The adventurers in my classic fantasy world have access to all sorts of potions. Some, like health potions and their more expensive cousins like regeneration potions, can bring people back from being nearly dead. The utility is obvious, and no sane adventurer or fighter of any sort would ever leave home without one. This leaves a slight problem though: potions are very magical and reactive substances and need to be kept in non-reactive glassware if you want it to keep for more than a week or so. Yes, specialized carriers and metal-jacketed potion vials exist, but they remain fragile and something that needs to be protected.

This brings me to the question:

Where are the best places on the human body to store these potions? Presumably, they are kept in some sort of holster or bandoleer, but where should this be? Under the arm? On the belt? Where, for example, did knights keep fragile things when heading into battle?

Some conditions:

  • They need to be easy to access in case of injury. Ideally, retrieving one is a one-handed operation.

  • They need to be somewhere protected from the rigors of combat and any other extreme movement their owner might get about

  • The position of the holster shouldn't prevent things like climbing ladders or riding horses

  • $\begingroup$ how big are the flasks? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jun 12, 2021 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ @John most commonly finger sized, but occasionally up to 200ml $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Jun 12, 2021 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ How many flasks would we expect them to be trying to carry? Are they expensive enough that we need to keep each one individually protected or is it alright to lose some to breakage in a fight? $\endgroup$
    – jb6330
    Jun 15, 2021 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ @jb6330 most that can afford it have at least two vials with them, one cheap for minor injuries like cuts, abrasions, or blisters, and one expensive one that beings people back from the brink of death, restores lost limbs, heals severed spines etc. As for price, they are generally rather expensive. The average soldier/warrior can afford one, but it's a major financial loss if they're forced to drink it. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Jun 15, 2021 at 6:03
  • $\begingroup$ I introduce the crotch pouch! You put a lot of effort into not getting hit there anyway, why not do double duty! This is the perfect place to store a healing potion or two! Think of the confusion it will give your opponents when you reach in there in the middle of battle? Warning! This product should not be used for delivering ANYTHING to the princess at court! $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Oct 12, 2021 at 22:15

7 Answers 7


Potion Flasks are like any other military hardware

Image of a modern soldier, geared up with multiple weapons and pouches

You just carry the equipment in pouches on the chestplate, legs and belt. I would argue that hardening the pouches, imagine open steel cylinders with cushioning, should be sufficient to keep the potions save and accessible. There is no need to access them in actual combat, because if you are in a hand to hand meele, trying to sip a potion is the moment when the enemy will kill you. These equipment cylinders give you additional armor and destruction of equipment beats destruction of the body in most cases.

I'd also argue that modern day soldiers are better examples of how an adventurer would equipment himself, as soldiers of old going into battle left behind most of their kit, while an adventurer does carry huge amounts of equipment around at any time.

Where on the body is probably a matter of personal preference, each fighter will prioritise different items in their equipment, especially as adventurers won't carry standardised equipment. I'd prefer to have a flintlock pistol faster at hand than a potion. Same goes for a grenade.


Belt pouches with wooden vial slots.

Small glass vials are remarkably robust as long as they don't take a direct blow. If they still view it as a problem they can do what soldiers did for paper cartridges: a tough wooden fame inside a leather pouch to protect them. Slip the vials in the wood holes. If the vials are not uniform then stuff straw around them to make up for size differences between the vials and the sockets.

The advantage to this method is that you can make the case as big as you need. The rigid leather and wooden frame will make them capable of taking enough punishment that nothing short of a direct hit by a weapon will damage the contents.

Here's a picture of a paper bullet holder for 20 cartridges. Pouches for holding as little as five or six cartridges existed IRL, and you can make one for only two of three vials without issue. In fact, the fewer they hold the stronger the cases can be.

enter image description here

People can then put the pouches wherever they prefer. Some will want them easy to access, while other will want them more protected. Armor will be a factor; someone in plate armor will have a more limited range of mobility, so I would not expect everyone to store them in the same place. Cavalry, will need a different set up than footman or archers.

Based on where people historically kept these pouches, on the waist may be the most likely place for people to put them. Fitting a pouch to a belt is easy, and keeps it in a place which is both accessible and fairly protected.

