Just when I thought it was almost winter and time to pack away the picnic gear, I got the nicest surprise – a box on my front porch, containing some new goodies to review from Liquid Solutions.
The first item out of the box was a Sof-flex water bottle. This was fun. It holds 16 ounces, so it’s good for short hikes (Always my first thought with any item: Just how many days can I stay out on the trail with it?). But it has great urban application also – the neoprene sleeve has a hand-strap that holds snugly, and a tightly closed Velcro pocket to hold a key or Starbucks card, depending on your priorities. I did find, however, that it leaked around the cap if squeezed too tightly.
The neoprene sleeve kept my water cold for the full 45 minutes of my run. The bottle is BPA free, dishwasher safe, and the whole thing can be rolled up to stuff in a pocket. Awesome. The sleeve and bottles are sold separately. A two-pack of the bottles is $5.99 and the neoprene sleeve is $9.99.
Item number two: dinnerware made from bamboo and corn. Cool eco-friendly idea. This stuff will biodegrade within a year, according to the company statement. Downside is you can’t put it in either the dishwasher or the microwave. This would make it into my car camping box. It feels very sturdy and survived my “drop test.” Knowing the high “oops” factor my family has, I tested the bowl and cup on the concrete. Dropped 10 times each, there was no cracking, no splitting, no chipping, only very minor abrasions on the lips and bottom edges. It definitely passed the toughness test.
If you host outdoor gatherings, you might really love using this dinnerware. Downsides: the company states use only with cold foods. However, I put a piece of grilled chicken on it with no damage to the plate, and warm soup (not boiling) in the bowl with no problems. Don’t put anything steamy in the bowl; it will cause it to de-laminate. You CANNOT use a steak knife on it. It cuts right into the plate. However, it still gets points for heft, for good looks, and you get points for using something that’s good for the environment. It’s brand new and the price is not yet listed on the shopping page.
Item number three out of the box … oh my, can you say commuter love at first sight?! It’s called a brewing mug, and I am determined to take a backpacking trip JUST to take this along and be the coolest hiker out there. This double-walled mug keeps your tea hot and hands cool. But it’s not just any mug; it makes your brew with loose-leaf tea. I’m sure this is going to be a part of my daily commute all winter. Simply put loose tea in the little basket in the top of the mug, pour in hot water slowly until the basket is half-submerged, screw on the top and jump into the car. $17.99 And, it adds panache to the mug routine.