There’s a designer at Gelert who works bloody hard for his salary and is excellent at his job. I’m going to call him… Tarquin.
But one Friday, an hour before home time, Tarquin was tasked to come up with a cheap and cheerful water carrier and after fishing around in a dusty box under his desk he found a big sheet of flexible food-grade PVC, a tap, two HB pencils, six cans of Fosters and Debbie Does Dallas on Betamax.
Having downed the amber nectar in triple-quick time he found he only had 10 minutes left so he did the following: he heat-welded the PVC to form a bag, inserted the pencils as handles at the top and bottom, spun around three times and played pin the tail on the donkey to decide where the tap should go. He then passed out in a fizzy puddle of his own lunch and didn’t wake up until Sunday.
And this is the result. What should be a great water carrier has emerged from Tarquin’s office as a big opaque bag of wobbly disappointment.
The idea is there though. It’s simple, compact and at £6.50 (RRP) it’s very cheap. This latter point almost totally makes up for its failings.
It just needed a little more thought and one less can of beer to make it work.
The main problem is the tap. It features the type of left/right thumb handle you’ve seen on more rigid water carriers a million times before but because it’s on such a flexible bag (which has to be hung because of its design) you end up moving the entire carrier around instead of filling your kettle. To make it work you need to grip the main plastic body of the tap with one hand to keep the whole thing still before turning the water on with the other. And who’s holding the kettle while you do that? Hmmm?
What it should be is one of those plastic taps you get on the wine boxes that Mrs Muz guzzles directly from, where you hold its wings under the pads of your first and middle fingers and push a button with your thumb. No sideways forces and totally one-handed.
And this tap should be right in one of the bottom corners rather than stuck randomly off-centre two inches up. As it is you can’t drain the carrier fully no matter what you do to it and when you roll it up to put it away for six months you’re leaving far too much liquid slopping around inside, serving as a perfect breeding ground for nasties that turn your stomach contents to soup.
That would be all I’d have to say about it… if one of the pencils hadn’t given up the ghost within a fortnight of use.
There I was, struggling to half-fill the carrier at the campsite standpipe (the placement of the bag’s troublesome tap making this a particularly taxing job) without looking like I was wrestling a pillowcase full of jelly. I managed to screw the tap back on while soaking only one leg instead of both, then I gripped the top handle and let the bottom drop as I turned to head back to base.
The handle turned out to be nothing but Cheesestrings and it snapped in two right in the middle. It doesn’t affect the bag much and it can still be hung, but if the handles were made of something just a little more durable than blind faith then it wouldn’t have happened.
SUMMARY: Not as good as it should be. A more appropriate and better-sited tap would be a huge improvement though. Two things in its favour are the price and the fact it can be rolled right up to save space when not being used.
Price: £6.50 RRP
More info: How much more info do you want?