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- Price $29.99 on matadorup.com
- Dimensions 11.5 x 4 x 2.5 inch (29 x 10 x 6 cm)
- Weight 2.5 oz (70 g)
- Capacity 1 liter
- Materials BPA & PVC-free TPU
I love me a good packable water bottle. After my amazing experience with the Vapur Anti Bottle that I sadly misplaced, I'm glad that I have a chance to review another packable water bottle.
This time it's from Matador. Matador has been slowly coming up within the onebag travel community, but mostly for their packable toiletries. One thing for sure, they have nice-looking products. They remind me a little of the style of Heimplanet, of which I had the chance to review their Transit Line Sling Pocket.
Since I knew that packable water bottles work for me, I wasn't too concerned with the style of water bottle. So, in this review, I'll be more looking at the details of the product to see if it deserves a limited spot in my bag.
The water bottle is a greyish bag with a black handle on the left side and a black mouthpiece.
On the bottom of the front of the bottle, is the logo and some product specifications, nicely laid out. The black lettering goes well with the grey body.
On the right side of the front, there are measurements in millimeters for you to know how much water you have. While the specification lists the bottle's capacity at 1 liter, you'll likely be able to fill in slightly more than 1 liter given that the 1-liter measurement mark isn't right on the top.
More than the black lettering, the water droplets that rest on the inside of the bottle looks beautiful.
The side handle takes up about 75% of the height of the bottle.
More instructions on the bottom, this time in white lettering, on how to fill the bottle. While I mostly dislike printed instructions on the product itself, I felt it was necessary since the way to fill this bottle isn't immediately apparent.
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The bottle is made from BPA & PVC-free TPU.
BPA stands for bisphenol A, which is an industrial chemical present in certain plastics. BPA from the container might seep into the food or beverages it contains. Exposure to BPA might have possible health effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.
PVC free means that the plastic does not contain polyvinyl chloride, which has shown to have effects on the reproductive system of lab animals.
While the exposure of low exposure of the above two substances to adult humans have not been definitive, it's better to be safe than sorry. I always opt for products that use chemical-free plastics if I have a choice.
Water bottles are pretty functional products for me. Sure, there are nice-looking ones, but really, they are for me to keep hydrated.
So, how it's being used is maybe the biggest part for me. The Matador Packable Water Bottle is a packable water bottle that stands on its own when filled but packs flat when you don't need it.
The part you drink from is a bite valve, which means you have to bite on it for water to come through. To be honest, I'm not fond of bite valves, since continuous usage will wear it down. Scratches are also bound to form, making it easier for bacteria to stay on it.
When I drink from a bottle, I usually try to avoid touching the bottle with my mouth by just pouring the water into my mouth. But with the bite valve, there is no avoiding doing so which means you have to wash it more frequently.
I designed a thing.
I found a 100 year old company that would create these heirloom quality canisters for me. They are handmade and will keep your tea leaves, coffee beans or anything that you need dry for years to come.
or read review
Another thing about the bite valve is how much less enjoyable it is to try to swallow vitamins with them. When you have a bunch of pills in your mouth, you need a huge gush of water to wash them down and the bite valve makes it tricky to do so. If you somehow suck up too little water, you'll end up with an icky mixture of pill water in your mouth.
The bite valve also comes with a removable cap. The cap is easy to open and close with a little tab to grip on. So far, it hasn't opened on its own when in my bag.
Apart from the cap, there is also a lock that is activated by putting up or down on it. The lock is naturally opened when you pull on the cap to take it off or closed when you put on the cap.
At the same time, it's pretty easy to open it by mistake if you are pulling it out of your bag by pulling the mouthpiece. You might think this isn't a problem since there is a bite valve, I've noticed that even without biting on the bite valve, drips of water still comes through if you press really hard on it.
Since there are three mechanisms preventing accidental spillage from the mouthpiece, so I wouldn't worry about water spillage from the top.
The bottom, where there is a hole to fill with water, is the scary one for me. It uses a zipper bottom to open and close. You have to push on both sides to open up the mouth to fill it up easier. Then, you have to press down on the zipper, length to length, to make sure it's sealed shut.
I wasn't used to seeing a zipper like that utilized to keep a container watertight, so I felt a little insecure. But so far, it hasn't leaked. But I'll be updating this article if something happens.
The water bottle is designed to stand on its own, but it's pretty tricky.
In order for the bottle to have enough structure to stand, you have to blow air into it each time. This is the same with packable bottles like the Vapur Anti Bottle.
But, what's different for the Matador Packable Water Bottle is the straw. Blowing into the straw means that you are passing carbon dioxide through the water. While blowing into water causes carbon dioxide to dissolve into the water, you won't be blowing enough for it to turn to carbonic acid. But still, I don't really like the feeling when I had to do that.
If you blow too much air into the bottle, the zipper at the bottom would stick out, causing the bottle tilts to the front. When that happens, you can't just plop it down and expect it to stand right away. Either you balance it at an angle, or let out some air.
The handle is a nice low profile, and easy to grab if the water is not too full.
The last thing is that right out of the package, there is a plastic taste/smell that is common with TPU. I expect the smell to go away with more washes.
Overall, this is a beautiful water bottle. The test for me really comes down to how prone it is to leakage and how well the bite valve will hold up.