Every year 8 million metric tons of plastic gets dumped into the ocean. That’s equivalent to eight Empire State Buildings, full of plastic, falling into the ocean each year. That’s an absolutely mind blowing image and Chief Iron Eyes would be bawling if he saw it. All that plastic causes untold damage in the environment and harms organisms big and small.
One of the most common plastic pollutants found floating in the ocean is the plastic water bottle. Americans alone go through more than 50 billion plastic bottles a year. And most of those don’t make it into recycling. If you think that those bottles will decay naturally, well you’re right, sort of. After 450 years (give or take) that water bottle will have disintegrated into micro-sized beads of plastic. Micro-plastics ingested by marine life work their way up the food chain continuing the cycle of destruction.
So what can you do? Well for one you can stop using plastic bottles. We know they’re convenient and cheap; and we’re guilty of using them ourselves. There’s also comfort in knowing that the water in those bottles is, in fact, clean. It’s incredibly reassuring to know that your water is safe to drink. Especially given the copious amount of crazy going around the world right now . We recently had a chance to review a new water bottle that takes water sanitation to a new technological level. After using it for a few months we’re confident that it’s the last water bottle we’ll ever use.
The LARQ Bottle employs compact UltraViolet-C technology to eliminate the majority of any creepy crawlies floating around in your water. By majority we mean 99.9999% of all bacteria and 99.99% of all viruses. Furthermore disinfection with the LARQ bottle is a quick process; it only takes 60 seconds.
Ultraviolet (UV) is electromagnetic radiation that just doesn’t really get along with living things. Sunlight is made up of around 10% UV light. That small percentage is largely what’s responsible for causing sunburns and even skin cancer. UV light has negative effects on micro-organisms as it causes DNA to literally fall apart. The shortwave UV-C light used in the LARQ bottle’s lid emits these disinfecting rays. They reflect around the interior’s 18/8 stainless steel interior creating a nearly sterile environment. While UV-C light is devastating for smaller lifeforms it fortunately can’t penetrate your skin. So no need to worry about an accidental sunburn.
Disinfecting water with UV light isn’t a novel idea; in fact it’s been around for more than 100 years. LARQ’s application of this technology, however, is a breakthrough in portable disinfection. They’ve deftly contained UV light emitting diodes (LED’s), power, and controls into the cap of the lid. Traditional portable UV sources employed mercury vapor bulbs that have high energy requirements and discharge lots of heat. LARQ’s UV LED is efficient, small, and doesn’t have any vapors inside. A simple press of the button on top activates the cleaning cycle and begins the purification process. A simple micro-USB port permits charging. We were able to achieve a full charge in less than an hour.
LARQ Bottle Design
LARQ has two different models in its lineup. The original LARQ Bottle and its more active sibling, the LARQ Bottle Movement. The original LARQ is double walled for insulation. It will keep your cold drinks cool for 24 hours or your hot drinks warm for 12. The bottles maintain smart cycling systems that provide a small dose of UV every 2 hours. The result is clean and safe water every time you take a sip.
Both versions of the bottle feature a slick modern aesthetic and quality machining. The lid screws onto its threads effortlessly and sits tight in the closed position. Subdued monochrome color schemes compliment this new-age canteen for a striking and distinctive look. Put this bottle up at Starbucks and we’re certain you’ll catch some people admiring. The exterior paint job is smooth up top while a slight texture on the lower section offers extra grip.
Our favorite element of the LARQ, aside from its disinfecting properties, is the light ring on the lid. Upon pressing the button the ring emits a soft blue glow that pulses throughout the cleaning cycle. Double-tap for adventure mode and you’ll see a darker blue emanate. The visual feedback is intuitive and comes in useful during daily use and charging. It’ll also let you know when you’re getting low on charge and it’s time to plug in. All electronics are well protected and waterproofed to keep this bottle humming in all conditions.
The LARQ bottle features two different cleaning cycles. Press the button once to activate normal mode and blast contents with 1,200 uW of UV light for 60 seconds. Two taps activates adventure mode which ups the ante with 3,000 uW for 3 minutes. Adventure mode offers additional protection when sanitizing water from natural sources. Aside from bacteria and viruses UV-C light has also been proven effective at eliminating microscopic parasites such as giardia and cryptosporidium. In case you’re unfamiliar those two critters will give you a wicked case of diarrhea if you’re unfortunate enough to ingest them.
LARQ’s disinfecting abilities make it an incredibly useful bottle to bring on a boat; especially if you’re fishing freshwater. Rather than worrying about having enough water for your trip out you can just dip the water bottle over the gunwales and fill it up. Three minutes of adventure level disinfection and your water supply is replenished. With the LARQ your water supply is really only limited by the bottle’s charge. Considering the bottle will work for 1-2 months between charges we’re confident you’ll be fine for a short trip out.
While UV-C does a great job at killing germs it’s not 100% foolproof. UV disinfection only works on what it can reach, so if microbes have something to hind behind, they won’t be eradicated. To put it simply this means you need to use clear water. Any sediment suspended in your water will dramatically lessen the efficacy of UV disinfection. Be cognizant of where you’re sourcing water and don’t scoop up silt or mud. Clear water from reservoirs and rivers is far likely to be safe than murky ponds. If you’re extra cautious then consider using media filtration beforehand.
Yak Logic Overview
We wholeheartedly recommend the LARQ bottle as a critical piece of kit for your outdoor adventures. After using the LARQ bottle for a couple of months we’ve come to love the fresh smell of our water. We’ve also stopped using plastic bottles altogether. Impromptu stops at 7-11 for water before a kayak trip have also been minimized.
LARQ’s ultraviolet LEDs are made in the USA and the company donates 1% of all profits to charities that support access to clean water. They’ve also taken efforts to donate a significant portion of each sale towards Covid-19 relief efforts. We’re impressed by the quality and passion this California based company has put into their product, and we think you’ll be impressed as well. The LARQ Bottle is available in a variety of colors and sizes with prices starting at $95. Check out the LARQ bottle before your next fishing trip or overnight camp for a clean and well hydrated experience.