Usually, if I’m not using the Platypus flexible plastic water ‘bottle’ or Camelbak system, I use the traditional Nalgene bottle. Why not? They’re usually tough as nails, have plenty of accessories available for them and have proven themselves to be pretty darn handy. (I dont worry about BPH issues…I’ve got so much testosterone I make Vladmir Putin look like Obama. [Sidenote: while there were no shortages of pictures of Obama looking like a wuss, there are simply too many images to count of Putin being a badass.) However, there is a drawback: they are thermally inefficient. Cold liquids dont stay cold. Usually what I do to combat this is to take whatever liquid I plan on drinking (usually a weak iced tea ) and put about 1/5th into the bottle, freeze it, and then fill with the rest of the liquid. As the ice on the bottom of the bottle melts, it keeps everything nice and cold. This works quite well with the only possible drawback being condensation forming on the outside of the bottle.
The other day I was at the range and one of the guys there was praising the HydroFlask. They dont use the word ‘thermos’ but that’s what it is. It’s a double-walled vacuum bottle in the shape of the common aluminum water/fuel bottle. The guy at the range said he tested it by filling it with water and ice cubes and then leaving it on the dashboard of his car in the sun all day and it kept everything nice and chilled. Well, it’s been mighty hot here in western Montana and it would be nice to be able to carry a drink along that stayed cold all day until you drank it. The missus ordered up a pair of the bottles and I’ve been playing with them.
The bottles are made of stainless steel, come in several sizes, three different mouth sizes and, surprisingly, work as advertised. Hot stays hot, cool stays cool. Several colors are available, and there are a couple options for the caps as well. Are they worth $25 when a Nalgene bottle is 1/3 of that? Entirely up to you. After an hour at CrossFit, it’s nice to have the drink I brought be icy cold even though thebottle spent the last hour sitting on the warm concrete. I’d imagine that during hunting season it will be very nice for carrying hot beverages in the morning frost. If youre trundling through the sand and heat in some Third World crapfest of a country, and assuming you can start your day someplace that has an icemaker, one of these might be very popular towards the end of the say when its hot, youre thirsty and the sun has been baking your Camelbak for the last nine hours.
The company also makes a food bottle and I’d be curious to try that out. Need to order one up and put it through its paces. So far these are turning out to be one of the few pieces of gear that ‘work as advertised’…on a hot day, man, there is nothing like cracking the bottle open and seeing all those ice cubes still floating around keeping my drink icy cold. A decadent luxury, but still darn nice.