Extended wilderness sojourns involve highs and lows. Rolling into camp late on a cold night and filtering water for 30 minutes, squeezing with wet frozen fingers has never been my favorite part of any adventure. In the past I have been perpetually torn between the convenience of gravity systems with their numerous bulky components or the labor intensive but lightweight plastic water bottle squeeze-a-thon.
However, I no longer have to choose since Cnoc Outdoors took the best of both worlds and combined them with their shrewdly designed Vecto water container.
This 3L workhorse was built for ease of use and threaded for compatibility with screw-on filters like Sawyer or HydroBlu. The wide upper opening fills the soft-sided pouch with a single swipe or two whilst keeping cold hands dry. The screw-on cap and slide seal are both attached to avoid losing them and the measurements are clearly labeled along the bladder’s side. There is also a built-in loop as part of the upper closure for easy hanging and instructions are printed right onto the product making it pretty darn fool-proof.
In short, the Vecto is a durable squeeze bag, reliable water hauler, and convenient way to streamline gravity filtering all in one lightweight collapsible container.
What I Love About the Cnoc Vecto:
Convenient - Tired of flimsy, hard to fill water pouches from filter companies I decided to use my Cnoc Vecto as a dirty-water container. All I had to do was fill it with one pass, attach my Sawyer Micro filter directly, couple the filter to a clean-water bottle, hang it up and walk away. No more squeezing! Gravity took care of all the filtering while I set up camp. No long tubes or bulky attachments required.
Durable - When I need water on the go the Vecto’s 220 pound breaking point means I can squeeze my little heart out for faster filtering without fear of rupture. It also gives me the confidence to carry extra water across dry stretches with it fully loaded and packed near my beloved down insulated items.
Light and compact - At 3 oz. it does weigh more than a 1L plastic water bottle. However, the ease of not having to fill it up multiple times, squeeze with greater force, or constantly stop to let more air in makes the extra 49 grams well worth the weight. The minimal weight tax is balanced out by saved space. Rolling it up around my filter takes up only slightly more pack space than the filter itself. Unlike plastic bottles it can fit into any of my pack’s pockets. It can even go inside a bear can when there is no space to waste.
Glove friendly - The dual flaps that comprise the large upper opening are offset in height and pull apart wide enough to scoop water from a source without getting my hands wet. These two features mean I can leave my gloves on and stay dry while collecting water. This aspect is fiercely appreciated in low temps.
What I didn’t:
Leaky cap - After some use a small leak developed under the screw on cap. Admittedly I am very tough on gear so it could have been related to user error. The system did not leak with the filter tightly attached so I swapped the cap out with an extra water bottle top and the problem was solved.
Potential fragility of hang loop - So far the plastic loop used to hang the Vecto has handled the weight of several liters splendidly. However, nights spent hanging with water stored within have chipped away at the integrity of the narrow plastic loop. More time in direct sun could further affect its ability to bear weight and I expect that it will get brittle and snap. I’d like to see a little more material used there to lengthen the product’s longevity.
With the addition of the 3L Cnoc to my kit I can easily collect enough water for dinner and breakfast in one fell swoop. The duel openings make for easy cleaning and a quick dry time. Add in the convenience of passive water filtering using only gravity and it frees up valuable time on solo and group missions alike. For these reasons the Vecto will remain a staple in my pack for many hikes to come.
Mandy Esch is an international pro skater turned avid outdoorswoman who enjoys backpacking, camping, fly fishing, cliff diving and passing on what she learns along the way. In her backpacking blog, Mandy shares video trail reviews and trip planning guides. Follow her adventures at www.backcountrydirtbag.com.