Published on March 30th, 2012 | by David0
Hydros Bottle: Fantastic Idea, Sloppy Execution
I hate disposable water bottles, which is why I was excited to try the new Hydros bottle. Unfortunately, while I love the concept and the mission, the bottle ultimately falls short.
Hydros starts with a great vision: high-quality water bottles with integrated filters, and a Tom’s-style promise to provide clean drinking water for a year for every bottle purchased. Constructed from recycled, BPA-free plastic in several attractive colors, the bottles offer several innovative features such as a fast-flow filter and a side-mounted hole for filling under a small sink. Each dishwasher-safe bottle is made in America, and features a permanent antimicrobial treatment.
I’ll admit: the side-mounted water port is fantastic, and I’m not sure how I lived without it. It makes it easy to fill the bottle up in virtually any sink or drinking fountain, and the activated-carbon filter moves water pretty fast. I like these filter-first, drink-straight bottles better than the reverse (such as those with a filter straw)- I tend to have more patience when I’m filling a bottle than when I’m thirsty and just want to hydrate. I haven’t tested it with particularly dirty water, but the filter does seem to improve the flavor of standard city tap water, and I can’t detect and off-flavors from the plastic or charcoal.
Unfortunately, the awkward setup mars the Hydros experience. Before you drink from it, the filter must be extracted, flushed with water, and put back into the bottle, a process confusing enough to take me about ten minutes (and that’s with the manual). The plastic parts in the top of the bottle take a good amount of effort to move, and I was never quite sure if I was about to break something. Finally, the top must be palmed open and closed to take a sip, which precludes operation with dirty hands (or non-grippy gloves).
At the end of the day (and once it’s set up), the Hydros Bottle makes a great office, car, or desk companion. I sip from mine all day, and enjoy the fresh taste, easy fill-up, and clean conscience from its laundry list of environmental features. That said, I’m not convinced it’s a better use of $25 than other, simpler reusable bottles, and the awkward setup makes it a poor gift choice. This bottle feels like a beta test of a great product- I hope Hydros refines it soon.