Water Water ... Just There in the Bottle, Thanks
September 16, 2010 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Help me carry my (big) water bottle in or on my backpack with no built-in holder and no clear places to latch onto.

Thanks to some AskMe recommendations, I switched by backpack to a Manhattan Portage Dakota and I think it's great: a big central pocket for almost everything and a medium front pocket for my electronics. The only thing I can't find a place for is my water bottle: it's one of those giant, nalgene-style 32 ounce ones (about 4'' in diameter and 8'' tall). There's no real water bottle type sleeves on the side of the bag, and no hooks or anywhere to add on a carabiner or some other kind of attachment - I've never liked how hooked on water bottles jostle around when you walk anyway. I don't want to stick the bottle in the big pocket because it leaks - not a lot, but just enough that it could mess up a book or laptop.

Any clever ideas how I can carry this bottle in or on the bag?
posted by l33tpolicywonk to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
You could take it to a tailor and get them to sew on a side pocket. You might have to buy the fabric first.
posted by two lights above the sea at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2010

Sideways solution, replace the bottle with one that doesn't leak?
posted by Iteki at 12:48 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Something like this from REI? While this one may not fit exactly (I was thinking slipping the water carrier straps on your top flap tightening strap) you could probably find something similar at other big sporting goods stores or at bicycle shops.
posted by elendil71 at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2010

Response by poster: Iteki: "Sideways solution, replace the bottle with one that doesn't leak"

I'm reluctant about this for two reasons:

1) I lose water bottles a lot, just because I absent-mindedly leave them places, so I'm not sure I can afford a bottle expensive enough not to leak.
2) I don't have enough faith in non-leak technologies to believe that I can put it in my bag and it will never ever get my books wet.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2010

Best answer: is the bottle really leaking, or is it just condensation? if the former—jesus, get a new bottle! if you had a more slender water bottle (like sigg or kleen canteen or even the disposable plastic water bottles), it would be pretty easy to get get a built bottle case and just attach velcro to it and the inside of your bag.
posted by lia at 12:53 PM on September 16, 2010

I use something like elendil71's suggestion on one of my packs. It was a shoulder strap version of the carrier. I cut the strap off and sewed two patches of velcro onto it. The other halves of the velcro patches went onto the lefthand strap of the pack (at the front for easy access), and now I just slap the thing on and off. Works a treat.
posted by Ahab at 1:00 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you've got a Nalgene bottle that's leaking, replace it. I routinely carry a Nalgene for climbing/backpacking etc and they've never leaked into the rest of my gear. Just give the lid an extra quarter twist.

If you still don't have faith, Outdoor Research makes this water bottle cozy:

OR bottle jacket

That would probably provide a degree of leak-protection, or you can use the loop on the back to thread it onto the closure strap on your pack. Bonus is that it would keep hot liquids hot (or cold cold).
posted by Pantengliopoli at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2010

Response by poster: lia: "is the bottle really leaking, or is it just condensation?"

On second thought, probably just condensation. Still a concern if it's rolling around the bottom of my bag, though.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:22 PM on September 16, 2010

It'd be easy to sew some nylon webbing directly onto the backpack in the same shape as elendil71's suggestion.

Nylon webbing can be bought at craft stores and you can stitch it on with dental floss with a great big needle if you're worried about durability. You can also just use regular thread with a lot of stitching to make it secure. (Otherwise you can buy some heavy-duty thread, but it often comes in much larger quantities than you're likely to want.)

Make sure to use heat to seal the ends of the webbing so it won't fray.
posted by galadriel at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2010

If it's condensation or minor leaks, a different thing to try would be putting the bottle in a plastic bag, like a ziploc bag. I sometimes use a ditty sack, which is nice and thin, yet tough and water proof. Though for condensation, a snug insulating cover might be better.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:29 PM on September 16, 2010

On second thought, probably just condensation. Still a concern if it's rolling around the bottom of my bag, though.

if it's condensation, then my advice stands—find or make a neoprene case that'll fit it and eat the condensation from the side of the bottle and velcro that to the inside of your bag. et voila! problem solved. or you can start putting room temperature water in the bottle instead of cold to avoid condensation altogether and just throw the bottle in your bag without worries.
posted by lia at 1:45 PM on September 16, 2010

If you can get your hands on some nylon webbing material (Similar to the straps your backpack uses) you could safety pin or sew two loops to the seam on the inside of the bag near the bottom. This would fix it in one place and keep it from rolling around. Room temperature water should keep it from condensing too much, but if you are worried about leaks Sigg bottles are great. You can tighten that top down quite a bit and it won't leak.

Alternatively, if you do decide to go the Sigg route, you could lace the strap through the hole in the top of the stopper, and just let the bottle hang freely from the outside of the bag.
posted by quin at 2:04 PM on September 16, 2010

Don't modify a nice looking backpack. Just buy a dry sack like kayaker's use, and stuff the bag in the pack..
posted by artdrectr at 2:27 PM on September 16, 2010

An $8 bottle for the sideways solution. I would be very surprised if you could not find a simple leak-free bottle for under $5. Heck, just buy one with water in it and reuse if you want.

Really, life's too short to mess around with worrying about a leaking bottle.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 4:32 PM on September 16, 2010

You could get a carrier with a shoulder strap.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:22 PM on September 16, 2010

How about this? I use one in a very simple rucksack. It's great and it doesn't leak. Out West, everybody has a hose sticking out of their backbacks. Really.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 6:34 PM on September 16, 2010

posted by Biru at 9:22 AM on September 17, 2010

« Older The Tech Behind Laser Shows?   |   Looking for the title to a book for which I think... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.