Over the years, we have highlighted EDC bags, truck kits, go bags, and just about anything else that puts essential gear at your finger tips. In addition to an EDC bag that I take most places and a truck emergency kit, I keep a get home bag. Having experienced the transit shutdown and chaos in NY following 911, of all my kits, this is the one I fear I may have to use one day.
The kit is simple, small and lightweight. Its purpose is based on transportation happening on foot. The largest item in the pack has been a 32oz water bottle that is packed with other supplies but is a horrible use of space. That is why when I saw the Hydrapak Stash 1L collapsible bottle I immediately honed in.
For the last 30 days, I have replaced my standard 32oz bottle for the stash to see how it holds up, and how usable it is. These are my findings.
The bottle collapses to a 2.25” tall, hard plastic container. The hard top and bottom create a protective shell around the soft material that is similar to hydration packs many of us have used.
Unscrew the cap and with a twist and the bottle collapses. Press the top and bottom together and you have a completely secured and rugged collapsed bottle. To open, reverse the process.
Like my preferred hydration solution, the bottle offers a standard wide mouth to fit ice, purification tablets, powders or just about anything else you might want in your beverage.
The lid has a ring that can be attached to a carabiner, hook, belt loop or shoulder strap for carrying while expanded and full.
The lid has a rubberized rim around the upper edge. At first I didn’t understand the need for it till you try to open a hard plastic smooth lid with wet hands. I like the smooth lid compared to the Nalgene ridged edge but only because of the extra traction the lid ring provides.
The Hydrapak is a travel, hiking emergency water bottle. While I was able to use it as a primary drinking bottle for 30 days, that is not its intended use. However, it is certainly rugged enough to handle it. I was surprised to find that the bottle held its shape even when empty. With the top screwed on, the bottle will not collapse and fall over as you might expect.
Even filled and thrown around in my car and carried every day in a bag with other electronics, I found it did not leak or experience more condensation than its hard plastic kin.
Going to sporting or concert events, it is a great way to get a bottle in the stadium to fill up at a water fountain or sink. The same is true for when flying; I now take this in my carry on instead of a full sized hard plastic bottle.
No doubt this is where the product shines and is the source of most reviews online for the product. Shockingly, I am not an avid hiker, so I never used it for that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is just about the perfect hiking bottle so enough about that.
This was the primary focus of our review and where I initially saw the most “bang for your buck.” Having now used this, my intent is to buy four more.
- One for each car get home bag (wife and myself)
- EDC bag for when I forget or need to ditch my hard plastic
- Go bag
The ability to have a light weight (3.1 oz) container that breaks down to 2.25” x 4” vs. a full sized 9” x 4” makes fitting it in your bag much easier. Also, I don’t need to contaminate the bottle by using it to store other items, to recoup the lost space.
When fully collapsed the bottles soft material is encapsulated in a harder plastic. So even thrown in a bag with knives sharp objects or limited space, there is no wear on the soft material. This means that the bottle should hold up to just about any torture its hardened kin could endure while collapsed. This hard case formed by the top and bottom of the bottle is what makes it ideal for an emergency bag. We also ordered the SoftFlask, a smaller non-hardened bottle to review, and while it performed admirably, I think the Stash is by far the better kit for emergency use and long term storage.
You can purchase directly from Hydrapak or at many local retailers. If you value space and convenience the Stash by Hydrapak is likely a good choice for your kit.