When packing for the #UintasHike16, I wanted to shave as much weight off as possible. More weight and stuff means more of a chance I’d need to check a bag. And I hate checking bags because it’s so inefficient. I want to be on and off a plane, lickety split. I explored a few options to not bring a true water filter… LifeStraw Go, Vapur MicroFilter, and eventually settled on the Platypus Hydration Meta Bottle with filter.
I first got wind of LifeStraw when bloggers were reviewing them left and right and sharing all over social media. I didn’t really get it. As hikers, backpackers, adventurers, we’re used to carting water all across the wilderness. But what if we didn’t have guaranteed reliable water sources to slurp from? The straw is useless.
I was so excited to see that LifeStraw sent some of their LifeStraw Go bottles to Idaho for #HellHikeAndRaft. Thanks to Tara’s lightning quick snatching skills, I was able to get my hands on one of these babies. I can easily say that this is my most favorite piece of gear from the trip. It’s so easy to scoop water and not have to worry about filtering it! I’m a wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-because-I’m-thirsty-and-or-hot type of person, so this was great to have for ultimate laziness.
The bottle holds 650 mL (22 fluid oz) of water for on the go use. The plastic is BPA-free, with a soft, rubbery, flip top bite valve for comfortable drinking. The filter has a lifespan of about 1000 liters of water, and filters down to about .2 microns. It will remove 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. If you’re an average adventurer in the North American backcountry, this should be perfect for you. But elsewhere? You’ll need to be wary of viruses in your water.
I found that the straw had a tendency to leak if placed upside down or on its side. This wasn’t isolated to my own bottle, which is quite a bummer. The carabiner is a little flimsy, and the gate tends to pop out past the nose. Not really a deal breaker, just annoying. There’s no lid or cover for the mouth piece. If you’re traveling through a dusty area, or if you’re prone to rolling around in dirt like me, your mouthpiece is going to get dirty.
Lastly, the biggest downside, once you’re at that 1000 liter mark, there’s no way to replace your filter! Granted, the average weekend warrior will go through 1000 liters of filtered water pretty slowly, but once you’re there, you need to buy a new bottle. It’s not cost or waste efficient. But maybe by a thousand liters, they’ll have replacement ones.
Update: The folks over at Eartheasy have let me know that replacement filters are now available for $18.95! Wahoo!
All in all, I think it’s a pretty nifty product. I don’t quite have anything like it, and never thought of picking up anything like it. Now that I have it, I’m super excited about it. And as an additional bonus, for every LifeStraw product you purchase, you help deliver clean, drinkable water to kids in Africa. A product that is good and does good gets a million points in my book.
When you think Primaloft, do you think of water bottles? No? Well, Hydrapak is here to prove you wrong.
The Hydrapak Wooly is not my first encounter with an insulated bottle; I currently own a Klean Kanteen that’s like a tank. If you are looking for something to keep cold beverages cold and your hot beverages hot without adding a ton of weight, the Wooly is for you.
The Wooly bottle is 25 fl. oz of pure insulated awesomeness with double-walled plastic with Primaloft insulation weighing in at 4.5 oz when dry. It has a High-flow Mammoth™ Valve constructed from soft Thermoplastic Elastomer that allows for easy access to the bottle without needing to pull on the valve with your hands. Additionally the Thermoplastic Elastomer is not a magnet for teeth marks, a downside many of these bottle styles have.
The bottle has a wide mouth (60mm to be exact) and makes it easy to clean. This is top rack dishwasher safe and freezer friendly too! Full bottle dimensions are fairly standard: 10.25″ L x 2.75″ W.
The only real problem I found with the bottle was how difficult it was to get that very last drop. Once you get to the last few sips, it is tough to wrestle the water out without extreme yoga skills and squeezing. It’s much easier to stop what you are doing to unscrew the cap. If you’re really on the go and you’re running low on water, this can hinder your performance.
Lastly, the design on the outside of the bottle could be more aesthetically pleasing, but if you’re going for function over form, this isn’t a deal breaker.
All in all, the Hydrapak Wooly is a good deal if you’re looking for a functional and lightweight bottle that you can haul along for hot summer runs and rides to keep your beverages cold, or for those chilly days where a warm beverage sounds incredibly delightful. Buy through Hydrapak for $11.99.
This was sent to me for review.
I’ve never really understood the appeal of these “anti-bottles”. But now I get it.
My Vapur Element holds 1L of water. The fact that it’s clear makes you hyper-aware of just how much water you are drinking. You can see every ounce disappear into your body, and you’re watching the plastic shrink as it happens!
Are you a fan of having water handy at all times? The Element is inconspicuous, lightweight and easy to carry. It’s sleeker and less clunky than a bottle. The carabiner makes transportation of this baby incredibly easy. It’s great for short walks and hikes where you don’t want the full weight of a backpack.
Now the cons… This bottle has a too hard, too soft plastic conundrum. If you only have one hand available, this thing is darn hard to use. It’s difficult to open, and difficult to pour into your mouth when full. This is because the plastic is pliable for packability. But on the other hand, it’s difficult to fill this up all the way. Filling the bottle up with water doesn’t fully expand certain sections of it, so you end up coming up a bit short of a liter. If you need to carry exactly 1L of water of you at all times, this might be a deal breaker.
If you’re willing to sacrifice one-handed ease of use for extreme portability and lack of weight, this bottle is for you. Buy through Amazon, Vapur or http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-7165177-10456937?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fmp%2Fcj%2Fproduct%2F862538%3Fmr%3AtrackingCode%3DDBA6AB1F-EAE0-E211-A755-BC305BF82162%26mr%3AreferralID%3DNA&cjsku=862538” target=”_top”>REI for $12.99.
Edit 03/12/2015: Almost a year later my Vapur bottle cracked! I emailed customer service some photos of the bottle and they got me another one lickety split. I am very pleased.