Thursday, 5 June 2008

Aquagear Survivor Review

So far; I have used the bottle over 6 days on two separate trips.

The first a 2-day trip in the Peak District and the second 4-days in Scotland.

The main points of the Aquagear bottle are that it is light, easy-to-use, easy to fill and removes most of the nasties that worry us, i.e cryptosporidium, giardia and e-coli.

The bottle will also remove taste from water, so if you wanted to be extra careful and use either iodine or chlorine tablets the taste from these would be removed.  I haven’t fully tested this claim as I don’t use either of these tablets but water taken from a tap in the Peak District which when drunk untreated tasted of chlorine didn’t after being run through the bottle.

On the trip to Scotland I took only the bottle and a 1 litre platypus bottle, the initial idea was to fill the Aquagear bottle in the water course then transfer the water to the platypus.

I attempted this on the first night’s wild camp but found it to be a lot of faffing about; the main reasons were that, it took roughly 2 ½ fills of the aqua bottle to fill the platypus, the top of the aqua bottle is roughly the same size as the opening of the platypus which meant that it would get stuck in the platypus and then air would not get sucked back into the aqua bottle to allow me to squeeze it again to push water through.

After this, that idea was abandoned and I just filled the platypus and the aqua bottle and used the water from it and when empty refilled from the platypus.

During the day, if it was easy enough to fill the aqua bottle straight from streams I would or if a bit difficult to get to the stream I would fill a nalgene bottle and then transfer water to the aqua bottle.

Filling the bottle did need a bit of a technique at times. I made sure that the bottle faced up stream and squeezed it, this helped to drag the water into the bottle.

Using this technique meant that most of the bottle filled with water but because of the design of the bottle I could not completely fill it.  This is because when the bottle is inverted the right way-up the water fills the bottom and leaves about an inch unfilled at the top.

Drinking from the bottle is simple; remove the dust cup, pop the spout and then squeeze the bottle.  The squeezing need to be a steady gentle pressure which will give roughly a mouthful of water before needing to be released to allow air back into the bottle so the process can be started over.

Drinking from this bottle is a steady process and because of this; it is not ideal if you are someone who guzzles down water.

The bottle is 500 ml (18 oz) and is fine when there are plenty of water sources to fill up from. On trips where water is scarcer I feel that bottle wouldn’t be large enough for these trips, as I can get through 500 ml quite quickly.  Although saying that I think the bottle would still be part of my regular kit as it does give me the chance to source water while out and about.

The only niggle I have with the bottle is that the paint on it started to come away from day one and has continued, funnily enough though it is only the paint giving the directions of use that is coming off, not the company logo.


  1. I've yet to use it in anger but my intended approach is to only use it for drinking water. The rest gets l;oaded up in the platypus bladders as normal, and then used for cooking/washing as normal. i hope that means less faffing about.

    Sounds like a plan - lets see how it works out in the real world

  2. Love your blog. I'm an avid backpacker too. Been doing it for a whopping four years. I was always intrigued by stories of survival. And why people like us hit the outdoors - even with the inherent danger that we may not come back.

    So I started a new blog about it, I've been compiling stories of hiking mishaps - people getting lost, people being found and unfortunately people paying the ultimate price for their love of the outdoors.

    Check it out, Maybe we can swap blogrolls too.