I rarely use a Nalgene Bottle without a holder because they’re so chunky and don’t have a built-in handle like many other bottles.
Carrying it by the strap works pretty well but, over time, the strap wears down. While Nalgene will replace broken lids with no questions asked, a snapped strap could mean a lost lid and it's just annoying when it happens.
I’ll admit, I still carry some of my Nalgenes by the lid strap when I’m at the climbing gym or office but, on the trail, the last thing I need is to be without my water bottle.
Luckily for me, my kids love doing crafts and wanted to learn to make DIY Nalgene Holders for their own bottles too.
DIY paracord net Nalgene Bottle Holders are durable, lightweight, and pretty easy to make once you get a few basic knots down. Or if you want an even easier project, a paracord loop lid strap only takes about fifteen minutes to make.
For a functional, but not very stylish option, a paracord carabiner loop can simply be duct taped to your Nalgene — easy, durable, and very lightweight.
Or if you're not feeling super crafty there are some other great Nalgene strap options that you can purchase for an affordable price.
Not only are our do-it-yourself Nalgene Holders lightweight and durable, they also look great and were a fun project for my kids and I to work on together.
And to my surprise, they weren’t as hard as I thought they’d be to make (I’m not really the crafty type).
1. DIY Paracord Nalgene Bottle Wrap
The first Nalgene holder we made was a full-bottle net wrap made from paracord. My kids love this one and it’s pretty customizable for your own needs.
- 50’ to 80’ of 550 Paracord
- 550 Paracord FID (paracord stitching needle)
- Plastic cord lock
Create The Neck Strap
1. Wrap a short strand of paracord around the neck of your bottle with 6 to 8 inches of overhang on either side*.
2. String both ends through a plastic cord lock and tighten leaving about an inch of slack.
3. Tie off the loose ends into the knot of your choice, leaving plenty of room for the cord lock to loosen.
Creating The Net Carrier
4. Knot one end of a longer strand of paracord to the first piece that you wrapped around the neck of the bottle. You want to thread the paracord through the top and then ties the night.
Cut off the excess cord and use a lighter to seal the knot, being careful not to mend the two pieces together. Slide the knot to one side of the cord lock.
5. Using a paracord FID, weave the working end of the paracord around the bottle in inch-long loops through the paracord at your bottle’s neck. It should create small U shapes around the neck until you get back to the start.
6. Once you return to the starting point, weave a second row beneath the first, using the first row as a base. This should create a second layer of U shapes all the way around the bottle.
7. Continue weaving new rows (using the previous row as a base each time) until you reach the bottom of your bottle.
8. Continue the same pattern on the underside of your bottle until the loops bunch in the middle.
8. Loosen the cord lock and slide the cover off of your bottle.
9. String the working end of the paracord through the bottom of the holder, cut it off near the base, and seal the knot using a lighter.
*If you want to add a braided carabiner loop or shoulder strap, use a much longer piece of paracord around your bottle’s neck. Instead of knotting at the ends, braid the paracord to the length you desire (leaving room for the cord lock to loosen).
2. DIY Paracord Loop Lid Strap
A paracord carabiner loop lid strap is a much easier do-it-yourself project for you or your kids, and will end up much more durable than the standard lid strap.
- Carefully remove the plastic lid strap.
- Tie a tight fisherman’s knot around the flange in the Nalgene’s lid. Give it a pull or two to make sure it’s secure.
- Attach the other end of the paracord around the neck of your bottle using a figure eight knot. You may need to experiment with length.
- Thread a figure eight braid up the length of the paracord strap, working toward the lid.
- Once you’ve reached the lid, tie off the working end, cut off any excess, and seal the knot using a lighter.
3. Ultralight DIY Nalgene Holder
If you care more about function than style, this ultralight Nalgene hack may be just for you.
- Cut a short length of paracord, around eight to ten inches.
