The idea behind this project was to find a practical way to increase the amount of water I can take when going in the outdoor, without compromising on the volume of my backpack. The solution is a water bottle holder that can be strapped anywhere: on a bag, on a belt or simply on a shoulder strap.
There are already several bottle holder designs available in the Instructables database:
- The hook and loop type: a carabiner and a loop around the bottle with some paracord. Quick and simple, but it must swing a lot on your hip or on your bag.
- The paracord type: A fitted net around the bottle. Lots of interesting design options with the type of knots, but again the attachment is a carabiner so it must swing around.
- The fabric type: A holder entirely made of fabric. Perfect if you want to have an insulated layer to keep your water fresh, but without a sewing machine you’re on for a long project.
All these projects look very nice but none fitted what I was looking for:
- Easy to make without any machinery
- Good sturdy attachment to fix the bottle either on a belt or on a backpack
- Low cost
I came up with a different design, build out of a nylon strip. It’s light, strong, easy to build, and it’s cheap. The design can be applied to any bottle format. So whether it’s for a day on the trail or a day in the park you can adapt it to your needs.
Step 1: Supplies
Material you will need:
- A nylon strip at least three time the length of the bottle + some extra to loop twice around the bottle
- Optional: 1 D ring
- Optional: some elastic cord (salvaged from an old backpack)
- Optional: 1 snap button or a small strip of velcro
- Around 2$ for 20" of nylon
- 25 cents for a D ring
- Around 5$ for a box of 50 snap buttons and a hand press
- Around 50 cents if you opt for the Velcro option
Equipment you will need:
- A sewing needle
- Some thread
- A lighter or some matches
Step 2: Build the Frame
Cut two strips of nylon and gently melt the end to stop it unravel. Each strip should be long enough to loop around your bottle. Add an inch or so for the overlap. Shape the nylon into a loop, place it on the bottle to get the right length and gently slide it out to stitch it.
I recommend that in the end, the loop is on the outside of the bottle holder not in the inside, so when you slide the bottle in the holder there is less friction. To get the right dimension, run the main nylon strip up and down the bottle and form the loop on top of it. See picture in the next step.
Step 3: Assemble the Frame
Run the main nylon strip up and down the bottle, place one of the loop made in Step 1 near the top and stitch everything together (Photo 1). Keep a bit of extra on the loose end.
Take the loose end (Photo 2), loop it on itself and stitch it at the base so you have enough space to pass something through.
On the other side, place the D ring and stich it on two levels (Photo 3 & 4): one close to the D ring and one close to the base.
Pass some elastic cord though the loops (Photos 5 & 6). This will help keeping the bottle in place.
Now put the second nylon loop made in Step 1 at the base of the bottle and stitch it to the frame (Photo 8).
Take some spare nylon and melt a drop on top of the knots to give it some extra strength against material fatigue (Photo 7).
Step 4: Carry Options
This is the step where you can opt for various carry options.
If you want to carry the holder with a simple carabiner, then you are done. Just cut the extra material. If you want to carry the holder on your belt but don’t want to bother with some snap buttons, just figure out how large is your belt, then sew the nylon strip on the holder as indicated by the yellow elastic band in Photo 1. If you opt for the velcro option keep some extra material for a good inch or so of velcro. If instead you opt for the snap button, place a snap button as indicated by the yellow elastic band.
In principal, to place the snap button, all you have to do is to press each sections of the button on each side of the nylon. However, to avoid damaging the nylon mesh and reducing its structural integrity I decided to first open a hole with a screwdriver. Take a small phillips screwdriver and pass it through the nylon without cutting the fibers. Move it around to stretch open the fibers, than repeat the process with larger screwdrivers until you reach the size of the button (Photo 2). Then you can press the button onto the nylon (Photos 3, 4 & 5).
To place the second part of snap button on the holder use an elastic band to aligne the two sections (Photo 6), place a mark on the nylon strip with a pen and repeat the assembly process, this time with the other half of the button (Photo 7).
You can now cut the extra material (Photo 8).
Step 5: The End Product
The bottle holder is ready (Photo 1).
Function of the size you’ve opted for you might be able to fit various type of bottles (Photo 2).
You can clip it on your backpack (Photos 3 & 4), on your belt (Photo 5) or simply carry it with a small shoulder strap (Photo 6).