Note: HydroBlu provided samples to us to review at no cost. All thoughts and opinions about this product are our own. We also have bottles to give away to three lucky winners. So be sure to follow the directions at the end of the post.
Mara here. The one thing that I always carry in my pack is water purification tablets. Because you just never know when something might go wrong and you have to stay on the trail longer than anticipated. With HydroBlu you get a water bottle and filter in one. Ambassadors Christina and Tanya reviewed the water bottle/filter. Read below to find out their thoughts.
There are many things on the trail that I take as a luxury.
A selfie stick (okay, not really).
But there are some things that just aren’t optional, that aren’t a luxury. Water is one of them. Each of us has a thing about hiking that brings us anxiety. For some, it’s bears. For others, it’s getting caught in the darkness. Still others, it’s general safety out in the wilderness. For me, it’s snakes. And always having enough water.
When HydroBlu asked Hike Like a Woman to do a review of their all in one water bottle/filter combo, I boldly threw myself in front of everyone else (as much as you can on Facebook, at least) to have a chance to try it out. If I’m backpacking, I usually use a gravity filter, and if I’m day hiking I fill a water bladder. But, on those day hikes, I’m always worried it’s not going to be enough. I ration. I sip. I gauge how heavy my pack is and guess how much water is left. Now, I don’t have to do that.
While I still fill my water bladder when going on long day hikes, I now bring HydroBlu’s water bottle/filter straw combo with me. Because the filter – which protects against microscopic contaminants like Giardia and E. Coli (shudder), but also particles as small as 0.1 micron and heavy metals like lead – is built directly into the straw, I just filled up the bottom directly from the stream.
Like any filter, you need to grab your water from flowing sources, like small streams or rivers. But the ‘dirty’ water goes directly into the bottle, you pop the cap on, which is attached in a straw-like mechanism to the filter, and drink.
Structured a bit like a CamelBak bottle, the suction of the straw pulls the water through the filter. I love it – it’s fairly light weight, a nice shape and color, and combines a water bottle and life-straw for convenience. Here are my pros and cons:
• Comes with great, clear instructions for first time use and on-going maintenance
• I like blue!
• The straw filter comes apart easily for rinsing at home and drying on a drying rack
• Although I haven’t gotten this far yet, once the filter reaches its capacity at around 400 gallons,
it won’t allow water to pass through anymore. You can simply buy a new filter and replace it.
• It combines the ease of a life straw with the convenience of a bottle that you can fill for use
anytime down the trail, even away from water sources.
• Sometimes when I pull the lid out, the straw pieces pop apart. They go quickly back together –
and you can’t really drink out of it if the straw detaches in the bottle – but occasionally you do
have to stop and put them back together. Then again, the same reasoning makes them easy to
take apart and clean!
• It can’t be used for cooking or other water needs that aren’t just straight drinking. Unlike a
pump filter or a gravity filter, you have to drink the water through the filter. I suppose if you
were desperate, you could suck it through the filter and spit it into your cooking pot… but I
wouldn’t recommend it as your only filter when backpacking.
• The first few time I used it, there was a taste to the filter. Not bad, but noticeable. It wore off
after the first time or two.
Over the past few years I have spent most of my time hiking in the desert and had to carry the water I needed with me. A water bottle filtering system would not have been an option for me back then, but I now reside in northern Minnesota where there is an abundance of water. Lakes, rivers, and ponds are everywhere I go! With numerous water sources around me I have found the HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo to be a convenient water filtering system for me.
I’ve used water filtering systems before, but HydroBlu is my first water bottle that I have ever used that filtered water for me as I drink it! It has worked great, it is easy to use, and it has kept my pack lighter. You can easily fill the water bottle up from a tap water source, lake, river, etc., put the cap with the filter attached back on, and just go.
One of the things I was most impressed about was the change in the taste of the water. I filled my HydroBlu with bad tasting tap water and was pleasantly surprised that it no longer tasted bad when I drank it through my HydroBlu. Another feature I liked was how easy it was to take apart and put together after cleaning. I also thought the price point was great! At $21.95 you get the water bottle and filtering system! The only thing I disliked about the water bottle is that it takes a bit of effort to suck the water through the straw from the bottle. Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable water bottle/filter I recommend that you check out HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo!