I am one of those privately gross people who looks outwardly put together, but has a secret stash of unwashed water bottles tucked away, slowly growing their own petri dishes of filth. It’s not that I’m an unhygienic person per se, but as a lazy city dweller with no dishwasher, I really can’t bring myself to do the necessary poking around with a brush just to get to the sludgey bottom. So every so often I’d buy a new one and add another to my collection of retired S’wells and bkrs.
That was until a former colleague showed me the little Hydroflask she picked up for her kid. Hydroflask water bottles, as you may already know, are great. They routinely top best-of water bottle lists—for people who care about rankings of water bottles, like me—due to their durable stainless steel frame, temperature regulation, and spill-proof lids. And I can confirm after months of using one that all of the above is true. Drinks stay cool longer, nothing sloshes out onto my work clothes when I’m commuting, and my water also doesn’t take on a metallic aftertaste when I sip from it.
My sister—a devotee of the full-size Hydroflask—scoffed after seeing me swig from this pint-size water bottle. “How often do you have to refill that?” she asked me. Well, that’s sort of the point. The comparatively compact size of the water bottle (which holds exactly 12 ounces of water) is just the right amount for toting to a one-hour yoga class, and plenty sufficient to get me through a meeting or two at work. But it has its limits, which forces me to take regularly scheduled breaks to get up and refill the thing, instead of toiling over my laptop for hours at a time.
The best thing about it? Since it’s the first water bottle that I actually know how to clean—its wide mouth allows me to squeeze a sponge inside, and the depths of it are shallow enough to scrub the bottom—it’s saved me from continuing to splurge on pricey water bottles or feel guilty about tossing single-use paper cups. I’ve become so attached that it’s a constant companion on trips to the park, to work, to my yoga studio, and abroad (it’s the perfect size for a carry-on), which for now has kept my bottle hoarding down to a very manageable minimum.
Buy it: Hydro Flask 12 oz. Kid’s Water Bottle, $30, amazon.com.
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Originally Appeared on Self