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TripSavvy / Erika Owen
No musty water bottle smell after repeated use
Keeps water cool for 24 hours and liquid hot for 12 hours
The LARQ Water Bottle is a great option if you want to treat yourself to a sleek water bottle and your water quality leaves something to be desired.
We purchased the LARQ water bottle so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
There are a lot of smells that crowd my childhood memories, but one of the strongest may be the musty scent of my water bottle as I dove into it mid-basketball game. Say the words “musty water bottle smell” and just about anyone knows what you’re talking about. It’s not pleasant, but it’s unavoidable in most cases, no matter how often you wash your bottle.
On that note, I’ve spent more time than I can imagine shoving sponges into the bottom of water bottles, even as an adult (my partner is a cyclist with a solid collection of aesthetically pleasing water bottles designed by his friends). You can imagine my excitement when I was presented with an opportunity to test out a model that promises to keep the weird smells at bay through a regular UV light wash that cleans the bottle and purifies the water inside. I was excited the day my LARQ Water Bottle arrived, looking sleek in its box and high-tech with its charging cord (more on that later).
Ahead, you’ll find everything you would ever want to know about the LARQ bottle, from the ease of set-up to whether or not it actually holds out on its no-smell promise.
One thing to keep in mind is that this water bottle needs a bit of time to charge when you first take it out of the box. For what, you might wonder? The technology behind keeping the musty stench at bay is a series of UV light washes that happen inside of the bottle. The cap of the design doubles as a small light. If you take the cap off and flip it over, you’ll see the light lens.
There’s a small USB charging port in the cap—it’s so small, I would have completely overlooked it had I not been looking for it. At this point, I realized that the entire top part of the cap was a button. The button is surrounded with a thin, circular light that lets you know when the UV light is doing its job. To unlock the bottle for the first time, I held down the button on the top of the cap for five seconds, as the included instructions directed me to. Once the five seconds were up, a white light flashed and I was able to remove the cap.
The estimated battery life for this water bottle is impressive: according to the manual, one charge will last one to two months, depending on use.
From there, I removed the cap and set it up to charge with the included USB cable. All in all, the bottle charged in less than an hour. Once the bottle cap was charged, I filled up the bottle with water and screwed the cap on.
The whole point, for me at least, was to have a water bottle that never picked up that gross, musty water bottle scent. The LARQ bottle delivers. I used this water bottle every day for a month alongside a new plastic sports bottle, just to give it a fair comparison. I ended up washing the plastic water bottle once a week to keep the musty smell at bay as it crept in—I never washed the LARQ bottle over the course of a month.
The LARQ bottle is funny: you don’t actually see it working, so it does take extended use to really see the benefits. My best advice is to stick with it.
The bottle not only keeps water cold for an estimated 25 hours, but it also keeps liquid hot for up to 12 hours. While I wouldn’t necessarily bring this water bottle to the gym (and I didn’t), it is a great option for a workplace. The water bottle is a bit heavy to tote around to exercise machines and, honestly, a bit too pretty for the task.
This is a fancy water bottle when it comes to getting your daily intake of H2O. The biggest draw of the LARQ bottle is the in-bottle water purification system. You never see the water being purified, which is kind of amazing to think about.
The estimated battery life for this bottle is impressive: according to the manual, one charge will last one to two months, depending on use. I used this for a full three weeks and didn’t have to charge it more than once (the first time after receiving it).
Given that this water bottle is priced around $100 and it’s a bit too heavy to take hiking, this is an investment.
There are a couple of different modes for the LARQ bottle: Normal and Adventure. The Normal mode is meant to be used when you’re filling the bottle with water from a potable trusted source. To use this mode, I just had to hit the cap button once for a 60-second purification cycle. Adventure mode is to be used when you want an extra dose of UV light (the UV light will pulse for three minutes versus one minute). In addition to these two modes, there’s a self-cleaning mode that is automatically turned on. When this is on, the bottle will self-clean with a 10-second blast of UV light every two hours. You can turn off this self-cleaning mode by activating the travel lock. To do so, I held down the button cap for five seconds, like when I first unlocked the bottle.
The LARQ bottle is made of stainless steel covered with a powder coating that makes the bottle easier to grip. The bottle has a double-insulated wall that’s supposed to keep your water cool for a longer period of time. Spoiler: it works! I put water in this bottle one afternoon and took a sip the following morning—still cold.
The most confusing part of the bottle is the different colored lights that flash around the button cap. There are eight different settings: a “breathing” green light that signifies charging, a steady green light that means the charge is complete, a flashing green light that indicates a low battery, a red pulsing light that alerts something is wrong, a “breathing” sky blue light that illustrates the bottle is in normal mode, a pulsing blue light that indicates Adventure Mode, a steady orange light that means Safety Mode, and a pulsing orange light that signifies Safety Mode when the liquid in the bottle is too warm. Whew. In the three weeks I’ve used this water bottle, I’ve still preferred to reference the instruction manual versus memorizing the combinations.
The bottle itself is incredibly sleek—even the LARQ branding looks slick. I tested the Obsidian Black colorway and love how it constantly made my space look like an influencer ad on Instagram. There are plenty of other color options, as well: Monaco Blue, Seaside Mint, Granite White, and Himalayan Pink.
This bottle made me a firm believer that sometimes function should come before good looks. I would love to hike with this bottle, given how cold it keeps my water, but it’s awfully heavy. I don’t think it’s worth the extra space it would take in my pack.
LARQ is about as luxe as water bottles come.
I do find myself quite nervous about dropping the LARQ water bottle, as there is quite a bit of technology located in the cap of the design. I can’t help but feel that a big drop on a hard surface could mess with the UV light or the functionality of the button. With all of that in mind, you can’t pop this bottle in a washing machine for the same reasons. This is strictly a handwash situation, if you even need to. That’s the whole point of a self-cleaning bottle, after all. You can spot clean the exterior with a damp towel.
Given that this is a $95 water bottle and it’s a bit too heavy to take hiking or camping, this is an investment. It will never look bad on your desk, so it makes a great office option—and conversation starter, should your coworkers spot the flashing lights.
If you’re just worried about your water staying cold and a musty bottle smell won’t turn you off, look to other options.
If the price tag sends a chill up your spine, look to other brands like Swell or Yeti for less expensive options that still prioritize keeping your water cold. LARQ is about as luxe as water bottles come.
Even though I find myself more likely to keep up my water intake if I have a bottle I feel comfortable bringing around my office, dropping close to $100 on the LARQ Water Bottle is a stretch, although the water purification system is a cool trick, especially if you live in an area where the water sources are less than reliable.
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