any one able to get a water bottle into...
any one able to get a water bottle into the side mesh bottle holder SOLO if yes what size bottle were you able to do by yourself?
I can't; but I'm old and not so limber anymore. But for me it's no big deal, I use a 100 oz. reservoir for hydration, and if I take extra water along on a desert trip or something else with limited or no water sources, I put it in a Platy bottle in the side pocket and usually use that water for cooking or if need be, drinking at a rest stop. I primarily use the side pockets for my rain jacket or similar items that I don't need to get to in a hurry. It's a great pack; do it. ;-)
Edit/Update: I read the question as you asking if anyone can get a water bottle in and out by oneself, with the pack on. I can certainly fit a Nalgene in the side pockets, but I can't reach back to get them in and out with the pack on. Hope that helps.
must admit that i cannot recall exact diameters, but you will not be able to fit a typical nalgene into the side pocket - unless the main compartment is mostly empty. for the last extensive trip i did with my pack, i kept a 1 liter platypus (less than full) in one of the pockets. i think playtpus-like bottles will work better than rigid-construction bottles - unless your bottle is of a small diameter.
also, the mesh pockets (with their side access) are fantastic for small things like cameras, maps, etc. i am able to reach around and pull out contents via the side access. very nice...
Powerade bottles fit fine. Light too.