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Space-saving soft water bottles for hiking

February 09, 2021 — BarryK

Continuing posts on preparing for ultra-light hiking in 2021, these are recent posts:

The intention is to use the Mountainsmith Daylight waist bag for the next trip, which is going to be an incredible challenge to fit enough gear. Whether using a waist bag or backpack, having water bottles that can be packed flat or rolled up is highly desirable.

The Daylight bag has bottle holders on both sides, that are designed to hold up to 750ml bottles. Though, 500ml would be an easier fit. On a hot summer day, 1.5 litres is minimal. On the Bibbulmun Track, there are rainwater tanks and freshwater dams, so can top-up frequently.

Anyway, if start the journey with two or more full bottles, maybe with some hanging from the belt with carabiners, as they get emptied it would be very convenient to be able to pack them away, compressed into a small space.

Ditto if go on public transport, might want the bottles packed away.

So, what soft bottles are available?

A few years ago, I bought an Acecamp 550ml silicone water bottle:


This is genuine silicone, thick walls, very durable. I think that bought it via eBay, Aliexpress or DealExtreme, however it is no longer stocked, only seems to be available at the above link.

So, searched, but there is nothing made with silicone. I did find a 750ml bottle that claims to be made with silicone, that I purchased recently:

However, when I examined the packaging that it came in, only the nipple is silicone, the body is TPU. Very thin TPU also. TPU is Thermoplastic Polyurethane and does have good properties, but even so, the vendor is lying.

It is not just that vendor, all of the vendors selling that bottle make the same claim that it is silicone.

There is not much choice out there. Some concertina types, but they don't look like they will pack very small. Then there is this much bigger one, and this time the vendor is honest, stating the body is TPU:

...1 or 1.5 litres is too big for me. Interesting the feedback, some people reporting it starting to leak. Seems like TPU is not so good, or it is just that bottle.

Anyway, my one genuine silicone 550ml bottle is gold now, will hang onto it. And will see how the 750ml TPU bottle holds up in the field.

Also, there are many bottles that are made with two sheets glued together, such as this one:

...however, don't like them, as the sharp edges can catch-on or cut-into the mesh bottle-holder of the waist bag or backpack. At least, that's how it seemed when I did try one with my waist bag -- though, that particular bottle had a very wide base, and did seem to be stressing the mesh.

Note, I intend to carry the Sawyer Mini water filter, so as long as can find non-saline water along the way, can top up the bottles. So don't have to carry much water. Good idea to filter the water from the rainwater tanks also. Link to the Sawyer Mini:

...I do wonder about that 0.0001% of protozoa that will get through!   

Tags: light