The problem with one-time use water bottles of the type you buy your posh French hill-filtered water in is that they’re horrible for the environment, take masses of energy to make and recycle and don’t last as long as a decent water bottle.
And the problem with a decent water bottle is that when it’s empty, it’s still a big old water bottle taking space in your bag.
So it was with that rare thing at the recent Outdoor Show – the ‘stopping in your tracks and saying “Oo, clever.” – that I discovered the Aquatina collapsible bottle.
Now, if you watch more TV than I do, you might have seen this on Dragon’s Den. It didn’t attract any investment, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s a pretty good idea.
I’ve taken the Aquatina out on a couple of hikes in the last week and I’m quite impressed by the concept. It’s made from a flexible plastic (stiff, not rubbery) and doesn’t make water taste funny, which is a good start.
It fits in a backpack bottle pocket, but not in my bike’s bottle carrier (but I suppose you wouldn’t need it on a bike).
There’s not a massive amount to say about the bottle beyond that. You start a hike with a bottle of water, and when you’ve drunk it, you squish the bottle and stick it in a trouser pocket. Simple.
I can see it being useful of camping, festivals, dog walking, amusing small children and handbags. Not only do the Dragon’s Den comments mention handbags, but that’s the first thing the wife said when she saw it!
I’d like to see a silicone version in future, making it a bit more rugged and playful, and pandering to my rubber fetish. At the moment it’s in a material called LDPE, which is free from known nasties like BPA and hormones that will make you grow breasts on your back. It’s a proven and VERY common material, but it’s not got that X-factor at the moment.
SUMMARY: Aquatina’s funky little collapsible water bottle is a neat idea. Useful in a variety of situations where space/load is limited but drink is essential. It lacks a few conveniences like drinking spout, carrying attachment and ‘quality feel’ (LDPE isn’t the sexiest of feeling materials), but it works well and is cheap enough to be a sound investment.
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