottle (http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus/bottles-and-storage/platy-bottle/product) inverted in a side pocket with a Drink Tube Kit/Hose (http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus/platy-accessories/drink-tube-kit/product) attached to the lid. This provides easy accessibility, very low weight, keeps the water away from the rest of your equipment, let's you easily sip while you walk without stopping, and let's you easily check the water level. The one downside in my opinion is the hose wrapping around to clip on your shoulder strap, but I don't see that as any worse than having water bottles in slings on my shoulder straps.

The Cleaner
01-06-2013, 15:12
I use a Platypus Holster.It holds a regular 1 liter platy bottle.It is an insulated black carrier that I attach to my backpack left shoulder strap.I attach a small carabiner with plastic zip ties near the top of the strap and one closer to the bottom.It does take a few seconds to undo it,but it is a cheap way to keep water close by and you can get to it without having to take your pack off18847:cool:......

01-06-2013, 15:13
Zpack shoulder pouches,I cut a gatoeade bottle so I now have a dip cup and also cuts down on the wear n tear of the Cuben fiber pouche. Propel and smart water bottles fit in the cut down gatoeade bottle and a loop ..of shock cord on the shoulder strap holds the mouth of the drink bottle tight. Easy one hand in and out at chest hight.

01-06-2013, 16:09
I use an OR bottle holder which has a loop with velcro that attaches to my waistbelt.

01-06-2013, 16:32
I can reach the side pockets on just about all my packs, because I test for that when I buy, and there's where my water bottles go. Mountainsmith used to sell a water bottle holder that would attach to most hip belts - I've got a couple.

01-06-2013, 17:25
I use a water bottle carrier along my pack's hip belt to easily reach my water bottles along the hike. Jandd water bottle carrier easily slip over my waist belt & it's hip pockets.

I use a bright color - red - so I'm less likely to misplace it.

If I need additional water bottles, I carry them in my pack's water bottle pockets (hard for me to reach while hiking) with a tied water bottle sling on the lip of the bottle. This sling is clipped to a side compression strap (mini carabiner) so it doesn't fall out and continue downhill. http://www.itstactical.com/skillcom/knots/hitches/knot-of-the-week-make-your-own-bottle-sling/

01-06-2013, 19:23
My older ULA Conduit came with bungy cord bottle holders on the pack straps. Liked them so much, I adapted this method to my other packs. :)

01-06-2013, 19:38

My first-used water bottle is in an insulated holder on my belt. Very handy.

The Snowman
01-06-2013, 20:16
why not just use a canteen if you don't want to go the hydration route.

Prime Time
01-06-2013, 22:38
Just make sure whatever you do doesn't swing. It'll drive you nuts.

01-06-2013, 22:47
I have no problem reaching water bottles in side pockets of my ULA packs, and replacing them, even while walking.
I know that some do though.

I think some stretching and flexibility work could enable most to eventually do so, after all, people work up to doing splits, etc. It just takes some time if you arent limber enough.

01-07-2013, 05:47
Zpack shoulder pouches,I cut a gatoeade bottle so I now have a dip cup and also cuts down on the wear n tear of the Cuben fiber pouche. Propel and smart water bottles fit in the cut down gatoeade bottle and a loop ..of shock cord on the shoulder strap holds the mouth of the drink bottle tight. Easy one hand in and out at chest hight. plus 1..zpac with 16 oz water bottle works well.

01-07-2013, 07:03
plus 1..zpac with 16 oz water bottle works well.

+2 on ZPacks shoulder pouch.

joe cool
01-07-2013, 07:46
look in to Myster Ranch they have WET ribs I use the them they work great

joe cool
01-07-2013, 07:48
my bad, Mystery ranch, cant correct my mistake

01-07-2013, 09:20
A Platypus with a Sawyer in-line filter stashed in the side pocket is the only way to go.

