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This summer, I reported on Hydrapak’s line of collapsible water bottles as seen at the Summer Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City.  At that time, the Stash bottle was unveiled as Hydrapak’s newest compact water bottle.  This new collapsible water bottle is one of their most unique products, featuring a locking system that will keep the bottle low-bulk and out of the way when not in use. Luckily, I’ve had the chance to test and use this product while participating in a variety of activities–including backpacking, hiking, and camping.

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What’s to like?

The Stash bottle is truly a masterpiece of unique and compact design.  Its body twists together and folds into the top and bottle trays very nicely when not in use. It is super lightweight and easy to use when on trail or in the front country.  The bottle’s shape is made from a flexible–but durable–poly-canvas.

Source: Hydrapak Website

Source: Hydrapak Website

When using the Stash, one of the things that surprised me the most was its ability to hold form and not come close to tipping over and spilling its contents.  With the solid base and poly-canvas sides, the Stash really holds true regardless of how much water is inside of it! That being said, it also has a great texture and design so that it feels a bit more like a water bottle than some of its counterparts that don’t fill into the form as well as the Stash.

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What’s not to like?

Like any collapsible item, it takes time to get used to drinking out of the Stash.  By sacrificing the rigid form of a traditional water bottle, you also lose the ability to drink quickly, without thinking about how hard you might be squeezing or how to support the bottle properly when bringing it up to your mouth.  That being said, I found that I did begin to get used to it over time.

IMG_6207One thing that is hard to avoid with a collapsible product is that the Stash only holds up to 750ml, which could be seen as a downfall to higher-capacity water bottles. The Stash may also prove hard to clean the inside of, although a bottle brush seems to work decently to cover most of the territory where grime might build.

How to collapse and un-collapse the Stash Bottle:

Overall, the Stash offers two things that are truly unique: It’s compact and versatile!

Compact: The Stash is truly lightweight, packs down as small as a tuna can, and is intuitive to fold together.

Versatile: The Stash has unique features like a nylon gear strap, durable exterior, and trays for the top and bottom of the water bottle. It is also easy to use and simple to fill.

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For the price, the Stash doesn’t seem like a bad deal… especially if you are seeking the space-saving benefits of a compact, versatile water bottle that you can fold away when empty or not in use. On top of it all, the Stash is just plain fun to use and try–I’d recommend it to anyone who needs a gift idea, wants to try something more compact, or desires to save space in their recreation gear. It can also make a great backup water bottle for your car, commuter pack, or travel luggage!

MSRP: $17.99

Thanks to Hyrdapak and Outside PR for making this review possible!

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