Category Archives: Water Quality

HydraPak Stash Soft Bottles on the go Review

HydraPak Stash softbottles orange and grey colour

The HydraPak Stash is a 750 ml or 1 liter container that can be one-fourth of its own volume when not needed. It owes this property to thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), from which its vertical walls are made.

The world has a principle of attitude to nature “Leave No Trace”. That is, after your visit, everything should remain the same as before. This means that you do not cut plants for firewood, do not light fires that leave new black spots, do not destroy the ground cover by digging a tent, and do not leave any debris behind.

The last point is usually interpreted as follows: “all garbage brought to the mountains must be taken to landfills.” It seems that everything is correct, but there is one but. Waste from the nearest landfill in the village, where hikes usually begin and end, is not sorted in any way, but is taken directly to a landfill, and continues to pollute the planet for hundreds of years. Therefore, dumping garbage near the first store is only a visual cleaning of the mountains, which does not help to solve the problem of environmental pollution.

The least you can do to fix the situation is bring your trash to recycling bins.

Then it will have another life cycle. And the best option is not to produce waste at all: do not use disposable packaging and containers.

While a separate sealing bag for household waste still seems like a wild decision to many, buying reusable water bottles so as not to throw an extra portion of plastic in the trash after each hike is a common practice among travellers.

We’ve talked a lot about Platypus SoftBottle bottles that help save the environment from excess plastic, and many of you have one in your arsenal. And today I will tell you about another cool eco-version of transporting liquids on a hike, which I learned less than a year ago. These are compact reusable HydraPak Stash bottles.

My first acquaintance with HydraPak took place at the German Outdoor Show 2016. I had never heard a word about this American company before. But the guys explained the benefits of their products so emotionally and argumentatively that they almost convinced me to try it in action.

The next argument in favor of HydraPak was provided by Osprey. It turned out that the new drinking systems for backpacks are made by the mentioned company. And if Osprey entrusted her with his reputation, then she is very strong in her business.

The point was made by the Swiss manufacturer Katadyn, which presented a new product BeFree (as it turned out, a cool full-fledged filter) with a capacity produced by HydraPak.

The HydraPak Stash is a 750 ml or 1 liter container that can be one-fourth of its own volume when not needed. It owes this property to thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), from which its vertical walls are made.

Along with ductility, TPU boasts high durability. To prove to me that this bottle is super reliable, the guys from HydraPak did this:

The seams on the bottle are made by induction welding. Its undoubted advantage is the absence of negative impact on the material at the joints. On the contrary, the strength of the seams can only increase.

To enhance theoretical information, HydraPak provides a lifetime warranty against leaks.

The top and bottom of the HydraPak Stash are made of rigid high density polyethylene (HDPE). It is worth holding the bottle by the hard neck, uncorking it.

The advantage of hard material at the bottom – the bottle can stand freely open and not fall over from the wind. And, in my experience, this is a strong advantage over other soft bottles, because with Stash you can not worry about whether the water tank will spill over on the things around, and not spend time closing and opening the bottle during culinary maneuv

To fold the transport container, the upper and lower parts should be rotated relative to each other by one turn and the protrusions on the bottom should be compared with the grooves on the upper part of the bottle. Next – squeeze on both sides to a bright “click”.

Disassembling a bottle for use is a bit trickier task, which I couldn’t handle on the first try. As recommended, you should open the lid and squeeze the bottle on the sides. But to achieve a successful result you need training.

HydraPak says you can open the bottle by placing it sideways on a hard surface and hitting the top with your palm. If there is such a surface nearby – the method works.

As I said, HydraPak Stash bottles come in two volumes: 750 and 1000 ml. Each volume has four colors: orange, green, blue and gray.

As the volume changes, the diameter of the neck on the bottle changes. And here follows an interesting design feature.

The neck of the smaller models is 42 mm in diameter, which is ideal for our Katadyn BeFree filter. So, if something happens to the filter container during the trip – it breaks so that it doesn’t stick together or gets lost – we screw the filter cartridge right onto the Stash and continue to drink safe water.

The liter bottles have a 63 mm thread (similar to Nalgene), which allows them to be connected to Katadyn Vario and Katadyn Combi filters to filter water directly into the bottle without additional hoses.

The Katadyn Vario filter is wound on the bottles directly, and the Katadyn Combi – through the adapter, which can be found in the filter.

