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Over the hottest part of summer I was working in a glass office block, needless to say I was often feeling the effects of dehydration, but company policy was that open drinks containers were banned outside of the break room. So I decided to look for a bottle which would fit in my handbag but still be big enough to hold enough water to last a few hours.
The winner of the search was the Bobble bottle, initially I just liked the shape, I didn't think there was much point to the filtering system as I live and work in a soft water area but frequently visit hard water areas and object to paying £1 or more for a bottle of water so figured I'd just carry it when I travel too.
I paid £10 for my bottle and filter, which seemed an awful lot of money for a mere water bottle. Replacement filters can be purchased in singles (£4-£7) or twin packs (£6-£13) my last purchase of filters was from John Lewis at £6 for two.
The bottle is a fairly thin and somewhat flexible plastic, it contains up to 550ml of water so can range from very light to rather weighty in the handbag. It's shape is a rather pleasing hourglass curve, making it easy to hold on to - I've taken to using it when running as well as at work as it's so easy to hold on to.
So the real test is does the filter work? For me in my home region the filter is rather pointless, the water from the tap tastes good at any time, but I've visited friends in London and found that the taste of the tap water was vastly improve by the filter - though nothing will ever make London tap water taste good when it's not been chilled first.
Keeping the bobble clean is simple, I merely unscrew the filter and chuck the rest of the bottle in to a bowl of soapy water and give it a good rinse, you can buy a Bobble branded bottle brush but well....why would you?
I've been using my bobble now for around 4 months, changing the filter once a month this has cost me around £24 for an almost unlimited supply of filtered water - I do get alot of use out of it refilling my Bobble two or three times a day most days, the cost of the same quantity of bottled water would be far far greater than the cost of Bobble so far. The recommendation is to change the filter every 300 refills or no less often than once every 2 months. There are a few small scuffs on the body of the bottle but nothing unexpected for an item which lives in my handbag.
Having had a few health issues recently, namely reoccurring kidney infections, after the latest dose of antibiotics I decided it was time I actually helped myself and tried to up my fluid intake. I'm not a big drinker at all, alcoholic or otherwise, and while my other half has the kettle running constantly for cups of tea, if I kept up with his intake I'm sure I'd drown from the inside.
Brita Fill and Go Versus The bobble Bottle
It was while I was browsing through the latest Boots Advantage magazine that I saw there was a promotion on the latest Brita offering, the Brita Fill and Go, a large capacity beaker with water filter built in. I don't like drinking water of any sort really, but decided that if I was at least giving my poor old kidneys a fighting chance at recovery, drinking filtered water was the way to go. Aided by the fact that the Fill and Go was reduced by a third to just £10, I decided to buy one next time I was in Boots.
On visiting Tesco's to do my weekly shop a few days later, I noticed they were the same price there. One can only presume that they weren't selling particularly well at full price and a national promotion was deemed needed to get people to take notice. Well it worked for me, and I duly popped one in my trolley. My daughter was with me and also decided she needed one to take to work with her. The display stand was large and appealing, and although there at first appearance didn't seem to have any discernible differences, it became clear that there was the choice of either a (very slight) pink or blue band so two people owning the same beaker wouldn't get them mixed up. Also in the display there were the replacement disks to filter the water, at a cost of £13 for 8 cartridges, of which you use one a week. This seemed like a huge investment to make over the year, and I'd probably be better off buying a Brita filter jug and enabling the whole family to enjoy the whole filtered water experience. Decision made, they promptly were popped back on the shelf. Until we went around the corner and found a more affordable version that is.
The bobble Bottle Won
The 'bobble' bottle is a much more appealing affair looks wise. Its curvaceous shape reminiscent of an hourglass is much more appealing both to look at and to hold. The Brita one was a rather chunky straight up and down, and function over style proposal. Even the mouthpiece of the bobble bottle seemed more ladylike to drink from, the Brita was a large flip lid hiding the hole from which to drink the contents, and seemed that it would flap in front of your face when you would go to take a sip. Not so with the bobble bottle, it's just a simple sports style mouth piece, which you simply pull up to open and push back in place to close; Job done. The only real decision now was what colour (of the filter) and what capacity to go for. Rather reassuringly the bobble is also BPA free and recyclable once its life is over.
