In my time reviewing and writing tech based articles for this website, I’ve stumbled upon quite a few interesting products, but rarely any true curiosities. And never a curiousity that I could see myself using for any real length of time both in and out of the house. Well recently, that’s changed. Here, I’m going to give a review of the MyHydrate Smart Water Bottle system.
What is the MyHydrate System?
Some may be wondering what on earth a Smart Water bottle is. A few weeks ago I honestly had no clue either, except for that Smart Water was the name of a bottled water brand and a nanotech security company. But as it turns out, technology has hit literally every corner of our lives, including our hydration habits. The MyHydrate system is an example of this, created by Jerry Sweeny as a result of health issues that required him to keep to a hydration routine he was not used to. To this end, the product is made for people who may be trying to be healthier, but often end up forgetting one of the most important steps.
The Good, The Bad, and the Wet
As we get into the review, a little background of my purposes for this item, and what I’ve used in the past. I am an avid hiker and backpacker, often travelling with a partner. And as you may expect, given the cool spring weather it can sometimes be a bit hard to remember to hydrate when going through the local forests and trails. As a result of this, my hiking partner and I both carry a pair of Nalgene 1.5 L bottles and each a 2 liter hydration pack as well, and my partner often sets reminders on her phone to nudge us into drinking even when in conversation or enjoying the scenery. This should be all well and good, right? Well, yes, save for two things. First, often on the trail we turn our phones off to save battery life. No phone turned on means no alarm. Second, when we don’t, the alarm tones will go on, and continue to go on. One trip isn’t so bad. Even three isn’t terrible. But every trip, at regular intervals can lead a man to madness. I fear that if it wasn’t for the MyHydrate bottle, that ringtone would haunt me until my final breaths.
And that is part of where MyHydrate shines. Unlike phones which are by necessity multi-use and thus battery life is cherished as much as any other equipment could be, the MyHydrate is a rare example of a singular-purpose item that is still worth the weight. With a gentle, not annoying signal to drink, this bottle and cap pair can let you know that too much time has passed (about one hour) since your last drink. Then, during that one hour interval the LED’s can light up along the top to show how many ounces of water you’ve had in the past hour, up to 8 ounces. This is great for keeping a basic estimate of not only how much you have had, but how much you have left in the 26 ounce bottle (a little over 3/4ths of a liter).
In terms of bottle and cap construction and insulation, I have to say that the folks over at MyHydrate know what they are doing. My average hike, including commute time is about 6 hours if just for the day, and even towards the end of that the ice water that I had was still nice and cold. The construction of both pieces seemed remarkably sturdy, though I (luckily) didn’t have a fall or any such mishap test that out. The leaf-shaped lipped handle helped keep the bottle secured on the outside of the pack, which was not only great in terms of eliminating the risk of a tip over, but also made the bottle easy to handle and pull out when moving.
This does not mean however, that I believe this to be the perfect water bottle, primarily due to two complaints. The first of these is the use of a small lithium battery as the power cell for the Smart Disk (which should not be submerged or washed via dishwasher). I would have liked to see a rechargeable power cell option for a device, especially at this price. The price, of course, being the second major drawback to this product. Retailing for about $40 a bottle, it is about as expensive as the pair of Nalgenes my hiking partner and I use, as well as my own water bladder (which I did admittedly get on sale). While this is partially offset by the infusers, which in truth I only used once out of well over a dozen tries, I can’t see any truly good excuse for a price this high. Now, this doesn’t make it any less of a good bottle, which it is, but I would think that this could be prohibitively priced for many people looking to see what options are out there to stay hydrated, especially when cheaper (and albeit more annoying) options do exist.
Now, unlike most products I feel it appropriate to judge and thus give this product rankings based on two separate tiers. The first of which is the realistic, value based ranking. For this, I would rate the bottle a 6.5/10. It performs great, it feels great, and it does its job with no major issues, save the price. If this were on sale, say for $25 to $30, then it’s a more reasonable purchase for most people. Now, if you have the disposable income and a need for such a product, it jumps up to an 8.5/10, with the only complaints being the non-rechargeable status and a lacking of varieties in size. At the end of the day, if you want a smart water bottle, the MyHydrate is a great option.