Mathews Inc.
Which should I use a bottle or bladder
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Wonderlust 22-Jun-20
Predeter 22-Jun-20
midwest 22-Jun-20
Mike Ukrainetz 22-Jun-20
Jethro 22-Jun-20
Matt 22-Jun-20
Bake 22-Jun-20
Brotsky 22-Jun-20
huntabsarokee 22-Jun-20
Cheesehead Mike 22-Jun-20
KSflatlander 22-Jun-20
Franklin 22-Jun-20
Teeton 22-Jun-20
Scoot 22-Jun-20
Cheetah8799 22-Jun-20
OFFHNTN 22-Jun-20
t-roy 22-Jun-20
Dyjack 22-Jun-20
hardcore247 22-Jun-20
fubar racin 22-Jun-20
elkmtngear 22-Jun-20
Brotsky 22-Jun-20
Ambush 22-Jun-20
TD 22-Jun-20
Paul@thefort 22-Jun-20
loprofile 22-Jun-20
Ucsdryder 22-Jun-20
DL 22-Jun-20
'Ike' (Phone) 22-Jun-20
bowcrazyJRHCO 22-Jun-20
WV Mountaineer 22-Jun-20
Predeter 22-Jun-20
WapitiBob 22-Jun-20
Castle Oak 23-Jun-20
JLeMieux 23-Jun-20
shakey 23-Jun-20
standswittaknife 23-Jun-20
Bloodtrail 23-Jun-20
APauls 23-Jun-20
FORESTBOWS 23-Jun-20
elkstabber 24-Jun-20
ground hunter 24-Jun-20
Tonybear61 29-Jun-20
Ermine 29-Jun-20
IdyllwildArcher 29-Jun-20
oldgoat 30-Jun-20
Knife Cobbler 30-Jun-20
fisherick 30-Jun-20
fisherick 30-Jun-20
PECO 30-Jun-20
Nick Muche 30-Jun-20
DEMO-Bowhunter 30-Jun-20
cnelk 30-Jun-20
squid 30-Jun-20
orionsbrother 30-Jun-20
Trophyhill 30-Jun-20
TD 01-Jul-20
Sivart 01-Jul-20
cnelk 01-Jul-20
Bowfinatic 01-Jul-20
137buck 01-Jul-20
From: Wonderlust
22-Jun-20
I have used a bladder for water many times. Now people are suggesting a bottle instead. What size and type of bottle do you recommend

From: Predeter
22-Jun-20
I think it's just personal preference. What do you dislike about using a bladder?

From: midwest
22-Jun-20
I've used both. Much prefer the standard Nalgene bottle. I found the bladder hose to be annoying, refilling was a pain, dealing with leaks, difficult to clean, etc.

The Kifaru bottle holder seems to cover any sloshing noise. Replace the lid with a Humangear capCAP.

22-Jun-20
I dislike a bladder where conserving water is an issue. When I use a bladder that’s in my pack it’s hard to know how low it has become. With a bottle you can see where you are at every time you drink. On most all day hikes I’ll use a 1 quart large mouth nalgene bottle with just water and a half quart one mixed with Gatorade. Of course it depends on how hot it is and how far, long you have to go between water.

From: Jethro
22-Jun-20
I use both. Bladder for when I'm on the move. 32 oz Powerade bottle in pack for when I'm stopped. Plain water in bladder. WA hydrate/recover in bottle.

From: Matt
22-Jun-20
I like a bladder for convenience/no slosh, but as stated above you can't monitor consumption very well. They suck in freezing weather too.

From: Bake
22-Jun-20
I prefer a bladder for active elk hunts. Refilling is a pain, with taking out, removing hoses, etc. But the ease of use while on the move is key to me. I take a drink at every stop. Much easier for me to stay hydrated. If I had to remove a bottle every time, I believe I would drink less.

I will though take a bottle of Gatorade or even pop, when I know I'll be glassing or sitting still for periods of time.

From: Brotsky
22-Jun-20
I used Nalgene bottles for years and now use a Grayl bottle and a nalgene. Love the Grayl. I can scoop water out of any stream or trickle I pass by and replenish my water supply without the need to get out my squeeze.

22-Jun-20
I tried the bladder and didn't care for it. Biggest problem for was knowing how much was in the bladder. I would find myself not drinking because I was afraid I would run out and then at the end of the day would find out my bladder was 2/3 full. Plus filling was a pain. Now I use 2 gatorade bottles. 1 on my belt and 1 in the pack. These bottle are strong enough but lighter than a standard nalgene. I just get a couple for my trip from the store on way to elk country.