Initial Costs and Maintenance
There are a whole variety of colours to choose with the bobble bottle and if you get fed up of that you can choose a different colour when you replace the filter in order to ring the changes. I have even seen a Union Flag design once, around the time of the Jubilee and the Olympics, and it's probably fair to assume it was a limited edition and not now widely available, or if it is, at a premium. I decided to go for the large one litre bottle at the same cost as the Fill and Go (but with no promotion added), my reckoning being, that I'd only have to fill it twice to get my two litres daily allowance of liquid, and any cups of tea or coffee over that would be a bonus. The other reason against the smaller 550ml bottle (£8) was that after refilling once or twice during the day, knowing me, and how distracted I can get, I'd easily forget how many refills I've done. Also being smaller, once I've drunk its fill, being confined to the computer most of the day I'm too busy to replenish, at least if I had a larger bottle it would reduce that need somewhat. Capacity chosen so what colour did I chose? Well, there was only two large bottles on the stand and they both came in red, so the decision was taken out of our hands, any my daughter and I purchased one each.
What about the price of the refills I hear you cry? Ha-ha, this is the good bit and why we both chose this one over the Brita. The Brita one cost £13 for 8 cartridges making it £1.62 a week to maintain whereas the bobble bottle costs £5 for two months use (or 300 refills), making it around 55p a week, a huge difference!
According to the instructions on the back of the very minimal packaging you are to fill with water before first use, put the bobble filter in place and gently squeeze the water though. This flushes the filter of any carbon deposits. I must admit to not reading this at first and just filled and drank. I didn't notice any difference in the flavour of the water and I'm still here to tell the tale so it didn't do me any harm; it's just not very nice thinking about it after the event. The filter is said to reduce odour, chlorine and organic contaminants from regular tap water. DO NOT use where the water is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality, which is common sense really.
In use, drinking from the bottle is a little bit irritating and could well get on even the most patient persons nerves. To proceed with the first step of flushing the carbon deposits out of the filter, the bottle has to have some flexibility to it in order to squeeze; it does, but sometimes too much flexibility. When you go on to drink from the sports cap, the liquid doesn't dribble or flood into your mouth, you have to suck. This is ok if you're running or exercising as it means you won't get covered in fluids as you move etc., but sitting at a desk, it's quite often a little annoying. As you suck, you are extracting air from the bottle along with the fluid; this creates a vacuum and draws the flexible sides of the bottle inwards; do you get the picture? As you release your mouth, the seal is lost and air enters the very slowly. This takes a few seconds and makes a whistling noise whilst it's happening. Firstly the whistling is annoying to listen to, but also the few second wait between sips does aggravate me, especially as I don't really want to be drinking water in the first place.
The instructions for bobble care are as follows: hand wash both the bottle and filter in warm soapy water as neither of them are dishwasher safe, dry bobble well and also to avoid storing in direct sunlight. There is also a warning against squeezing too hard as this may cause the bobble's soft body to crease. I take it that this would also mean avoiding dropping, as it wouldn't be too difficult to dent either sadly.
So far, in a short period of time, using this bottle has made a vast difference to me. I feel so much better for drinking more water and being adequately hydrated. Ok, I'm making more visits to the ladies, but in time I'm sure that will lessen as my body gets used to it. I tend to drink one full bottle of water in the morning, and one full bottle with a splash of squash or cordial added in the afternoon when my resolve has weakened a little. The bottle and filter hasn't come to any ill effects as yet from doing this, but liquid is liquid and as long as it isn't water from the Thames (as seen on the Gadget Show), I'm sure that the bobble bottle will filter all the nasty's out adequately.
