Wine in the Backcountry: First Look at 'Modern Bota Bag'

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! —Sean McCoy

GSI Bota Bag 1.jpg

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.

GSI Bota Bag 2.jpg

Our 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.

More Beta/Buy Now: http://www.gsioutdoors.com/products/pdp/soft_sided_wine_carafe-_750_ml

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

Posted by Chris - 09/04/2013 04:08 AM

Liking the review format, hopefully a lot of A/W13 product reviews coming up

Posted by Justin Walsh - 09/06/2013 06:46 AM

I’ve had one of these for over a year and think it is a great product. The double cap is really nice too.
It’s useful in any situation where a big glass bottle is inappropriate or inconvenient. Pair this with some collapsible plastic stemware and you’re ready for a moonlight beach picnic.

Posted by Swan - 11/01/2013 01:42 PM

What? Survive on one bottle? I buy Franzia in the box, remove the box and keep the thick plastic bag. A little ingenuity, duck tape and rope and you can sling it over your shoulder. I hit the BWCA with a bag of it every year.

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