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Briar Patch Outdoors

Aquatherm - from Granite Gear

by Keith A. Williams

I have long been a big fan of getting by with an assortment of fairly basic, and extremely dependable gear. I do enjoy the convenience of using a hydration system, but I like to keep some sort of dependable water bottle on hand as well. I had pretty much narrowed my quest for the near-perfect water bottle down to two main contenders, but had yet to find a suitable carrier for them, since I disliked the idea of having to keep them inside my pack.

With this in mind, I was fortunate enough to lay my hands on an interesting product - a water bottle carrier made by Maxpedition. They have designed this to hold a 32oz. (1 liter) Nalgene (or similar) bottle, and have it listed at approx. $36.99.

A good friend of mine ordered one and was quite happy with it. Based on his opinion, I started looking for one. I was confident that if I ordered one online, that it would not make it here before PWYP (a wilderness skills gathering held each spring in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains), and so I started checking all my local outdoor suppliers. I was not, however successful in locating one of these in my area. All was not lost though, because as I was browsing the shelves at Extreme Outfitters in Jacksonville North Carolina, I happened across this little gem for $27.99.

This product is by a company called Granite Tactical Gear, with whom I have had no prior experience. The particular model I selected is called the Aquatherm.

Granite Gear Tactical Products   Granite Gear Tactical Packs   Granite Gear Backpacks   Granite Gear Aquatherm   Granite Gear Hiking Equipment  
(Click on pictures to view larger)

My initial inspection revealed that it is made of good quality 500D Cordura nylon and appears quite well made.

A few features that I like include:

1. YKK zippered pocket on the lid with interior space that spans the entire lid.

2. Unique buckle that secures the lid, and enough room in the webbing to easily replace it with about any type of replacement buckle, in the event that it should break.

3. Comfortably hold my largest water bottles, along with my canteen cup.

4. Top, bottom, and sides are fully enclosed in insulation.

5. Draw string closure under the lid to keep excess trash out of the inside.

Moving to the outside, it has the familiar PALs system for allowing multiple attachment points along the back side, making it a simple matter to place it in the location of your preference, using any manner of attachment means. My preference has always been a tried and true favorite. I use 550 cord tied with a sturdy knot and a drop of super glue to hold most everything in place. This allows me to use a simple method which is always at hand, will not feasibly break, will never rattle, and is easily removed. Some may scoff at this method, but I have used it all my travels, and have never once had it fail me.

I will keep you advised of my long term evaluations of this item, but for now, I am quite pleased with both its design and construction.
Granite Gear Tactical Products   Granite Gear Hiking Equipment   Granite Gear Tactical Packs   Granite Gear Backpacks   Granite Gear Aquatherm  

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Briar Patch Outdoors
219 Holmes Street
Durand MI 48429
(989) 288-0168

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