22-Jun-20
I use a bladder but only use it for water so it doesn't get funky.

I also have a 1 liter Platypus bladder/bottle that I mix hydration powder in and carry it in a pants cargo pocket. The nice thing about that is it rolls up to nothing when empty and takes up no room unlike an empty nalgene bottle.

From: KSflatlander
22-Jun-20
I'm much like Jethro and Cheesehead Mike and use both a bottle and a bladder. I have a 2.5L bladder I use for water only and a bottle for mixing powder flavorings when I stop to grab a snack. I also sometimes carry a hand pump water purifier so I can refill the bottle on the go.

From: Franklin
22-Jun-20
X3.....A bladder.....I use a large bladder and drink constantly throughout the day. A bottle is handy to mix electrolyte packets during grueling high altitude hunts. Where is the best place to carry the added weight of water but on your back.

I would go through a 32oz. bottle by mid-morning on a hard hunt.

From: Teeton
22-Jun-20
I use a bladder in my pack and have a 1L platypus thats a little heaver built, that a carabiner attached with a pull open lid. My bladder has a quick removable mouthpiece that then connects to my filter pump to refill it. No removing of my pack badder to fill.

From: Scoot
22-Jun-20
I use both. Bladder gets straight water and bottle gets flavoring of some kind. I find I stay better hydrated when I use both.

From: Cheetah8799
22-Jun-20
I use the Platypus SoftBottle. Super light weight, they shrink as you consume water, and fit my water filter hose.

From: OFFHNTN
22-Jun-20
What Brotsky said. Grayl bottle to filter into others.

From: t-roy
22-Jun-20
Where do you guys stow your bottle, when on the go? If I store it in a side pocket, I don’t seem to utilize it nearly as often as I should vs my bladder.

From: Dyjack
22-Jun-20
I use both. I drink from the nalgene, but use a 2l bladder to store water. Then pour water from the bladder into the nalgene. Then I don't introduce bacteria to the bladder and can have water in it for a long time.

I hate cleaning bladders and camelback hoses. So this method has saved me time on that.

From: hardcore247
22-Jun-20
I have found that I drink more water with bottles vs. bladder so have gone 100% with bottles. Not sure why. I guess it is easier to chug while you are sucking wind vs sucking on a hose.

From: fubar racin
22-Jun-20
Midwest x2

From: elkmtngear
22-Jun-20
I tend to hydrate before I start walking (suck down a liter), and refill the bottle. I'll rehydrate during the day, filter and refill when necessary. I have a side pouch on my meat hauling daypack for the bottle. It works for me.

From: Brotsky
22-Jun-20
t-roy, check out the "hydro-holster" from Stone Glacier or bottle pocket from mystery ranch.

From: Ambush
22-Jun-20
Gatorade bottles in my pack belt pocket. Super light, strong and come free with the drink. The plastic bladders in my pack for extra water. No hoses for me.

From: TD
22-Jun-20
Bladder. 3 liter and sometimes it's not enough on a hard day. My pack rarely comes off even on many final approaches. Bottles are just plain noisy on whisper quiet days. Even if noise isn't an issue I can't stand the slosh of a half full bottle at every step. And IMO they don't fit nearly as well in a pack as a bladder does. Ease of access it's not even close. Filing with a filter is as easy as with any other container. My bladder has a wide lid, filling I've never had any problem really. It only gets water in it and I clean it fairy regularly ...or at least when the green tint turns black.... =D

I have a buddy who uses bottles pretty often and he gets around the noise issue by using several smaller bottles. He mostly drains one when he takes a break. Filling and dealing with several bottles is harder than dealing with one bladder IMO. But lots of folks don't like drinking from the tubes.... in his case it's almost too high tech..... =D

I've noticed he also uses a good deal less water than I do. I guess everyone is different. He also eats like he's feeding a family of tapeworms and I eat much less and drink much more water. I do tend to have few issues with kidney stones and such. I'm not what I would call bad shape but he's in better shape. I'll lose several pounds on a hard hunt.... he doesn't much, but doesn't have much there to lose either.... =D

"Hunt metabolism" is an interesting thing.....

From: Paul@thefort
22-Jun-20
I carry both when elk hunting. Bottle while deer hunting as I am usually close to a water source like the truck, and very large bottle when pronghorn hunting.. If I run low on badder water, I can use the bottle to full it from a good source,after treatment. If not careful in cold weather, the badder hose can freeze

From: loprofile
22-Jun-20
I have found that as I have gotten older I use more of both the bottle and the bladder.

