I've never been one to shy away from a novelty purchase or two. One day I was browsing the novelty range on amazon (as I often do) when I came across this water bottle imitating a fire extinguisher. Now usually when I see something I really like I try to justify to myself why I should buy it, regardless of how weak such justifications usually end up being, but on this occasion I already had a very good reason. I don't drink enough water. I've known this for some time but I've always been too lazy to do anything about it. My main source of water in the average day is from cups of tea and whilst that still counts I know I should be drinking more water in its purest from. So I thought a water bottle, situated on my desk at work and within arm's reach when I'm at home, would encourage me to drink more often. My justification finalised, I clicked purchase.
=== Design ===
The cylindrical bottle is made from stainless steel and comes in a bright red colour with white print designed to imitate a fire extinguisher (albeit a small one). Phrases such as 'Thirst Extinguisher' and 'Hydro Relief' are printed on the bottle as well as a tongue-in-cheek set of visual directions for use. There's also a somewhat needless reminder, perhaps to those in possession of an under-hydrated brain, that this is in fact NOT a real fire extinguisher.
I really like the design. It's quirky and fun and will certainly stand out on a desk. As such, it has attracted a fair bit of attention and intrigue wherever I take it. Using it is very fun and the eye-catching design ensures that it doesn't blend into the surroundings and get forgotten about like a glass of water, so I am prompted to drink more regularly and I therefore stay hydrated throughout the day. It's an odd logic but it works.
=== Functionality ===
The bottle has a 600ml capacity and stands at 26.5cm tall with a diameter of 7cm, so it is larger than your average store-bought water bottle (500ml) but also thinner than many plastic sports bottles. I find this ideal for taking with me when playing golf because it fits neatly into the pouch on the side of my bag where a larger bottle would not.
To fill the bottle, the lid simply unscrews and removes along with the straw which attaches to the inside of the lid. The top of the bottle is wide enough to fill easily from a tap or water filter without any wastage (and ensuring you leave a little gap between the waterline and the neck so that it doesn't overflow when you replace the lid). The lid can sometimes be a little stubborn to undo again so it's best not to tighten it too much after filling.
The bottle top is a twist flip lid where a hard mouthpiece flips out and enables you to drink from the internal plastic straw. This sports-type lid means that you can drink without having to tilt your head back which I really like, partly because I'm a lazy individual but mostly because it's handy to use on the move - again ideal for the golf course but also handy when watching television or reading. The lid is well designed and I find it very easy to use - even the straw is designed to reach to the very depths of the bottle so you can drink almost every drop.
A word of warning: It is essential that the mouthpiece is extended fully when drinking from the bottle otherwise there will not be a complete seal with the internal straw. The result is akin to drinking from a straw with a small hole in it - like most of the fruit juice pouches I buy. Similarly, when done you need to ensure that the mouthpiece is fully closed by pressing the mouthpiece back down until it clicks. Otherwise the bottle will not be watertight.
If you don't like the idea of using the internal straw then it can easily be removed allowing you to tip the bottle up to drink instead. Whilst this is perfectly acceptable and works well I prefer to keep the straw in place and suck rather than pour my water. I wouldn't want to crick my neck.
Another thing I like about this bottle is that because it's made from stainless steel I find that it keeps my water cooler for longer. I always find that a plastic bottle left at room temperature will become warm very quickly in summer and a glass of water is even worse. With this bottle, cold tap/filter water will stay cool for a couple of hours by which time the bottle is often ready to be refilled.
Due to the stainless steel construction the bottle is slightly heavier than a plastic drinks bottle but in my opinion not enough to count as a disadvantage. In fact I find that when there is only a small amount of water remaining inside, the bottle will still stand steady on a surface due to this additional weight. There have been a few occasions where I've knocked it but it has refused to be felled.
=== Cleaning and Durability ===
Throughout the day I simply rinse the inside of the bottle and the mouthpiece briefly under the tap before refilling. This is sufficient because I find that the stainless steel doesn't trap stagnant water as much as a plastic bottle. Every day or couple of days I will wash the bottle and lid in warm soapy water to keep it clean - removing the straw from the lid beforehand. The inside of the mouthpiece can be a bit tricky to clean because it's small and therefore hard to get at but I find that a wet cotton bud does this job well.
As far as durability is concerned I expect the bottle to perform strongly for a long time. After a couple of months the exterior design is still in perfect condition and the bottle hasn't suffered any dints, marks or wear - I have taken good care of mine though. The mouthpiece is still working efficiently and without issue and I'm very impressed with the overall quality of the product. I'll be the first to tell you that not all novelty items work as well as they are supposed to but this one definitely does. I love it.
=== Price ===
£8.18 - Amazon.co.uk including FREE Super Saver Delivery
At this price I think it's an absolute bargain and I would have been happy to pay a lot more for mine because of the excellent look, feel and quality. At this price it would also make a great gift; both a humorous and a useful one.
=== Summary ===
Overall I am really happy with this bottle and it comes highly recommended from me. I'm definitely drinking more water since I bought this and that can only be a good thing. The strong functionality of the bottle ensures that it isn't simply a novelty product that loses its appeal after a while and I have no doubts that I will be using this daily for the foreseeable future. What's more, 50p from the purchase of every bottle is donated to Water Aid so you can feel good about yourself as you sip away.
Just remember though: it's not a real fire extinguisher.
Thanks for reading :)