I do think that the smaller versions would make a great addition to a child's lunchbox for school lunches, or for drinks of water in the classroom that they are increasingly being allowed to do of late. I think that the larger capacity that you would need for exercising, the bottle on this would very too large and chunky for use while jogging/running/marathons etc. but for using it the gym would certainly be up to the job. If you wanted to up your water intake in an office situation I feel that the bobble bottle would, and is perfect, as the sports lid closure means that if it were accidentally knocked over, nothing would spill out; it also looks nice and that always helps.
The only real downfall for me is the annoying whistle once you've taken a sip which sounds like screaming rocket firework blasting off, for a good few seconds. You might be nicely hydrated but I bet those around you (and even your own self) will be a little bit peeved at hearing that damn noise throughout the day. If it wasn't for that, I would have no hesitation of giving the bobble bottle a five star rating, but due to the aforementioned noise, the delay between taking a further drink and the fact that it can't be put in the dishwasher, I feel a four star rating is more than adequate. I did toy with a three star one, but that's just being mean.
I recently purchased one of these bottles for my daughter to take on a camping trip. She was doing her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and was specifically told to take a 1 litre bottle. We looked at water bottles online and she liked the look of the Bobble bottle. I saw that it was BPA free so went ahead and ordered despite the high price. When it arrived I was surprised at how flimsy the plastic was but I took the bottle out of the packaging and filled it as per the enclosed instructions. My daughter was keen to try the bottle straightaway so she took it to school the next day. She came home very disappointed saying that the bottle leaked. I looked again at the instructions and my husband double checked and we could not stop the bottle from leaking unless it was under-filled. This defeated the object as part of the reason we had chosen this bottle was for the 1 litre capacity. I decided to look at some reviews online, something I usually do before purchase but did not do on this occasion. I soon found that other people had the same problem so I decided to return the bottle for a full refund. These bottles are expensive and I expected better for the price. I have previously purchased Nalgene water bottles which are not only BPA free but also dishwasher safe. My daughter took 2x500 ml bottles on her trip and I will order a 1 litre one for future use.
I bought this bottle because I had been re-using cheap plastic bottles that I had bought in the supermarket. I did some research on the internet and found out that re using plastic bottles is not a good idea as it can cause various health hazards.
I purchased the 1 litre Bobble water bottle off Amazon, intrigued by it's design and the fact it contained a filter. When it arrived, I followed the instructions in cleaning the head and not before too long I filled my first water bottle and tested it.
This is a good place to mention that the water running through my taps in my house has not always tasted that great. In fact, every time I drink water in another city, outside of London the water has been so much cleaner tasting. I don't know if that's a problem with my taps or if it's because the water in London is bad.
Upon first tasting, the water out of the bobble I was blown away. The water seemed fresh for once, and it encouraged me to drink more and more water which is a big plus for me as I struggle to meet a daily intake of water. I was sold and kept refilling and drinking at least 2 bottles a day.
Within a few months though, the filter slowly deteriorates. And as said on the packaging, the filter must be changed after 300 refills for the best cleanliness and tasting water. This means paying at least another £6.00 for a new filter. I already paid £12.00 for the bottle and the filter on my first purchase. What's more is after constant use the bottle itself looks fairly dirty. I have cleaned it and put it in the dishwasher a few times but it still seems to have a mist of grubbiness that I can't get rid of. Therefore I'm in two minds to just buy a whole new bobble bottle and head. It does work out cheaper than buying separate bottles in the shop every week, but it's not ideal. This is where the bobble loses one star for me.
For as long as I can remember, I had always set, either a glass of water or tumbler of squash, on my bedside table at night, but then was told that by drinking squash or any sugary drinks after cleaning my teeth was not a good idea. Of course I was not that bothered at first, the stubborn, 'It cannot do much harm to my teeth,' attitude replaced common sense for a while.
