Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
big collapsible water containers
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ryan Linn

Locale: Maine!
big collapsible water containers on 03/26/2009 07:19:41 MDT Print View

I'm looking for anybody's experience with collapsible water bottles in the 3 liter range... Nalgene Cantene, Platypus, evernew, or whatever else.

My hope is that I can carry one soda bottle and a big collapsible water bottle for my hydration system. The collapsible one can be filled up for pushing through waterless areas, and for nighttime around camp, and possibly as a pillow. And when I don't need it to be full, it can take up less space in my pack.

I can't seem to find the Nalgene cantenes or similar sized platys in any of my local gear stores, so does anybody here have any advice on this?

Ian Rae
(iancrae) - F

Locale: North Cascades
canteens and reservoirs on 03/26/2009 08:09:08 MDT Print View

I use both the wide mouth Nalgene Canteen 3L and the Platypus 3L reservoir. I think the platy weighs about 1.5 oz, while the nalgene weighs 2.5. The wide mouth is pretty nice (it's definitely easier to fill them and mix powdered drink mix in them.) I think they're both good. The lids are definitely more durable on the nalgenes, I've had a platy cap break.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
big collapsible water containers on 03/26/2009 08:33:41 MDT Print View

I've used the Nalgene and the Platy. Both worked well, Nalgene was easier to fill and carry (by hand).

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: big collapsible containers on 03/26/2009 08:42:59 MDT Print View


REI sells the 3L bag and 3L hydration reservoirs. I don't like anything over 2L. They are too big and when full take up too much space in one area, making it hard to organize the pack. Plus I don't like one container for all my water, in case it breaks/leaks. I would much rather carry a single 2L and one or two 1L bags. I have two day packs, and use a 3L hydration reservoir in them, because I am carrying very little, aside from the water. The hydration sleeves work well for this. But on longer trips, the hydration systems are just too difficult to manage with all my other gear, and smaller containers work better.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: big collapsible water containers on 03/26/2009 08:47:41 MDT Print View

I carry (and love) 3 Nalgene Cantenes.

Basically for the reasons mentioned, and like Nick, I don't like all my H2O in one container.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
containers on 03/26/2009 08:52:47 MDT Print View

When Platys first came out I broke many of them: punctures, worn holes from abrasion or friction, encounters with sharp climbing tools in packs during travel on pack animals, so many broken caps in critical situation that I started carrying replacement caps. I soon stopped using them altogether because my impression was that they were too fragile. I started using the Nalgenes again a couple years ago to save weight. I find them much improved and much more resilient and durable. The large opening is very convenient, my old water filter fits onto it when I need to use it and I don't have to worry about it as much. In a water critical envrionmnt like the desert I would likely have at least one hard body durable carrying container and not all soft contaners. Maybe that's paranoid but...

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
buy online on 03/26/2009 10:00:30 MDT Print View

I bought some Nalgene containers online on their webstore. I believe that they have free shipping standard.

Good luck.

Ryan Linn

Locale: Maine!
re: buy online on 03/26/2009 11:13:54 MDT Print View

Sounds like lots of good advice, so thank you everyone! I decided to buy two 1.5 L nalgene canteens and test them out this spring/summer. I forgot I had an REI dividend, so it turned out to be perfect. I'll see how they feel when they arrive.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Over carrying water on 03/26/2009 13:12:33 MDT Print View

That's a non-UL habit I have to break. I mostly travel in well-watered places, and now that I'm getting a Frontier pro, there's no reason to be toting 70 oz of water.

The problem with the wide-mouth nalgenes is they wouldn't be compatible with the frontier pro. I know Platypus makes the big zip for ease of filling, but those are heavy-ish and more expensive than just the hoser. A UL funnel shouldn't be too hard to devise, should it?

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 03/26/2009 13:23:54 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/13/2015 17:43:41 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: water/bigzip on 03/26/2009 16:35:21 MDT Print View

Just a comment on the Platypus water tank series.

I have been using the 4 L water tank as part of my gravity filter system and the zip on it is a royal pain in the butt to get closed, especially with cold, wet hands.

Personally, I have a big lack of confidence issue with carrying large loads of water in my pack with it....I just would not unless I was desperate.

They are easy to fill up when unzipped and for carrying water with the handles.

I use mine solely when I am in camp for the evening so I have water that night and in the morning.

Hopefully, they will design a better closure system.


Ryan Linn

Locale: Maine!
Re: Over carrying water on 03/27/2009 09:07:33 MDT Print View

Of course carrying extra water negates light weight, but the benefit of collapsible water tanks is that they don't need to be full. However, when you happen to be walking through an area (say, the AT through Pennsylvania) where water is sometimes bountiful and sometimes scarce, it's good to have the capacity for carrying more. Having been seriously dehydrated a few times while backpacking, I'm happy to have one or two extra ounces of empty container to give myself the ability to go through that long stretch without refilling.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
collapsible water containers on 03/27/2009 09:26:30 MDT Print View

I agree, in many areas water conditions/availability can change drasticly throughout the year. Water sources that show on a map may or may not exist depending on the time of year, snow pack...! Having a collapsible water container that can be used as needed is light insurance againt dehydration IMO.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: collapsible water containers on 03/27/2009 10:58:36 MDT Print View

I have a 3L collapsible Nalgene with a with mouth. I love it. No problems and it is quite old.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: water/bigzip on 03/27/2009 11:59:39 MDT Print View

Tony - Just a thought...but for strictly in-camp use, silnylon bucket-style bags allow me to capture a couple of gallons of water at a shot. They are lighter than the poly bag products and pack down smaller. The drawbacks: Cannot be used to portage through long dry areas and they need to be hung from something. So far though, mine (slightly modified with a valve in the bottom) has been extremely useful in the sub-alpine/alpine areas I frequent.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: water/bigzip on 03/27/2009 15:26:19 MDT Print View


Neat idea...reminds me of the water bucket used with the ULA gravity filter.

Thanks...though as you pointed out, the drawback of having to need to hang it from a tree is a deal killer for me.

Even using my Water Tank for dirty water in my gravity filter setup, I often just lay the bag on it side vs. hanging it in a tree.

If I am really impatient, I will sit on the water tank to speed up the process, which requires that I take the time to really make sure that the water tank is closed tight.