If you’ve been around the sun a few times you know that there are hundreds of options when it comes to hydration systems. But most water carrying solutions share one major limitation: they only serve one purpose. In fact, there are so few multi-use water systems out there that it makes you wonder “when is someone going to make a better water bottle?”
Spoiler alert: That someone is MODL Outdoors. The MODL Outdoors founders were sick of their Nalgene bottles swinging and clunking their packs. So they started designing a solution. After an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign, MODL Outdoors launched in earnest, bringing to the market a totally new way to approach hydration and water storage.
At the heart of MODL is a brand-new water bottle design. The food-grade silicone bottle has a one-liter capacity and has two end caps, making it easy to wash and 100 percent dishwasher safe. The bottle is molded with flat sides to prevent it from rolling. The openings at either end are finished with internal threaded stainless steel rings for a sturdy seal.
The bottle comes in three colors: black, clear, and light blue. It weighs just shy of 11 ounces. But what makes the MODL Complete truly revolutionary is the accompanying MODs.
What is a MOD?
A MOD is what MODL (MOD + Bottle = MODL) calls their additional accessories of which there are four: The Pure, Flow, Go, and Rinse. The Pure MOD is a BPA-free water filter that can clean 3,000 liters of water (790 gallons) at a liter per minute. The filter removes 99.9999% of harmful bacteria like Giardia and E. coli. The Flow MOD is essentially the straw from a typical water bladder retrofitted to connect to one of the MODL’s screw-down tops, allowing you to stow your water and hydrate hands-free. The Go MOD is a small nozzle that uses the same screw-down top to transform the MODL into a sports bottle. The Rinse MOD — our favorite — is a perforated end cap that turns the MODL into a spray kit, perfect for rinsing off gear, washing hands, and taking field showers. Each of these MODS is modular, making them easy to combine in all sorts of different configurations.
You can purchase the MODL water bottle by itself and then add on the features you feel you might need for the field, but the MODL Complete brings them all to you in a streamlined, ready-to-use package. With all the MODs in hand, you can do some pretty clever things that are enormously helpful in the field.
Use in the Field
Filtering on the Go
One of the simplest applications of the MODs is combining the Go MOD with the Pure MOD. By connecting the Pure MOD to the inside of the threaded Go MOD lid with the provided section of tubing, the MODL lets you filter any water source directly. Simply fill up and drink through the nozzle. We found that the filter fits snugly into the tubing and doesn’t easily slip out. It is important to make sure the filter is connected in the correct orientation to ensure full filtering capabilities.
This filter-on-the-go technique is expanded by the Flow MOD. Simply remove the Go MOD sport nozzle and affix the Flow MOD tubing. Now you can stow your water in a pack and drink fresh filtered water through the hose. The hose is one meter (3.3 ft) long, the perfect length to get from your pack to your mouth without too much extra hose flopping about.
The final filter setup is plain gold for field use. By using one solid cap and the Go and Pure MODs, you can turn your MODL into a bulk filtering system. Simply affix the Pure MOD to the outside of the Go MOD and fill up the MODL with water from a water source. Hung from a tree branch or carabiner, this combo will drip filter your liter of water in about 60 seconds, allowing you to get busy making a fire or building a shelter while gravity filters for you.
Don’t need to filter your water but want to use the Flow MOD to hydrate hands-free? No worries. Just affix the included long length of tubing to the inside of the Go MOD and go!
Rinse, Wash, Bathe
The Rinse MOD is where MODL really earns its stripes. By simply affixing the perforated Rinse MOD cap, you turn your MODL in a liter’s worth of cleaning power. It’s ideal for cleaning food or washing off dishes and cookware. It also comes very handy for cleaning off gear like boots, or fishing rods and reels. Hung from a branch or other lashing point, the Rinse MOD serves as a static handwashing station: the vacuum formed by the MODL will keep the water from draining until you squeeze the silicone bottle, letting you wash as needed without wasting water.
Finally, the Rinse MOD can be used as a hand-held shower. Simply squeeze the MODL to activate a steady shower of water. And though a liter won’t make for a long shower, the MODL is capable of holding water at boiling temperature, so you can at least have a hot one.
The various MODs and their applications really set the MODL apart from other water bottles. The LifeLoops put the icing on the cake. Made from the same robust food-grade silicone, the LifeLoops are detachable stretchy lashings that let you secure the MODL to just about anything without the need for carabiners. And, by having lashing points on both end caps, the MODL won’t swing and bounce on long hikes.
The LifeLoops not only make the MODL more versatile, but they keep it stealthy; no clinking metal or hard plastic. They are also extremely helpful for tightening/loosening the end caps as the silicone grabs the plastic caps nicely. Last but certainly not least, since the LifeLoops can be detached from the MODL completely, they can pull double duty around the camp or in a survival situation as robust, lightweight tie-downs.
Staying agile when you’re in the field is all about having gear that can do numerous jobs. That sort of versatility is what turns a simple poncho into a survival shelter or a first aid kit into an SOS beacon. And that’s what makes the MODL so damn good. It combines a water bottle, water filter, CamelBak, carabiners, and hygiene station in one easy-to-use — and inexpensive — well-constructed unit. The only downside? They don’t make it in OD Green. Yet…
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