- Buyer's Guide
Sometimes you don’t need a massive backpack – a small sling to carry your essentials will do the trick. The Grayl BottleLock 4.5L made-in-USA hip pack is the perfect answer to carrying some essentials and hydration. Over the past few months, I have been using this hip pack for a variety of tasks, from a pack to hold dog treats and a water bottle while on a walk, to holding business cards and info sheets and coffee at an expo, to walking around a street fair with water, caffeine, and snacks.
While the BottleLock section was built to house the Grayl and Earthwell bottles, I found that almost any water bottle will stay just as well. This pack has two spots to hold your beverages, which is nice. You can keep your water bottle secure and easily access your coffee cup or a canned drink. This was especially nice when walking the street fair and needing to set the coffee down to fill out a form or spin a prize wheel. While out hiking or walking the dogs, the BottleLock does just what it says. You can run, jump, scramble, or slide, and your bottle is going nowhere. When not in use, the BottleLock and the side EasyCollapse pocket tuck away for a nice, sleek hip pack.
The pack is built with quality materials. From the 500D Cordura exterior, EcoPak interior liner, and weather-resistant zippers, you know that this pack can take a beating and will last for years and years.
For such a small bag, there is a surprising amount of organization. Externally you have one zipper pocket that runs the full length of the bag. Perfect for quick-access items like your phone, keys, or hot sauce packets. The front face of this pocket has a single row of webbing for PALS attachments that is perfect for a bike light or to clip something quickly. While it isn’t a pocket for storing items, the collapsible bottle pocket is excellent for additional bottles or cups.
The BottleLock area on the bottom of the bag is one of my favorite features of this bag. It expands large enough for a 32oz bottle, and the fabric holds it securely in place while still allowing for easy access to whatever bottle you carry. Internally there are three compartments. On the back panel, a zippered pocket is sized for something like a passport or any other items you want to keep extra secure. Then you have the main pocket, and on the opposite panel, there is a drop pocket with a small hook and loop closure. So no matter what you need to carry, there is a spot and compartment.
The BottleLock Hip Pack is a limited collab between Earthwell and Grayl, but this is such a fantastic bag that I hope it stays in the line-up. With a main pocket that can hold the necessities and two locations for hydration, this is a perfect companion to have with you. This sling has a variety of use cases, and with the features and build quality, this is an investment that will serve you well and last you for a long time.