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Hydration Bladders vs Water Bottles

So I am not a fan of how fast my water warms up in my current hydration bladder setup and I am thinking about switching to an insulated stainless steel water bottle. Is there any way I can attach a tube to drink from the bottle? Any thoughts on how best to pack it?

Try drinking straight from the bottle.  It has been done for centuries, yea, even millenia, without ill effects.  There are many containers lighter than double walled steel bottles.  Packed inside a typical pack, the gain in temperature will be negligible.  Take it from an old desert rat....

Usually it is the water in the hose that heats up quickly so try a bladder with an insulated tube.or maybe find an insulated tube that fits your bladder. There are insulated sleeves for bladders on the market from time to time too.

hikermor said:

Try drinking straight from the bottle.  It has been done for centuries, yea, even millenia, without ill effects.  


have never used a hose with an insulated bottle. or any bottle.

when i want really cold water, which happens at the height of our steamy summers in the DC area, i tote it in insulated steel bottles (one Yeti, one Hydroflask). Yeti sells a top that makes it a little easier to drink: 

i'll sometimes pack the reservoir over 50% with ice and blow the water in the tube back into the reservoir after drinking - which helps a little.  

I personally don't like using a bladder, it is almost too convenient, in other words, I end up drinking too much too fast and don't realize I am running low. I like using collapsible water bottles, they are extremely light weight and when they are empty, take up just about no room, and I can monitor how much I have. One of my worst trips, I used a bladder and it was hot and I drank all my water so fast and didn't realize it until it was empty. I use a sawyer filter with smart water bottle for collection, then squeeze into my collapsible water bottles. 

I don't like bladders and cold water isn't a priority for me. That being said, you might try a single wall bottle and make an insulated sleeve from reflectix. Works surprisingly well, and lighter than a double wall and easier to boil water in a single wall if needed.

I've seen folks carry their water bottle in a holster that is easily reached somewhere near the bottom of their pack or on the hip belt.


I keep water bottles on my ULA pack in their holsters, but reaching them is somewhat awkward.  Now a use a Platypus 2l bladder wrapped in some clothing on the top of the pack.  In the mountains, water stays cold for a long time. Wed we packed up and headed for home in the morning.  It was 29 that night which was August 22.  Weather in the West is quite different than the East, especially above 8,000 feet. 

OR makes a nice holsters for your water bottle. 

I really like the Platypus water bladders.  They roll up when empty and weigh nothing.  Last trip we camped about a mile or so from water.  It would have been handy to have 6 liters of capacity instead of 4. 

The bags definitely are great for when you have to carry. I drink from bottles but have two 3L Platy bags I use with a Sawyer to gravity filter. If needed I can carry two 1L bottles, a 3L bag of clean water and a 3L bag of dirty. Weighs a ton so hopefully don't have to carry it far, but can come in handy for a dry camp or big distance between water holes.

I do my drinking from nalgene bottles, but also bring a collapsible, bulk water storage jug, in the spirit of LNT doctrine, as it permits getting a day's supply in a single trip to the water, thereby minimizing foot traffic impact commonly seen around water sources.  I have a 10L size, perfect for two people, and a 20L size for larger groups.  The 10L fits nicely in a day pack, easing the effort of those long hauls.  Both can be hung for dispensing. 

I use BOTH.

1. Bike Bottle-> on front "were rib" pouch for carrying electrolyte drink (purified  W/ Steripen) Just ordered a collapsable bike bottle from REI - lighter weight than standard bike bottle.

2. Hydration bladder-> in pack bladder compartment, natch (purified W/ chlorine dioxide tablets - usually overnight)

This setup gives me versatility and much needed electrolyte drink. 

Eric B.

I drink from a bottle. Specifically, a Nalgene 1 L polycarbonate wide mouth with a HumanGear CapCap. I like the polycarbonate ones for this, because even though they are twice the weight of the HDPE version, the transparency allows me to see if/when my drink, especially if mixed with anything sugary, is clouding up from microbial growth, so I can toss it and clean it. 

I carry two more Nalgene 1 L wide mouth bottles, both HDPE, one white for clean water *only* (and hot water bottle usage—half and half boiling to ambient temp water makes a good temp for my sleeping bag), and one green for urine, so I don't have to go out in the cold, rain, dark, or bugs to pee at night. I only use bladders for long stretches between water sources, or for camp use. 

I'm currently designing a new pack. It will be designed to fit a 10 litre MSR Dromedary attached to a 1/4" x 12" x 24" sheet of model aircraft plywood and serve as a combination back cushion and framesheet. When detached, the plywood will serve as a cutting board/table, with tent pegs for legs. I got the idea from this guy, who is using an old skateboard deck and four tent pegs to make a table, though he is car camping:


I prefer carrying  bottles like Nalgene. They are easy to clean.

January 20, 2021
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