Gadling Gear Review: Bamboo Bottle Company Water Bottle

I’m always losing water bottles. I’m grateful that they’re swag at so many events, because I’m continually leaving them behind somewhere — on airplanes, in hotel rooms, in the back seat of the rental car. Carrying a water bottle is The Right Thing to Do, not just because throwing away plastic bottle after plastic water bottle is bad. It’s the right thing to do because you’re on the move, man, you need to stay hydrated, and if you have a water bottle, you’ll do a better job of that. So, yeah, a water bottle, you should have one.

I’m partial to stainless screw top water bottles, they fit in the site pockets on my day pack and if I’ve remembered to grab a carabiner, they clip in to place. I know lots of folks who like the non-BPA wide mouth plastic bottles too, they’re easy to deal with and you can keep more than water in them — I’ve used them to stow the cables for all my electronic stuff, for example.

Both of those options are lightweight, good for when you have to haul your stuff around, which I do, often. I mention this right away because the bottle I got from the Bamboo Water Bottle Company is heavy. It looks cool. It’s well designed. It’s made out of snappy materials. It’s heavy. And that’s before there’s water in it.

The bottle pretty, it’s really pretty. It’s got a blond bamboo sleeve that protects the glass bottle inside from breaking. The sleeve also provides some insulation. The lid has a built in straw so it’s easy to drink from while you’re driving or riding your bike. There’s a version with a flip top — it snaps shut so your drink won’t spill when you knock it over. The bottle comes apart so you can wash it; you can put everything but the bamboo sleeve in the dishwasher.

Here’s the truth: I’m probably not going to use it much for travel. When the weather improves around here, it will be great for drinking ice tea out of while I swing in the hammock in the backyard. If I’m packing a picnic, I can see filling it with gin and tonic for one, or some other summer cocktail. It’s a nice bottle for leaving on your desk at work, a good water bottle really does go a long way towards helping you ease up on the office coffee.

But given my tendencies to leave a trail of water bottles across the planet? There’s no easy way for me to clip it to my bag. And the weight alone is enough to make me reconsider packing it. I like this thing, it’s an attractive piece of gear. I’m just not convinced it’s something I need for travel.

Gadlinks for Friday 7.24.09

Happy Friday, Gadling! There are all kinds of great travel reads (and a contest!) out there on the world wide web today. Here are a few…

‘Til Monday, have a great weekend!

More Gadlinks HERE.

Year of the Rat: Bring some luck into your life

With the Year of the Rat starting today, it’s not too late to attract good luck in order to make 2008 the best ever. Here are three ways. The first two I have tried.

Get a miniature orange tree– When we lived in Singapore we bought an orange tree every year right before Chinese New Year. The experience reminded me a bit like buying a live Christmas tree. Vendors selling these trees popped up all over the city. Size, cost and amount of oranges all figured into our decision making regarding which to buy–even the style of the pot was part of the package.

We set our tree out on the patio of our apartment and managed not to kill it for awhile. I can’t remember if we had any more good luck than normal, but I loved having such a bright, cheerful plant thanks to the oranges that were not much bigger than a golf ball.

Buy bamboo–Unlike our orange tree that didn’t last a year, (it was us, not the tree), bamboo plants will last awhile if you remember to change the water. In Taiwan, we bought bamboo just in case one of these plants would bring us good luck. I can’t say if any of them did, but I loved browsing the choices before making a purchase. The most expensive ones are grown into shapes. Like Christmas trees and orange trees, the size figures into the price as well.

Put away your scissors–Bringing good luck into your house can also be as simple as putting away sharp scissors and knives. If they are out, you can “cut” your luck.

For more Chinese New Year tidbits about how to improve your fortune, check out this link to the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco.

Gallery: Asia’s Crazy Bamboo Scaffolding

One thing that surprised me on my trip to India was that bamboo was still commonly used for scaffolding. I was blown away by the gigantic structures I saw being built — skyscrapers, statues, modern office buildings — that were covered in a bamboo skeleton, rather than the metal I was used to seeing in the United States. But no matter how unsettling it may be to look at, bamboo is used for a reason: it’s strong, extremely lightweight, and very flexible (as you’ll see in the photos). Check out this gallery of crazy bamboo scaffolding across Asia — I hope you’re not afraid of heights!

At the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

Would you climb up this thing? I sure wouldn’t.

The Sri Ekambaranathar temple in southern India.

Another shot of the same temple. Wow!

Look, it’s a monkey!

Bamboo mixed with heavy metal machinery in Hong Kong.

Bad photo, crazy bamboo!

A human cement ladder.

India once again.


Hong Kong.