  • $\begingroup$ Sidenote: that appears to be a pouch for paper cartridges. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Oct 12, 2021 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ @trish yes, I mention it twice $\endgroup$
    – John
    Oct 13, 2021 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ true... uh.. that's a British style pouch as far as I can tell. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Oct 13, 2021 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ #trish, I am not actually sure I just searched for the first non-copywrited picture of a paper cartridge case I could find. Visuals make getting concepts across easier. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Oct 13, 2021 at 22:39

Make the flasks wide and flat, then integrate them into custom grooves on the inside face of the armored breastplate, up against their chest. For ease of access, run hollow rubber straws up from each flask, through the neck and head armor, to within reach of your mouth, then cap them with an edible stopper.

Repeat the process with the inside face of back side of your armor.

Finally, add small doses of healing potion in rubber flasks at each vulnerable part of your armor such that any sword swipe or arrow which gets through any of those weaknesses gets coated in healing potion before entering your body.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That last idea is clever! $\endgroup$
    – Stilez
    Jun 13, 2021 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Stilez, I agree. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2021 at 15:38

The best place to store the potions would likely be on the small of the back and would be accessed by sliding it sideways out of a reinforced holster, like a tiny metal coated quiver.

Given how valuable and few these potions are, we can't spread them out for redundancy. Instead, we need to put them where they have the least chance of getting hit. The front and sides of the armour is exposed to falls and enemy strikes, which we can't afford. Putting them inside the armour makes them inaccessible and prone to getting crushed on impact. This leaves the back.

When falling backwards, either the upper or lower back are more likely to take the first impact. This reduces the amount of force that the potion's protective packaging would have to resist.

As for attacks from behind, it doesn't matter where you stash the potion if you're too dead to apply it.


Under saggy belly.



It is snug under there, and the fleshy flesh on each side acts as a shock absorber to prevent impacts or other damage to the bottle. It so happens that all adventurers in your world are built like this dude so there is no body shaming and lets not have any of that here either! It is a good thing for them, because they have these delicate potion bottles to carry and rock hard abs would break those bottles in about 5 seconds.

In addition to usefully pendulous bellies, many adventures also have other similarly saggy body parts under or between which small bottles can be stashed. This will vary by body habitus of the adventurer. Some of these saggy body parts are already reflexively protected by the adventurer on account of their tenderness, and this also helps protect the little bottles stashed there.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That would explain their bellycose tendencies $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2021 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I just can't bring myself to upvote that belly. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Oct 12, 2021 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ Dude! Sooo tempted to down vote. Unfortunately, it is actually a viable solution. $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Oct 12, 2021 at 22:11

I know its an old post and im not sure this site has any rules against answering old questions but...

On your belt behind you. Im gonna assume classic fantasy means melee weapons. Typically, youre gonna be facing the enemy youre fighting and even if theres a sneak attack behind you aiming at your back-waist level would be a pretty bad spot to attack anyway. Theyre not likely to be hit, though if you fall you might crush them. Better make some kind of tough potion holder, like a test tube holder you would see in a science lab, but presumably more durable and made of a tough wood.


On a side pouch on a backpack. IRL medieval backpacks werent really a thing like the backpacks we have today but im sure we can take some liberties here with there being potions and all that.Source: outward

A little pouch right there could work. if theres enough stuff in the bag, it would likely be ok if you fell or got knocked over, and it should be decently out of the way if you got hit unless you got hit directly in the side while your arms were out of the way.


In your dewy gullet.

Obviously there is no faster place to get at a potion. You wrap the potion up in a non-reactive container: a magical scroll, too large to make an unwanted journey downstream, which is made with tremendously rare and peculiar ingredients to survive the same reactive conditions. (It is magic, after all) The wrapped-up layers of magical scroll resist both the potion inside and the stomach acid outside without fail, year after year. But ... as you pronounce the formula on it, the scroll disappears.

Of course, the scroll should have some beneficial effect of its own (teleportation? confuse monster? genocide?) in addition to releasing your healing potion.

I know what you're thinking now: "But how do you get it in there?" One option is teleportation -- with enough control, it's almost safe. The other option was invented by a fresh recruit to an elite unit, who told his captain the only way you're getting me to swallow that thing is at the tip of a sword... But this route takes more than a little practice.


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