GSI Outdoors: Wine in the Backcountry

There are many water bottles on the market these days. But we’ve seen few designed specifically for wine. This entry from GSI Outdoor brings the wineskin into the modern era with some nice details and a great price ($10). We filled it with some red wine and tested it out. Our first impressions on the Soft Sided Wine Carafe are below. Drink up!


The Gear: GSI Outdoors Soft Sided Wine Carafe (available now; $9.95)

Where To Test It: Campsite happy hour.

Who’s It For: Deep woods drinkers.

Specs: 750ml capacity. Weighs 1.3 oz. when empty. Double-screw cap opens to two sizes, a large opening for filling and a smaller spout for an accurate pour. A re-writeable date bar lets you record the type of wine in the bag.

Boring But Important: Made of a BPA-free plastic pouch.

First Impressions: It weighs almost nothing and folds down tiny when empty. The back of the carafe lists the proper serving temperature of 19 popular varietals (see image below), not that you’ll have much control over this in the backcountry beyond a bath in a chilly stream. Caveat: Wine is heavy, and this only carries one bottle. Fill it with whiskey for longer backcountry trips. (Or check out the Highland Flask and Highland Fifth.)


GearJunkie’s Take: While this modern version of the bota bag is pretty cool, it still doesn’t measure up with the classic leather pouch. Plus, it really needs a strap for ‘round the shoulders portability and easy access! For the price, though, this is a handy container to carry wine in a backpack.

Would We Buy It: Sure, it’s a great product for $10. It seems pretty tough and didn’t leak from a hard hand-pressure squeeze. I’d probably stow the red in an external pocket, though, just in case.


—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor. The “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at Photos © Monopoint Media LLC.

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