Hydration Review: Platypus plusBottle Collapsible Water Bottle For Ski Touring

Posted by on March 17, 2014

Platypus plusBottle Collapsible Water Bottle

I bought the Platypus plusBottle about a year ago for backcountry skiing. It’s a soft, completely collapsible 1-liter (34 ounces) water bottle with a push/pull cap that I carry inside the pocket of a light softshell jacket.

I started ski touring a few years ago to get more untracked powder, keep up my cardio in the winter, and access better photo locations. I quickly discovered that staying hydrated while skiing in the backcountry isn’t as straightforward as it is when you’re hiking or biking. The first thing I learned was hydration packs and bladders don’t work well because bite valves and hoses freeze. So I switched to carrying a water bottle on a carabiner attached to the waist belt on my pack. That’s a tried and true method and it worked pretty well for me. The problem I had there was the bottle swinging and bumping against my leg quickly gets annoying.

One day when I was in REI, browsing the water bottle section, the Platypus plusBottle caught my eye. My first thought was, since it’s soft, it wouldn’t be as annoying as a metal water bottle banging against my leg while I’m on the skin track. I also wondered if I might be able to carry it in a jacket pocket instead of hanging on a carabiner. Carrying the bottle inside a jacket seemed like it would be more comfortable and also keeping the water from freezing when it’s really cold. The plusBottle wasn’t very expensive and seemed like a reasonable gamble so I went ahead and bought it.

Turns out my hunch was right. At first I carried the Platypus plusBottle on a carabiner, just as I would a normal metal water bottle. And as I’d hoped, the soft plastic was more comfortable and didn’t bounce as much against my leg. Since it’s collapsible, the plusBottle is also easier to put in the pack when I descend. You can even pour out all the water and completely flatten it, if you want. That also makes it a great air-travel water bottle. Just carry it through security flat and empty, then fill it up at a water fountain once you reach your terminal.

Platypus plusBottle Water Bottle In Jacket Pocket

When I first bought the Platypus plusBottle, I didn’t have any pockets I could carry it in when I was hiking. So I hung it on a carabiner, just as I’d been doing with a regular bottle. However, last summer I bought a lightweight, wind-resistant jacket specifically with the skin track in mind. I wanted something that could work as either a base layer or a mid-layer when I’m hiking, depending on the conditions. With the Platypus plusBottle in mind, I chose a jacket with large inside pockets that could accommodate the bottle. Due to an injury I haven’t been able to do any substantial ski tours this winter. However, I have done a few short tours up the Summer Road at Alta with the bottle in my jacket and it’s worked great. It makes me look like I have some extra girth. But it’s perfectly comfortable, easy to get to, and my body heat and the jacket help keep the water from freezing. I think this is going to be my go-to method of carrying water on ski tours from here on out. If you’re looking for a different way to carry accessible drinking water when you’re ski touring or hiking, I recommend you give the Platypus plusBottle a try.

I don’t remember what I paid for my Platypus plusBottle, but they’re selling online for under US $20. There are other collapsible water bottle alternatives, too. However, I would be careful about the other options because some are very soft, which makes them easier to squeeze and spill. The plusBottle is made of thicker plastic that offers just enough structure to keep the bottle from spewing water all over the place when you remove the cap.

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