A DIY Cap Keeper for your DIY Water Bottle

Many ultralight hikers forsake the standard-issue Nalgene in favor of disposable plastic water bottles from the likes Aquafina or Gatorade. One nice feature of Nalgenes is that they feature a built in cap keeper (something lacking from the choices available in the soft drink aisle at the supermarket). But fortunately, Gear Talk reader Adam Bailey has come up with this clever way of easily adding a cap keeper to your favorite reincarnated soft drink water bottle.

Like all good DIY gear ideas, you can easily make this cap keeper with things you probably already have laying around the house--in your junk drawer or in your gear closet. 

  1. Your water bottle of choice
  2. 8" zip ties
  3. Some paracord
  4. Superglue

Step 1

Gauge the approximate diameter of the cap of the water bottle by wrapping a zip tie around the edge of the cap (don't tighten it all the way).

Step 2
Add superglue to the inside of the zip tie.

Step 3

Tie an overhand knot in one end of the paracord and trap the cord against the cap with the zip tie.  Cinch up the zip tie and let the glue dry.

Step 4

Now, trim off the excess of the zip tie and pull the para cord until the knot catches between the zip tie and the cap.  Tie a loop knot in the other end of the paracord and loop it around the neck of the bottle.  That's it!  You're done!

One thing I like about this idea is that while your Gatorade or soda bottle may be disposable, this cap keeper system is not.  If your bottle gets so beat up that you finally have to send it off to that great big recycling bin in the sky, you can keep the cap and install it on its replacement.  Thanks for sending this in Adam!  Others...any tips or tricks for DIY hydration?
A DIY Cap Keeper for your DIY Water Bottle A DIY Cap Keeper for your DIY Water Bottle Reviewed by Jason Klass on October 08, 2010 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

This is a great reuse of a plastic bottle that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Excellent idea! There are some who would argue that plastic bottles like the one shown shouldn't be reused more than a few times because of the potential of nasty chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), leaking from micro cracks that form in the cheap plastic. Something to consider.

Stephen McGuire said...

Cool! I might actually try that out. :)

Jason Klass said...


Personally, I've never worried too much about the whole BPA thing. If I were drinking out of a BPA bottle every day, then yes, I would be concerned. But for the comparatively fewer number of times I drink out of a bottle like this for hiking, I think the risk is minimal. There are probably many other things we eat or drink out of at home or in the office that are worse for us.

JERMM said...

excellent idea!

Mitchel Gibbs said...

Good idea. I am passing this on to my Boy Scouts.

Timo said...

" Others...any tips or tricks for DIY hydration?"

Yes i have:

Anonymous said...

These re-used plastic bottles are not Lexan, so will never leach BPA into anything, no matter how hard you use them. They don't contain that chemical.


Anonymous said...


Scott said...

awesome idea.

while i'm not an ultra-lighter, i do look to shed pounds and ounces when i can, and this is a great way to get nalgene features in an ultra-light package.

one idea i had to add durability:
rough up the zip-tie and the area of the cap in which the zip-tie is to be applied be with a file (or any other surface for that matter). this would help to create a stronger bond between the tie and the cap as the glue is able to adhere better.

kevin said...

Wow cool. Well actually it's very important to bring a complete gear in any outdoor stuff works. Don't let also forget to bring camping tents for your shelter and safety. Thanks for posting this. This such a great blog I ever read....

Anonymous said...

Humangear capcap is what you want: http://www.humangear.com/capCAP.html

Fits Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles.

Anonymous said...

Also the bottle, as the band stopped. But then, when the bottle body is damaged, it is advantageous tight rope.
I also want to share these great ideas. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

There would be no BPA in this type of bottles however others chemical do leach out of them over time and they aren't recommended for reuse. A sidenote for BPA it is in the lining used in almost everywhere canned good, and pop can out there and has been for over 50 years so I really wouldn't worry about it.

Fr. Michael Reagan said...

Nice idea, Jason. I have done something similar with my bottles, but since I didn't think of the nifty zip-tie idea, I simple attached the loose end of the cord to the cap with a dab of hot glue. It seems to work pretty well so far, though the cord twists a tiny bit when unscrewing the lid.

Anonymous said...

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thanks again Admin

MVara said...

Could this solution be used for a Platypus Platy 2Liter bottle? And could this solution handle attaching a carabiner to the paracord to hang on the outside of a pack?

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