The Aquaclip is a lightweight, flexible add-on to standard bottles that—when snapped into place—provides a way to hang the bottle to something else. Great for anyone who has been frustrated by the need to hand carry a bottle.
- Easy to use
- Low cost
- Long-term durability?
I won this product in a contest on Brian's Backpacking Blog.
The Aquaclip is a simple device made of recyclable plastic (polycarbonate) that simply snaps onto the neck of a water bottle to provide the bottle with a means of attachment to other things.
A slight twist while the Aquaclip is pressed against the neck of a bottle secures it into place. No, it won't come loose, at least mine didn't when I shook it with my bottle full of water, quite vigorously. Part of the reason is the flexible material used in the Aquaclip's construction; it gives, thereby avoiding a stiffness or brittleness that would result in the plastic snapping under such abuse. Once fastened, the Aquaclip is readily used—on a pack's sternum strap, on a belt, in a pouch, etc.
The Aquaclip is now a permanent fixture on the 20 oz. water bottle I carry with me daily. It clips into the strap of my shoulder bag easily. I've also tested it backpacking, using the Aquaclip to hold the bottle onto my sternum strap. It works equally well here.
My usual system for water bottle carrying on my pack involves a little clip connected to the water bottle that is then attached to a D-ring on my pack; the Aquaclip is definitely faster and easier to use, though a bit heavier. I have also found it convenient to slip into the band of my belt, where is rides beautifully with no problem.
The clip has always held my bottle secure in my daily use and in my backpacking experiences with it. I've tried to get the bottle to detach from the clip through various simulated maneuvers: not shaking it to the limits of my ability, but movements—shaking, twisting, etc.—that reflect the sort of movements I'd expect from the bottle when full and moving with my body. It remained secure.
The clip itself weighs 11g/.38 oz and measures about 3 inches in length on the portion meant to hook onto something else (the part emblazoned with the Aquaclip logo, above), while the portion that attaches to the bottle itself is about 1 1/4 inches--enough to accommodate a range of water bottle sizes.
Construction seems solid enough; this is plastic with some give, not cheap, hard brittle stuff. I don't anticipate this suddenly breaking, but then again I have no way of knowing how long it will last. At its price point, though, that may not be a huge concern.
The Aquaclip comes in sixteen different colors, in both solid and translucent colors.
One feature mentioned on the aquaclip.com web site is a "built-in bottle cap wrench" that has "gripper 'teeth' to open stubborn beverage caps" (see image below).
This is a nice idea, I suppose, but I found it pretty useless when I attempted to use it on a water bottle cap. There simply isn't enough gripping power. But maybe not wholly useless: the material cut away to accommodate the "wrench" is material one doesn't have to carry when weight is an issue. Always a positive way to spin something, right?
In any case, I am pleased with the price (especially since I won it from a blogger in a Facebook contest, but I'd pay $3 for one), design, quality, and utility of this nifty little gadget. Ultralighters may scoff at the added grams, but I find these 11 grams to be quite useful and worth their weight.
I played around a bit with my project backpack (a cheapie I use to experiment with backpack design), sewing flat strapping horizontally across my shoulder straps to provide a hook-in location for the Aquaclip. I already had shock cord loops to hold water bottles to my shoulder straps, but I had been using a somewhat difficult button hook arrangement to attach the bottles to my shoulder straps.
The Aquaclips worked well, slipping into the sleeve of strapping I created while the bottom of the bottle was held secure by the shock cord. I like this arrangement because it also allows be to drop by bag (at camp, for instance) and still carry a water bottle with the Aquaclip on my belt. If you compare the shots below to the one above of the Aquaclip in the sternum strap, you'll note that the method of attaching the clip to the back (below) offers greater security than merely slipping it into the sternum strap. You can see the strap I added in the image below.
Here is how it rides when in use. Note the Aquaclip hooked through the strap and the shock cord cradling the bottom of the bottle. It rides in stable fashion.
I contacted Aquaclip creator Brian Cizek to pass on G00SE's question about whether or not the Aquaclip fit Platy bottles. He sent the follow image of an Aquaclip on one particular Platy bottle (picture courtesy of Brian Cizek; used with permission). I plan to continue testing the Aquaclip, and I will update this review from time to time if noteworthy findings emerge.
