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Living in a hot country as I do, the need to hydrate is something that has to be thoroughly considered on every cycling, hiking and long dog-walking trip I take. Despite the abundance of cold water fountains in parks and streets, it is essential in a hot country to make sure you have enough water at all times. One way of ensuring this happens, without having to schlep a great big environmentally unfriendly plastic water bottle around the whole time, is to purchase the Aquatina Collapsible Pocket Water Bottle which provides an environmental and practical solution to ensuring you can fill up a water bottle without compromising space.
The design behind this little gem is simple ...too simple for the TV's Dragons Den, who decided not to invest in this product. It is a collapsible plastic which when fully extended holds half a litre of water and when collapsed, goes down to about a third of its size. The bottle is PET and BPA Free which means it is safe to refill and use again and certainly a lot safer than an ordinary plastic bottle.
The bottle comes in different colours - I opted for the Blue - because I am a boy, but there are also pink, green and white bottles to choose from. The bottles are dishwasher safe with an easy, yet secure screw-able black lid, which mercifully under quite extreme conditions has not leaked once. The bottle itself appears to be very well made and admirably durable, as in the 6 months I have owned it, it has come under relatively tough examination.
I purchased this bottle online at ebay for just under 5 Pounds and it can be purchased from Amazon, Milletts and Robert Dyas to name but a few places I stumbled upon this bottle. In all places, I haven't seen this bottle priced more than 5.99.
I adore my water bottle. I take it everywhere - the gym, to work, on hikes, cycle rides and dog walks. It has survived deserts, mountains and even the inquisitive mouths of dogs and 6 months on - the bottle is still as good as new and still as useful. Uber-handy to put in a back pack or hand bag, this is a little gem that can filled at water taps and fountains which may ultimately make the difference between a safe hike and a bad case of dehydration.
There is only one real criticism I have of the Aquatina Collapsible Water Bottle and that is size... As i have been told for years by that size matters, I tend to agree. I would love to see a 1 litre version, which would provide more water security offered as 500 ml isnt a huge amount of water when really needed, but for a handy space saving water bottle for under 5 pounds, this really gets my vote
It bought this bottle mainly after seeing it on TV and thinking it was one of those great but simple ideas that you always think you could have come up with yourself! I paid £5 online for this item.
The Aquatine is a collapsible water bottle. It folds down to under a third of its full height, 13cm down to 3.8cm. When fully extended this bottle will hold up to 500ml of liquid. It is re-usable and machine washable. It's aim is to help the environment by cutting down of the amount of plastic water bottles that get thrown away.
This was mainly bought as a bit of a novelty item but has proved to be quite helpful. I use it when I run to the gym. It fits comfortably in my pocket and is there ready to use and fill up when I get to the gym. I have also used this in my daughter's lunch box for school. It doesn't take up much room and I know she has a cup when she gets to school. I can also imagine this would be very useful for taking to an office or just carrying around town and filling up wherever you can.
At £5 it does seem a bit pricey especially as it doesn't feel like the best quality product. The opening to the bottle is quite large and will rub on your nose when the bottle is tipped up. However I have found it doesn't leak when it is filled up and transported around. It has also cut down on the amount of plastic water bottles I have used but at this moment in time I don't think I will get a new one when this one inevitably breaks or starts leaking.
If you are worried about the environment this will appeal to you or if you have limited space. I do think it needs to come down in price a bit and the quality to improve.
Travelling around London on bus or tube, you are constantly reminded by posters and signs to carry water with you, especially when it is hot. Not long after I moved to London, I was on a tube that had broken down in a tunnel and we were stuck there for well over an hour before there was any sign of help coming our way and I stupidly didn't have a drink with me, I didn't even think to take something because I was only going three stops and on a good day that would take no longer than 15 minutes... how wrong was I and on that day I would have done anything for some water, thankfully a good Samaritan had done some shopping and had plenty of bottles to share around, but since that day I have never travelled around London without water.
Carrying a bottle of water is a royal pain in the backside, its clumpy, makes your bag heavy, never quite fits in right so you can close your bag and is a bit annoying, however necessary. Anyway one night I happened to capture a re-run of Dragons Den on the television, not a programme I would ever opt to watch but I was quite interested in a product that was currently being ridiculed by Theo Paphitis called 'Aquatina' whose inventor claimed it would be the worlds first collapsible water bottle. Theo however said something along the lines of "I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than invest" along with further insults and then the rest of the panel followed suite and refused to invest claiming it would never take off and so on and so forth. So if they are refusing to invest, is it really that good a product? Well yes, I think it is and here is why.
So what is Aquatina? In short it is a collapsible water bottle, a genius invention that I had actually wished I had thought of because it is so handy, easy to use, easy to carry around and it suits my lifestyle. It comes in four different colours - my favourite colour of Pink and then Blue, Green and a Clear see through version. The Aquatina bottle holds 500 millilitres of liquid, which is the same as a normal bottle of water such as Buxton, the only difference being that the Aquatina bottle is collapsible and collapses to 1/3 of the original size when fully empty, but as you make your way down the bottle, you can collapse it as much as you need too to make it smaller. It is also really light weight and is design so cleverly that it is easy to hold onto because its waist is quite slim, which allows people like myself to grip it tight with our small hands. So ,because folds so small it is really easy to always carry with you and the idea is that instead of buying bottled water, which is a faff, you fill it yourself from the tap, from the water dispenser at work, from a fountain or from a jug in the fridge.
Aquatina for me just makes life so much easier and I have to admit much cheaper as well. Why is that? Well if you are out and about and need to top your water bottle up, you go to www.findafountain.org a site I found thanks to the Aquatina website, which also happens to have been founded by the Aquatina team, and it will help you locate your nearest water fountains (mainly in London currently but it is expanding) and you can top your bottle up for free and for those of you like me who strive to be more environmentally friendly it means you aren't wasting money on plastic water bottles, so you are also doing your bit. In the actual pitch to Dragons Den, Guy Jeremiah, the inventor told the panel that on average each person throws away 85 plastic bottles a year, so if buying something like this product means you stop that, then at least you are doing your bit.
On top of the bottle is an easy flip out straw which makes it easy to drink from and to use you flip it up and to finish you push it down and it clicks into place. The cap on top of the bottle is removed by a twisting action to allow you to fill it and it is also wide enough to allow you to clean it fully if you are not putting it in the dishwasher, the only thing I would advise is once washed, ensure you check all the water bubbles which collect in the groves are gone and not stuck there because you don't want stale water in your bottle, should that be the case, I use kitchen roll and a bottle washer to dry it properly. On top of the cap is the Aquatina logo.
So did The Dragon's Den people make a mistake? Well yes I think they did. This product sold out when it was first launched in the UK and it is now sold in over 15 countries and the owner and inventor signed deals with companies such as Marks and Spencer to sell the product. You can buy it online in lots of different places like Amazon, Robert Dyas and Millets to name a few and prices start at £4.99 which is the cheapest I have found them or you can purchase two for £9.99 direct from the Aquatina website which is a bit of a bargain also.
Aquatina is also PET and BPA Free which essentially means that it is safe to use again and again unlike conventional water bottles that you buy filled with water. It is also made in England and is dishwasher safe.
Now I love my pink collapsible bottle and have a spare one in the house should I need it. It does make life easier, I do think for around £5 it is bargain and it is a great invention. But most importantly it does allow you to carry your water around much easier given the design of the bottle and if you do travel a lot, especially on public transport, then anything that can make life easier and more comfortable has to be worth investing in, even just to try it and see if it works for you.