Water Bottle Holders for Walkers

Woman drinking from a water bottle
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Carrying a water bottle while you walk will help ensure that you can stay hydrated while you exercise. The most important factor in choosing how to carry water is that it will be available and convenient to encourage you to drink enough while walking, and that it doesn't disrupt your gait. You also need a container that will hold enough water to get you from refilling station to refilling station.

Types of Water Holders

The first step is to decide what type of container or holder you want to pack your water in. There are a few different options to choose from.

Single-Use Bottles

With bottled water widely available, many walkers reuse bottles. These bottles are more difficult to clean between uses because they don't have the wider mouths that refillable water bottles do.

If you choose to reuse them, be sure to wash them with hot soapy water and dry them thoroughly to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Single-use bottles aren't as economical or environmentally friendly as multiple-use designs.

Refillable Water Bottles

It's best to buy a good refillable sports water bottle with a wide mouth and drinking nozzle. They are easier to clean and don't create waste like disposable bottles. These are available at all sports stores and outdoor stores. They come in various materials, including squeezable plastic, rigid plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Most manufacturers have switched to making BPA-free bottles, but you may want to check to be sure if you are concerned about that chemical leaching into your water. Wash your bottle after each use with hot water and soap to kill any germs.

Look for a design that is easy for you to carry, drink from, and refill. Test your bottle to make sure that it is not going to drip or spill when carried, even when going up and down in altitude.

Hydration Bladder Packs

Rather than bottles, these are flexible water bladders. Platypus water bottles are flat when empty. They may fit better into a pack and are easily stored.

Hydration water bladder packs, such as Camelbak, are carried in a pack on your back or waistband, and you sip your water through a flexible tube. These can be an extremely convenient way to carry water for longer walks to be able to drink easily. As a bonus, you can usually carry other essentials in the pack.

Water Carriers

Once you have selected your bottle, how do you carry it? Carrying it in your hand puts too much strain on the wrist and elbow. There are a few different water carrier options.

  • Lumbar pack or fanny pack: A pack with a bottle holder is a good way to carry your water bottle at your center of mass, which is the best place to add weight not to strain your legs. It may not be the style you feel comfortable wearing on walks, but it is very convenient and doesn't make your back sweaty like a backpack can.
  • Backpack: Many backpacks also have special pockets for carrying water bottles without having to dig to the bottom of the pack to find them when you want them. Look for the carrier that suits you best at a sports or outdoor store.

Choosing the Right Option for You

When choosing a water holder, consider your needs before determining which water holder or carrier combination is best suited for your needs. Ask:

  • How far you will be walking: For short distances, you can hydrate before and after your walk and won't need to carry water.
  • Weather conditions: Hotter weather requires more water.
  • How much liquid you need to carry, based on time, distance, and weather. Will there be opportunities to refill your water bottle or hydration pack, or do you need to carry all the water you need for your entire walk?
  • Whether you will be comfortable carrying your water for the distance you plan to walk: If the amount of water you need will be too heavy, you may have to adjust your walking plans.
  • Whether you have any other items you might need to carry: If so, consider a backpack or hydration pack.
  • Whether carrying water and other items will affect your walking ability and enjoyment: If you know a backpack will be uncomfortable, for example, you can try a fanny pack, or plan a route that allows you to visit drinking fountains or return to a home base (such as your car) for water breaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much water do you need to carry when walking?

How much water you need to carry when walking depends on the distance, intensity, body size, and environmental conditions of your walk. If it is hot and humid, you will need more water than in cooler or dry conditions. In general, an active individual requires 7 to 10 fluid ounces every 10 to 20 minutes.

How do runners carry a water bottle?

Runners often use water packs or backpacks to carry water or use a belt that holds several small water bottles.

How do you carry a large water bottle?

You can carry a large water bottle using a backpack or use a bottle with a handle.

A Word From Verywell

Taking water can be important for hydration but may not be necessary for shorter distances. By considering your needs, you can pick the water holder or carrier best suited for you. Having more than one option available for different types of walks can be a good choice.

2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Bisphenol A (BPA).

  2. ACE Fitness. Healthy hydration.

By Wendy Bumgardner
Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events.