When I was at Outdoor Retailer last week, one of the things that made a big impression on me was the Bamboo Bottle. Now ordinarily, I don't think twice about water bottles. If you ask me, the whole water bottle craze is just a way for a new set of corporations to make money off one of our most basic, valuable resources. Suffice it to say, it takes a lot for me to waste even two minutes looking at a water bottle design--especially at a show where there must be about 50 to 100 of them.
But the Bamboo Bottle made me double-take. A water bottle made out of wood has a way of doing that. At first, I dismissed the bottle as eco-exploition of the worst kind. The combined power of a water bottle and sustainable bamboo made this look like the poster product for well-meaning, undiscerning eco-converts with too much disposable income.
What I found, however, is that the bottle features an interesting design, and could actually be a functional alternative. The bamboo on the outside is but a shell used to hold a glass water bottle--you know, the kind of glass water bottle that you'd love to be drinking out of if it wasn't so prone to sending shards of razor-sharp glass in all directions when dropped. The bamboo exterior protects the glass from breaking, insulates the liquid inside and adds a pretty sleek, green look at the same time. I even tried dropping it on the hardwood floor, and it was clear that it wasn't close to breaking. Meanwhile, the glass provides a cleaner taste than plastic or metal and allows for both hot and cold beverages. It's a pretty versatile piece of drinkery.
Most people will probably be wondering how the hell you clean a bamboo-glass hybrid. Well, it's as simple as unscrewing the top and bottom and pulling the glass clean out of the bamboo. You can pop the glass in the dishwasher or run a brush through it and be ready to go the next morning.
With such tree-hugging feel-goodery surrounding this bottle, I was expecting an exhorbitant retail price, but it's actually pretty tame. The Bamboo Bottle will cost $25 when orders go live "soon." A little more than the average plastic or metal bottle, but since it can double as a mug for hot liquids, it's not too bad.
After a brief hands-on, my only complaint with the Bamboo Bottle is that the glass bottle/bamboo shell make it pretty heavy. Predictably, the company lists height, width and volume, but no weight. It certainly wouldn't be my first choice for running or walking, but for general use, it'd work just fine.