Vapur Review – The Anti-Bottle
Here at Ultra168 we are always looking for new and innovative products that are designed to make running easier. For endurance athletes, it can be difficult to strike a balance between carrying all of the equipment needed for longer training sessions and races, whilst keeping weight to a minimum. Increasingly race directors are requiring runners to carry an ever growing amount of mandatory equipment, so any product that provides an advantage in this area is a good thing.
Enter the Vapur Anti –Bottle. Vapur is a Californian company that has come up with a foldable, reusable water bottle designed for convenient, on-the-go use anywhere. Its flexible, stands upright when full and can be rolled, folded or flattened when empty for easy storage. The Anti-Bottle also uses less energy to make and transport than traditional rigid bottles.
According to the Vapur website, Australians consume more than half a billion dollars’ worth of bottled water each year. Unfortunately, only about 36% of used bottles will be recycled in Australia, leaving hundreds of millions of plastic bottles to be dumped in landfills or floating in the ocean annually. In addition, it takes over 17 million barrels of oil just to make enough water bottles for the US annually. That is enough oil to power 1.3 million cars ! This approach just can’t go on.
When we were approached by Vapur to take a look at the Anti-Bottle, I was quite excited. If it lived up to its advertising, it could be a great addition to any runner’s kit whilst being incredibly environmentally friendly.
True to the company’s environmentally conscious philosophy, a sample of the bottles was delivered by bicycle courier in fully recyclable packaging. With a blue sky day on the way, it was time to take these newbies out for a test run.
I took two of the bottles with me during a recent run up Mt Solitary in the Blue Mountains. They were filled with water and then placed into the netted side pockets of my Salomon S-LAB 12. This added an extra 1.2 litres water carrying capacity to the 1.5 litre bladder already included in the race vest.
Those who have run Mt Solitary will know that it is a challenging trail with a series of solid climbs. The trail is mostly single track with a couple of mountain goat sections thrown in. The Anti-Bottles sat snug in the side pockets of the vest throughout the run. Some runners I know have complained that traditional rigid drink bottles can cause bruising to the ribs when packed into the side pockets of some vest-style running packs, but there was no such issue for me with the Anti-Bottles.
Between refills, the Anti-Bottle rolls up to almost palm size and can be secured in place with the convenient carabineer attachment. That’s one of the great things about the design; it can be stored in your running pack as a spare water reservoir for when running through more remote areas whilst not adding the weight and bulk that a traditional water bottle would. On our trusty Ultra168 scales they came in at 30 grams when compared to our trusty Amphipod handhelds at 112 grams.
Another advantage is that these can be pre-filled for quick use at race checkpoints, avoiding the difficulties associated with trying to re-fill a bladder whilst it’s still in your race pack! I know my wife (aka crew captain) will love this feature.
In hot weather, the bottles can also be frozen (either half way or as an ice/ water mix) to keep fluids and runners cool whilst out on the trails.
A couple of other points to note about the Anti-Bottle:
- The included carabineer allows you to clip the Anti-Bottle to virtually anything.
- There is a writable area on the back of the bottle for identification purposes or uses (e.g. electrolytes, water, mine-not-the- kids etc.)
- Virtually indestructible – Vapur’s claim is that “you’ll lose it before you break it.”
- The inner layer is odour, taste and stain resistant.
- Its dishwasher safe (no washing up water bottles post run!)
- Comes in a great range of colours – yes girls that includes pink.
- There is a variety of assorted caps to suit specific uses, such as screw top for use when in rugged bush areas and in need of additional cap protection
- The sample we tried had 600ml capacity (despite the advertised 500ml capacity – great for hot days on the Great North Walk) but it comes in 1 litre varieties as well.
My wife also found the Anti-Bottles very useful on long training rides. By storing the bottle rolled up in a cycling jersey pocket, she had convenient additional water carrying capacity without adding much weight or bulk to the bike. Unlike runners, road cyclists don’t typically ride with backpacks and usually only have room for two drink bottles on the bike, so the ability to carry a third bottle in such a compact way is a real advantage for those longer rides.
The Bottom Line
The convenience and practicality of these bottles is brilliant. They’re light, easy to store, virtually indestructible and good for the environment. Whilst they are ideal for everyday use, I think they’ll add the most value to longer sessions out on the trails, where carrying sufficient water without adding too much weight can be a challenge. I’ve already had some great experiences with these on training runs and will certainly be looking to include these as part of future race strategies.
As an added bonus, Vapur is part of the 1% For The Planet program, giving a portion of all Vapur sales to water-related causes.