Gear Review: Hydrapak Stash Collapsible Bottle

posted in: Gear Reviews | 29

 Why Buy?

I was looking for a collapsible bottle that I could use at home and in the office. My work bag is usually busting at the seams and I figured a collapsible bottle would be easier to transport than a Nalgene or old Gatorade bottle. I found the Hydrapak Stash in a Google search. Looking at the wide mouth of the Stash, I wondered if it would be easier to clean than the other bottles I was considering. If cleaning wasn’t too difficult, I figured that I could also use the Stash with electrolyte replacement powders or drops.  This got me thinking about my upcoming hikes in the Sierra Nevada.

In the Sierra, all “smellables”  must be stored in a bear canister overnight. A bottle that’s been filled with an electrolyte drink may or may not fit this description depending on who you ask, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. A collapsed Stash (2″ tall x 3.5″ diameter) would easily fit in a bear canister without taking up much space. Here is some information from the manufacturer:

New for 2015 is the collapsible Stash™ Bottle. The soft TPU walled bottle integrates an innovative molded top and bottom that snaps together for easy storage and transport. When ready to drink, simply squeeze to release, remove screw-cap, and fill. The Stash™ is a perfect companion for camping, adventure travel, and every day use.

source: http://hydrapak.com/technology/stash-collapsible-bottle/

First Impressions

When I first received the bottle, I had difficulty taking it out of it’s collapsed state. Not realizing how durable it is, I was afraid of damaging the molded top or bottom. After watching the video above, I gave it a good whack and the tabs released. The bottle appears to be well made and constructed of quality materials. I was particularly interested in looking at the bottle’s seams and seeing how the collapsible body was attached to the top and bottom. The seams have a wide overlap and it’s hard to imagine them being the source of a leak. Here are some pics of the Stash right after I took it out of the package:

The Test

I received the Hydrapak Stash in February, and I’ve used it nearly every day since. I take it to work and the gym, use it around the house and have carried it on several hikes.

The Good

  • Packs down small (2″ tall when collapsed).
  • It’s free-standing, unlike similar products. You can take the cap off and place the bottle on a flat surface and not worry about it falling over.
  • When my pack is full, I’ve had a hard time getting some plastic bottles to fit. The flexible sides of the Stash work better.
  • In the past, I used old Gatorade or Powerade bottles to carry water. When they’re empty, they tend to fall out of my pack’s side pockets. The Stash has a loop that I attach to my pack, or I can put it inside my pack since it is so small.
  • The large mouth on the Stash allows for easy cleaning and the bottle works great for electrolyte powders and drops.
  • Comes with a ‘No-Leak’ Product Lifetime Warranty.

The Bad

  • A little tricky to collapse and open the first couple of times you try, but once you get it, you get it.
  • There is a slight learning curve when figuring out how to hold it when drinking. If I drink one-handed, I grasp the molded top then support the rest of the bottle with my palm. A bite valve or a push-pull cap could help with this and make the bottle even more versatile.

Final Thoughts

I’ve put the Stash through a month of solid every day use, taking it to work and the gym, using it around the house and carrying it on several hikes. I have been very impressed with its durability, usefulness, and advantages over similar products. I am looking forward to taking it on my overnight trips in the Sierra this summer and will continue using it every day.

Do you have experience with Hydrapak products or questions about the Hydrapak Stash? If so, please comment below.

Disclaimer: Hydrapak provided the Stash Collapsible Bottle for this review


29 Responses

  1. Donna Wilton

    How much liquid does it hold? 16 ounces? Does it come in various colors? It sounds like a great product whether you are hiking or at a park or beach. It will help eliminate the waste of plastic bottles being put in our environment as well.

    • TheHikingGeek

      The current model holds 750ml (25 ounces) and I’m told Hydrapak will release a 1L (33 ounces) version in June.

      They come in a variety of colors and are stackable were storing.

  2. Mindy

    Is it easy to carry and firm enough to hold tightly?