Both 42 mm and 63 mm have very wide openings for soft bottles. As a result – we have certain features of use.

The tanks fill up incredibly fast. In addition, the bottle can always be forcibly straightened by pulling on the bottom. This is useful when the water source is extremely inconvenient or when the bottle has to be immersed in water.

Washing bottles is a quick and easy procedure. The material itself is easy to clean, even after sweet drinks, and the width of the throat allows you to instantly empty the bottle without wasting extra seconds.

Unlike bottlenecks, HydraPak Stash can be completely dried.

Drinking from a wide throat is like drinking from a pot. But keep in mind that the walls of this pot are soft, and do not squeeze it from the sides. Otherwise, the drink will go past your mouth on the T-shirt.

The question that interested me in the first place – is it possible to drink from this container with one hand. The answer is yes. You hold the bottle by the throat, place it along your arm, and drink

On the lid HydraPak Stash – anti-slip ring in the color of the base material.

On the side of the bottle – calibrate the volume to use it as a measure, if necessary.

At the base of the neck is a plastic handle that can be used to attach a filled bottle for transportation. I do not advise to fasten it outside the pockets, because, after all, it is a kilogram of weight in a semi-free state, but the additional fixation of the bottle to the sling is a loss insurance.

HydraPak Stash can be filled with liquids up to 60 ° C. These are pretty hot drinks. On the other hand, the materials of the bottle are not afraid of freezing, so nothing bad will happen, even if you forget about the sharp night cold and leave the bottle outside the tent.

HydraPak bottles weigh 72 grams in a 750 ml model and 96 grams in a liter version.

As for the format of liquids, the bottle will withstand everything that the human body can consume. But be careful with fizzy drinks and, from time to time, release the pressure from the bottle. The first time we tried the bottle with Pepsi, we pulled something ball-shaped out of our backpack in half an hour. Surprisingly, Stash withstood such bullying.

As a result of the soft format, it is not possible to put the bottle in the side pocket of a crowded backpack with one hand. You have to either take off your backpack or ask for help from a companion. However, we are talking about fairly tight side pockets in Osprey backpacks. It is possible that with other backpacks the result will be different.

The new bottle should be washed thoroughly before use so that the drinks do not have foreign odors. In the future, with regular use and basic care, no problems with tastes.

And finally, the most subjective questions. The appearance of the HydraPak Stash is bombastic. Bright bottles attract attention both on a clear sunny day and in gray-foggy times. It is possible to lose somewhere between stones or in a grass unless capacity of gray color. In addition, the rough outside of the bottle is very pleasant to the touch. There is no feeling of plastic film that accompanies other types of reusable containers.

Conclusions. HydraPak Stash bottles take advantage of America’s most popular derivative bottle format, Nalgene, while being significantly lighter and saving a significant amount of space when transporting an empty container. Compared to Platypus Softbottle in exchange for excess weight, they provide comfort, ease of care and a pleasant tactile sensation. As always, the final choice is yours. The main thing – say goodbye to disposable plastic, save the mountain

As the owner of the Katadyn BeFree filter, I also want to have a litre bottle that can be directly connected to the filter cartridge. And in general, predicting the popularity of BeFree in the near future and, given the declining popularity of massive filters for regular camping use, I would advise HydraPak to think about the release of litre tanks with a throat diameter of 42 mm.

HydraPak Stash Bottles Pros

  • Help to save the planet from pollution
  • incredibly durable
  • confidently open
  • have a wide throat (quick filling, devastation, washing, drying)
  • there is a possibility of connection to filters
  • cool look
  • lifetime guarantee of no leakage.

And Cons

  • Opening a folded bottle requires training
  • it is impossible to put the bottle in the side pocket of the backpack on the go
  • bigger weight relative to Platypus SoftBottle.

Water Purification in Outback: SteriPEN Ultra and SteriPEN Pure+ Review

SteriPEN Ultra in action. Glass of water and UV desinfection magic

Both models SteriPEN Ultra and SteriPEN Pure + run on a built-in battery, are charged from any source with a USB port and, accordingly, they do not need batteries

Do not be surprised that in one review we decided to tell you about two lamps at once. In fact, they differ only in details, and their essence, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, are almost identical. Therefore, in order not to pour water on two articles and not to add unnecessary reading to you, we will consider two models at once in one publication and, at the same time, compare them with each other.

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