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Product Review: HYDAWAY Collapsible Water Bottle

Hydaway Water Bottle
Hydaway

The HYDAWAY 2.0 is a very versatile water bottle.

Any outdoor enthusiast knows hydration is important, which is why there's such a huge market for reusable water bottles and hydration systems these days.

HYDAWAY water bottles are the result of a highly successful 2015 kickstarter campaign. And, they recently sent me one of their new HYDAWAY 2.0 bottles for a test run.

The Oregon-based company sent me their 18-ounce collapsible HYDAWAY bottle, which when fully unfolded is just a couple ounces smaller than the 20-ounce stainless steel bottle I normally use for my daily walks and other outdoor activities. I found it works fairly well for my daily 5-kilometer walks.

HYDAWAY's bottles are made from a food-grade silicone that they say is BPA-free and dishwasher safe. It has something of a rubbery feel to it. I was a little concerned it might affect the taste of the water, but that was a non-factor. And just as they advertise, it's odor-free. It also has a slightly more rugged feel than a plastic bottle, which is important if you're going to be off-trail hiking.

At one point, I walked through some thorns and one got stuck in the side of the bottle. But, luckily there were only a few minor scuffs that were barely noticeable.

Tested in hot conditions.

Hydaway Water Bottle
Travis Smola

I decided to give the Hydaway a real test when a couple friends and I went to Michigan's Sleepy Hollow State Park for a day of geocaching. There were approximately 50 new caches in the park and that meant hours and miles and miles of hiking to find them all.

We picked an incredibly muggy and hot day to go do this, so a good water bottle was important. The bottle they sent me was the standard model with a screw-off watertight lid you have to remove to drink. The only problem was the carry handle popped off a couple times during our hike.

But to be honest, it's not a big deal. If you're going to buy one of these bottles, you're probably going to want to also purchase the optional flip-up-straw lid anyway. My stainless steel bottle has one of these and it's just easier to drink from than constantly unscrewing the lid. They didn't actually send me this lid so I can't comment too much on it, but it looks like it has a better handle than the standard lid.

When my friends saw the bottle they immediately wondered how long it would actually keep your water cold. The answer is about the same as a standard steel bottle. I threw some ice cubes in the couple times we stopped back at our cooler and they melted almost immediately. But to be fair, I'm not sure any water bottle would have kept ice for any length of time in the extremely hot conditions we were hiking.

Versatility

Hydaway Water Bottle
Travis Smola

HYDAWAY touts their bottles as being the "infinitely adaptable water bottle."  They have two sizes, the 18-ounce and 28-ounce, both of which collapse down to just 1 1/4 inches in its fully collapsed state. It's pretty impressive. The collapsible nature makes it easy for this bottle to fit in any vehicle cup holder.

The company also sent me their HYDAWAY travel case, which is slightly smaller than an old CD case. HYDAWAY has primarily marketed this bottle as something that is easy to fit in a pocket or a gym bag. This bottle works great for those uses. But they're missing another subsection of buyers in preppers and survival enthusiasts. This type of travel water bottle is perfect for any survival kit or bug-out bag where space is at a premium. That leaves you with more room in your bag for fire starters or cooking supplies.

For more extreme cases, the travel case might have enough room to store some water purification tablets. Another feature of the flip-up straw lid they didn't send me is a carbon filter. While that filter probably won't make water safe to drink on its own, once properly filtered, it should improve the taste. And morale is everything in a survival situation.

There are also the obvious travel benefits. Next year, I'm going on a two-week trip to Scotland and I already know I'll be bringing the HYDAWAY with me. This type of easy stashing water bottle is perfect for air travel. I'll be able to use this at the airport pre-flight and then collapse it down and easily store it in my carry-on before going through security.

Environmental concerns

Another thing I can get behind with HYDAWAY is the company's goal of reducing the use of single-use plastic bottles. Far too many hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen don't take these issues seriously enough, and it's a shame to see so many of our natural areas littered with these bottles.

HYDAWAY is also partnering to donate to no2plastic.org in their attempts to reduce this kind of plastic waste. Any company that's actively working to reduce pollution and reinforce positive environmental concerns is a winner in my book.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I'd say the Hydaway 2.0 is a winner for anyone looking for a compact, collapsible water bottle. I've never seen anything else quite like it on the market and there are probably a number of other uses I didn't think of in this review. You can learn more and order them on their website at hydawaybottle.com.

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Product Review: HYDAWAY Collapsible Water Bottle