    • TheHikingGeek

      When the cap is on, it is very easy to carry. I’ve been carrying to and from work, the gym and on hikes for the last month. When the cap is off, I only squeeze in on the molded top or bottom. To drink out of it one-handed, I squeeze the top of the bottle between my thumb and index fingers while resting the soft body of the bottle rests in my palm.

    • Roberto

      No, unfortunately the lid is too wide to fit a Sawyer filter.

    • jimothygator

      Check out the Katadyn BeFree, which is designed to work with several Hydrapak bottles. You can but the filter alone, or with a 600ml Hydrapak. I’ve tested it with my 750ml Softflask.

  3. david

    My concern is if the plastic is being bent back and forth when collapsing will it not eventually fail like bending an aluminum can over and over ?

    • TheHikingGeek

      The material that the body of the bottle is made from feels similar to a hydration bladder, but thicker. It doesn’t crease, nor does it seems to fold in the same spots each time you collapse it. Time will tell, but I believe you would have to abuse the bottle or use it for a long time to cause a failure in this manner.

    • TheHikingGeek

      The advertised weight is 2.25 oz. I haven’t weighed it myself.

  4. JG

    I am interested in this type of bottle, especially for the hard shell top and bottom. I don’t mix electrolytes in a soft side/fold up bottle. I mix in a separate bottle then pour into the soft side. No issues with bacteria forming yet.
    Does this Stash Bottle feel durable enough to go in the outside pocket of the pack? I have been concerned about punctures on my soft side as I often go backcountry/bush/ scramble.

    • TheHikingGeek

      The Stash feels like a ‘heavier’ hydration bladder. You would need to stabbed hard and quickly to puncture it I believe, especially since it is flexible. I carry in the outside pockets of my pack and don’t worry about it on the backcountry stuff.

  5. T-hawd

    Why not just collapse a disposable water bottle?They are cheap, abundant, And can be reused– just not very pretty afterwards.

  6. Joe

    That’s a pretty slick design. I’d hold out for the 1L option myself.

    How well is the insulation for the bottle? Will it keep things colder than a regular plastic water bottle or platypus collapsible bottle?

    Also, anyone tried this with a water filter end attachment?

    • TheHikingGeek

      I don’t believe the bottle insulates much more than a TPU hydration bladder. Once it warms up, it would be interesting to see if it insulates more than a regular plastic water bottle or platypus.

      I am not sure about water filter compatibility. I am working on finding out.

  7. Gilbert Mendoza

    I’m sold on the design, and think I’ll go ahead and purchase some for my own testing. As you mentioned in your post, I’d be most concerned about residual smells and taste, not only for bear safety, but personal enjoyment. I purchased a collapsible mug which I was sorely disappointed with after both peppermint mocha and wine seem to have permanently left their impression on the soft material. Yuck. I wonder how this material will fare. Do tell!

  8. Gazer

    they show in the video putting the stash into bike shirt. I don’t see how it is practical to drink while riding a bike with a screw top. Is that the only top available? I use one hand and squirt the water into my mouth.

  9. Princess Mirian

    Hi I’m looking for a new bottle that’s both cute and convenient. What colors does this bottle come in?

  10. Sarah Flynn

    I just bought a hydrapk collapsible and cannot get the nasty new plastic/chemical taste out of it. Did you notice that and if so how did you deal with it?

    • TheHikingGeek

      I apologize for the late reply on this. I have not noticed the taste you speak of in my bottle, but I have in other hydration bladders.

      Hydrapak makes the bladders for Geigerrig. Maybe you could try this?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwEgYIneL-w

      If that doesn’t work, let me know, and I’ll see if I can track down someone at Hydrapak to help you!

  11. MayYan

    I found it difficulty to close the lid firmly when it is consumed and not fully filled. There is sometimes few leakage at the lid, dunno if it’s due to the above reason. Did anybody have the same problem here?

  12. jesanjose

    Mine cracked its cap after 6 months of everyday use. But i don’t regret buying it, pretty nifty for carrying wherever.