01-07-2013, 10:38
For years I've carried my waterbottle via a paracord sling tied with a jug knot (like this http://www.instructables.com/id/Carry-any-Bottle-with-a-JUG-KNOT-Handle/)over the shoulder and across the chest. It slips on first (under my backpack). When I need a drink, it is easily pulled forward for a drink. I make the shoulder cord into a loop with a loose double fisherman's knot so its length is adjustable (the bottle knot is looped around the sling in between the two knots via a prusik loop). The bottle rides somewhere between my armpit and hip depending on length. If I'm climbing steep hills, pulling the rig up tight reduces swing, but normally the bottle rides down at hip level.

01-07-2013, 23:27
Lately, I've been using some inexpensive Coghlan's Biner with Bottle Carrier for toting my Aquafina bottles. I clip one to my strps about shoulder high using a black plastic flex tie. What little bounce isn't much of a bother.


I still have an Outdoor Products cord bottle holder that I found at Walmart. You can make these easily:


On an edible plants hike last summer, our guide just wound his 550 cord around a bottle and then tied one end off around the water bottle's top making a handle. He then clipped the bottle to his belt using a mini-biner.

01-08-2013, 01:36
Seeking opinions on use of water bottle slings. Better yet, access to water bottle without wrenching a shoulder. Not a big fan of hydration bladders/tubes.

That's me too. I don't like taking up pack volume whether it be inside or outside(rear shovel or side pockets) pack volume with water bladders or water bottles. I also like easy access to what I'm drinking with my pack on as I hike so that I don't have to be a contortionist AND I can continue focusing on where I'm walking. I've seen several hikers take nasty falls as they were trying to access hard to reach water bottles or bite nozzles on their bladder tubes! That's why I like Brian Frankel's(founder of ULA) design (at least I think I'm crediting the right person with the idea) on his ULA packs. The ULA CDT comes with stretchy micro bungee cords. Two built in on each shoulder strap. I've amended his idea to fit my own needs. It weighs virtually the same. I cut off the top bungees. I use a light wt Al or plastic water bottle with a screw top open ring cap attached to one or both shoulder straps. Through the screw top cap I place a small cheapy spring loaded carabiner or NiteZ S biner and attache it to the factory installed plastic D-ring on the shoulder strap webbing. That holds the water bottle up and makes it nearly impossible for the water bottle to lose like I've seen happen if using the two ULA factory installed bungee cords alone ie; the micro bungees can eventually stretch out loosening up and fail to properly support/hold up a full water bottle! Although, I think ULA recognized this potential slight problem and recently went with SLIGHTLY heavier bungee for their water holster system. Looping the bottom bungee around the bottom of the water bottle keeps it from swinging back and forth wildly. I do sometimes get weird stares or comments from other hikers though like "are they oxygen tanks" and "I thought you had grenades attached to your shoulder straps." While on the go with your pack on, water bottle access is unparalleled with them being on your shoulder straps. Doesn't take up volume on the inside or outside pockets of my pack either! This frees up side pockets for maps, trail guides, rain jacket, gloves, merino beanie, wet tarp, more snacks, etc I'm not consuming interior pack volume storing water either. Not storing water bottles in side pockets also prevents me losing them when going off trail or when hiking on overgrown brushy trail. I'll tell you another thing. Storing my water bottles this way has been a factor enabling me to downsize to a lesser volume hence lighter wt backpack! Storing water bottles this way has increased my hiking efficiency!

01-08-2013, 09:34
I added two pieces of elastic chord with chord locks to each shoulder strap. The chords fits into the groove of a gatorade bottle perfectly. I always know how much water I have left. I used to use a bladder but you don't how much you've got left without stopping and taking your pack off and there's nothing worse than grabbing that tube and suddenly sucking air.

English Stu
01-08-2013, 16:40
I have a ULA Circuit, I have added a key ring to an umbrella sleeve and fixed the ring through the belting on the shoulder strap; the bungees are still used to stop the 0.5 litre bottle moving around. I find a bigger bottle a bit annoying and gets into the arm swing.