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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
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  ⋅  Mar 25, 2019
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64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use - 40% 6
  • Durability - 25% 6
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Taste - 15% 6

Our Verdict

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. These features make it 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.

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.

Performance Comparison


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

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. This style collapsible bottle takes up more space and weighs more. This design made it very easy to clean, since it breaks down into two halves easily. The silicone portion of the bottle attracted dirt, though, while the hard-sided part shed dirt much more easily.

Durability


In terms of durability, for a collapsible bottle, the Meta is our highest scoring model. Unlike the other Platypus collapsible bottles, the Meta is made of much more durable material. Combined with its fairly simple lid system, this was enough to give the Meta a high durability rating.

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.

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.

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!

Taste


The thermoplastic elastomer and BPA-Free hard plastic that makes up the Meta retains 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.

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.

Value


The Platypus Meta is a moderately high-priced bottle compared to the others in this review. For the most part, only glass and insulated bottles cost more.

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