Insulated bladder or Water bottle parka?


Original Post
Sterling Falconer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Which do you prefer during the winter?

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 643

A vacuum bottle (thermos).

Jeremy Cote · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Hydration bladders, camelbaks, etc., are useless in the winter. It's hard enough to manage a regular water bottle in freezing temperatures, let alone a bladder and drinking tube.

A Hunersdorf water bottle with a 40 Below parka is superior to any other system for cold weather travel.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

On single days in the mountains I actually really like my hydration bladder with insulated tube. It works great and allows me to stay hydrated without having to stop, remove pack, etc. On multi-day mountains, the water bottle w/parka is the way to go. More versatile and easy to use.

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0

OR Nalgene parka with the Nalgene upside down. This way any frost that forms forms at the bottem of the bottle, not at the threads. If it's cold enough a parka will only slow the freeze, so keeping it upside down keeps the threads free.

Jeremy Cote · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
RockinOut wrote:OR Nalgene parka with the Nalgene upside down. This way any frost that forms forms at the bottem of the bottle, not at the threads. If it's cold enough a parka will only slow the freeze, so keeping it upside down keeps the threads free.
The other trick is to put a small amount of vaseline on the threads. I have seen the zippers on those OR bottle boots freeze shut. I'm not a fan of those things at all. It's a very poor design for extreme cold. Much easier with a velcro flapped 40 Below version and probably cheaper/lighter.
Ain't That Rich · · White Oaks, NM · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

I'm not a big fan of nalgenes and much prefer using those long skinny 1 liter bottles that contain "Vitamin Water" or some other overpriced water-crap. They fit better in a jacket or pack, are less cumbersome, and are totally squishable when the contents start to freeze up. When they get too dirty....after 27th time you use 'em, you can just recycle them.

Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 24

Neither. Double wall vacuum litre bottles, keeps liquids hot and not frozen. Tubes freeze, jackets are bulky and clumsy imo.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91

My backpack has a zippable back panel. I'll keep my parka stuffed in the front of the pack, then place the hot Nalgene bottle(s) on top of it, and then zip the whole thing shut. That way the Nalgene bottle(s) is insulated between the parka and my back. I'll also always have a vacuum thermos holding 1/3-1/2 of my water.

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 0
Max Forbes wrote:Neither. Double wall vacuum litre bottles, keeps liquids hot and not frozen. Tubes freeze, jackets are bulky and clumsy imo.
Do you pay a high weight penalty for two vacuum bottles? I've been thinking of following this approach too, but was concerned about the extra ounces?
Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 91
AlpineIce wrote: Do you pay a high weight penalty for two vacuum bottles? I've been thinking of following this approach too, but was concerned about the extra ounces?
It's more weight than I personally like. That's why I do my packing jobby to help insulate my regular bottles. Then I keep a vacuume bottle for backup.
Alex Jacques · · Burlington, CT · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 255

Personal preference is 500mls in a bladder for the approach, finish that within first 2 hours before anything freezes, now i'm further hydrated and the bladder is collapsed and does not take up any space in the pack. Insulated thermos for the rest of the day (upside down in a "parka")

Also, sugar or salt will decrease the freezing point of your water.

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 643
AlpineIce wrote: Do you pay a high weight penalty for two vacuum bottles? I've been thinking of following this approach too, but was concerned about the extra ounces?
I always look forward to that warm drink after an hour+ of postholing, deadfall crossing, mixed bouldering, talus slipping approaching.

The psychological/physiological advantage of having a warm drink in the winter are well worth the extra 5.213 ounces of kit weight.
Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615

If I am cragging, I will bring a 16oz vacuum insulated stainless bottle (hydroflask).  For alpine climbs, I like the combo of a 1L Nalgene and a 2L MSR dromlite bladder.  

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 1,865
Alex Jacques wrote: Also, sugar or salt will decrease the freezing point of your water.

Not significantly.  An amount of salt needed to lower f.p by even 1 degree would make you gag.

Alcohol, on the other hand...

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615
Jason Todd wrote: I always look forward to that warm drink after an hour+ of postholing, deadfall crossing, mixed bouldering, talus slipping approaching. The psychological/physiological advantage of having a warm drink in the winter are well worth the extra 5.213 ounces of kit weight.

I agree that there is a certain psychological advantage for having a hot drink whenever you like on the mountain.  However, I'm a weight nerd, so I wanted to see how much of a weight difference we are talking about with this.  

Two vacuum bottles: I think the standard for vacuum bottles are the Hydroflask 24oz (0.7L) bottles, which weigh in at 12.8oz each.  Total weight for two is 25.6oz for 1.4L of carrying capacity.

My lightweight system: One Nalgene and one MSR 2L Dromlite - weighs 8.1oz total with 3L of carrying capacity. A more direct comparison to the vacuum bottles would be the dromlite at 4.6oz for 2L of carrying capacity.

With two vacuum bottles, you are carrying over a pound of extra weight (three times the weight of the lightweight system) for half of the carrying capacity.  Not acceptable for me when alpine climbing at moderate elevation.  When I fill water bottles in winter, they are filled with hot water that tends to stay warm for a long time.  I never carry more than 2L of water at a time on route.  

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40

Hot water, in a wide mouth Nalgene, upside-down in a wool sock, in my extra layer in my pack. Once I'm on the trail, one goes on the side pouch for easy access. The one inside the pack stays warm all day.

Never seen/heard of a water bottle parka but it seems too complex; I don't see how you would open the zipper with mittens on. The Forty Below one looks better w/the velcro.

Wool socks work great and I already have plenty of them.

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0
steverett wrote:

Hot water, in a wide mouth Nalgene, upside-down in a wool sock, in my extra layer in my pack. Once I'm on the trail, one goes on the side pouch for easy access. The one inside the pack stays warm all day.

Never seen/heard of a water bottle parka but it seems too complex; I don't see how you would open the zipper with mittens on. The Forty Below one looks better w/the velcro.

Wool socks work great and I already have plenty of them.

It's an insulated pouch with a zipper that the water bottle goes into...not very complex and less steps to get to and put away your bottle than your system. You open the zipper with mittens on just like you would your jacket or your fly....

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
RockinOut wrote:

It's an insulated pouch with a zipper that the water bottle goes into...not very complex and less steps to get to and put away your bottle than your system. You open the zipper with mittens on just like you would your jacket or your fly....

I have a really hard time with my jacket that has a string pull. Definitely could not zip my fly with my mittens on.

The steps to get mine out are pull bottle out of pouch, slide sock down, unscrew cap. Not sure how that is more steps than pull out of pouch, unzip parka, unscrew cap.

Once the 1st one is empty I put it away and put the 2nd in the side pouch. The one in the pack is just to keep it warm until then. Feels nice to drink hot water halfway through the day :)

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0
steverett wrote:

I have a really hard time with my jacket that has a string pull. Definitely could not zip my fly with my mittens on.

The steps to get mine out are pull bottle out of pouch, slide sock down, unscrew cap. Not sure how that is more steps than pull out of pouch, unzip parka, unscrew cap.

Once the 1st one is empty I put it away and put the 2nd in the side pouch. The one in the pack is just to keep it warm until then. Feels nice to drink hot water halfway through the day :)

You left out digging it out from your extra layers...which you said you out it in a sock then place it in your extra layers and put it in your pack....essentially burying your bottle in your pack. 

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 40
RockinOut wrote:

You left out digging it out from your extra layers...which you said you out it in a sock then place it in your extra layers and put it in your pack....essentially burying your bottle in your pack. 

That's the 2nd one. I bring 2, and leave 1 in the pack so it stays warm, and drink from the other until it's empty.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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