When I go ski, I like to ski. I don't like going back to the car to grab food, water, or kick wax. I like to be pretty self-contained. I also like carrying a smartphone so I can make calls in an emergency, take pictures, map my trail route and elevation, write a trail report, and use my current app-du-jour.
My original water bottle belt was an Ultimate Directions from way-back-when. It is still perfectly usable. But there were water bottle belt sirens on the market promising easier bottle access, built in gel flasks, more ergonomic belts - and they seduced me away from my loyal holder.
But do those pretty faces perform, or is beauty skin deep? The title of this article should give you a hint...
Let's start at the beginning with my old Ultimate Directions water bottle belt. It really was the only bottle holder on the market back when I bought it, and it was very well designed.
The basic holder is a belt with an insulated and fairly stiff water bottle holder. A standard water bottle slides in and out of the holder quick easily. It's a little awkward to reach behind and pull the bottle, and more awkward to put it back in. Usually, I'd just rotate the whole belt around so the water bottle holder was in front of me - much easier to grab and return the bottle.
Ultimate Directions had accessory packs that would slide onto the belt. There were several styles over the years, and the one I had easily slide onto the belt. You could also easily slide it to the front for access.
The accessory bag just barely held a cork and two tins of kick wax. The clip can hold a key. No room for a phone if you want to carry wax, however. Skating? Not a problem: you can store you iPhone, Droid X, keys, and some Hammer Gel easily.
You can see the wear on the bag and holder - I used this pair for years - and still do occasionally.
But other, sexier water bottles were out there, and I had to see if they were better...Stay tuned for my quest to find the perfect water bottle holder.