Different travellers have different needs when it comes to a favourite water bottle. My travel mate was incredulous when I told her I was planning on taking two or three on our Danube bike tour. Despite being in separate provinces, we were both sitting at our computers at the time and able to simultaneously find information on the Sip N Go, my favourite water bottle when travelling light. As a result, it was easy to point out what I liked about this product, and another Sip N Go devotee was born.
I explained that my search for the perfect water bottle for packing light ended with the collapsible and foldable Sip N Go. I had experimented with stainless steel, plastic and insulated bottles, but each one was lacking when it came to one or more important criteria when travelling. The Sip N Go is light, flexible, versatile, durable, affordable and BPA-free, and has earned its place in my personal carry on/daypack.
With coaxing, it holds exactly 500 ml (or 17 fl oz). Under average conditions, this is enough to keep me hydrated and comfortable until the next filling station. It’s so light and demands so little space when empty, that packing two or three bottles is not out of the question for more rigorous activities. While sturdier predecessors held more water, they were all heavier and demanded more space – full or empty.
Empty, the Sip N Go weighs just .5 oz (or 14 g). Compared to my SubZero 750 ml (25 fl oz) stainless steel bottle weighing in at 5 oz (142 g), it’s a lightweight. When lined up against my Paderno 500 ml (17 fl oz) double-wall-insulated bottle weighing a whopping 10.75 oz (305 g), the Sip N Go is an attractive option for the weight-conscious packer. When full, it increases to a maximum manageable weight of 18 oz (514 g) – small enough and light enough to clip to a purse, belt loop or daypack for hands-free activity.
When it’s empty, it’s versatile enough to be folded and clipped to form a tight package demanding very little space. Carrying around an empty water container was never this easy. When travelling to a location or engaging in an activity where it’s preferable to carry more than 500 ml (17 fl oz), I pack a second or even a third Sip N Go. This option was easily managed on the Danube bike tour with a bike pannier and handlebar bag providing plenty of storage space for three full bottles.
It’s flexible enough to be filled from a variety of sources where the taller and more rigid bottles failed. I can fill it from an airport fountain after passing through screening, or from the tap of a small bathroom sink. And, unlike some other collapsible water bottles, it stays upright in the fridge or on a bedside table.
It’s durable enough to be placed in the freezer or the dishwasher. I’ve dropped mine many times and the Sip N Go survived them all. Another feature I appreciate is the grommet protecting the material from the wear and tear of the carabineer. A previous foldable water bottle wasn’t reinforced with a durable grommet and ripped after very little use.
Its eco-friendly feature is an important consideration given that it’s refillable from safe sources. Or, when bottled water needs to be purchased and it’s possible to buy and store larger bottles for filling the Sip N Go several times, it’s not as costly on the purse or the environment as several smaller bottles.
While it fits perfectly in the middle external pocket of my Tom Bihn Synapse Backpack, this isn’t the case for daypacks with mesh pockets that don’t like the pointed edges of the Sip N Go. These pockets were built with the rounded edges of disposable (and more rigid refillable) water bottles in mind. The same goes for the built-in drink holders in automobiles. When travelling by car, I travel with one of my Sip N Go predecessors.
Another “con” is that it takes longer to dry than most water bottles – usually two or three days. For me, this is only an issue when I return home and want it to be completely dry before packing it away until the next trip.
What’s your favourite water bottle when packing light?