From: Ucsdryder
22-Jun-20
I don’t drink enough water. I’ll carry around a Nalgene all day and I won’t drink half of it. I’m going to try a bladder this year. I’m hoping the convenience makes me drink more.

From: DL
22-Jun-20
I thought this was going to be about what to pee in in a tree stand.

22-Jun-20
Both here also...

22-Jun-20
Both in warm weather. Water only in bladder, Bottle for mixes. If so cold bladder will freeze, then just bottles. I almost always carry more water than I drink, but I like the comfort of knowing I don't have to conserve water.

22-Jun-20
Both at times. Much prefer the nalgene and steeipen versus a sawyer and bladder. Even wen i carry a badder, I have a nalgene. But, often go with just the bottle and not the bladder.

From: Predeter
22-Jun-20
I also use both, sometimes together or sometimes one or the other. I just clean my bladder with a little bleach in water when I get home from a hunt and then leave it open to dry completely.

The bladders that have a top you can open completely (source, hydropak) are vastly superior imo to those with only the small lid that threads on and off. Very easy to clean.

For bottles I like the blender bottle from walmart. Better lid then nalgene and it's big enough you can actually get a sponge down into the bottle to wash it vs nalgene's tiny opening.

From: WapitiBob
22-Jun-20
I ditched the bladder and now use a 1-1/2 liter smart water bottle in a camelback bottle holder.

From: Castle Oak
23-Jun-20
I use a 3L bladder only during the hunt. I hydrate constantly at camp with Gatorade or Mtn Ops. I have a quick disconnect in the hose on the bladder and can attach the Sawyers collapsible bag to it to fill the bladder, so I don't have to remove it from my pack. My bladder is a Badlands that has a full size opening on the top and an insulated hose. I clean with a light bleach solution and have never had any issues funk in the bladder or hose.

From: JLeMieux
23-Jun-20
Up until recently, it was bottled only, but like many of you, I wasn't drinking enough. Now I use both. Bladder while on the go and a couple bottles for long breaks/lunch. One of those gets mixed with whatever I'm using for electrolytes. I use Smart Water bottles. They're thicker and more quiet than normal bottles.

From: shakey
23-Jun-20
I use both also, but I don’t use a hard side bottle. I keep two 16oz standard water bottles with me. I smash them flat then put the lid on them so they stay compressed and no noise other then when you smash it. I drink more water out of the bottles then my bladder. And on bottle per mountain house meal. I know they say it causes cancer but what doesn’t.

23-Jun-20
I'm in the nalgene fan club. I cannot stand bladders. The water taste like rubber, it's always a pain to take in and out of an already busy pack. I just use a side bottle holder on my exo by a guy that posts on rockslide.

From: Bloodtrail
23-Jun-20
The bladder (3L) carries more water, And several times I’ve run out water by early afternoon with the bladder. I drink a lot of water and I need to in order to be my best. I also take a 20 oz. Gatorade bottle and put it in the holder on my pack. Many times I’ve emptied that too as I roll back to camp. Then I fill it up with a packet of Hydrate and Recover from Wilderness Athlete with more water and drink that too. I couldn’t imagine running out of water in the morning with less water by carrying just a bottle......dehydration is no joke on the mountain.

Go bladder and never look back.

From: APauls
23-Jun-20
When I'm "busy hunting" nothing else exists and I can't be bothered to stop and drink water.

I am notorious for not drinking water. I can go an entire day and not drink an ounce and I'm fine. I just don't get thirsty. Well I shouldn't say I'm fine...headaches WILL ensue. With a bladder, I will drink all day and stay hydrated and stay away from headaches. So I have to use a bladder for active hunts. I just get way too caught up in the hunt otherwise.

23-Jun-20
Both. Clean water only in bottle dirty in bladder with in line filter

From: elkstabber
24-Jun-20
The biggest problem with a bottle is the sloshing. The biggest problem with a bladder is that they don't dry out easily after the hunt.

The Vapur bladder-bottle fixes those problems. I've used one for 100+ days so far.

24-Jun-20
I hated my bladder from the day I got it.... got rid of it, along time ago,,, I like the bottles, but that is me

From: Tonybear61
29-Jun-20
I use a bottle to fill my bladder, empty the bladder into the bottle by the end of the hunt if I time it right. If not I empty the bottle a little early. Spare bottle doesn't hurt either.

My son uses a bladder prefers that especially when it's a warmer hunt.

From: Ermine
29-Jun-20
Bottles Never been a fan of bladders. I usually use plastic water bottles to be lightest

29-Jun-20
I'm a bottle guy. I bring several small plastic water bottles to avoid the slosh.