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (briangreen.net)
The AquaClip is a clever gadget that I recommend for those using Platypus-style water bottles. While the Ultralightest may cringe at the added 11 grams, this hiker is please to have my water bottle accessible, without having to contort myself to reach the water bottle in my pack’s side pockets.
- Works on Platypus-style bottles
- Puts my water where I need it
- Attention is needed in tightening bottle lid
- Can fall when sitting (see report)
- Does not work on Gatorade or Nalgene Bottles
Preface: Five months ago, Brentbrook posted his review on the Aquaclip. That review focused on use with a disposable water bottle. I am not a fan of disposable bottles. So I asked in the comments section if these would fit a Platypus bottle. Brentbrook did not know at the time.
A few days later, Aquaclip owner and inventor Brian Cizek sent me a message asking if he could send me some free samples. I was very clear to Brian that I would be unbiased in my review. If I did not like this product, my review would reflect that.
From May-August, I work outside. For the last three months this has been on my person nearly every day. I feel I have used this product far more than the average person will use it in a summer, and I can say that overall I have been pleased with product.
In fact it fits quite well. In the “cons” section I mentioned the Aquaclip can fall off. To clarify, not once in three months did it “unclip” from the bottle. This includes having it bouncing around on my ATV or riding with me down a zip line. I have run down trails with it hanging from my belt. I have operated a chainsaw with it clipped into my back pocket. The clip holds!
What I liked most about the Aquaclip is that I had my water where I needed it all summer. As I mentioned, I do not like disposable bottles (“In a gym for 30 minutes; in a landfill for 300 years!”). However, a Nalgene bottle on a carabineer is not the most comfortable thing banging into your thigh while it hangs from a belt loop (or into your chest when hanging from a pack strap).
So I often just leave my water bottle some place when I am working. If I am hiking, my Nalgene bottle is tucked out of reach in the side pockets of my pack. Rather than “fight” to reach my water bottle, I often hike slightly dehydrated.
The Aquaclip changed all that for me this summer. Because it slides neatly into a belt or pocket, water was always handy. The stiff plastic holds the top of the bottle away from your body, leaving only the soft-sided bottle to occasionally bounce into your thigh. Something I did not even notice after a while.
While hiking, the Aquaclip allowed me to keep my bottle accessible by hanging it off my chest strap. While this is not a place I would want to carry it for several hours, it is pretty handy while walking down the trail eating G.O.R.P. and wanting to wash it down between bites.
Durability: Although I was sent six Aquaclips, I used the same one everyday during my three months of testing. I have not been gentle on it, allowing it to bang around on the ATV and on my high ropes course. It has shown no sign of plastic fatigue. I suspect this one Aquaclip will last me a long time, unless I step on it or crush it with something.
I have found two primary cons to the Aquaclip.
First, failure to tighten the lid properly can cause the bottle to slip down through the clip and fall to the ground. This is not a problem with disposable bottles, where there is a lip that the device clips underneath. On my Vapur and Platy bottles there is no lip. So if you clip a bit high on the threading, you can think you screwed the lid on fully when you have not. That mistake is discovered quickly, as your freshly filtered water falls to the ground and spills out.
Second, the clip can slide unnoticed out of your belt or pocket when sitting. This occurred a handful of times during the summer. Most occurrences centered around sitting low on a log or bench, where the object I sat on pushed up the bottle, lifting it out of my belt. Only once did I not notice this until after I had travel some distance—I climbed onto my ATV and did not hear it hit the ground over the engine. I should clarify, this falling out of the belt happened 4-5 times during a full summer of usage, and always when I sat down and only once on the ATV. At no time did the Aquaclip fall off my pack.
Wrapping it all up
I find the Aquaclip to be an innovative, handy item. I do not know if the creator had outdoor use in mind when he designed it (It strikes me as being designed for sporting events etc.), but it definitely has application for those who use Platy type bottles and do not want to fight to reach their pack’s side pockets. I am glad I have a few of these to use.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Kept it)