Nalgene accessories are a logical next step to maximizing the use of one of the most popular water bottles ever made. Their popularity is a result of their being low-cost, easy to carry, durable, leak-proof design, diversity in colors, and their large capacity. Oh – and their accessories!
I’ve been using Nalgene bottles for decades – literally. That’s easy when they last virtually forever. My original Nalgenes I inevitably threw away, because those early bottles were made with polycarbonate that contained bisphenol A, known to have health effects. Nalgene bottles became BPA-free in May 2008, however.
Today, you can find Nalgene bottles everywhere, in backpacks, in office settings, sitting in cars, and just everyday use around the house. I’ve even compared them to the high-end LARQ bottle. SHTF Blog writers have even used them as “bugout bullet bottles.”
These bottles are versatile as they are, but even more so when properly accessorized, and in this article – we’re going tactical style!
Note: If you want to get the most out of your Nalgene bottle – get a wide-mouth version!
I understand why some people opt for the smaller mouth opening, so that water doesn’t spill all over you when you’re trying to drink in a moving car, etc., but – as you’ll see, there is an accessory for that.
The wide-mouth bottle is going to be easier to clean, easier to fill with non-water items, and it’s the bottle that some higher-end accessories attach directly to.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best Nalgene accessories are out there. I’ve identified six in total, and we’re starting with….
1 – Water Filter
What is the most commonly drunk liquid from a Nalgene bottle? Water.
Who is most likely to use Nalgene bottles? Outdoorspeople.
It only makes sense that every Nalgene should be accessorized with a water filter first and foremost. It’s the ultimate accessory to dramatically increase the real world, practical value of your bottle.
Think about it, you’re out hiking and you run out of water. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you can just scoop some water from a nearby stream or pond and drink safely? What about if you’re traveling to developing countries and you’re unsure about the water? What if the grid goes down and you need to grab your bug out backpack and get water on the go?
All of these scenarios dictate having a Nalgene water filter. In fact, one of our writers has written about this before.
I mentioned in my bolded note above how it’s important to start with a wide-mouth bottle. Well, you can also start right off with a wide-mouth bottle that comes with a built-in (yet still optional to use) water filter.
Consider the Epic Outdoor OG Woodsman (pictured below). Buying this model will get you the Nalgene bottle itself, a sippy top, and a carabiner. These equates to 3 accessories right from the outset!
With this option you have a low-cost filter that conveniently stores inside the bottle itself. It’s a replaceable filter so that when – rather IF – you ever use it to the point where it needs replacing, you only have to buy a new filter.
Alternatively, you can buy the filter setup for all of your existing Nalgene bottles by shopping here. Given the filter’s long life, however, you may find it just as economical to buy the Woodsman bottle as a package.
More serious water filtration can come from a designated, high-end water filter that can be used for churning out significant quantities of water. If that’s you, consider the MSR Guardian.
- Military-grade water purifier pump removes viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and particulate from contaminated water sources virtually anywhere on earth
- Meets NSF protocol P248 testing standard of the U.S. military, using medical-grade fibers to provide protection from the tiniest waterborne threats
As you can see, this filter doesn’t come cheap, but it’s well-constructed and designed for producing large quantities of clean water. This is a filter that would work well for small groups of people. Where it comes in handy for Nalgene bottles is that the filter end will connect directly to a wide-mouth bottle.
2 – Sippy Cap
Again, wide-mouth bottles are what I recommend. They’re better on all accounts except for when you’re drinking while walking, in a moving vehicle, etc. That’s when you run the risk of water spilling down around your chin.
Fortunately, you can have both a wide-mouth and a sipping feature. You have two options here.
If you bought the Epic Outdoor OG, your bottle comes with the cover that has the sipping feature built in. It’s a requirement for the filter to function properly as the straw below connects the filter to the sipper end.
Removable Sippy Insert
Another option is to buy a small plastic insert that fits snugly in the wide mouth bottle. This is a great piece that you can use across any wide mouth Nalgene bottle, including using it in the Outdoor OG if you are using already clean water and don’t want to use the built in filter.
This sippy insert is made by Nalgene itself and can be purchased on Amazon.
- Nalgene's bestselling water bottle for more than 20 years
- Made of BPA-free Tritan co-polyester with superior impact resistance; dishwasher safe on top rack
3 – Paracord Carry Handle
Here is an accessory that’s going to add a serious tactical aspect to your Nalgene bottle, pushing it into survival gear. Paracord has plenty of uses in a survival situation.
Beyond coming in a variety of colors, this “survival handle” has a built in whistle, fire starter, and compass. I’m not sure I’d bet my life on the reliability of the fire starter or compass, but in a survival situation, it’s better than going without. They also serve as backup to actual bug out fire starters and a compass.
Of course, if necessary, you can take the handle apart and use the Paracord for whatever you need it for.
- Quality redefined: the new paracord handle for wide mouth water bottles thicker, made of two woven cords, our WaterFit strap guarantees secure and comfy all-day access to hydration
- Ideal match for wide mouth bottle types: With this water bottle strap, wide-mouth bottles (12, 16, 18, 20, 32, 40, 64 oz) are easy to take along and carry anytime, anywhere. Note: Our paracord works only with wide mouth bottles that have a metal lip.
4 – Insulated Sleeve
Insulated sleeves can help keep the contents hot or cold. I bought my Outdoor Research insulated sleeve years ago when I was preparing for a winter climb on Mt. Ranier. I’ve used it since for winter hiking. It has served me well.
What I like about it, besides keeping my water from freezing up, is that I’ve also used it as an overnight heat source. When winter camping, I would heat water up to near boiling and then pour it into my Nalgene bottle. I then put the bottle inside the insulated sleeve and position it near my chest inside my sleeping bag. It makes a difference on sub-zero nights!
Today’s versions of this sleeve seem less bulky and may even perform better. They come lined with a reflective material which I’m sure is functionally better than the one I still own and use.
- Stylish insulated water carrier that zips closed for complete bottle protection.
- Slows down freezing in winter and keeps cool in the summer.
5 – Tactical Pouch
A tactical pouch for your bottle will add versatility. What makes it tactical? Mainly its MOLLE features. Most preppers know, and certainly all military personnel know, MOLLE. It’s the standard load-carrying system for all things tactical.
Where these pouch is configured for MOLLE, it can be attached to tactical backpacks, various chest rigs, duffle bags, etc. Made of 1000D nylon, they’re also tough! This is one of the Nalgene accessories that will greatly expand versatility, allowing for more attachment/carry options.
You can find these tactical pouches in a variety of styles and differences. One of the most simple versions is this one:
- OneTigris DYNAMITE Bottle Pouch: The perfect addition to any lightweight plate carrier or chest rig, providing you with quick and easy access to water at a moment's notice
- Fits most standard 1-liter water bottles and thermal water bottles, 9.4"(H) x 3.7"(D)/9.4 x 23.9cm
6 – Stickers
Stickers are a simple and fun way to customize your bottle. You are limited only by your imagination as there are endless types of stickers out there. In fact, every time I order a product it seems like I’m getting a manufacturer sticker along with it.
Nalgene Accessories = Tactical Water Bottle
Getting the right Nalgene accessories to equip your basic bottle can put you into tactical land, and that’s a fun place to be. Bonus is that because all of these are accessories that you can use as daily as you use your bottle, they are not the type of prepper products that just sit on the shelf waiting for the apocalypse to hit. This means a better return on your dollar.
What are your thoughts? Do Nalgene accessories unnecessarily complicate an otherwise simple product? Any accessories I missed? Lemme know in the comment section.