When I changed my drink from squash or fruit flavoured drinks to water, I just loathed the taste of water after it had been standing overnight and so reverted back, with a slight feeling of guilt, to slipping a drop of squash in to flavour it. I was just beginning to overcome my feelings of guilt when, one night, I stretched out my hand to turn on the light and knocked the glass and contents onto the floor, so decided there and then to investigate more fully, the strange looking bottles I had seen in one our local shops.
The strange looking bottle turned out to be the Bobble bottle simply called Bobble. It came in three sizes , 385ml, 550ml and litre and a choice of 9 different coloured filters. The prices in my local store of one Bobble complete with filter, were £8.99 for the 385ml, £9.99 for the 550 ml and £10.99 for the litre unit. They do appear to be less expensive on line, but postage can bring costs up to near shop prices. The replacement filters are £6.99 each, almost as much as the smallest Bobble.
The Bobble unit is in three parts, bottle, filter and a small domed cap, which, fits over the mouth- piece of the filter.
My 385ml, vaguely hourglass-shaped bottle, made of a thin clear plastic, stands 18.5cm high with domed cap and filter in situ, its diameter at the widest point is 7cm, and the filter length is 10.5cm.
The business part of the whole unit is the filter, a solid, black, carbon-based substance enclosed in a tubular, plastic cage. At the top of the cage, is the screw cap and pop-up mouthpiece, topped by a dome of strong clear plastic.
The makers claim that as water passes through, the filter removes 'any organic contaminants, and meets or exceeds NSF international standard 42 for chlorine, taste and odour reduction.'
It is important, before use to remove the filter, fill the bottle with water, replace and secure the filter, open the mouthpiece and squeeze the water out through the mouthpiece. This removes any loose carbon dust from the filter.
Once that initial removal of carbon dust is complete, the Bobble is ready to use, by filling with water, immersing the filter and securing it to the bottle, keep the mouthpiece closed and covered with the domed cap. To drink, remove the cap, lift the mouthpiece and squeeze the water through the filter into your mouth. The thin plastic is very strong yet supple and therefore will withstand gentle pressure.
After a couple of days of constant use, they recommend soaking the filter in boiling water and drying thoroughly afterwards.
The instructions also say hand wash the Bobble bottle and the filter in warm soapy water. I have not used soapy water to wash mine, I will admit, because for certain, I will taste soap whether or not it is present. It is all in the mind, I know, but I will still taste it I am sure. I will perhaps try just before the filter expires just to find out.
The unit is not dishwasher safe, hand wash only.
Each filter is capable of filtering up to 300 bottle fills of water, which is approximately 40 gallons (150 litres)
The filter should be changed after 2 months of use even if it has not filtered the full 150 litres of water. I am reliably informed that the charcoal, once activated by immersion in water, remains active for 2 months, after which it becomes inactive.
Although there must be less expensive ways of ensuring night- time drinks are not accidently knocked off the bedside table, I am quite happy with this set up; I can only discern a slight difference in taste between freshly drawn tap water and the filtered water. The difference in taste of water left standing overnight in an open tumbler to that of the filtered water is much more obvious. The bobbled water tastes just as fresh as it had when first filled. There is no residual taste from the plastic either, which often occurs when using some plastic cups or beakers.
The domed cap keeps dust out; the Bobble does not leak or break if tipped over. Perfect.
A word of warning. This is not for filtering bacterially contaminated water, so do not think of taking one on holiday to places where water may not be safe, in the false hope of being able to drink local water if passed through the filter.
Sometimes during the day, I will have the Bobble nearby filled with water to sip whilst working at my computer.
That there are nine different colured filters must make it perfect for families who are into filtered water. Each member could have his or her own easily identifiable bottle.
I'll just come right out and say it, I'm a bit of a water snob. I know it seems ridiculous because water is water is water, how different can it be? Well, very different would be the answer to that. Some water tastes thicker than others, some isn't as smooth and some just doesn't taste as clean despite being filtered before being bottled - yes, I drink bottled water. I can't just run a tap and drink that, no way! Bottled water obviously gets very expensive though, so after hearing quite a bit about the Bobble and then actually seeing it for myself in a silly home furnishing store that I pass on the way to work, I decided to pick one up for myself.
