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.