I've just had too many hoses/bladders leak all my water or grow algae. When you're 2 miles deep in the Southern California mountains in September and it's 90 degrees while you're hacking your way through ribbonwood with no trail and you have all your water leak out of your bladder and your mouth/throat are dry walking out and you're cutting cactus open to wet your tongue, it creates a situation where you say, "never again."

From: oldgoat
30-Jun-20
I use both, but bladder only has fresh water and no hose, MSR Dromedary bladder and I refill my Nalgene bottle with it and put any drink mix in the bottle only. The Human Gear lid is also a must for the nalgene, especially if you are going to use the UV light wand to purify water, can't think of the brand name of those right now.

30-Jun-20
steri pen

From: fisherick
30-Jun-20
I used both a 100 oz bladder and a 20 oz Gatorade bottle. I don't like the warm water from the hose during the first sips, never knowing how much is left, tough to fill and have had it leak many times. I am rethinking this by using two 1 liter Platypus in the pack to refill the Gatorade bottle outside the pack, one for AM use and second one for PM use. Takes up less room and easier to monitor water supplies.

From: fisherick
30-Jun-20
I used both a 100 oz bladder and a 20 oz Gatorade bottle. I don't like the warm water from the hose during the first sips, never knowing how much is left, tough to fill and have had it leak many times. I am rethinking this by using two 1 liter Platypus in the pack to refill the Gatorade bottle outside the pack, one for AM use and second one for PM use. Takes up less room and easier to monitor water supplies.

From: PECO
30-Jun-20
bladder for water, bottle for gatoraide

From: Nick Muche
30-Jun-20
Bladder that I only drink out of while actually hiking so I can get water right when I want it. Bottle once my pack is off and also for drink mixes.

30-Jun-20
I started off using just a bladder and then in recent years switched over to the bottle as refilling a bladder is a pain when everything is loaded in the pack. I will use a bladder to carry extra water for cooking and drinking depending on how the hunt is going to unfold. I find I drink much more water when it's out of the bottle.

From: cnelk
30-Jun-20

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
Neither. I use 2 of these - different sizes. One large, and this one.

The mouthpiece is a one-way valve so it doesn’t leak. Soft and pliable so it doesn’t slosh.

From: squid
30-Jun-20
I live in Texas and hike quite a bit, my wife and I put on about 50-100 miles per month just hiking weekends. We hike in some brutally hot weather and I have fully converted from bladders to bottles. No more hot water from tubes, algie, slime, wondering if your bladder is out of water or fighting to get bladder from my pack.

We do straight up smartwater bottles. They are light, quiet and I can keep track of how much I am consuming. 16oz on my belt and usually 5 more bottles stuffed in the pack for the day, I swap empties for full ones when we take breaks.

30-Jun-20
Warm hunts... bladder with a “spare” 16oz bottle buried in my pack in case I suck the bladder dry.

Cold hunts... wide mouth Nalgene bottles.

Hunts below freezing, but not bitter cold... soft sided, collapsible water battles.

From: Trophyhill
30-Jun-20
I prefer the bladder. I carry a filter and don't mind filling it. If hunting from truck camp, it's bladder and a few bottles and not worrying about running out.

From: TD
01-Jul-20

TD's embedded Photo
TD's embedded Photo
Soooo.... kind of tech vs trad..... heheheheheh....

Or in the case of nalgene... trad using carbon shafts? Animal bladders for primitive?

The bladder I use is a hydrastorm from blackhawk. Perfect for a gear junky. It's similar to this one but mine is older (maybe 15 years or more?) and a bit different. Basically has a cordura "sheath" or case the bladder slides into that protects it, just the cap and tube stick out. Has handles for easy carry and with the nylon cover it slides into and out of any pack or wherever I want really easy for filling. So much easier to deal with. Even a neoprene sheath that encases/insulates the tube. Or at least covers up the green stuff....

I do like the smaller collapsible bottle/bladders (platypus I think?) for fanny packs and such where you're going to have to dig it out to drink anyway. And they don't slosh too bad,don't clank on things and not too noisy.

From: Sivart
01-Jul-20
cnelk, those look interesting. There is for real no slosh noise when it's half empty? The noise is the only reason I don't us a nalgene

From: cnelk
01-Jul-20
^^^ nope. You can suck all the air out of it since it’s so pliable.

No hose, no hard container, packs nice. I don’t know of one draw back

01-Jul-20
Blender bottle for me

From: 137buck
01-Jul-20
I use both, I drink a lot of water while hunting and as such, I carry two Nalgene bottles and fill my bladder with them, as my water filter screws on top of the bottles.

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