If you’ve finally found the water bottle you’ve been looking for, you might now find yourself running into the fact that carrying around a water bottle can sometimes be cumbersome and even uncomfortable if you’ve opted for a high capacity water bottle. Fortunately, water bottle holders are plentiful on the market, with a variety of options: water bottle slings for over the shoulder carrying, bicycle water bottle holders ideal for quick access on your next cycling trip, and other handy options to make your water bottle a little more portable.
Water Bottle Holder Buyer’s Guide
Picking out a water bottle holder is pretty simple, but there are a few things to look out for! Some water bottle holders are made as general purpose cases which can accommodate a wide variety of different sizes and types of bottles. Other bottle holders are made with a specific type or brand of bottle in mind and may not be suitable for other types of bottle.
There are quite a few ways to carry a water bottle: on your belt, or with a sling in a bag-like pouch with straps for handheld or over the shoulder carry, or mounted to the frame of a bicycle, or tucked into a hydration belt. Let’s take a closer look at these categories and some specific examples from each of them.
Water Bottle Slings & Bags
The water bottle sling is one of the simplest (and often most practical) ways to tote your water bottle. The most basic slings (like this simple mesh water bottle sling) just have a small pouch in which to insert your bottle and a strap which acts as a sling for over the should carrying or can be used as a handle.
Getting a bit fancier than just the mesh, something like the JugLug (~$17 on Amazon.com) provides a full nylon shell and neoprene carrying case. It also sports some straps so it can be used as a sling or carried however you find the most convenient. JugLug water bottle holders are designed to suit Hydro Flasks, however they are suitable for bottles of similar proportions and the generously spacious interior of the JugLug design means that all sorts of water bottles can probably find their way into a JugLug.
JugLug is not alone in the neoprene water bottle holder game. There are several other options. The general purpose (not specialized for any type of water bottle) and slightly cheaper competitor NeoSling offers a high quality Adjustable Neoprene Water Bottle Holder (~$12 on Amazon.com) at a bargain price. As its name implies, the NeoSling is ideal to use as a water bottle sling for hiking or everyday use. Although the construction is not quite as sturdy or protective as the JugLug (the NeoSling lacks a closable lid and some other features of the JugLug,) if all you want is a water bottle sling, the NeoSling might be the most frugal option.
Water Bottle Holders for Your Belt
If a sling over the shoulder isn’t your style, there are quite a few ways to easily affix your water bottle to your belt. Of course, this is generally only recommended for relatively small bottles, as you don’t want to be carrying too much weight around on your belt awkwardly! But if you are only carrying a small amount of water, the belt water bottle holder can be a highly convenient way to carry your water unencumbered.
My personal favorite when it comes to a simple water bottle belt carrier is the OneTigris Minimalist Tactical Molle Water Bottle Holder Belt Bottle Carrier (~$12 on Amazon.com). This is a very well put together holder, fitted with adjustable elastic velcro straps which fit the size of the container put into it. Giving the OneTigris a huge degree of versatility, this design ensures that a range of different sized bottles can be fit into the holder while always providing a snug fit. The OneTigris can easily be affixed to a belt, backpack, or anything else you can rig it up to.
A slightly less versatile option is something like the Intrepid International Neoprene Water Bottle Carrier (~$13 on Amazon.com). This is just a neoprene sleeve into which you slide your water bottle. The edge of the neoprene sleeve is equipped with a clip hook which can easily be attached to your belt loop or backpack for easier carrying. The neoprene is somewhat stretchy which allows it to accommodate many sizes of bottles, though it is generally for smaller bottles. An 18oz insulated Klean Kanteen fits snugly into the neoprene sleeve.
Bicycle Water Bottle Holders
These days getting a water bottle holder (or water bottle cage as they are sometimes referred to among cyclists) on your bike is easier than ever. The simplest way to get up and running is to pickup something like the SainSpeed Adjustable Bike Bicycle MTB Water Bottle Holder Rack Cage. For less than $7, this adjustable bottle holder can be fitted onto your bikes handlebars, under the seat, or on any number of locations on the frame. The device can be easily affixed with no bolts and removed at any time. Adjustable holder gives it plenty of room to accommodate different bottle types.
But since devices like the SainSpeed aren’t actually affixed to the bicycle, some riders might want to opt for something a bit more sturdy. Fortunately, high quality lightweight bicycle water bottle holders are amazingly cheap and can easily be bolted onto the frame of the bike if the bike is equipped with water bottle bosses (small screw holes on the frame to accommodate water bottle cages.) Take some time when selecting a fixed water bottle cage to ensure your favorite water bottle will be able to fit inside.
But if your bike lacks water bottle bosses, or you want something a bit more easily removable, other variants on the easily-attached bicycle water bottle holder are plentiful, like the Bushwhacker Shasta Frame/Handlebar Attachment (~$10 on Amazon.com) which even includes an insulated sleeve and 22oz bottle.
Hydration Belts and Waist Pouches
We’ve already mentioned some ways to carry your water on your belt, but I wanted to give a special mention to hydration belts, which are purpose-made to keep you hydrated on the move with easy access to your water bottle(s). We’ve mentioned hydration belts before as some alternatives to hydration packs for running, and there is no doubt that the hydration belt is a great tool for athletes and runners.
This Runner’s Hydration Belt by Active Life (~$35 on Amazon.com) is a great example of a highly functional hydration belt. It cuts straight to the chase with two water bottles above either hip and a small pouch ideal for carrying a smart phone or a few other small items while running. No extra space you don’t need weighing you down, but plenty of space for the necessities.
If you like the idea of a hydration belt but don’t quite need two water bottles, or maybe you need a little space, there are some other options which might be more your style. One draw back of hydration belts is they are typically made to specifically fit the water bottles which they come with. In contrast, something like the Fleck Multifunctional Waist Pack (~$14) is a cleverly designed waistpack which includes a water bottle holder which can host a variety of different water bottle sizes.
Or Find a Different Way to Carry Your Water
Nothing on this list tickle your fancy? Maybe you just aren’t in love with your water bottle yet. Check out our Best Water Bottles of 2015 feature to find one you just can’t be without.
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Explore the many options available for water bottle holders - a simple way to make your bottle a little more portable and convenient.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.