We all want to help save the planet, right? Do our little bit to reduce our footprint?
One thing about our ‘use and dispose’ culture that really gets me going is plastic water bottles. For one, I absolutely hate paying for bottled water. In New Zealand, water from the tap is perfectly safe to drink, so why pay $3 or more for a small bottle when it’s free from the tap*?
*Almost free – we do pay for water in cities like Auckland but the cost is so minimal compared to buying the same volume in bottled water.
Admittedly, many parts of the world aren’t as lucky as we are here in New Zealand. There is no way you’d want to drink the tap water in many parts of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Check out this excellent infographic on countries with safe and unsafe drinking water.
We used to find it almost impossible to avoid buying bottled water when travelling in places like Southeast Asia. The convenience combined with the uncertainty of drinking tap water made it the obvious option to buy bottled water wherever we went, often multiple bottles a day. That was until I stumbled across Alex in Wanderland’s post about water bottles that filter all the bad bugs out of tap water – I was intrigued.
Seeing as Alex spends much of her time living in Thailand, I trusted her advice about drinking the tap water there with the help of Clearly Filtered water bottles.
Introducing filter water bottles
These bottles have a filter that you suck the water through, and it gets rid of heavy metals, bacteria, viruses and parasites that are present in unsafe drinking water.
It was a bit weird at first getting used to the quite strong sucking motion you have to do to get water through the filter, but after a while it became second nature.
Having a filter on the bottle means that you can’t add powders like protein mix or juice flavouring to the water, but that’s a minor downside for me.
Can you see Shaun’s Clearly Filtered bottle sticking out of his pack while feeding the local wildlife on our Hang En cave hike?
One of the oddest things was actually knowing that we were drinking tap water! In a country like Vietnam, in fact in most if not all developing countries, as a traveller I’d never drink tap water. Who wants to risk getting a water-borne disease like dysentery or giardia? Not me, thanks.
Filter water bottles save you money!
As well as saving numerous plastic bottles per trip going to landfill (unfortunately many developing countries have very limited recycling facilities), having a filter bottle actually saves a heck of a lot of money. The Clearly Filtered bottles are around $50 USD, depending on the model.
The $24.99 filters that we were using in the Athlete Edition bottle last for about 360L (100 gallons). If you assume that each water bottle you’re buying in a place like Vietnam is $1 for half a litre, to buy the same amount of water that the filters would use, well, you’re looking at spending $720 on bottled water.
I know which option I choose.
Great for hiking
Here we were, drinking tap water in Vietnam. And on our hike to Hang En cave, we filled up our bottles in the river. And did we get sick? Nope. We carried those bottles around the different places we visited, filled them up in our hotels, restaurants, and even in the very basic kitchen of our homestay on our Sapa hike (pictured below).
I’ll never travel without my Clearly Filtered bottle again!
They’ll also be great for hiking here in New Zealand. It’s recommended to boil or treat water taken from streams due to fears of waterborne diseases like giardia. It will be nice to be able to fill up our bottles whenever we need to, which means we won’t have to carry as much water with us.
We’re looking forward to doing more hiking this summer and our Clearly Filtered water bottles will be coming along with us!
Have you ever used filter bottles when travelling? What did you think of them?
Thanks to Clearly Filtered for sending us bottles for this review. This post contains affiliate links which, at no cost to you, earn us a small commission that helps to keep this site up and running. As always, you’ll receive our honest opinion regardless of who is footing the bill!