Hiking is such an exhilarating adventure. The experience itself is breathtaking, literally and figuratively. But, it can be quite taxing on your body and cause you to sweat so much. Bringing your own water reservoir is a must for you to rehydrate yourself every once in a while and continue on your wonderful journey.
There is a wide variety of water bottles for hiking to choose from. However, for this article, we will focus mainly on collapsible water bottles. If you’re interested in the other varieties of water bottles, we have a separate articles about lightweight water bottles and insulated water bottles, which are great for different purposes.
Advantages of Collapsible Water Bottles
Despite being known to be less durable than the other water bottles commonly used for hiking, having a collapsible water bottle can be a great help, especially on long-distance hikes or those that last overnight. Here’s why you should consider getting your own collapsible water bottles before you head on to your next hiking adventure.
As the name itself implies, collapsible water bottles can be squeezed smaller for minimum storage. It is especially helpful if you need to keep it away after the bottle has been emptied, or if you need an extra container for when you find streams along the way. It won’t take much space in your bag, allowing you to focus on other essential items on your hike.
The capacity of collapsible water bottles greatly exceeds that of a lightweight or insulated bottle. You’ll be able to easily carry a container with a two litter capacity without allotting much space for it. It is quite helpful during long dry stretches where streams for refill are hard to find.
Hiking is also about packing light. Having additional weight would only tire you easily and can cause extra burden to your body. This is why expert hikers would opt to have a collapsible water bottle with them. Not only can it carry a huge amount of water, but also you carry almost only the weight of the water and not much of the container itself.
No Sloshing in the Bag
One of the things that I find annoying, and I know some hikers also find annoying, is the sloshing of the water coming from your backpack. But, with a collapsible water bottle, it can effortlessly be avoided. You can easily vacuum out the air in the container and seal it before putting it in your pack, and there you have it. No more annoying sloshes.
Despite some collapsible bottles having a relatively shorter use due to its durability, being able to reuse a water bottle for that amount of times and of such large capacity would already help the planet. You’d still be able to steer clear from disposable plastics for a while and that would help reduce your carbon footprint.
Our Top Picks of Collapsible Water Bottles
At this point, you may be considering getting your own collapsible bottle to stack up for your next hike. I have done the research for you, and gathered the three best of the best in this field and compiled it for you. Here they are:
Nefeeko Collapsible BPA-Free Silicone Water Bottle
- Great for short hiking trips
- Carries 550 ml. liquid
- Collapsible to a height of just 5.5 inches
Starting my list with the bottle with the smallest capacity, the Nefeeko collapsible water bottles can carry 550 ml of liquid. It is perfect for a short hiking trip or as reserves for refills along the way. The bottle can be compressed from 9.8 inches to 5.5 inches in height, allowing you to save almost 50% of space in your pack.
Nefeeko is made from food-grade platinum silicone that is free from harmful chemicals such as BPA, latex, and phthalates, keeping your drink safe from any of these chemicals. The material can resist cold drinks up to -40oC and hot drinks for up to 230oC. Now you can have you hot and cold drinks even on your hike.
Avoid leaks in your bag with the screw bottle cap that seals the bottle airtight. It also has an additional silicone ring along its opening to further improve its leak-proof capability. You can also opt to keep it out of your bag and clip it with its portable carabiner.
Here’s something that you might not like about this product. The moment you receive it, it may have a rubber smell that we all hate. But don’t worry, all you have to do is to fill the bottle with hot water, add lemon slices or baking soda, and let it stand for two hours. Clean it thoroughly and you can use it as much as you like without the smell. You’ll only have to do it once, so no need to spend hours every wash to keep the smell away.
- Capacity: 18 oz.
- Weight: 8 oz.
- Material: Food Grade Platinum Silicone
Nomader 22-Oz Collapsible Water Bottle
- Durable design
- Folds gradually as you consume the water
- Multiple colors available
of 100% food-grade silicone making it very flexible and shatterproof. Since it’s made up of food-grade silicone, it is free from BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead, and latex keeping your drink safe from harmful chemicals that can be found in some plastic bottles.
There are quite a number of things that I love about this product. Aside from having 11 stylish colors to choose from, it also has a wide mouth opening that makes cleaning, refilling, and adding ice cubes easy. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe. It also includes a leak-proof lid with a patented screw twist cap design that keeps your water from spilling around. The spout of the lid has hygienic anti-germ properties, keeping it clean and safe for drinking.
My favorite thing about this product you ask? It is actually the heat resistant silicone that really catches my heart. Because this product is built for ruggedness, it is safe to use this bottle for hot or cold drinks.
- Capacity: 22 oz.
- Weight: 7.2 oz.
- Material: Food-Grade Silicone
Platy 2-Liter Ultralight Collapsible Water Bottle
- Ultra lightweight
- Holds up to 2 liters
- Takes just a little space when collapsed
A go-to item for hiking experts, the Platy Ultralight Collapsible Water Bottle is able to take 1/5th of space when empty. It is also 80% lighter when empty and you can fill it up to two liters of water. This Item is great for long-distance hikes or for those dry stretches during your hike. You can keep it flattened in your bag or roll it up for refills along the way.
The Platy is lined with food-grade polyethylene that is BPA free. Aside from keeping your water healthy, it also keeps the plastic taste away from your water. However, for this water bottle, the mouth opening is narrow so it may be a little tricky to wash it. It has a screw cap as a lid but you can find additional accessories, such as the taste-free drink tube and the push/pull cap that allows you to easily drink from the bottle without wasting a drop. With good care, this water bottle will last around 1-2 years with you.
- Capacity: 2 Liters
- Weight: 1.3 oz.
- Material: Food Grade Polyethylene
Things You Should Consider When Purchasing a Collapsible Water Bottle
As I mentioned, what I listed were only the top three that I found to be very useful when hiking. However, there are a lot more out there on Amazon, or in your local outdoor gear stores. You should definitely check it out if you find that what I listed down doesn’t suite much of your taste. While you look for the one, you should consider the following qualities of the item to make sure that what you’ll get is worth your every penny.
For collapsible water bottles, there will be a wide range of choices in terms of capacity. If you’re a beginner, it is best to identify first how long your trails will be and how much will you plan to hike in half a year to a year. This will give you an idea of how much water you’ll need to carry with you on those journeys.
Although this type of bottle is known to be less durable then their structured counterparts, there are still bottles made from good and durable materials such as silicone. It would also be a plus is the item would have additional features that would support its durability.
Since most of these types of water bottles are made from silicone or polyethylene, make sure you check that it is made from a food-grade type of material. Food-grade will ensure that silicone and polyethylene are non-toxic and is safe for consumption. Also, look for products that are free from BPA, BSA, phthalate, and other harmful chemicals to ensure that your beverage is kept safe and healthy.
Opening of the Bottle
The opening of the bottle would tell you how easy you’ll be able to refill, drink, and clean the bottle. Generally, a wide mouth would be a go-to option as it is easy to drink. However, personally, a wide mouth with a lid that’s convenient for drinking (e.g. flip lids) would be more preferable. It doesn’t only make cleaning and refill easy, but you are sure that every drop of your water would end it in your mouth. If you have found a technique that allows you to clean narrow mouths easily, then a narrow mouth bottle will be fine as well.