Gear Review -- KOR ONE Hydration Vessel

The Gear Junkie: KOR ONE Hydration Vessel
By STEPHEN REGENOLD

This is not a water bottle. The KOR ONE, a new water-toting container made for outdoors enthusiasts, exercisers, and everyday users, is indeed a “hydration vessel.”

At least that’s according to KOR Ideas Inc., the maker of these one-foot-tall elliptical flasks, which hold 25 fluid ounces of water and were purportedly designed with inspiration from “the organic beauty of blown glass.”

It costs $29.99 and is available at www.korwater.com or select retailers around the country.

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KOR ONE Hydration Vessel

What makes a KOR ONE bottle — yes, I will deign to call it such — so special? For starts, it is made of a material called Eastman Tritan, which is a clear and strong synthetic compound that has no bisphenol-A (BPA), a suspect chemical still prevalent in some water bottles.

KOR Ideas touts a partnership with a design firm in the creation of its hydration vessel. The bottle is nice to look at and easy to hold. There are several appreciable small touches, including a pop-top lid on a metal hinge, a large pour spout, and a rubber bottom to make it set smoothly on a hard surface.

Other design decisions are less pragmatic: The bottle includes a “mantra insert” area where you can pop a rubber guard and place a piece of paper face down with a picture or saying. Each time you open the lid for a drink the “mantra” is then visible to “inspire you, one sip at a time,” as the company puts it.

I used my KOR ONE bottle mainly in the everyday category, toting it in a backpack for short bike rides this fall or while walking in the woods near my home. It has little in the way of performance for outdoors activities, as the bottle is bulky and too tall considering its liquid capacity. You can’t open it easily with one hand and you can’t rack it on a bike. There is little insulation for winter use.

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The bottle’s “mantra insert area” comes into view when you pop the lid

But water stays fresh inside. It’s easy to drink from and has a clean, ergonomic design to grip and sip. The bottle, manufactured in Monterrey, Mexico, should last for years.

KOR Ideas’ namesake bottle is admittedly a bit kooky. At $30, many people will scoff at the price. But the company seems sincere in its mission: To inspire personal health and global sustainability through a new type of drinking vessel.

If KOR can convince people to reuse a bottle instead of throwing away disposables then I am a fan — paper mantra insert or not.

—Stephen Regenold writes a daily blog on outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

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