Single-use plastic water bottles should be a thing of the past. Choosing a good replacement can still be a bit of a challenge. Do you pick a simple bottle or do you go for a smart option? This time I tested the Larq self-cleaning water bottle.
A €95 is a tough price for a water bottle, so let me explain why this bottle is nothing short of amazing. The Larq water bottle is self-cleaning because of its UV-C LED light in the bottle cap. This UV light kills 99.9999% of bacteria in water. This is very useful when you are hiking, but even if you are in a place with good tap water, bacteria can be transferred into our bottles by simply drinking from it. If you forget to clean your bottle regularly, it will start to smell pretty bad.
The Larq bottle vs a regular drinking bottle
Let’s say you clean your bottle regularly. It is hard to fit your hand into your bottle, so needing to clean it often will make you less thorough. You will think it is clean, but is it? Okay, so the dishwasher then? Yes, that is a good option, but it will wear your bottle down quickly. Have you ever eaten pasta with tomato sauce and then dropped your bottle in with the same cycle as your plates? Did you enjoy the color that the sauce gave your bottle? Hard to believe your bottle comes out clean after a wash like that. A stainless steel bottle will be a better option in that regard.
The Larq bottle is made of vacuum-insulated stainless steel that will keep your drink cold for 24 hours and warm up to 12 hours. According to Larq it’s better not to put any of their products in the dishwasher, but simply rinsing the bottle after you use it with anything other than water is good enough. There is no groove or cape to fit your hand, but you can buy a sleeve to fix that problem. For me, it wasn’t an issue, but I like how the sleeve feels and because it has a little handle attached to it I tended to carry it around a bit more. Go hydration!
How the Larq bottle works
There is a water-resistant USB port on the cap of the bottle that makes you able to charge it. Once you charge simply fill the bottle with water. In the cap, there is a little UV LED light that kills bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms that can make you sick. Screw your cap on the bottle and push the button on top to start its cycle. The battery will last up to one month on one single charge.
The cap of the bottle has a ring light that tells you the status of the bottle. It will turn green to let you know it is charging. Push it once to kill bacteria the regular way and it will flash for one minute. If you are out and drinking from an unknown source, push it twice to activate adventure mode. It will clean your water for 5 minutes to get the best results. The light on the cap will shine blue to let you know it is cleaning. Take the cap off the bottle during cleaning, which will turn orange to indicate safety mode. This way you will not be able to hurt your eyes with the UV light.
To sum it all up. There are seven status indicators:
- Breathing green light: currently charging;
- Steady green light: fully charged;
- Breathing sky blue light: purifying and cleaning in Normal Mode;
- Pulsing blue light: purifying and cleaning in Adventure Mode;
- Pulsing orange light: Safety Mode (will flash when the cap is activated outside of the bottle);
- Steady yellow light: Low battery;
- Red/Purple light: Something is wrong; complete the Warrant Claims Form and a customer service rep will reach out.
There is also a traveling mode that deactivates the Self-Cleaning Mode. This comes in handy when you want to save battery life. To activate this you hold the button for 5 to 10 seconds until the light flashes white. To turn it back on, hold it for 5 seconds to make the light flash white again.
What’s in the box?
The box itself is nicely designed and next to the bottle itself, you will find a description of how the product works. Behind the bottle, you’ll find the micro USP type C charging cable. The sleeve is sold separately and comes in a little pouch. No plastic was used in the box, which you can expect because we are trying to avoid single-use plastic by buying this product in the first place.
Let me start with a little disclaimer: Larq did not send me this bottle to test it. I was curious enough to buy it myself but was a little skeptical about it at first. But after a couple of weeks of testing it, I’m really happy about it. I get that the price is a little steep, but I think it is worth it. Just the fact that my bottle is not stinking after using it makes it worth its money. I do believe that the water I drink from it is cleaner than in a non-smart bottle. And with a battery life of a month, having to charge it is not an issue for me. It is durable, it keeps my water nice and cold and the company is also working to help people who need clean water.