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Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System

The beauty of the SmarTube is that it enables you to use an ordinary (free) PET water bottle (or other plastic bottle) as a hydration reservoir.

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by Will Rietveld | 2007-01-30 16:57:00-07


Granted, a flat reservoir such as a Platypus flask is lightweight and fits into a hydration sleeve just fine, but the beauty of the SmarTube is that it enables you to use an ordinary (and free) PET water bottle (or other plastic bottle) as a hydration reservoir. A Nalgene bottle for example weighs about 6 ounces, while the same size plastic soda bottle weighs about 1.6 ounces, a big difference. The SmarTube Drinking System works especially well from the side pocket of a pack.

The SmarTube Drinking System comes with a couple of different bottle cap sizes, a 1-liter plastic tube, tube clamp, and bite valve. The weight is 2.5 ounces. A variety of optional cap sizes are available. It works by inserting a draw tube into the bottle down to the bottom and inserting the bottle upright into a pack pocket.

I personally like to put a hydration system such as this in a side pocket because it's a lot more convenient to refill compared to using an internal hydration sleeve. It is also easily transferable from one bottle to another of the same type.

Specifications and Features

  • Manufacturer: Axis Outdoor (distributor)
  • Sizes: Various cap sizes available to fit different plastic bottles
  • Includes:2 bottle cap sizes, 1-liter plastic tube, tube clamp, Velcro strap attachment, bite valve
  • Weight: 2.5 ounces
  • MSRP: $15.99


"Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System," by Will Rietveld. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2007-01-30 16:57:00-07.


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Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System
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Forum Admin
(ForumMP) - BPL Staff - F
Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System on 01/30/2007 16:57:02 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System on 01/31/2007 08:37:39 MST Print View

I wonder, though, about the waterproofness of the seal? If I was running/jumping/falling down a hill, would this thing slosh bits of water onto my pack?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System on 01/31/2007 09:50:50 MST Print View

I've been using, off & on, both a very similar store bought system & home-made sippy bottles for a couple of years now. Haven't really had any more leakeage (except home-made completely inverted) than you would expect from having a previously opened bottle of spring water.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
It's about time on 01/31/2007 10:09:09 MST Print View

Gee, I "invented" a similar universal drinking tube back in the seventies after seeing another backpacker with a homemade unit. I made mine out of wine-making supplies (tube, shut-off valve, etc.) and drilled a hole in the top of an old Nalgene bottle. It was ingenious and always impressed the participants on the Sierra Club trips I was leading.

This is a good idea, but a little pricey for what you get considering you could purchase these supplies and make your own if you wanted. I might buy one though, just for old time's sake.

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Best of both worlds in a way... on 01/31/2007 23:23:08 MST Print View get the always-there, handsfree advantage of a hydration bag system with the ease of filling and water usage monitoring of a bottle.

Should be easy to MYO, most parts free/cheap/lying around home. Just need the right grommet for the bottle lid and hose interface.

In fact you could 'invent' a PET bottle cap which has a popoff section to allow a platy hose to fit into it and you're set.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Axis Outdoor SmarTube Drinking System on 02/01/2007 09:20:23 MST Print View

I would estimate a good number of us resourceful BPL'ers have already built this system ourselves at one time or another (I know I have). It's a logical progression for it to be mass-produced.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
How-to article? on 02/06/2007 09:32:00 MST Print View

So, for those of us on BPL who are, sadly enough, without the engineering skills or mindset, would a contraption like this be something for which BPL might be interested in posting a set of step-by-step instructions? Something for the technically challenged, made of parts easily acquired? Armed with such instructions, I'd bring the project to our Camp Fire Backpacking Program kids, and we'd all make them!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: How-to article? on 02/06/2007 10:22:59 MST Print View


Be not sad. You can make your own water bottle hydration system using a Platypus hydration tube. Go to the link below for instructions:

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: How-to article? on 03/14/2007 22:22:05 MDT Print View


Well, that looks like it might be pretty simple, to use a Platypus tube and cap set with a discarded supermarket water bottle. We'll give it a try.