The Bobble is meant to be the end to buying bottled water. It contains a filter attached to the sports cap so you can fill it with tap water and then it'll be filtered as you drink. I thought it was a great idea at the time, but as I think about it a bit more right now, it still sounds a bit dirty to have the filtered waste lingering in the filter that you're drinking out of. Anyway, the filters come in multiple different colours and the bottles in multiple sizes. You can mix and match the sizes and filters to suit yourself so I went for the purple filter with the 550ml bottle. This cost me £9.95 and when you realise that the filter is only meant to be replaced after ever 150 litres of water, it sounds like great value for money! Especially knowing that the filter can be purchased separately for £6-7 depending on where you buy it, so you won't be paying the full price of the bottle to replace it each time.
The bottle itself is incredibly basic, just a clear plastic bottle with a defined waist. The curves make it easy to get a good grip of unlike some other water bottles that are squared off. The plastic did seem quite flimsy and if you gripped it even slightly too tight, you'd be squeezing it right in the middle.
As mentioned previously, I chose the purple filter which is a bright lilac colour. It is almost like a very chunky sports cap, making it easy to prevent spilling. The filter inside dips down by about 2.5 inches (approx.) and has lots of tiny little black lines in it. The black inside is the carbon that will aid filtering the water. You're advised to run water through the filter until it runs clear upon first use otherwise you'll be drinking dirty water! I was very surprised at how black it actually ran to start with, but it only took 3 quarters of a litre before it ran clear, so I didn't waste too many uses.
It wasn't until I actually filled the bottle and went to use it at the gym that I realised quite how flimsy it actually is. A good water bottle for me needs to be sturdy as well as good at preventing spills, so this was highly disappointing. I actually felt like the bottle would burst or be easily pierced if kept in a bag with a pen or something similar.
Using the sports cap wasn't particularly easy either, sports caps are obviously meant to be used with either one hand or just pulled open with your mouth for easy access to your drink whilst running or exercising. This one, unlike others, didn't have a lip around the top to grip your teeth round and pull up (surely I'm not the only one who opens them this way?!) so I found myself having to use two hands to open the bottle anyway. Kind of defeated the purpose when I was trying to sprint circuits uninterrupted.
Now for the all important taste test. Did it even make a difference to my tap water? Was it worth the rubbish bottle and awkward cap?
Well no, not really. There was barely any noticeable difference at all. I often use a Brita filter jug and find that it produces a much cleaner tasting water that feels smoother to drink. This just didn't make a difference at all.
All in all, I felt like this was a silly, gimmicky product that is meant to help you feel like you're saving the world but actually makes you feel like you've wasted your money. Not recommend at all.
If you do want to purchase the Bobble after this review, although I can't understand why, you'd be able to buy it at multiple online retailers and in places like Boots, John Lewis, House Of Fraser and the silly little home furnishing store beside my work! The prices do vary, but you can pick the 550ml bottle up for roughly £10. The smaller bottle is 385ml and roughly £8 or you can get a 1 litre bottle for £13.
The filter is a pretty colour
Inconvenient for using whilst running
Doesn't make a damn bit of different to the water
Expensive for what is essentially a useless plastic bottle.
Thanks very much for reading! All reads and rates are currently going towards my trip to New York, so I fully appreciate them all :).
Despite being able to drink tap water, it is still not the cleanest and many people do still spend quite a lot of money on buying water bottles quite frequently to get fresher tasting water. Instead of drinking from and purchasing many water bottles, this bottle allows you to drink filtered water anywhere you would like . This is a portable filtered water device or as it is more commonly known, Bobble.
