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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Buckets > Seattle Sports Pocket Bucket > Owner Review by Ray Estrella

Seattle Sports Pocket Bucket
By Raymond Estrella
August 22, 2007


NAME: Raymond Estrella
AGE: 46
LOCATION: Huntington Beach California USA
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or fiancée Jenn.

The Product

Manufacturer: Seattle Sports Company
Web site:
Product: Pocket Bucket
Year manufactured: 2004
MSRP: $16.45 (US)
Weight listed: 4.5 oz (128 g)
Actual weight: 2.9 oz (82 g)
Capacity listed: 3 Gallons (12 Liters)
Height listed: 10 in (25.4 mm) verified accurate
Diameter listed: 9.5 in (24.1 mm) verified accurate

Pocket Bucket

Product Description

The Seattle Sports Pocket Bucket (hereafter called the bucket) is a collapsible bucket aimed at the backpacking crowd, of which I happily claim to be one of.

The body (sides) is made of blue 200-denier urethane coated nylon with a black 500-denier urethane coated nylon bottom. The urethane coating is on the inside of the bucket. A white Seattle Sports logo is centered on the bucket as can be seen above.

A 1 in (2.5 cm) wide nylon webbing strap is securely stitched to the side of the bucket at the top. When held this handle is roughly 9 in (23 cm) above the bucket. The top of the bucket is folded down and has a 0.75 in (1.9 cm) hem.

The manufacturer says that it folds down to the size of a deck of cards. For me it is more the size of an apricot, as can be seen below.

Folded up

Field Conditions

Hanging on a logThis has been on every backpacking trip and quite a few fastpacks or long dayhikes in the past four years. From the south up it has been carried and used in the following parks and forests.

San Jacinto Wilderness, Mount San Jacinto State Park, San Bernardino National Forest, Joshua Tree National Park, San Gorgonio Wilderness, Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia National Park, Domeland Wilderness, Kings Canyon National Park, Inyo National Forest, Golden Trout Wilderness, John Muir Wilderness, Sierra National Forest, and Grand Teton National Park (whew).

Elevations have ranged from sea level to 14496' (4418 m) and temperatures have been from below freezing to 120 F (49 C).


I bought the Seattle Sports bucket in 2004 because I was tired of fighting to filter water by myself as I do a lot of solo hiking. Trying to pump my filter and keep the pick-up in a good place is very hard to do with only two hands. The first time I used the bucket I knew that I would never go on another trip without it.

I fill the bucket with water and bring it back to my camp site. I find a place to hang it on a broken branch or stump, or will sling a strap around a tree branch or trunk and then through the handles. This lets me sit comfortably to pump water. Every person that I have hiked with that saw it in use smacked their heads and said, "Doh! Why didn't I think of that?" Below is a picture of it hanging on a fallen tree in Yosemite, above is the same treatment in Sequoia.

In Yosemite

My regular hiking partner Dave is an ultralighter that hates carrying any extra (shared) weight. But after using the bucket with me to filter water he decided that he likes not having to perch over streams so much now that he never complains about taking the bucket.
Bucket head
My beloved was pretty impressed when, at a site away from water, I made multiple trips back and forth with the bucket to first filter water, then fill a collapsible sink to warm for her bath, and finally just hung the full bucket for washing chores for the evening. It saved a lot of trips down to the river where we would be forced to scramble down to the water each time we needed some.

It allows me to get to water that would otherwise be difficult to access. On one very long day in Kings Canyon I was burning up. We needed water and found a little creek running through a culvert pipe below the forest service road that the trail had merged with. By using the bucket I was able to dangle it down into the stream coming from the pipe. If I had not had it one of us would have had to climb down into a lot of poison oak and berry brambles to get it. And once we had filtered water I refilled the bucket and dipped my head into it to cool off. That makes it a porta-bath! Here is a pic of that incident.

The bucket can be used without hanging but to do so I need to make sure that it is no more than 3/5 full and carefully set it down to make sure that it does not collapse sideways spilling my precious water. The picture at the end of the review shows it in use this way at a camp 9000' (2743 m) up Mount San Gorgonio.

I have not found anything to complain about the Seattle Sports Pocket Bucket. Even after a lot of use with constant folding it is still watertight. I plan to use it for many years to come.


This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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