That’s why I much prefer a collapsible bottle like the Platy Bottle from Platypus (one of the Cascade Design brands). I’ve been using mine for years and I have yet to find a more convenient, durable, multi-faceted solution for staying hydrated while traveling.
The Platy is tough. I’ve gone through a few of them over the years. And while early models would eventually (over a few years of hard use) start to delaminate along creases and stress points, Platypus tells me that they have solved that problem now. And I certainly have yet to see any delaminating thus far on my current bottle.
The Platy is convenient. My favorite feature of this bottle is its ability to collapse and fold nearly flat. This makes it infinitely easier to travel with than a traditional hard bottle, because it’s simply more space-effective to have a flattened Platy bottle rolled up in your carry-on bag and or in a seatback pocket than a traditional bottle.
And it’s about 80% less weight than a traditional bottle of similar volume. That weight savings adds up when you’re running through JFK or Charles De Galle airport on a four-flight itinerary.
Even when they are full, they have a thinner profile and much more flexibility than a traditional bottle. This is huge when traveling in a cramped aircraft seat, especially if you are taller, as the Platy takes up far less room than a hard bottle in the seatback pocket, allowing you that much more legroom as you attempt to stay hydrated on those dry, cramped long haul flights.
The Platy is multi-faceted. Sure, it carries water like a champ, but you can press it into service for carrying all sorts of liquids.
Once, when making a multi-day, multi-leg, multi-modal exodus out of the UK due to an exploding volcano in Iceland, I filled my Platy with wine and shared it around during a 15-hour bus ride from Paris to Barcelona (luckily I also brought some extra cups, and thus became quite popular), although now Platypus even has a version expressly for wine in the PlatyPreserve.
The plastic is engineered to be taste-free, so my next Platy of water didn’t taste even a smidge like the French merlot from the bus ride. Better still, it’s 100% BPA free.
It will even hold hot water for trips to colder climates, or for use as a hot water bottle (and would be far more comfortable keeping this in your sleeping bag than a hard bottle). And, in a pinch, it can even be used as a makeshift pillow, and even a soft lumbar support (Yes, I’ve done both).
Bottom line is that with its flexibility, durability, small profile, and lightweight, the Platy Bottle is a great addition to the knapsack, carry-on, purse, or even cargo pocket of any adventure traveler.