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A lightweight easy to fill collapsible water bottle

Water containers are utilitarian bits of gear that little attention is paid to as long as they work. For backpacking they need to be lightweight, reliable and to pack small when empty. Collapsible containers that fulfil these criteria have been the standard for many years. They work pretty well but there is one problem, and that’s the narrow opening. This can be awkward to fill in anything but fast running water. A few have wider openings but this adds weight and they’re still not always that easy to fill.

The Cnoc Outdoors Vecto solves this by having a narrow opening at one end and a really wide opening at the other. The later closes with a detachable slider. The Vecto isn’t the first water container to have a wide opening with press together closures or a slider but it is the first I’ve used that’s reliable. Previous one I’ve used have all leaked, making them only suitable for camp use, which is fine if you always camp close to water and have other containers for day use.

Due to my previous experience when I was offered a Vecto to try last summer I decided it really needed testing thoroughly. Now it has been. I’ve filled it from tiny trickles, little pools and big waterfalls. I’ve carried it to dry camps strapped to my pack. In winter it’s frozen and I’ve had to shake the ice out of it – something almost impossible to do with containers with narrow necks. It works. So far it’s stood up to everything.

The Vecto holds two litres and weighs 75 grams so it’s certainly light. It’s made from a soft opaque material with a textured surface which means it’s less likely to slip out of your hands than a smooth shiny container. Cnoc says the material is tough and has a breaking point of 220lbs. I’ve dropped it without it suffering any harm. The narrow neck is the standard pop bottle size. The other end is made of hard plastic and folds over before the slider is pushed on. The slider locks into place and feels secure. I haven’t had any problems with the slider but it’s been updated this year and now has a superior seal.

Filling the Vecto is easy. You just hold the wide end open, which can be done with one hand, and scoop.

The Vecto can be used with a filter like the Sawyer Mini for drinking from directly or as a gravity system. There’s a slot on the slider for hanging the Vecto. This can also be used for threading a pack side strap through when carrying the Vecto with water in it.

The Vecto is one of the best water containers I’ve used. At present it’s only available direct from Cnoc Outdoor in the USA though.

$17.99 (approx. £12.50).