Backpacking

Microlite Flip Waterbottle

img

Ultra lightweight water bottle

Like many others, I’ve been in pursuit of the “perfect” drink bottle for basically my entire adult life. Plastic, metal, glass, hybrids, they all have their pros and cons. No bottle is perfect.

About a year ago I needed to get new bottles for my kids to take to school and camping and wherever else we might end up going. Since I had kids in mind, I needed it to be durable (glass is out) and small enough for little hands to handle easily. I also needed them to not leak. Like, seriously, no leaking. At all. Ever. No. Leak.

In general, I’m not a big fan of bottles with straws. The straw is very difficult to clean and is the most vulnerable part of any bottle. Straws require replacement often in my experience. More generally, bottles where silicon/plastic pieces bend/pinch tend to fail often. Bottles designed with a straw in mind are also usually susceptible to some level of leaking. As you now know, we don’t like leaks here.

I found the Microlite Flip bottles from GSI Outdoors at REI. They are of a small enough diameter that my kids can hold onto them, they disassemble into manageable pieces for very thorough cleaning, and they’re durable enough to take wherever. The bottle is aluminum and the cap is plastic with fully removable silicone seals. The way the bottle cap disassembles is actually quite ingenious and I’d recommend going to a store just to try breaking the cap down into its parts. The spout comes away from the main cap and both silicon seals are removable. All nooks and crannies are accessible.

My kids like their bottles, there are enough colors so that their diversity can be expressed and they hold up well to abuse… well… mostly. One of the kids dropped the bottle while the cap was open and it landed precisely on the latching mechanism for the cap, which snapped off, so it would no longer stay shut at all. I was able to get the bottle replaced from the retailer without incident. I feel like that was a pretty lucky drop and the bottles have handled a variety of other drops with aplomb. It keeps contents at a consistent temperature pretty well. I haven’t tested heat/cold retention very well, but the reviews are positive on this aspect.

I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly close enough for my family.

-- Matthew Clark 01/10/18