CAMP Bottle Holders are perfect for attaching to your backpack straps and having hydration right in front of you at all times. Designed to attach to just about any pack with a chest strap or horizontal loop, the holder will alleviate the need to take on and off your rig just to get to some water or energy drink. The bottle holders weigh just 32 grams (1.1 ounces) and include a bungee ring to secure the bottle when on the move, even while running. The aerobic hydration system includes a stretchy gel pouch so you can easily grab some calories with your liquid. The pouch can either be on the left or right side of the bottle when you're wearing it.
|Weight (pair)||45g [Holder]|
Questions & Reviews
The bottle holder serves it's intended purpose fairly well. It is easily transferable to several packs with minimal modification. The one caveat is that the velcro strap at the top requires a horizontal anchor point. For packs which lacked this feature, I simply strung a piece of accessory cord which functioned just as well. The bottle holder is secure and cleanly holds a variety of bottles, though my preferred is a 0.5L nalgene.
In designing this product, CAMP clearly focused on minimizing weight, and as a result, the penalty for adding this to a pack is minimal. The downside to this is that there is limited insulating capability - the bottom of the holder is completely exposed to the outside climate. This has made a difference on chilly days, as there is substantial freezing even using a wide-mouth bottle. Some competitor products offer insulated sleeves on their pack straps, and at times I find myself wishing CAMP made a beefier version for those days in which freezing is an issue.
The gel holder pouch is a nice addition, and is easily accessible for long tours or during races. I find it's also a nice place to stash those gooey used wrappers, avoiding the usual pocket mess. I have yet to experiment with a larger soft-bottle for gels in this holder, but it seems it may be a viable possibility.
Overall, this bottle holder is a very nice addition, portable to numerous pack configurations, and extremely convenient for those moving fast in the backcountry provided you have reasonable temps to prevent freezing. Since purchasing it, it has become the envy of many relatives, and as a result I've had to purchase a few additional ones as gifts.
Background on product familiarity: I liked the version that comes with Dynafit packs so much that I bought the CAMP bottle holder for another pack. At the time CAMP was not distributing the bottle in North America, so I bought a very similar model with a tube (from Hong Kong!). For winter though, I just use a small Nalgene bottle (secured with some 3mm cord looped through a pack strap).
First, the first impressions out of the box: For most of my touring, training, and racing, I use a typical hydration bladder and hose. But in very cold temperatures, I want a water bottle instead, yet I still want it as easily accessible as a hydration system bite valve. And for long spring and summer tours, I can rely on refills from natural sources, yet I don’t want to mess around with taking the bladder out of my pack in an attempt to dip it in a running stream. This setup is the perfect solution!
Second impressions, in use: Pretty much the only drawback is waiting around while a partner disentangles a hydration system from a pack to refill in the spring/summer, or watching with dismay as a partner’s Nalgenes flop about in their winter insulation pouches.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: Haven’t used CAMP’s own bottle holder enough, but seems adequately designed for its intended application.
The water bottle is pretty rudimentary, and it fits nicely in the sleeve. One water bottles can be a bit snug in the bottle holder, and can be a two-handed affair to liberate for drinking if your water bottle doesn't have a hose. The hose is sealable with a simple locking mechanism that can be unlocked by pulling the bite valve outwards, even with your mouth.
My on beef with the bottle holder is the attachment system, which needs to be slipped over the backpack strap (you need to be able to undo the strap entirely for this) and then needs to be velcro'd to ring or loop on the pack strap. It's not a super universal system, and it doesn't even mate really well with camp packs. It works about 80% effectively with the Race 260 and the X3 600. I can barely squeeze it onto a black diamond pack strap, but it does barely go.
The reviewer above mentioned icing. I haven't experienced this with the bottle until the water level becomes quite low. The upside of the bottle system is that if this does happen you can tuck it inside of your jacket or speed suit an it'll thaw right out. No frozen hoses or tricky cleaning like a bladder system.
Pros. The holders are easy to mount on most packs using whatever straps present themselves. If there are no mounting points available, duck tape, cord and zip ties get it rigged up easily too. The material is durable and they should last for years. I have never really bothered using the bungee cord retainers but 24oz bottles stay in no problem even with the occasional crash.
Cons. The design of these holders does not provide any protection from the elements for your bottles so over a multi-hour excursion on a cold day, you will get some icing which can be somewhat mitigated with one of those polar insulated bottles and/or filling with warm water. Also, when trying to replace bottles in them during a race when you are moving fast, sucking wind, wearing gloves, and holding poles, they can take just a bit of fiddling to get the bottle firmly seated which is frustrating. Im thinking that adding a pull tab on top in the front would alleviate this.
Bottom line on the holder. They are durable and easy to mount but have a few operational drawbacks to address if you buy them.
Bottle with drinking tube.
Pros. The tube extends to the bottom of the bottle and the bottle is more or less air tight. You can either suck really hard to get liquid or preferably squeeze the bottle with one hand while sucking which works well. The vacuum created when you stop drinking usually clears the tube of liquid slowing down the inevitable tube freeze on cold days (or early race mornings). This is a nifty idea and allows you to quickly and routinely get small quantities of water with no hassle unless its really cold (see cons). It is great in races where I am breathing really hard and dont want to take huge water hits.
Cons. As hinted at above, like all tubes in winter conditions, this one will clog with ice on cold days. On warmer or sunny, non windy days it doesnt freeze. You can thaw it by dropping it in your jacket/race suit but the bite valve does leak. Speaking of the valve and the afore mentioned air tight design, if you fill this bottle at home and drive up into the mountains, the change in pressure pushes liquid out the tube as you are driving and you will find a mess in your gear at the trailhead. If you put electrolyte mix in there it makes even more of a mess. Not really a flaw but something to be aware of for sure. Also, any electrolyte mix that is effervescent/fizzy will do the same so mix it up and leave the top off for a while.
Bottom line on the bottle with tube. In the right conditions and with a little care, it is a great way to stay hydrated while pushing it but its not as simple as just a bottle.
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