Fixing a Broken Nalgene | Reader Submission

I receive a lot of emails from my readers, but this one caught my eye because of how clever it was. With the permission of the sender I am reposting it here to share – a really great little hack!

Hi guys, my name is Stephen Outten and I have a cool little backpacking tip that may help some of you if you find yourself in the same situation as me.

I broke my Nalgene 48oz soft bottle a few days ago and needed a quick fix before I could get a new one. I broke the bottle about halfway down the bottle. It was pretty much toast but I was able to do a little experiment with my vacuum sealer and found out that I could make a water tight seal by using the heat sealing function.

Now I wouldn’t typically be carrying around a 10oz. capacity Nalgene bottle, but this could certainly help someone out the night before a hike or just reusing the bottle for other purposes. This would be a really good fix if your Nalgene broke lower down toward the bottom of the bottle.

The process was relatively easy. Stick the Nalgene bottle on the heating element just above where the leak or broken section is and create a new seal across the entire length of the bottle. I sealed mine twice for posterity! To my surprise it works like new albeit a little smaller :)

Many thanks to Stephen for sending me the email with this great little trick. ~Brian

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  • Taedawood

    That is a fascinating find.  However, the two collapsible Nalgene bottles that have failed me have both failed at the top seam, adjacent to the “flange” below the neck.  I have since learned to watch for signs of deterioration and discard them after three years or so.  

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Yeah it seems that the top neck flanges may be prone to these problems. Not much use creating a new seal that high up :( We should report this to Nalgene as customer feedback – I’ll look at doing that.

  • Taedawood

    That is a fascinating find.  However, the two collapsible Nalgene bottles that have failed me have both failed at the top seam, adjacent to the “flange” below the neck.  I have since learned to watch for signs of deterioration and discard them after three years or so.  

  • tryker13

    I have a Nalgene Canteen that developed a small leak just below the neck flange.  I don’t know if this would work for this or not.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Tryker, if the break is right below the neck, essentially toward the top, then sealing it up at that point might make the world’s smallest Nalgene! But I seriously doubt that you’d like that very much. Bummer that it got a leak so high up – do you know how?

  • tryker13

    I have a Nalgene Canteen that developed a small leak just below the neck flange.  I don’t know if this would work for this or not.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Tryker, if the break is right below the neck, essentially toward the top, then sealing it up at that point might make the world’s smallest Nalgene! But I seriously doubt that you’d like that very much. Bummer that it got a leak so high up – do you know how?

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Yeah it seems that the top neck flanges may be prone to these problems. Not much use creating a new seal that high up :( We should report this to Nalgene as customer feedback – I’ll look at doing that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000127363649 Jordan Hipple

    you could use 
    http://www.amazon.com/SCG-TS-100-Sealer-Battery-Operated/dp/B000E8OKQ8

    its basically the sealer on the foodsaver but more handheld so you may be able to get around the neck breaks

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000127363649 Jordan Hipple

    you could use 
    http://www.amazon.com/SCG-TS-100-Sealer-Battery-Operated/dp/B000E8OKQ8

    its basically the sealer on the foodsaver but more handheld so you may be able to get around the neck breaks

  • FishBone

    Once you’ve sealed the top portion of the canteen, the bottom could be used as a “dipper” for shallow water sources.  Re-use, recycle, renew!

  • FishBone

    Once you’ve sealed the top portion of the canteen, the bottom could be used as a “dipper” for shallow water sources.  Re-use, recycle, renew!

  • Anonymous

    Ultralight flask for my next tenkara fishin trip!

  • Agentguerry

    I have switched to the Platypus bottles, and haven’t had any issues yet.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      My Platys have served me well for many years too. I tend to be brand loyal if they keep working.

  • Agentguerry

    I have switched to the Platypus bottles, and haven’t had any issues yet.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    My Platys have served me well for many years too. I tend to be brand loyal if they keep working.

  • Survivor

    I have done the same thing with a metal coat hanger and my stove to heat it up. The 3 r’s are easy when you use your head!

  • Survivor

    I have done the same thing with a metal coat hanger and my stove to heat it up. The 3 r’s are easy when you use your head!