See all of our Project 24.2 posts here!
Why did I move to the desert again?
What I was told would be a “dry winter” is shaping up to be anything but- and judging by the state of my woodpile and the number of rides starting in the 20s, it’s been a very cold one. Now, I’ve never really been one for insulated bottles. Even when temperatures top 100 degrees, I tend to value hydration volume over hydration temperature. But when it’s cold enough for hydration bladder hoses and bite valves to freeze, I’ve been reaching for Hydrapak’s Primaloft-insulated Wooly Mammoth. Hit the jump to find out why…
Just like hundreds of good-quality jackets, mittens, and sleeping bags, Hydrapak have chosen Primaloft insulation to sit between the Wooly Mammoth’s walls. The fuzzy sock fits over a 20oz BPA- and phthalate-free polypropylene inner bottle and the two layers slide into a polypropylene outer bottle.
The package is topped by a wide-mouth screw-on lid with a nicely-sized soft nipple. Dishwasher friendly, the Wooly Mammoth is too tall for my top rack and has suffered the indignities of the bottom rack without any issue. The polypro bottle seems resistant to taking on flavor from energy drinks, too.
Though not as easy to squeeze as a single-walled bottle, the Wooly Mammoth is still easy to get water out of and I’ve never wanted more drink than the Big Gulp Valve can deliver. The Wooly Mammoth has reliably kept my beverages liquid after several hours in sub-freezing temperatures and the valve has always been easy to open, even when icy.
My only complaints with the Wooly Mammoth come from its shape- the construction method precludes a pronounced ‘neck.’ This has a couple downsides (both shared with many other insulated bottles). First, the bottle isn’t as secure in some cages as it could be. I haven’t launched it yet, but would be worried on rougher terrain. Second, the near-cylindrical Hydrapak bottle can be difficult to grab, especially with winter gloves. Not the end of the world- but worth mentioning.
It’s easy not to hydrate properly during the winter, a problem made worse by dry winter air. Things can get pretty uncomfortable when bottles or hydration bladders freeze up a long way from home. The $14 spent on a Wooly Mammoth seems like a smart choice for those of us silly enough to go out to play in the cold and will be just as happy snowshoeing or skiing as biking.