VUP Baby - that stands for Very Useful Products, for whoever it was that asked me last time I mentioned them ! - recently sent us through a couple of their Thermos Intak Hydration Bottles to try out. As you can see, they come in three colours - pink, blue and black - which are just as appealing to adults as they are to children. They are made of plastic - or, as they say on the website, "BPA free, impact-resistant, dishwasher durable Eastman Tritan copolyester". Wow, that's a bit of a mourhful ! I've mentioned before that VUP Baby are very serious about the potential risks of exposing children to chemicals like BPA and, to prove the point, you can save 10% on the whole VUPbaby range until the end of April with the discount code BPAFREE.
Now, with hindsight, it's totally obvious but it took us ages to work out how to get the lids off ! There's a little metal clip which flips down to lock the lid and prevent spillages and leaks, even if the bottle ends up upside down. It obviously works because no amount of twisting, pulling and pushing buttons would open the lid, however hard we tried to get into them ! Once you've flipped up the metal clip (which is slightly stiff for little fingers to use by themselves), it's very simple to open with a quick push on the button. (The one on the front of the lid - there's one on the top of the lid too but we couldn't work out what that was supposed to do !)
There is also a flip up plastic loop on the lid which makes it easy to carry or, in our case, attach to the pushchair bag, because the only downside of such a generous amount of drink is that it's quite heavy. There is also a water meter that you can twist round on the lid to keep track of how much water you've been drinking, which the kids thought was fun and which could be handy if you're a serious sports enthusiast doing marathon training or long expeditions. For us, it didn't really have any use but I did like the measuring marks up the side of the bottle, so you could track how much water you'd drunk if you hadn't totally emptied it (although they could have done with being a bit easier to read).
The bottles are dishwasher safe and are said to be impact resistant, but as they're made of plastic, I would think they are less robust than the metal Sigg water bottles that we reviewed a while ago. The spout is very wide which makes it easier to drink from (or pour water out of, if you need to rinse your hands or a cut knee, for example) than the seemingly ubiquitous sports drinking spouts, but if a child is using it, be prepared for him to get soaked when too much water glugs out (as Pierre did several times). These are also available in a smaller 530ml size with a flip-up straw, which may be better for younger children.
One final thing - don't think that because it's a Thermos bottle, it has heat or cold retaining properties. It doesn't ! You could add a few ice cubes to your drink to keep it nicely chilled though.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £10.95
for more information : http://www.vupbaby.co.uk/content/thermos-intak-hydration-bottle-meter-710ml24oz
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