Maxpedition vs. Condor H2O Pouches
We had been watching videos and reading blog posts for months, trying to decide not only if we should get a separate pouch to hold our Guyot Bottles and GSI Cups, but which brand to get.
It's come down to the age-old battle: price vs. quality.
Maxpedition is known for making awesome stuff. We already had the Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack and EDC Pocket Organizer, so we knew we liked the brand.
But the Condor piece looked good too, and was half the price of the Maxpedition. Condor is known for decently priced product, but not usually the same quality of material and craftsmanship as the Maxpedition.
What to do? Go with the pricier Maxpedition Bottle Holder or the more reasonably priced Condor H2O Pouch?
Unsolvable dilemma! So we bought both :-D
Our first real test with them came during our weekend at the Byron Kern Survival School, so we put them through the paces pretty quick and got the feel for which works better and which didn't.
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Maxpedition Bottle Holder
Lets start with the best. Maxpedition stuff is tough. Durable as heck. You can just feel it in the material when you pick it up.
That tough material causes one issue in this case - it makes the zipper to open the pouch-top a little stiff. It's difficult to open with one hand, which is usually how we were doing it.
It did soften up over time but it took about three-dozen open/closes to do so.
Also, it didn't come with any way to attach itself to our belts or include a shoulder strap. A detail we overlooked at first, and we had to improvise a loop with some paracord - eventually settling for clipping the Keyper quick release hook to the outside of a pack.
Using some Blackhawk Speed Clips we attached a Maxpedition Cocoon Pouch which held a bottle of Badger Balm Anti-Bug Spray to the PALS webbing in the front of the pouch.
That was a pretty nice setup since we were grabbing water and bug-spray non-stop that weekend.
Condor H2O Pouch
We had bought a Condor backpack a few years ago from a local Army Surplus store, and when we got it home we realized that it smelled bad. There was a lingering chemical smell in the bag that was pretty potent, and not one we felt like dealing with - so back went the bag.
So we were a little hesitant to go for the Condor stuff again, but in this case we figured we'd give it another shot on a less critical piece of gear, and we are glad we did.
The Condor pouch doesn't have the same feel to it as the Maxpedition. It's softer certainly, but it doesn't feel fragile by any means. The zipper is much easier to open.
It comes with a few more features than the Max too: it includes straps with snaps on the back so it was easy to use on a belt, and it has an opening on the top for a bladder tube. Not something we used on that trip but it's a nice thing to have.
So Which is Best?
We like tough gear that we know we can abuse for years and years which is why we are big fans of brands like Maxpedition and Spec Ops. But in this case we are going to have to go with the Condor H2O Pouch.
You can get 2 for the price of 1 Maxpedition, and unless you are planning on beating the heck out of your water pouch that bump in durability may not be worth the extra bucks.
Don't forget you still need to get a shoulder strap for both or some other means to attach the Maxpedition to your kit.
The included MOLLE straps on the Condor at least give you a starting point right out of the box.
Condor H2O Pouch
Typical Price: $18
Safely store your 32 or bottle with the top zipper closure pouch that maintains position to promote comfort and noise discipline.
At the top is a hook-and-loop strip for nametapes, and a hydration hose port for simplicity.
Front utility pouch with zipper closure allows for quick access and storage.
Two integrated D-rings are compatible with shoulder straps to carry this pouch alone.
Exterior webbing enables for tactical attachments and accessories.
This multi-purpose pouch is compatible with MOLLE webbing platforms.
Maxpedition Bottle Holder
Typical Price: $40
The 10" x 4" Bottle Holder is designed to fit a 32oz / 1L Nalgene bottle (sold separately) or similarly sized containers.
- Front zippered pocket with elastic retention
- PALS attachment webbing: Front and sides
- Attachment 1: D-rings for optional shoulder strap
- Attachment 2: two (2) 5" TacTie Attachment Straps (sold separately)
- Attachment 3: Keyper quick release hook on back
- Overall dimensions: 10"(H) x 4" diameter
- Main compartment: 9.5"(H) x 3.5" diameter
- Front pocket: 4"(L) x 1.5"(W) x 7"(H)