The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Platypus Meta Review

This is a three-part bottle that combines soft thermoplastic elastomer with a traditional hard-sided plastic bottle.
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Price:  $22 List | $13.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, clever design, easy to clean, fool-proof lid
Cons:  Not useful as collapsible bottle, slightly contrived design
Manufacturer:   Platypus
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 8, 2018
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 21
  • Ease of Use - 35% 8
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 6
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Taste - 10% 8

The Skinny

The Platypus Meta is a novel water bottle that is Platypus's version of a silicone-like, squishy water bottle. It holds its shape but can squish down like a throw-away plastic bottle, except for the upper 1/3 of the bottle which is hard-sided. This combination makes for a unique bottle. We liked it because it is lightweight, but we found that it was not very functional as a collapsible bottle. Its best features are its weight, its simple lid, and large volume.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This lightweight bottle is easy to use, fairly durable, and easy to clean, making it an exciting addition to the endless search for the perfect collapsible water bottle.

Testing the Meta bottle on a stormy day in Castle Valley.
Testing the Meta bottle on a stormy day in Castle Valley.

Performance Comparison


Ease of Use


The Meta bottle is nearly as simple to use as a classic Nalgene Wide-Mouth, with a few funky additions. We loved some of these differences, like the lid, which requires only one full 360 twist to close entirely. This is different than most screw-top bottles that require a few turns to ensure the lid is tight. The bottle is strange in that it is partially collapsible and partially hard-sided. In this way, it is like a combination of the Nomader Collapsible and a hard-sided bottle like the Camelbak Eddy. This means it has another screw closure, which makes it easy to clean, but also provides another place for it to leak or break.

Durability


In terms of durability, for a collapsible bottle, the Meta is our highest scoring model. Unlike the other Platypus collapsible bottles, like the new DuoLock or the classic SoftBottle, the Meta is made of much more durable material. Combined with its fairly simple lid system, this was enough to give the Meta a durability rating that compared to some of the toughest competitors, like the Kleen Kanteen Insulated and the CamelBak Eddy.

The Meta bottle lies in the middle of the photo; it's difficult to tell from this picture  but the bottle is collapsible.
The Meta bottle lies in the middle of the photo; it's difficult to tell from this picture, but the bottle is collapsible.

Ease of Cleaning


We gave the CamelBak Meta a fairly high score in this metric because it seemed like the design was well thought out from a cleaning perspective. The removable hard-sided upper portion of the bottle makes it really easy to access and clean the inside of the soft, thermoplastic elastomer body of the bottle. Though similar in feel, thermoplastic elastomer is slightly less sticky than silicone by nature, so the Meta attracted less dirt than the silicone Nomader Collapsible, especially since it has hard sides on the mouth and lid. We also found it much easier to clean than other Platypus models, like the SoftBottle models that are just plain tricky to clean.

The Meta bottle was great for climbs and hikes because of its light size. The clip loop was trusted  but we probably wouldn't continue to use it as an attachment point!
The Meta bottle was great for climbs and hikes because of its light size. The clip loop was trusted, but we probably wouldn't continue to use it as an attachment point!

Weight


It's hard to beat any bottle made by Platypus in the weight metric. These bottles are designed to be light, portable, and collapsible. We enjoyed taking the Meta out climbing because it felt as light as the plastic Gatorade bottles we typically use for a day on the rock. This bottle is slightly heavier than the Nomader, but well worth it when ease of cleaning and durability come into play. Comparable bottles in respect to weight are the Nalgene Wide-Mouth and the CamelBak Eddy.

Taste


The thermoplastic elastomer and BPA-Free hard plastic that make up the Meta do retain a bit of flavor, like most plastic bottles seem to, but not as much as the other Platypus products in this review. Because it is easy to clean, the Meta does not store tastes in its corners, like the SoftBottle. The square shape of that bottle makes it really difficult to clean. The Meta, however, does hold some flavor, but not as much as the other soft bottle, the Nomader.

Somewhat strangely  the Meta bottle breaks down into two pieces. We figured this was for cleaning purposes.
Somewhat strangely, the Meta bottle breaks down into two pieces. We figured this was for cleaning purposes.

Best Applications


This is a great bottle to take on day hikes, trips to the crag, or anywhere where you might be carrying a heavy pack and are concerned about weight. This bottle is versatile, easy to clean, and easy to use. It's a little strange since it sort of has two lids, but besides this, the Meta is simple, lightweight and scored highly in almost all of our metric ratings.

Value


Sold online for $22, the Platypus Meta is a moderately priced bottle compared to the others in this review. Many bottles of this capacity (just under a liter) can be found for between $20 and $30. The Camelbak Eddy is one of the cheaper options, costing only $16. On the other end of the spectrum, the Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated is $31 and has a similar capacity to the Meta bottle. Compared to other collapsible bottles, the Meta is more expensive than the entirely soft sided SoftBottle and DuoLock but is significantly more durable than these options. Overall, we felt that the Meta bottle was a bottle of good value.

One aspect of the Meta bottle we liked was its lid  which required only a single 360 degree turn to securely close.
One aspect of the Meta bottle we liked was its lid, which required only a single 360 degree turn to securely close.

Conclusion


At first, we were skeptical of this bottle because of its combination of plastics, but after some time using it on hikes and climbs, it became clear that the Platypus Meta is a great lightweight bottle. We liked its one-turn lid, its soft sides that collapse enough to save some room in your pack when the bottle is empty, and its removable upper portion that makes cleaning easy. This bottle is novel and new, which is surprisingly hard to pull off in the world of water bottles!


Jane Jackson