5 Easy Ways to Attach a Water Bottle to Your Backpack Strap

Are you tired of asking your hiking partner to grab your water bottle for you every time you need a drink? Is awkwardly reaching backwards into your pack inconvenient because you’re not double jointed? Do you clearly not own a hydration bladder with a straw?

Then you need a good ol’ fashioned DIY water bottle holder!

Here are 5 easy ways to jury-rig your household items into a convenient backpacking strap bottle holder.

1. Use Your Backpack’s Trekking Pole Attachment

A backpack's trekking pole attachment makes for a good makeshift water bottle holder

Before we dive deep into the world of DIY, analyze your equipment. If you own a backpack like my Osprey Mira 26, there is a trekking pole attachment already attached to the shoulder strap. You can improvise this into a makeshift water bottle holder.

For this, it helps if you have a grooved bottle like those from Gatorade.

2. Turn 2 Hairbands into a Simple Water Bottle Holder

2 hairbands make for a simple water bottle holder

You or your little sister probably has a million hairbands lying around somewhere. Dig in the couch cushions and find two of them. If you can’t, rubber bands will work as well.

Once you’ve got a couple, weave them together like so:

Then slide the bands through a shoulder loop on your pack, and use the two loops made by your bands to secure the top of your bottle in place.

A simple water bottle holder made from 2 hairbands

3. Use a Koozie & a Zip Tie

A koozie and a zip tie make for a good beer or soda holder

While not the most lightweight, this method is easy to set up and I can almost guarantee that you already have all the materials on hand. Bonus: It keeps your beer…er…water cold.

Grab a zip tie and your favorite koozie that you don’t mind cutting up. Slice a small hole a half inch from the top of the koozie. (Make sure your hole is at least this far away from the top, as you don’t want the fabric to rip through.) Zip your zip tie through the hole and then slide the tie through the shoulder strap of your pack. Cinch ‘er up and hit the trail. This can also work as a makeshift holster for your hip belt.

Step 1 of how to make a koozie water bottle holder Step 2 of how to make a koozie water bottle holder Step 3 of how to make a koozie water bottle holder

4. Make a Paracord (or Shoelace) Jug Knot

Ready for expert mode? I’m a firm believer that paracord saves lives, so I almost always have one on my person in the shape of a tactical, fashionable paracord bracelet. If you feel the same way, this jug knot method may work well for you. If you don’t have paracord but still want to try, an old shoelace will work just fine.

To tie the aptly named jug knot, take a deep breath and follow the video below. It is by far the simplest and most concise set of instructions for this moderately difficult knot.

Once that’s done, secure your bottle onto your belt or shoulder strap. You can cinch the shoulder strap for extra security.

You can suspend your water bottle from your shoulder strap with a paracord jug knot

5. Buy an Aqua Clip

This final method isn’t DIY, but when all else fails, it’s nice to know that there are cheap products designed to solve your exact problem. The fancy-shmansy Aqua Clip is designed to hold your bottle in place, works with most lightweight plastic water bottles and takes all of two seconds to set up.

Is $3 worth hiding from your fear of DIY? Maybe.