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holding the hydrapak stash collapsible water bottle

Hard plastic water bottles not meeting your needs? Do you feel like empty bottles take up too much space? Then maybe you need a HydraPak Stash 1L Collapsible Water Bottle.

This is entirely different than any other water bottle I’ve reviewed!

There are some other collapsible bottles out there, but they’re really just soft water bottles that flatten out like zip-loc bags. HydraPak’s Stash packs down conveniently.

Plus, it’s the only collapsible bottle I know of that stands upright all on its own (whether full or empty). So it’s very easy to fill up.

Now, it’s not a cycling water bottle – it won’t fit into a standard bottle cage. But that doesn’t mean it won’t come in handy!

Why would you want one?

This collapsible bottle would come in handy any time you 1) need water and 2) might be low on storage space and 3) have to carry the bottle whether it’s full or empty.

I instantly think of hiking and backpacking. Sometimes water sources are few and far between, so you need to fill up. The more bottles you can fit, the better. Even if carrying multiple bottles is heavy, you don’t mind, because you know that water could save your life.

But then what about when you have a bunch of empty water bottles? Doesn’t it get annoying that they take up so much space, yet they aren’t carrying anything?!

collapsed hydrapak stash collapsible water bottle

This bottle is about the size of a hockey puck when compressed down, so it doesn’t take up much space. It even has a little strap attached to the lid, allowing you to clip it to the outside of your pack, saving valuable interior space. The flexible material also makes it easier to fit into the mesh side pockets of some backpacks.

Also, it’s so small, it’s no trouble to fit it inside a bear canister! (Not a bad idea if you mixed up an electrolyte drink in it.)

And travel. For instance, airport security. You can’t just carry a full water bottle around with you.

But you can carry this around in your carry-on (or your purse, or even your pocket) and then drain and refill at the water fountains as necessary.

It would even make sense for cyclists on ultra-long road rides. Because even if it doesn’t fit a bottle cage, it can be squeezed into your center jersey pocket! Then you could use it to refill your other two bottles that are in the cages. Once empty, collapse it and put it back in your jersey pocket, this time more comfortably.

Last but not least, it’s fairly easy to clean. You do still need a bottle brush, and it’s somewhat unwieldy (i.e. it squirms around), but the wide mouth allows you to easily scrub the inside.

Let’s see an actual size comparison!

One liter (32 ounces) is quite a bit of water. You could either carry it with the Hydrapak Stash, or this giant Gatorade water bottle.

Here are both bottles pictured when full of 32 oz water:

Now, here are those very same water bottles. But this time, they’re empty:

Size matters.

How does it work?

It’s remarkably simple. Here’s how to open and close it:

With the lid off, grab the top of the bottle with one hand and the bottom with your other hand. Then twist both sides clockwise towards each other.

The soft sides will compress and then the plastic ends will click together.


To open it back up, you just squeeze and pull apart.

The problems. (Yes, more than one…)

As with most innovative products, you’re going to run into some issues.

It’s not insulated.

Obviously with this design, you can’t get a lightweight, collapsible, and insulated water bottle. But since I like cold water, I wanted to make sure you’re aware of this.

Realistically, for lots of hiking and travel situations, you’re lucky to get cold water. Sometimes you have to be happy with lukewarm water. So it doesn’t really matter.

But if you do find cold water, it’s not going to stay cold for very long if carried in this.

It takes two hands.

You have to use two hands when drinking out of this bottle – one hand on the top plastic piece, the other hand on the bottom plastic piece.

It’s too easy to spill otherwise. (If you grab the middle, you’ll squeeze out all the water!)

I had assumed one hand on the top would be enough, but that’s not the case. With just one hand, the bottle might fold over on itself. So, use two hands.

It won’t fit narrow pockets.

Because the bottle is not only wide, but also flexible, it’s tough to squeeze it into certain pockets.

On some backpacks, you need a firm bottle to force its way into already-jammed pockets. That won’t work with this bottle. When it hits too much resistance, it will start to collapse itself.

(On the plus side, it is more adaptable to oddly shaped spaces.)

$23 is not cheap.

Sure, $23 is not outrageous. Plenty of water bottles cost $20-30 these days. And some are well worth it (like the Camelbak Podium Ice and the Hydroflask coffee flask).

But it’s enough to make you think critically about how much you need this bottle.

The water might smell and taste like plastic.

I noticed that if I left water sitting in this bottle for a day or so, it would take on an unpleasant taste. Basically, some sort of plastic taste.

I’m not sure why. There’s no PVC or BPA in their materials, so it’s not that.

But if water sits in this bottle for too long, especially on a hot day, it doesn’t taste good at all. And that is a major problem if you need to store water.

You must let it dry completely.

As with any water bottle, you need to let it dry out completely after use. Otherwise it might grow mold and mildew inside.

The thing with this bottle is that it’s so convenient to collapse, that you might collapse it and leave it sitting like that, forgetting to let it dry out. Or simply forgetting it at the bottom of your bag. And if you do that (like I did), you’re going to need to clean it very, very thoroughly. Mine is actually still stained.

My final verdict is…

Most of the time, for most people, this bottle might not make sense. Maybe it’s even a poor choice. There are certainly better ways to spend $23 on a water bottle.

That said, this bottle is amazing for certain situations when you must save space. If you travel frequently and need to take hiking gear (such as water bottles) through the airport on your trip, this bottle is excellent.

Official website: www.HydraPak.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: HydraPak
Product: HydraPak Stash 1L Collapsible Water Bottle
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2017-12-16
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. How lightweight is it?

    I’m a weight weenie 😉

    • @Michael

      Light, but not ultra-light.

      The Stash is 107 grams (3.7 oz). You can get lighter bottles if weight is of the utmost importance – an Evernew water bag for example – but you lose durability.

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