- Fold the paracord in half and hold it against the side of your Nalgene Bottle with the loop-end up, slightly overhanging the neck of your bottle.
- Duct tape the paracord to the bottle. Wrap the entire circumference of the bottle, top to bottom to ensure that your loop can handle the weight of your bottle when it’s full.
- Clip a carabiner to the loop and you’re all set.
If you want to make it look a little better (at least as good as duct tape can look), Amazon sells duct tape in all sorts of patterns and colors.
Aggressive natural and synthetic rubber blend of adhesives provides instant adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces, including metal, glass, plastic and sealed concrete. Affordably priced to provide quality medium-strength solution.
4. DIY Simple Paracord Bottle Handle
This paracord handle is quick and easy. All you need is some 550 paracord, a pair of scissors, a lighter, and about 20 minutes.
- Tie a length of paracord around the neck of your bottle. Cut off and seal the knot with a lighter.
- Tie a second length of paracord (around 13 inches) to opposite ends of the neck strap, creating a short handle over the cap. Use a lighter to seal both knots.
- Use a third length of paracord (about eight or nine feet) to cobra weave the handle.
5. DIY Paracord Handle with Buckle
This one’s similar to the handle above, but is removable and has a buckling strap. You can get the cord lock and a ⅜” buckle on Amazon for a few dollars.
- Wrap a length of paracord around the neck of the bottle twice, leaving about a foot of extra length on each end.
- Use a cord lock to secure the loose ends, leaving a half inch of slack.
- Slide the neck strap off the bottle and tie off the loose ends in a diamond knot a couple inches from the cord lock. Cut off the loose ends and seal the knot with a lighter.
- Attach a buckle to the middle of a ten foot length of paracord.
- Leaving six to eight inches, weave this length of paracord through the neck strap.
- Cobra weave the working ends along the six to eight inch strand. When you reach the end, cut off any excess and seal with a lighter.
- Attach the other end of the buckle to the opposite end of the neck strap using a short length of cord. Cut off the excess and seal with a lighter.
- Slide the neck strap back over the neck of your bottle, tighten the cord lock, and you’re all set.
6. DIY Super Simple Paracord Carabiner Strap
If #3 is too ugly for you, this simple paracord carabiner strap is just as lightweight and just as easy to make.
- Tie a circle of paracord the circumference of your bottle’s neck, plus about four inches.
- Slide it around your bottle’s neck, and cross under to make a tight loop.
- Attach a carabiner to the overhang and you’re good to go.
7. DIY Weaved Paracord Carabiner Lanyard
This easy DIY carabiner lanyard is quick to make and the adjustable neck means it can be used with a Nalgene or any other bottle of your choice.
- Fold a length of paracord and insert into a cord lock, leaving a large enough loop to slide onto and off of your Nalgene Bottle’s neck.
- Hang a carabiner from something sturdy. Loop the paracord through the carabiner, leaving three inches between the carabiner and cord lock.
- Weave the working ends (using a cobra weave or figure eight weave) until you reach the cord lock.
- Cut off the excess and seal with a lighter.
- Slide the loop around the neck of your bottle, tighten the cord lock, and you’re all set.
8. DIY Adjustable Paracord Shoulder Strap
This paracord shoulder strap makes carrying your Nalgene Bottle easy. And because the neck is adjustable, you’ll have the flexibility to use it with any water bottle you choose.
- Tie two 42 inch lengths of paracord together using a fisherman’s knot (make sure to use a fisherman’s knot, no other knot will allow the neck strap to adjust).
- String each working end through opposite sides of a seven inch piece of ½” flexible plastic tubing or foam grip tubing.
- Center the tubing opposite the neck strap and tie off on either end using a fisherman’s knot.
- Slide the neck strap over the neck of your bottle and tighten the fisherman’s knots to secure your bottle.
The shoulder strap can easily be taken on and off in seconds, adjusted for use with any type of water bottle, and packs up small enough to fit into a purse or side pocket of a backpack.