While the HydraPark Stow water bottle was by no means built specifically for climbing, it’s exactly what I would have asked for in a water bottle for the wall. It’s small, it’s sturdy, it’s hangable on a harness, it’s affordable, and it’s light. Check, check and more checks.
I’ve awkwardly hung my Nalgene off of my harness, and never loved that set up. I also don’t have much interest in climbing with a full-on bladder system or hydration vest strapped around me. So the HydraPak Stow fits the bill.
It has a small plastic loop around its neck that is ideal for clipping it onto your harness. The loop is snug and seems in no danger of popping off as I’ve noticed similar designs in other bottles occasionally do. It’s also strong: we haven’t pull tested the loop yet to see just how much force it can take, but it’s on the to-do list.
The bottle has what HydraPak calls a “spill-proof nozzle”—think old-school Gatorade bottles—which, with a half twist, opens up and requires you to actively drink for water to come out. (one problem I ran into a couple of times was in opening the actual drinking nozzle. To open it you twist it in the same direction as the entire top itself. A couple of times, when I tried to do so, the whole top began unscrewing. Perhaps I just need a bit more practice!)
I used the 500 milliliter Stow, but it also comes in a 1-liter size. 500 milliliters might not be enough for a day of try-hard in scorching sun, but it’s a great size for moderate multi-pitch adventures. You’re not hauling up an unnecessary amount of weight (from the water or the bottle itself, which weighs 80% less than many other hard water bottles), and its small size means it doesn’t jangle down by your knees.
The stow is made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), a stretchy and supple rubber-like plastic. Scraping up granite, it survived without noticeable wear of any sort, despite its squishy flexible (and BPA- and PVC-free) body. I also took it out on ice, and none of the sharp things on my person—tools, screws, ‘pons—snagged it (though I imagine a deliberate, direct hit would do the trick).
With the summer heat just around the corner, it’s time to get your climbing hydration systems in order. The HydraPak Stow is a great piece to have in the bag, and at just $14, heck, you can buy one in every color!
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