There’s quite possibly nothing that bothers me more than finding single-use plastic water bottles lying on the beach or at the trailhead. It’s especially troubling when those bottles still have 90% of the water remaining after whoever used it only took a sip or two. While I still love my HydroFlask, Nalgene, and Tree Tribe water bottles, I recently collaborated with a new company that makes a bottle that cleans itself! In the rest of this article, I’m going to tell you about the Larq self cleaning water bottle (which also filters water for drinking!).
Side note: Once you’re thoroughly convinced that you have to get your hands on a Larq self cleaning water bottle, take some time to see the other products I’ve reviewed on my Outdoor Gear page. Also, you might enjoy my Backpack Reviews if you’re interested in packs from brands like Kelty, REI, Gregory, Osprey, and more. I also have some great articles about my own adventures and general hiking info in my Tips and Trails section. Finally, my YouTube Channel is full of informative video content if you’re not really into reading! Just to be perfectly clear, I do receive a commission on purchases made through the affiliate links on this website. I use those earnings to purchase more products and free up time so that I can keep producing informative, useful content for you!
About The Larq Self Cleaning Water Bottle
The Larq bottle boasts a sleek and unassuming design. It fits easily on the side of a pack (even my older Lowe Alpine Pro packs that have very small and non-stretchy side pockets). Hidden inside the cap is a UV-C light that purifies water in just 60 seconds. This light neutralizes 99.9999% of all harmful and odor-causing germs when the bottle is set to Adventure Mode (you’ll find all the details of how to set the bottle appropriately in the owner’s manual).
On a single charge, the UV light will work for up to one month, which means you don’t have to worry about plugging it in every night. When the UV-C light is charged, it automatically activates every two hours to clean the inside of the bottle and neutralize any remaining germs or bacteria that are loitering on the interior walls of the bottle. In doing so, the bottle keeps you from catching gnarly protozoa and it also reduces the build-up of the germs that always make my other water bottles smell pretty questionable if I haven’t washed them in a few weeks (or months if I’m being real!).
In addition to being a self-cleaning, water-filtering beast, the Larq bottle is also double-insulated to keep your water ice-cold for up to 24 hours. This has already been a great feature for me on several backpacking and multi-day kayaking trips. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as still having ice cold water to drink after you’ve been hiking or paddling all day!
The Benefits of UV Purification
No Changes to Color and Taste
If you have experience using iodine tablets to purify water, you know how important this is. Iodine is a functional purification method, but it tends to turn the water an interesting shade of yellow. It also adds a taste that’s less than appetizing for many folks. Those that rely on water purification tablets often bring along some sort of additive to make their water taste better after it has been purified. While this is a functional option, it means carrying more weight and it takes longer to prepare your water before you can actually enjoy drinking it. With the Larq UV purifying water bottle, your water will be ready to drink in just 60 seconds and with no change to either color or taste.
Easy to Use
I grew up using pump-style water filters in my early backpacking years. While it was reasonably effective (only one of my buddies ever got Giardia when using that style of filter), it took a lot of time to purify the amount of water that we needed for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Thankfully, I’ve left those days far in the past with the advent of gravity-fed water filtration systems. However, the Larq bottle takes things one step further. Instead of standing in one place waiting for the trickle stream from your gravity filter to fill your entire bottle, simply fill the bottle from the closest source, put the cap on, press the button on top to activate the UV light, keep hiking for another minute, and then grab the bottle and quench your thirst!
It’s Highly Effective!
A couple of winters back, I attended a local lecture on Wilderness Medicine by Dr. Howard J. Donner, who is the co-author of The Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine and the medical advisor for Telluride’s Search and Rescue Team, among other notable career accomplishments. Anyway, Dr. Donner cited a study on water quality in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during his talk. Keep in mind that this was a study specific to a singular geographical region, but the findings suggested that the upper 12 inches of standing water in the lakes of the Sierras was actually cleaner than moving water in the streams, rivers, and creeks that run down from the mountains.
The reasoning that Dr. Donner gave for this finding was two-fold. First off, our sediment is largely granitic here in the Sierras, which means it settles to the bottom of lakes much faster than lighter sediments. Additionally, larger bacteria and protozoa, such as Giardia and cryptosporidium, also tend to settle to deeper reaches when water is not moving in a lake. So, reason #1 for the study’s findings is that there are less large, harmful bacteria and protozoa hanging out on the water’s surface in a lake as compared to a moving stream or creek.
Reason #2 for the study’s findings has everything to do with sunlight, which is essentially the same type of light (ultraviolet) used by the Larq water bottle in its purification efforts. In addition to the upper reaches of lakes having fewer bacteria in general, they are also being naturally purified by sunlight throughout the course of the many sunny days we have in this region. Through findings like these, we can see the effectiveness of UV water purification in action, even when that purification requires absolutely ZERO human effort!
Get Your Larq Bottle Today!
The Larq water bottle is currently available in just one size (17-ounce volume) and pricing starts at $95. While that might seem steep, keep in mind that a similarly-sized HydroFlask will run you $30, and then you’ll have to purchase another solution for purifying your water. The base model Steripen (which is a UV water purifier) starts at $72 on Amazon and also requires batteries to be functional (I made the mistake of forgetting batteries when I purchased my first Steripen). Just to do the quick math for you, that’s an initial cost of $102 for HydroFlask and Steripen before you factor in the ongoing cost of batteries (no, the Steripen is not rechargeable). So, when you look at it from the standpoint of getting a water filtration system and double-insulated water bottle all-in-one, the pricing on the Larq bottle is actually quite competitive.
The Larq bottle is available in a variety of colors. Check them all out in the gallery below!
You can also personalize your Larq bottle so that there’s not another one like it anywhere! This option allows you to allow a message (up to 10 characters in length) to be printed on the side of the bottle so that everyone knows it’s yours and you don’t get it confused with your friend’s bottles! Personalizing your Larq bottle raises the overall price by $15.
Try It On a ‘Larq’!!
When you buy a Larq self cleaning water bottle, you’re essentially getting a 2-for-1 deal (which I love!). You’ll have a new water bottle and new water filter when it arrives and you’ll be able to fill up at trusted streams, rivers, and lakes without stopping to pump or use a gravity-fed filter. If you’re interested in learning more about the Larq bottle, check them out at livelarq.com!
About The Backpack Guide
As The Backpack Guide, I’m on a mission to explore the wilderness, create learning opportunities, and connect with nature. These are the objectives that underline all the content I create on this site. I want to inspire others to recreate in their respective wildernesses and to do so in the safest, most enjoyable manner possible. I’m also very interested in the experiences of others in the wild and I want to create a community of people that share those experiences and the lessons they’ve learned as a result.
If my mission resonates with you, you think we may have an awesome opportunity to collaborate, or you simply want to connect, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out to me directly (email below), or share your adventure by tagging @thebackpackguide on Instagram, which is where I’m most active. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”
– Edward Abbey
The Backpack Guide