Hydration is both incredibly simple and obscenely complex. Proper hydration allows your body to do its bodily chores—but we now know what your body needs extends beyond the eight glasses of water per day we were told was enough as kids. We also know the importance of electrolytes has been largely downplayed for decades, and that dehydration is more common than you think.
Where to start? The most basic reason you’re dehydrated is insufficient water consumption. Unsurprisingly, there are “smart” instruments like HidrateSpark’s Pro water bottle built to help. What’s that you say? Who needs a smart water bottle? Well, we weren’t sure either, so we sent one to members of the Hone Health Community to review and find out.
This story is a part of The Edge’s Community Review Project, where we send new and interesting gear to men in the Hone Health Community to review. If you’re interested in participating, join the community and email this story’s editor, Will Price with the subject line “Community Testing.”
What Is the HidrateSpark Water Bottle?
We’re glad you asked. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled water bottle that connects to an app on your phone and records how much water you drink throughout the day. If you start to lag behind during the day, the app will illuminate the base of the bottle to let you know. There are other “smart” features like the ability to find the bottle should you leave it somewhere, and a handful of social features aimed at people who might want to challenge their friends to hydration-based duels.
The primary selling point, though, is the “you need to drink more water” light. You can buy HidrateSpark bottles starting at $15, but we opted to review one of the company’s more popular higher-end models.
Hydrate Like an Adult
What’s Good About HidrateSpark Water Bottles?
You WILL drink more water
I say this with all due respect, but the only way HidrateSpark’s smart water bottles don’t work is if you’re a hardheaded imbecile. The thing literally glows red (or whatever color you choose on the app) when you need to get to drinking.
If you know you’re not drinking enough water, the reason likely has more to do with forgetfulness or distractions than it does with some weird distaste for water, and according to our testing team, the glowing puck at the base of the bottle isn’t exactly subtle. In fact, one tester said they turned the light-up base off altogether and simply followed the app to make sure they were getting their H2O for the day.
Whoever made the decision for the bottle to light up deserves a raise. Imagine if, instead of the immediately obvious light-up base, you got a notification on your phone. Not only does that route sound like the one other companies might have taken, but it also sounds like it’d suck ass. Push notifications are easier to miss (or ignore) and add to your time spent staring deep into the abyss of the smartphone.
At the end of the day, most of our testers echoed the words of tester James E.:
“I liked that I was able to track my water intake pretty effortlessly.”
You should expect an $80 water bottle—even one imbued with the magical powers of Bluetooth—to feel premium, so in one sense this is a meeting of an expectation. Regardless, the material quality of the HidrateSpark Pro is there.
Numerous testers wrote to us positively about the insulation. Others liked the design of the lip, which allows just enough water flow without flushing fluid down the wrong pipe. Others still noted that the bottle just “feels” high-end, which isn’t a quality we should overlook.
“Find My Bottle” feature
Everyone has lost a water bottle. Whether at the gym, your desk, your car, or somewhere else you’re sure you remember setting it down, it’s nice to have a way to find it when it gets away.
I’d suggest location-tracking features are the most consistently helpful (and occasionally alarming) features for most smart devices, no matter if we’re talking about AirPods or, apparently, water bottles. The HidrateSpark’s “Find My” function works the same as all the others you’ve used, and it does indeed work.
Muscle Recovery, Optimized
What’s Not Good About HidrateSpark Water Bottles?
Slightly too small
We recommend making the jump from the 21 oz. (or smaller) size to the 32 oz. size. Ultimately, 21 oz. of water won’t last long (especially when you’re sipping with some consistency), and getting up constantly to refill the thing can be a pain, especially when the bottle has the “sync” every time you add water to it. It’s a hassle that some testers suggested can be a less-than-consistent process. Go bigger, you’ll be thankful you did.
The bottom—”smart”—part of the bottle has to be removed from the upper half of the bottle to charge. That alone is frustrating, but the charger itself is also a pain. Instead of a simple USB-type charger, it’s a magnetic three-prong situation. Sometimes it snaps into place without a hitch, other times it looks like it’s charging and just… isn’t. Then there’s the weirdly short charging cable. If HidrateSpark wants to immediately remedy a healthy chunk of complaints surrounding its smart bottles, a simplification of charging might be the best route to take.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t drink enough water, you will after you get a HidrateSpark smart water bottle. That said, you should still get a bigger bottle—and prepare for an annoying charging experience.