We love a hyper-specific bag: bags for organizing small accessories, big ole duffel bags for travel, bags for our climbing shoes, and of course, bags for cameras. While perusing the latest and greatest from outdoor brands and small-scale makers, we couldn’t help but notice a growing trend—water bottle holders designed to help you schlep your favorite reusable bottle in style.
(For any lost cyclists tuning in, below we’re focusing on water bottle bags and water bottle slings, not bike water bottle holders or handlebar mounted bottle holders.)
Though we usually head outdoors with a daypack or at least a hip bag, some day hikes—and errands around town—call for carrying less. Even then, it’s best to always pack a reliable, reusable water bottle (down with single use plastic water bottles!) to stay hydrated on the move, be it a classic Nalgene or a modern double wall insulated water bottle. With your bottle hanging by a shoulder strap instead of gripped by hand, you free both hands for clinging onto rocks, snapping photos, or hauling groceries, all while keeping hydration conveniently by your side.
With so many crummy Amazon options out there, we did the research to find the best water bottle holders made by trusted brands and niche upstarts. Read on below to checkout our top picks for the best-looking, most-functional water bottle slings for toting your hydration wherever you go.
Or save some dough and D.I.Y.!
10 Best Water Bottle Bags and Slings
Our regular readers will recognize both of these names and even recall our recent coverage of this limited-edition water bottle pouch sewn up in the Bronx. An ultralight X-Pac and monofilament mesh make up the water bottle carrier bag with an adjustable shoulder strap with a nylon webbing attached at a slight angle to rest your bottle perfectly by your side.
This London-based gear maker uses scraps of discarded outerwear to sew one-of-a-kind, patchwork water bottle bags. Unlike the other options we’ve dug up, Greater Good’s bottle bag comes in a large size that fits narrow or wide-mouth Nalgene bottles and a medium size that’s a better fit for the slimmer stainless steel bottles or even the #ultralight favorite: a smart water bottle. An adjustable drawstring secures the bottle in the pouch, and a small carabiner attached to a braided nylon cord allows for quick change between crossbody wear and mounting on an impromptu anchor like a branch. Rumor has it that a certain outdoor lifestyle publication has a collaboration with the brand dropping soon!
It seems fitting that one of the biggest insulated bottle brands offers a line of water bottle slings to tote their wares in subtly branded style. Transforming from sling bag to water bottle sleeve, the adjustable strap unclips, and a set of molle connectors attach to their Day Escape Totes. The sling is available in small, medium, and even kids'' sizes to accommodate various size bottles. For hydro-flaskers looking to carry a little extra, check out the brand’s Slingback Bottle Pack ($60).
This Chicago-sewn water bottle sling provides extended cargo capabilities to its primary drink holder duties in the form of an exterior elastic pocket, perfect for carrying your keys, credit cards, or phone. 1733 tends to sew their goods in one-off colorways and pairings of fabric, so one month might offer X-Pac and Cordura, while another could bring ripstop into the mix, so you just have to stay posted to know what’s coming down the pipe.
If you’re the proud owner of one of Yeti’s fine Rambler bottles (not to be confused with the tumblers), then why not keep it on-brand with a holder bag to show off your penchant for the cooler kings? Size large and small water bottle slings fit their 18, 26, and 36-ounce bottles, each with an elastic exterior pouch to carry small valuables like credit cards or keys. With the adjustable shoulder strap removed, the water bottle sleeve conveniently clips onto the brand’s molle-equipped Hopper soft coolers.
Easily the most minimal water bottle holder in this spread comes from none other than outdoor lifestyle originators Snow Peak. Though the harness-style bottle sleeve lacks any significant portaging opportunities, beyond the integrated chopstick case, it’s entirely possible to replace the short length of paracord for something a bit longer for crossbody/shoulder carry. Given its exceptionally low profile, it may slide right into your daily driver’s cup holder or water bottle cage.
Fashion GORP fave And Wander goes pretty minimal on the materials here but spares no opportunity to shout out the brand over every inch of webbing that makes up the water bottle sling’s harness and shoulder strap. An inner mesh bag secures your water bottle with a sinching cord, and a bonus branded carabiner is included for your keys.
Philadelphia-based outdoor lifestyle brand borrows design cues from its affordable backpacks and injects them into water bottle sling. Both the adjustable shoulder strap and bottle sleeve’s body use 100% recycled polyester, a nod to the brand’s sustainable mission. An exterior stash pocket will fit several small items, and there’s even a neat little lash point that you probably won’t need, even though it looks super cute.
If you’re confused about a water bottle sling named “coffee run,” then you’re not alone! Despite the name confusion, the activewear brand offers up a decidedly casual vibe suited to shuffling around downtown with your favorite water bottle at your side.