How to make a simple shoulder pouch for your backpack

A shoulder pouch is required.

The downside to an ultralight backpack like my Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 3400 is the limited features. For one, the exterior side pockets are on the small side. They can fit a 1L Nalgene bottle and not much else. Also, these pockets are not forward-facing, making them difficult to access.

So we decided to stop using it for water storage.

Current water supply system

I have a 2 liter Hydropak Seeker Bottle with a Katadyn BeFree water filter and a 0.5 liter water bottle. I usually use the smaller bottle for quick sips and the Hydropak for breaks. My goal is to somehow be able to attach the smaller bottle to the shoulder strap so it's easily accessible while on the move.

Simple shoulder pouch

Here are the ingredients you will need:

–Beer koozies. Preferably with a more structured foam, unlike the soft ones I've used.

– Something prickly.


– Pliers for pulling the cord.

first step

Poke two holes in the bottom and two in the top of your beer koozie – the closer you place the holes, the less the pouch will wiggle around.

Step 2

The cord goes through one of the holes in the bottom of the koozie, and the other side is left open so you can attach it to a shoulder strap, either via the strap itself or a daisy chain from the chest strap.

Step 3

Thread the cord through the other side of the koozie.

Step 4

Thread both cords vertically inside the koozie through their respective top holes and pull taut. Make sure it's taut so the base fits snugly. Threading the cords vertically instead of in an X-shape will help the bottle slide in more easily.

Step 5

Tie a square knot to secure the top half to the shoulder strap.

Step 6

Give yourself a little hiker trash and get yourself a functional shoulder pouch that will keep your favorite drink warm and double as a phone holder.

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