I’m always on the hunt for better equipment to exercise with, and the bottle I drink out of is no exception. Hard bottles tend to be heavy and unforgiving, especially when you are running and have to carry them with you. Softer bottles might be lighter, but they tend to be leaky.
Worse yet, pretty much every bottle is difficult to clean and ends up stinking. Recently I got to try the FLEXR Sports Bottle, and it resolved some of these issues.
About the FLEXR Sports Bottle
FLEXR Sports is an American company that produces all of their products in the United States. The company is comprised of a collection of athletes who wanted to eliminate the waste caused by disposable bottles, while improving the experience of reusable bottles.
The FLEXR Sports Bottle is soft in the middle and can be used like a normal bottle or squeezed to get water out. Inside the bottle is a disposable liner, which is the real game-changer. The goal is to create the experience of a disposable bottle without all the waste.
There were several features that made this bottle stand out from others I've tried in the past. First, the liner prevents sloshing of the water. Not a huge feature, but when combined with the neoprene sleeve it makes the bottle easier to hold onto.
Second, the sleeve shrinks as you drink it. This means you can drink out of the bottle even when it’s upright. However, this feature only seemed to work sometimes for me. No matter what, I would have to suck some air out before getting to the water, but when it did work it was a pretty great feature.
You can also replace the liner after filling the bottle with flavored drinks. The bane of the sports bottle world is when you use a flavored drink and then try to use the bottle ever again. I’ve had bottles that were virtually unusable after a few weeks. Narrow bottles that are hard to clean are particularly problematic. This feature is especially helpful if you drink a shake or beverage after your workout and can't clean the bottle for a few hours.
But the best part of the FLEXR Sports Bottle design is not the liner, it’s the nozzle. You can lock it shut so it becomes mostly leak-proof (although despite their claims, I can actually get a little fluid out of it when sealed shut and tightened fully), and it doesn’t leak much even when it’s open. So when you’re on a run and you turn it over by accident, you won’t spill your drink.
The nozzle also allows you to shoot water with pressure. If it’s a hot day and you need to cool off, just give it a squeeze and you can shoot water onto yourself without losing too much.
The website notes that the FLEXR bottle eliminates plastic bottle waste, but there is some waste involved. In fact, one downside of this bottle is that the liners need to be replaced, and you don't get too many to start with. I got six liners with my bottle, and they disappeared pretty fast. Without the liners, the bottle won’t function unless you have a little plug that comes with it to block the air hole on the side of the bottle. The plug is easy to lose, so be careful not to misplace it.
Also, although the liner eliminates problems from flavored beverages, it did impart a plastic taste to my plain old water. I didn’t notice this in flavored drinks, but plain water definitely got a taste to it, so much as to make it undrinkable for me.
All in all, I thought the FLEXR Sports Bottle showed promise, but it needs some design tweaks. Besides leaking just a little, the lid and nozzle are great. The rest of the design is a cool idea that will benefit from continued improvements. With its current design, I might not buy another bottle, but I’m interested to see where they go with it in the future.
The Flexr Sports Bottle is available for $10.95 at FlexrSports.com.