Nalgene was kind enough to send us the OTF water bottle. OTF stands for on-the-fly. When I first saw it my initial response was they should have named it WTF. When looking directly at the bottle the latch release imprinting was just very weird to me. The way it flipped open in an arc was also very foreign, but I took the bottle and decided to keep an open mind.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the review let’s get some practical basic facts out of the way. Forget about what the manufacturer says these are actual facts about the bottle weights, capacities and observations as tested by us.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s jump into the review. This review consists of daily use of the OTF bottle for three weeks. The bottle was utilized as a car beverage holder, gym bottle, day hike bottle, multi-day camping bottle, and everything in between.
The bottle portion is fairly slender and is slightly tapered towards the top, making for a very comfortable grip even for someone with smaller hands. Applying a lot of pressure will cause the bottle to slightly flex. The bottle body is manufactured in the United States.
The cap is a standard Nalgene wide mouth. This is pretty exciting as it will interchange with any other wide mouth Nalgene bottle and since a lot of the industry utilizes a standard wide mouth it even fit our Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottle in wide mouth. There is no gasket on the inside of the cap.
Since it is a wide mouth design it will accommodate certain water filters such as the MSR MiniWorks EX Water Purifier Pump, which screws on directly to the body of the water bottle and allows you to pump directly into it, making for a very convenient and well thought out water system. The cap is manufactured in China.
The mouth piece on the cap is sealed off with the rubber gasket that is forced over the opening and then latched closed. The main locking mechanism is operated by depressing a button which arks the top of the bottle back exposing a nice sized opening for chugging your desired liquid. It also has a safety latch that will prevent the cap from opening should the button be pressed on accident. If the safety latch is utilized one-handed operation becomes more cumbersome, but doable.
The real treat is the actual spout that you drink from. It is utter perfection. The sizes ample enough to be able to chug liquids quickly without any kind of dribble that some bottles are notorious for. Probably one of the best designed spouts we’ve ever come across.
As a daily driver commuter bottle it is absolutely perfect. It fits into cup holders. Handles hot beverages such as coffee. Easily operated with one hand. Leak-proof.
As a gym bottle functioned well. Withstood several knocks without opening or spilling. Handled protein drinks and energy drinks without leaving a residue taste.
As a day hiking/camping bottle in our opinion it’s great as long as you have sources to refill the bottle. 25 ounces of water on its own in our opinion is simply not enough. However coupled with a larger bottle it excels as a hiking/camping bottle. There are several advantages to utilizing the smaller bottle while coupling with other water storage/sources. This probably hits home for anyone who’s ever tried to bring up 64 ounces or better of beverage to their mouth. Also if you are in environments where you need to conserve water due to limited availability, it is much easier to do so with a smaller bottle, since it allows you greater control over rationing one’s water. It also has the advantage that if you drop or lose a bottle less water will be lost, which can be critical in certain situations.
Because a standard climbing carabiner can be attached securely to this bottle it is a great choice for someone to clip on their harness should one wish to do so. A better alternative than a regular water bottle with zip ties if you ask us.
Overall this is one of the best water bottles we ever had the pleasure of using. Cannot say enough good things about this bottle, especially for regular daily use where the 25 ounce water limit is not an issue. However like every other piece of gear it will not fill every need, but when coupled with other gear it can create a system that is synergistic in nature.