One thing I will never claim to be is a nutritionist/health expert/doctor of any kind, I’m also the least likely person to post about my ‘clean’ kale and quinoa salad on Instagram – I like steaks. What I will simply say is that drinking water is good, indeed crucial, for the human body and getting in to a good habit of doing so is a solid idea. I’ve never been one for tea, coffee or energy drinks but if you’re the sort of person who lives on those things I’d bet my Crye collection you’d feel better all around if you swapped a lot of the aforementioned for just a nice cool drink of water (once the shakes subside).
A capitalistic and unnecessary as it may come across, spending a small amount of money on a proper, reusable water bottle will most likely help you in this regard, that’s been my experience. Whether the urban legends are true about the disposable bottles giving you cancer I’ve no idea and I won’t claim to have the answers. You also certainly don’t *need* to buy one of these CamelBak bottles from the Mil-Spec Monkey Store, but they do work, so they’re an option and a good one I’ve found. I specifically asked the monkey if he might send one of these over for review, as I did buy myself 2 of the previous versions and used them every day for years and they served me well; full disclosure there.
The previous iteration had a weird arrangement with a bite valve and a wide diameter tube going right down to the bottom of the bottle, presumably because Camelbak had a meeting and decided most customers were too lazy to actually lift and tip their bottles to drink. The problem was the bite valve had a hinge and the plastic tube going to that hinge did, after thousands of open/close cycles, wear through and start to leak. As things tend to do when you flex them over and over. Luckily with this new Chute model we’re back to a screw cap which is going to be far more reliable and longer lasting. For reference, here’s the older gen bottle:
So. what do you get for your $15?
I’ve used the pictured bottle in work every day for a few weeks now (including a couple of range days and the like outside of the armoury) to test out the new cap since that part is the difference on this newer model. The body of the bottle is made of something called ‘EastmanTritan Copolyester’ and it’s moulded quite thickly for durability, yet remains extremely light and transparent as well as being safe to go in a dishwasher. I know from using my previous bottles that you can bash these things around all day long, drop them on concrete over and over, crush them, sit on them; they will not break on you. If they do, Camelbak have a lifetime guarantee that I’ll likely try out some time soon.
There are imperial and metric volume markings up to the bottle’s 1 litre capacity down one side and MSM offer 4 different designs of their own which have been added to the stock product. Fortunately most of their options like the monkey logo and pirate emblem look far more skater than tactical, so you’re good to go there. How the designs are applied I don’t know precisely, but they’re not going to scratch off any time soon that is for sure. They are extremely flat and resistant to abrasion or peeling.
The thing that had my geek boner up the most was the threading on the main cap body and the smaller drinking cap. Both feature multi-start threads which mean they release and tighten back down in absolutely no time at all, but don’t fear they remain 100% water tight. Also unlike the older version there’s no need to take off the main cap to refill since you can use the drink spout, but that option to open the bottle right up is still there so insertion of ice or getting inside to clean is easy.
The drinking cap is just big enough to get a high rate of water flow without having to be too careful about gingerly lifting the bottle to just the right angle, as you do with bottles that have a very large mouth/cap and no smaller cap or bite valve. The cap is also tethered with some flexible plastic that should last a very long time indeed and it snaps in to the carry handle out of the way when you want it to. They’ve also threaded inside of the cap and spout rather than the outside, so it’s slightly more comfortable on those delicate lips of yours. Borderline insignificant detail yes, but if your entire job is to design something and small as a water bottle with so few parts to it, you’re going to fully optimise every single thing down to the very smallest design element.
The only negative I can find is that the drinking cap is a screw and pull rather than being released at the end of its’ threading like you’d get on a normal bottle of soft drink, so you do have to align the key-way each time to pull off the cap. Oh also for those in the US this bottle costs $1 more than the plain version on the Camelbak site. However I’m a huge fan of the MSM store for both the range of patches and useful gear bits they stock. Small things like velcro, field repairable buckles, sling hardware (like the BFG Uber loops I reviewed and now really love), small medical items, note pads, PIG gloves, paracord, carabiners –
the list goes on. No junk stuff either, we’re talking brands I’d take on deployment quite happily any day.
I genuinely recommend placing an order there to combine the shipping because I’ll guarantee they stock something you can use if you’re reading this review. There are other sites out there who do patches, sites that sell the raw material for manufacturing tac gear, but the MSM store is the only one I personally know of that combined a genuinely useful stock of all these small items that make such a big difference when you’re out in the field. Fast shipping and top drawer customer service as well of course, just as you’d expect with an American business selling high end equipment for tactical/outdoor usage.