Being mobile means different things than it used to — a phone is now the default — as less pocket space is available and more disdain to carry large backpacks or duffel bags when out and about. Going for a run is an example of this, because you don’t want to be weighed down with all kinds of stuff in your pockets and taking a hike or camping isn’t about loading yourself down with every modern convenience that’s portable. But we all can agree that bringing a water bottle makes sense — try arguing that when biking or running or just being active indoors or out — and being small isn’t a virtue. You need a water bottle to be large enough to carry some serious liquid for sure. So Open-2 put on their thinking caps, make that Bluetooth tech and came up with the idea that the water bottle should do more than just, ahem, be a water container. Hence the HYDRA SmartBottle came to be.
At a retail of $79.99 HYDRA had better do more than just hold 20 ounces of water in a 1 pound casing and come in an assortment of colors (black, blue, gray and red). So it does. Its basic purpose (conveying water) taken care of, it fulfills the next vital need of supplying music via a connection to a smartphone (iOS/Android). This is done in the usual fashion as regards pairing (so no need to go into it here) with the result being a loud 5 watts of sound which definitely is superior to playing the phone’s built-in speaker. Additionally it’s a lot safer not to have headphone’s plugged in when out and about (cycling comes to mind) due to the need to “hear” what is going on around you as the rest of the world isn’t out to play nice just because you’d like it to be that way. This means being able to use the bottle as a speakerphone as well — necessitating the inclusion of a microphone (yep, it’s there). And should you be at a loss for what to play, there’s old-school capability courtesy of an FM radio (remember radio?). You can pretty much count on reception and access to something that you’d enjoy hearing, most of the time anyway. And before it’s forgotten, yes the HYDRA fits into bicycle cages because it’s not made out to be non-conformist (that’s up to you).
But if HYDRA has its needle pointing towards providing services, shouldn’t that include safety and security too? With safety in mind, the entire bottle can start flashing red, not ’cause it’s angry but because that’s good to have when biking or traveling by foot near a road and such. If it can do that, then it should be able to go the white light route to turn into a sort of flashlight. No surprise, it does. And because retro means getting psychedelic, there has to be a setting for cycling through a rainbow of colors. So there is. As to security, consider why most will carry a battery backup: to avoid having the world come crashing down (i.e., one’s phone running out of power). Obviously the HYDRA has a rechargeable battery to take care of its own needs, but there’s also a 4000 mAH battery supply dedicated to battery backup service. So you can park your phone to this water bottle and, instead of it just getting wet, it gets a long drink of juice when it’s needed
And as a nod to extreme old-school, there’s even a small compartment hidden on the bottle’s body that can hold some loose junk for you. It’s no vault, but who’d expect there to be anything like that on a water bottle in the first place?
The HYDRA also offers a free app that can provide soothing “noise” and other types of environmental sounds for those who need to augment nature artificially. Okay, that was a bit snotty so let’s rephrase to say that if car horns, sirens and other urban sounds are your thing, you can add them to your sleep session. And thanks to a built-in straw and flip open mouth, the bottle won’t be leaking all over you or end up pouring the water it’s been holding up your nose. And for those waiting to hear the good news, it’s BPA-free, dishwasher safe and FDA approved.
On top of everything else, the HYDRA’s translucent frosted fluid chamber makes its visual “antics” cool to watch. So think of it as the Swiss Army knife of water bottles — geared up for the 21st Century. To horribly paraphrase Tolkien, this is the one water bottle to rule them all.