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Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: Stash Collapsible Bottle from HydraPak

I know I’m not the only one who travels with a water bottle. We’ve been through a lot of trips in the past where we went and purchased a case of water at the start of our vacation so we would have water on hand the whole time we were there. Not only does this get old, but a bottle of water can be unwieldy and inconvenient, not to mention terrible for the environment. I can’t tell you the amount of places we’ve been that don’t have recycling bins available.

Stash Collapsible water bottle

We’ve taken to bringing a reusable bottle with us and it has worked much better, though once it’s empty, you’re basically just walking around with a thing you don’t want to carry that takes up space in your bag. HydraPak has fixed this issue with their Stash bottle. It is a flexible bottle that “stashes” into itself when empty, taking up little space, but then ready to be refilled whenever you need it.


This bottle was made for outdoorsy types who have limited space, but as a traveler, I feel like I have the same issues. Nobody wants to carry around an empty bottle, and the Stash bottle has a fun twist and lock construction that allows the bulk of the bottle to nestle into the top and bottom and take up much less space. It can easily be kept in a jacket pocket or your purse.


I’ve had other “folding” and flat water bottles, but the problem with those were many: cleaning, size, ability to freeze, how to carry, awkward drinkability. Amazingly, the Stash doesn’t have any of these problems. The construction of the bottle gives it stability and doesn’t allow it to collapse while drinking and holding onto the middle of the bottle. It has a large flat bottom, meaning you can actually set it down without all your water leaking out when it flops over, because it doesn’t do that.


The mouth is wide, so you can add ice to it if you want, but you can also freeze it, to keep your water even cooler throughout the day. I added some water to it, popped it in the freezer, then filled the rest with water and voila! Cold water all morning. This is something I’d totally do when out all day, like sightseeing or at a theme park. (Remember, most theme parks will refill your bottle with cold water, and some will even give you ice.) The nice little loop on the top allows me to hang the bottle on my bag or even use a strap that I have to carry it crossbody. And when it’s empty, I can snap it together and toss it back in my bag. The wide mouth also makes it easier to refill at a water fountain if that's your only option.

The top and bottom construction give the middle a hard “case” when compact, so you can’t accidentally “break” your Stash bottle, which was also a problem with those others. Something sharp in your bag jabbing it could totally just puncture your bottle and there goes you trying to be environmentally friendly. Your Stash is in its own case, which actually doesn’t take up more room and is still incredibly lightweight.


So, how does it work? Your Stash comes already compact, so in order to use it, you unscrew the lid and then squeeze the sides of the bottom together. This eliminates a vacuum seal. The bottle then untwists from its case and you’re ready to fill it with your beverage of choice (you can even put hot water in it up to 140°F), screw the lid back on and you’re set. When the bottle is empty, take the lid off, twist slightly while pushing down and then snap the top onto the bottom and replace the lid. Easy!


I love this bottle, but I also worry all the time about washing a bottle of any kind. You can’t put this in the dishwasher, but that’s okay, because HydraPak has that covered too. They sell something called Bottle Bright. They are all-natural tablets that you toss into your bottle, fill with water and swish around. The tablets effervesce to clean your bottle (any bottle, hydration reservoirs or anything else that’s hard to clean), remove stains and odors and give it a shiny clean look. Woot! I love these things and will definitely use them on my stainless steel bottles as well, because those are terrible to clean well.



Do you have little kids or want to share your hydration without sharing germs? HydraPak has these great little cups called Speedcup. They are reusable and flexible, so they can be shoved in your bag without worry. I crushed one of mine down when I was coming back from Vegas and it easily regained its shape. It’s made of the same polyurethane as the Stash, making it highly durable. What I love about these is they nest inside each other and barely take up any room. 


My immediate thought is that when you travel with kids, they always want something, including being thirsty all the time. They can have issues using water bottles, plus they are often sick or germy. Give them their own little cup and keep their germs away from your bottle. 

If you have an active person on your wish list (maybe a dad or a grad) or you need something like this yourself, get one or two before you next trip, camping venture or hiking tour. You won't regret it.

Other Specs
Where to buy: On HydraPak website or Amazon | Bottle Bright: HydraPak or Amazon | Speedcup: HydraPak 
How much: Stash: $18 | Bottle Bright: $8 | Speedcup: $20/pack of 4
Colors: Mojave Orange (shown) | Mammoth Grey | Sequoia Green | Malibu Blue
More Details: 750 ml (also available in 1 liter), 50% lighter than a hard bottle, made of ultra-durable, abrasion resistant TPU & RF welded seams for superior durability and elasticity, 100% BPA & PVC free.

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Disclosure: I was provided with the Stash bottle, Bottle Bright and Speedcups for the purposes of this review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
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