Carrying water when traveling is extremely important, especially when visiting places with high temperatures, humidity, or elevation. Though carrying a water bottle can be a pain, especially when your pack is completely full. In fact, I’m constantly searching for the best water bottle for travel situations where space is a limiting factor.

As some of you know, I’m a big fan of S’well stainless steel water bottles, and have used them on many trips. The bottles are insulated so your water temperature is preserved. This is especially useful when visiting places with extreme temperatures, like our trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

However, I sometimes struggle with carrying a traditional water bottle. Sometimes it’s easier to just buy bottled water, especially when traveling in places without safe drinking water. Though I also hate buying water unnecessarily. The thought of generating more plastic waste doesn’t sit well with me.

A different kind of water bottle

Soft water bottle with cream backdrop

We had heard great things about Platypus SoftBottles. We decided to reach out to see if they were willing to send over a few bottles for us to test out. As with every product we review, we promise to only ever share our honest opinions. We are never influenced or pressured to review something a certain way, even if it’s given to us for free.

With that aside, we are incredibly grateful to Platypus for generously sending over the bottles to test out. Platypus is a company based in the US with a mission of offering taste-free and adventure-ready hydration products to their customers. They’ve been around for over 20 years, and offer innovative products that are geared for both everyday activities and extreme adventures.

Platypus soft water bottle with flower backdrop

I love the fact that they are committed to creating sustainable, practical and reusable products. Also, based on the reviews online, it looks like the bottles seem to last and are able to endure the wear and tear of travel and outdoor activities.

Platypus SoftBottle features

Soft Water Bottle with blue mountain design

Here are some key features and highlights of the Platypus SoftBottles:

1. Lightweight and easy to pack:

We’ve taken the bottles on a couple of recent trips and found them to be extremely travel-friendly. When empty, the bottles can be rolled up or flattened out to fit easily into carry-on luggage. They are compact and save a lot of space compared to harder plastic or stainless steel bottles.

2. Taste-free:

I have to admit, I was skeptical of the “taste-free” claim by Platypus. I’ve tried several plastic soft water bottles in the past and they usually have a weird plastic aftertaste.

Though I can confidently say that I’ve been really impressed with the Platypus SoftBottle. I’ve only used them for water, but there is definitely no plastic flavor or taste in the water.

The soft bottles are designed to be BPA, BPS, and phthalate-free, which means there is no taste interference.

3. Simple packaging and efficient design:

I like the simple packaging of the bottles. Their branding is noticeable but discreet, and the design of the bottles make them very easy to hold once filled. They also sit upright without support and fit easily into cup holders and pockets.

4. Environmentally friendly:

One of my main gripes with plastic water bottles is the amount of waste they cause. I usually opt for the reusable option wherever possible. Whether you opt for a Platypus SoftBottle, or a different type of reusable bottle, it’s definitely always more environmentally friendly than bottled water that you buy from the store.

5. Easy to clean:

The bottles are easy to clean and can be rinsed out between uses. The cleaning doesn’t require any specific cleaning products, which makes it easy when traveling.

Platypus recommends using hot, soapy water, and rinsing thoroughly. If you need a deeper cleaning, they recommend rinsing with baking soda and lemon juice to disinfect the bottle. You can check their website for more detailed instructions.

6. Varying size options and colors:

The SoftBottles come in two sizes, 0.5 liter and one-liter, as well as various designs and colors.

The smaller option is best for a daily commute or shorter trip, while the larger one-liter option is great for long plane rides or hiking trips. You’ll just need to plan accordingly based on the type of activity you’re doing. Platypus also offers hydration systems that are suited for more hard-core adventure activities. These systems integrate into bags with water reservoirs.

7. Customizable caps:

The bottles are easily customizable with the option of a “closure” or “push-pull” cap. We tried both and found the push-pull cap to be better for when you’re on the go. However, it definitely comes down to personal preference.

We recommend that if you decide to go for a couple of different sizes, pick different caps for each design as these can be used on either size bottle. This way you’ll have the option of mixing and matching depending on your travel needs.

Drawbacks of the Platypus SoftBottle

In my testing, there really only two drawbacks to this sort of bottle. One is that they are not as durable as a metal or thick plastic bottle. Secondly, they lack insulation, so they won’t keep your water cold for very long. However, the lack of insulation allows it to be more compact and flexible. In fact, it makes sense for a lot of folks that might prefer portability over insulation.

Best water bottle for travel?

Two Platypus soft water bottles in packaging

The Platypus SoftBottle is a better solution for me when traveling abroad since I’m usually struggling with space. I like to carry it in my carry-on bag or daypack and fill it up at a water station after I passed through the security checkpoint. That way, I’m avoiding having to pay the crazy prices for bottled water in the airport!

I still use my S’well stainless steel water bottle for many things. It’s my daily water bottle and I use it for outdoor activities and road trips. It really depends on what I’m doing and where I’m going. Having both types of water bottles is great so you can adjust based on your needs.

The SoftBottles cost under $10 and are available through Platypus, Amazon, and other outdoors stores like REI. At that price, they are definitely worth having around, especially if you’re like me and looking for ways to lighten your load when traveling.

Lastly, Platypus sent us an extra set of bottles, so we’re going to include them in another summer giveaway soon along with some other travel items. Stayed tuned for the details in the coming weeks.

Have you tried to the Platypus SoftBottle, or do you have any questions? Please let us know in the comment section below.

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