Most hikers and backpackers are familiar with the age-old debate: water bottle or hydration bladder? Although bladders provide the convenience and efficiency of a drinking tube, some backpacks aren’t designed with sleeves to hold reservoirs. When there isn’t a logical place to put water bags, it can make a pack’s weight feel uneven. Worse, many backpackers know the dread of the leaking bladder, or the mold that can start to develop in a not-fully-dried water bag.
Water bottles are easier to clean and fill than bladders. But up until now, they haven’t been able to work with hydration tubes.
Matt Soriano of Norwalk, Connecticut, found himself with extra time during the pandemic, so he turned to his home 3D printer hobby to solve this common hiker problem. What he came up with became One Bottle Hydration.
Over many years, Matt taught himself 3D printing design software as a hands-on hobby and mental break from his reports and spreadsheets-driven day job. He enjoyed knowing that he was creating something physical that could help people in the real world.
Armed with these skills, Matt tinkered for months on model after model for his lid adapter, which turns ultralight water bottles into a reservoir that you can sip on through a drinking tube while hiking.
Having a home 3D printer allowed him to be nimble. He says, “When I first saw a 3D printer in 2013, I knew I could iterate a product so easily. Crank something out, see if it works, and it’s not thousands of dollars to change something.”
When it comes to his minimalist design with no moving parts, he says, “I’m a one man shop so it had to be easy to assemble. I knew I had to get the design right. I really worked on it.” He says there were a lot of bad ideas he had before hitting on the right design.
The leakproof One Bottle Hydration adapter lid with hose that Matt developed works with the 28mm threading of a Smartwater Bottle, a 34 gram bottle common among ultralight hikers. Now backpackers can have the benefits of a lightweight bottle and drinking tube, without weight penalty.
One Bottle’s mission is simple, Matt says, “Drink water. Don’t stop. One Hydration combines the convenience of your hydration system with the versatility of your favorite bottle.”
“What I want for the future is that everyone has a One Bottle. You don’t have to be a thru-hiker or on a hundred mile backpacking trip. I get a lot of great use of my One Bottle system on a 3-mile hike in the Catskills through the woods. I want to see this beyond the dedicated hiker.”
He’s already seen One Bottles becoming popular in other outdoor activities, too. “One guy called me saying he’s using it on his outrigger canoe. A lot of cycle packers put the bottle in different places on their bike. I have a lot of wildland firefighters using it who really like that the tube is super long so they can use their chainsaw and drink water at the same time.”
Matt knows that not many people see the reports he writes for his day job, which makes One Bottle that much more meaningful. “There’s joy at finally having a problem solved. It’s really fulfilling.”
“It’s such a great rush when someone says ‘I went Rim to Rim on the Grand Canyon today and it’s so much better than using a regular bottle!’”
That’s a common observation from One Bottle users. They’ll tell him “‘I ran out of water on this hike, but that's a good thing, because I’m no longer saying ‘I don’t want to stop and take the bottle out.’ People aren’t ending up dehydrated at the parking lot while still having water in their pack.”
Matt reflects, “Now hikers end up at the trailhead with water in their kidneys. I love hearing from customers that this really, really helps.”
Liz “Snorkel” Thomas is a thru-hiker with 20+ long trails on her feet, including the PCT, CDT, and AT, for which she held an FKT. Her trail experiences led her to co-found Treeline Review, an outdoor gear review space dedicated to buying right the first time to reduce waste on the planet.