The bottle itself
The bottle comes in three different sizes currently in small, medium and large which correspond to 385ml, 550ml and 1 litre respectively. They range in price as well with the smaller one coming under £10 and the larger ones around £10 or a bit more. They are available direct from the makers or you can also get them from some other retailers online and offline including the likes of John Lewis and Amazon.
Now for the Science bit from the official website: "The bobble has an activated carbon filter which has a slight electro-positive charge, making it attractive to chemicals and impurities. As the water passes over the positively charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are drawn to the surface of the carbon granules."
The basic point being that you have the water come out without impurities and chemicals and tasting fresher than it would normally.The bottle lasts for the equivalent of 300 water bottles or around 150 litres which is a pretty long time. You are supoosed to replace the filter after this. It is eco friendly with easily replaceable filters. There is a point of course to not use this product where water is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality.
This is a pretty good product and from what I hear is becoming more popular. It saves on the hassle of having to always purchase water bottles to get better quality water. The water is noticeably better tasting than normal water. Having to replace the filter is also a slight issue but it is obviously better than buying water bottles all the time. A slight negative point is the noise it makes when you drink from it each time. This is not really noticeable though so this gets a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
Walking through Sainsbury's my attention was grabbed by a stand showing off a new water bottle on the market.
Closer inspection showed that this water bottle had its own built in filter. The bottle is clear and then you have a choice of colours for the filter. The pictures on the board showed that you could pick from pink, blue, red, green, and yellow. There was only one size available which is the 550ml but it can be purchased elsewhere or from their website in 385ml and 1L. I picked up a blue one and purchased it for £7. Extra/new filter tops are also available for £5 each.
On my mission to shed some Christmas weight and get into shape I thought this would be a great thing for me. I'm trying to drink more water and having it filtered sounded good. We used to use our Brita filter a lot but it was hard from time to time to fit it into the fridge as we only have a small one so it slowly started spending more time put away to a point where I couldn't actually tell you where it is. I know it's in the kitchen somewhere!
When I got home I opened the bottle and did the first use clean which is very easy. Just as with the Brita filters you need to clean out loose carbon so fill the bottle with water, put the filter on and then squeeze the water out over a sink to clean it out. Now you're ready to go.
The idea is that you will get healthy and better tasting water at a fraction of the price that buying bottled water would cost you.
The filter is said to remove organic contaminants from regular tap water and meets NSF International Standard 42 for chlorine, taste and odour reduction. Not that that really makes much sense to me but I'll take the healthy and taste better and go with that. The bottle is made from other recycled bottles so good for the environment too.
One thing I must put in here is that warning which is not to use this product where the water is unsafe or of unknown quality so if you're off camping don't use your Bobble to filter any river water!
My other half said it looked nice but how much are the filters and how often will you be replacing that! This is actually a good point! How many times will I be spending out £5 replacing the filter? Thankfully not that often (unless you want a new colour) as each filter lasts for 300 bottle worth of water. Recommendation is to replace the filter every 2 months or 40 gallons/150 litres.
The lid on the top will no doubt go missing as I am no good at keeping hold of things like that. The first time I used my Bobble I wasn't overly impressed to be honest. The filter was causing the water to come out rather slowly and it made a straining noise as I was sipping from it. I thought it was possibly because the filter was new and maybe needed to loosen up a bit. Sadly I figured out the next day that it wasn't the bottle ... It was ME! The bit at the top of the filter is one that you pull up to open and I hadn't pulled it up all the way. There is still a small noise from the filter taking back air when you drink but it's nothing terrible.
My son has started going running with me every so often and he's seen that Bobble are coming out with a childrens version. It isn't out yet but I've pre-ordered it for him via the website. The kids ones are quite fun as the filter is multi coloured and there are a few options of colour combinations. The kids bottle is 385ml in size. To pre-order the bottle was $8.95 from the website so I can assume when they come to the shops they'll probably be about £6 or so. The colours combinations are hopscotch, lollipop, wiz bang and dribble. We've chosen dribble which has a green tip followed by blue and then the filter is yellow.
© oioiyou 2011