I’ll be testing the HydraPak Stow 1L for the next few months. This is a new product from HydraPac, so new in fact that it has not made it onto the website. It looks to be a cross between the Seeker and the Ultraflask or Softflask lines. I did not receive any literature with the Stow but the mouth piece looks different than the ones I see on the website. It is basically a twist top. To drink, twist it counter clockwise until it pops up. The liquid can be gotten out by either sucking the mouthpiece or squeezing the bottle. Squeezing could be handy for irrigating a wound or if sharing the bottle.
The bottle is oblong shaped. It stands about 9 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 2 inches thick at the widest point. It is too big for most pant pockets but the shape should help it fit more easily in pack pockets than a round hard sided bottle. And by being flexible it will conform to the shape of the pocket better. It also means that when empty it will be collapsible. There is a plastic loop at the top that could serve to hang the bottle but will slide over the rolled up bottle to keep in in a small bundle.
HydraPac states that all their thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) bottles are 100% BPA and PVC free. Other symbols printed on the side of the bottle indicate it is leakproof, good for water to 140 F (60 C) and is top pack safe. In my opinion, top pack safe is just another way of saying leakproof.
December 15, 2012 Update
I have been using the HydraPak Stow 1L for overnight backpacking trips and while day hiking for exercise. It has worked well for both with one caveat. It is much harder to slide in and out of any pocket than a hard sided plastic bottle, whether it be a side pocket on a backpack, a water bottle pocket on my fanny pack or just a pocket on a vest or jacket. As a result, I mostly used it when stopping for a break while day hiking and carried another hard sided bottle to drink from while moving. I did the same when backpacking, only it was now placed on the ground beside my hammock where I could easily reach it during the night.
The HydraPak Stow 1L seems to be very well made. I would carry it inside my backpack during the day and it never leaked on any of my gear. It has a built in slosh guard but I never noticed it sloshing since it was full. I never really took advantage of the compactability of the water bottle other than it was always empty when I was returning home, but I could see where carrying this empty and filling with filtered water at the source would be handy. However, the lid is pretty small, so care would have to be taken unless filling with some type of hose that would sit slightly inside the mouth or rigging up some kind of gravity filtering system. I did not check every type lid, but a regular coke and smartwater cap did not fit, and neither did my Sawyer Mini water filter. This is not really a problem but it would be nice if it were compatible with a filter, and it may, just not one I’m familiar with. In HydraPac’s defense, they do make a 2 or 3L Seeker water bottle designed to work with the Katadyn BeFree filter. I recently bought the 3L version to use with my BeFree filter.
My thanks to HydraPak and 4alloutdoors.org for this testing opportunty.