Monday, September 8, 2014

Freedom Bottle Review

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Freedom Bottle is a water bottle produced by individuals associated with the American Water Federal PAC.  I did not know this at the time I accepted the review sample, though knowing this would not have changed my mind.  The American Water Federal PAC is a group that provides funds to candidates that "support and understand America's water infrastructure."  I have no idea what that means.  Who exactly is opposed to water?  Cacti, I guess, but they can't be a large percentage of the electorate (though you never know in Chicago).  I mention this because if you google the bottle you'll find the link right away.  For the record in 2014 they gave 34% to Democrats and 66% to Republicans. I mention this in the same way I mention the Strider scandal--I don't think it bears on the product at all, but it is something some folks will be interested in and deserve to know.  And this concludes, hopefully, the one and only discussion of politics on this blog.

Sometimes folks offer stuff for review that looks interesting, but when I get it I realize that it is so different that my normal scoring systems won't work.  This is one of those products.  As such, no water bottle score.

The Freedom bottle is a collapsible water bottle.  It is not insulated and is made of a plastic material.  The bottle, when fully extended, bears a passing resemblance to a disposable water bottle.  It has a pull top lid, a see through body, and tall cylindrical shape.  But this bottle is not designed to be disposable. Instead, its designed to fold down to a small shape and be easily carried.  If you do day hikes or have lots of people on your hiking crew, this little bottle is quite handy, especially for the $5 cost.  

Here is the product page.  The bottle costs $7.99.  There are no reviews.  Here is the review sample (sent to me by Freedom Bottle and kept, per the review policy, no one wants a used water bottle):


Twitter Review Summary: Limited use, but does things no other bottle can do.

The design of the Freedom Bottle is clever, but it takes some getting used to.  If you think of this bottle as a replacement for your bladder system or your stainless steel water bottle, you missed the point.  This is not what the Freedom Bottle best use is. Instead this is a perfect bottle to be used in conjunction with other, large insulated water carriers, so as to take advantage of his packable nature:

This summer when me, my wife, and my four year old son went hiking, we'd take some large insulated bottles of water with us and drop the Freedom Bottle in the backpack.  It was easy to carry and when we took a break for lunch, we could unfold (unfurl?) it and drop some ice cold water in it for our son.  I would imagine that a collection of Freedom Bottles would do well with an even larger insulated water carrier and it would save on space and weight too.  Instead of having one heavy bottle or bladder per person you could have one big insulated container and a bunch of Freedom Bottles.

Here are two size comparison:



The fit and finish is fine for the given use.  Its not a Hydroflask (review coming), but given what you would use it for, it is fine. It definitely doesn't feel like the cheap crinkly plastic used in disposable bottles.  That said, this is not something that has an indefinitely lifespan.  It will break or degrade eventually.  The collapsible section seems especially prone to failure, but for the money, it will work fine.

The botttle is not super easy to clean as the collapasble section is just a bear.  I cleaned it by pouring water inside with some soap and swishing it around.  After flushing it out, the bottle was fine.  One note--using the bottle with its pull top cap blocks most odors, but as a plastic bottle odors are something you can't avoid.  They are there, you just might not smell them.  

The bottle has no insulation at all, but that's obvious from the outset.  And again, the ideal use for the bottle gets around the need for insulation.  

Overall, the Freedom Bottle is not a bad camping or hiking option.  I would never have it as my main way of carrying water, but as a back up or an packable, its quite good.  At $8, its not a bargain, but it does something very few bottles can do--pack well.  I suppose you could use a bladder system, but they are hard to pass around to folks, difficult to clean, and strictly limited to use with a backpack.  With the Freedom Bottle you get most of the packability of a bladder.  For $8, its an interesting option. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Looks good. Seems a little more stable but less compact than Vapur bottles/bladders. Vapurs also have better nozzles, imo. They screw open wide for easy fill. They have a smaller spout for drinking with a flip top lid that keeps the spout free from dirt. And they have an integrated carabiner that conveniently tucks down around the spout when not in use.

    I used to love Platypus bottles, but Vapurs improved on them w/ the things above. The disadvantage of either type is that they could collapse when you don't want them to. But I haven't had a problem with that. And their flexibility means they also make handy pillows (on a plane for example) or hot/cold compresses. Their strength is their weakness.

  3. Is the cost $5 or $8?

  4. I don't really care, but it is really strange that this is sold by a PAC with an obvious political bias. Firstly, is either party really against making sure everyone has clean water? Secondly, do they really make enough money to make it worth their while by selling a $5/$8 water bottle? Weird.

  5. Why do you review bullshit? Review flashlights.

    1. I'll never understand why people take their (apparently abundant) free time to post stuff like this. I for one use a water bottle way more frequently than my flashlight, so I appreciate this

  6. I think water bottles are pretty essential items and I'm glad Tony reviews them. This is a comprehensive site, thus "" not "" And its better for it.

    Btw, forgot to mention another advantage of soft bottles like Platypus or Vapur: when they drop, they don't make a loud noise, hurt your bare or sandaled foot, crack open, or bounce or roll away. I still like solid ones like Siggs for office or car but collapsibles are best for backpacking or travel imo.