I know what you’re thinking. You’ve probably just read this article’s title and thought “how can the water bottle be redesigned any more than it already is?” It’s a valid thought but one that the Hydrapak folks at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show would have a surprising answer for.
Hydrapak is a household name in the hydration bladder world, providing the products for most major vest and pack companies like Nathan, Ultimate Direction and more. Last year, Hydrapak came out with an item called the Stash Water Bottle, a collapsible contraption that when compressed takes up very little space but when opened up holds a liter of water in a fashion very similar to a Nalgene bottle.
The idea is that four or five compressed Stashes will take up the same amount of space that an empty Nalgene would. The advantages of this are obvious for backpackers or for any situation that requires sensitivity to space and weight (oh yeah, the Stash is a nearly non-existent 3 ounces). Two stiff plastic caps make the ends of the Stash with a proprietary soft, flexible plastic material that acts as the sidewalls of the bottle. When compressed, the end caps snap together and fold the plastic sidewalls into a tight little self-contained package.
Weirdly enough, the flimsy feeling plastic sidewall is insanely durable and nearly taut feeling when uncompressed. It’s certainly enough to stand the bottle up on it’s own with or without water. In a demo at OR, a Hydrapak rep even went as far as standing on the center of a half full Stash with her full weight to show off the durability. The bottle was fine.
Hydrapak also gets extra points for no PVC or BPA in their materials, and the opening width of their 1L Stash works with water filters from Katadyn and others.
Is this a necessity item? If you’re in a situation where preserving space is absolutely critical, it actually is and well worth it the cost. Otherwise, at $23 for the one liter option, it’s a bit hard to justify if it’s only going to replace the typical water bottle on your desk at work.