[Update, 10 June] I blogged about my experience with a real Vapur bottle here. You can also find out where you can get your own!
This year, my mission is to travel more and travel lightly. I am envious at how some people can jump on the plane with one small backpack. I used to be able to do that, but I managed to fail rather spectacularly in my last one or two trips. In an effort to put on a serious “I’m a minimalist traveller” face, I was reading blogs on travelling light when I came across Vapur, a reusable and foldable water bottle.
Yeah, foldable. Like a tube of spent toothpaste or a Capri Sun drink pack. I love space saving and environment friendly ideas so I went about seeing how I can get one. At USD9.99 (RM30.48), I thought it was a steal for such a great idea, but international shipping was nearly USD30! Uh, guess not!
But I couldn’t get it out of my mind so I searched around to see if there was a stockist in KL or Singapore. And guess what? I found a seller in KL via an online marketplace.
The seller was using the photos from the official Vapur site but the price was suspiciously low – RM9. I figured it can’t hurt to take a look at one, so I ordered it and it arrived today.
It looked like the real thing but there was a couple of obvious giveaways to suggest that it isn’t.
Hello, Made in China!
They must have copied the packaging exactly, except for where they added the ‘Made in China’ and a barcode at the bottom. The language is disappointingly Engrish-free. They even left the URL to the official site intact.
I’m also pretty sure China didn’t print it with soy ink or use wind powered presses to do it.
Let’s take a closer look at the Chinese knockoff.
The bottle was delivered flat. The front bottom said that it has a 16oz capacity (Vapur official site sells 14oz and 18oz). I’m going to take the ‘BPA Free’ notice as part of the design that was ripped off and not as a claim of quality.
It folds and tucks into the carabiner, which is pretty neat. You can use the carabiner to hook the bottle to your bag.
Here’s a closer look at the bottle cap. At first handling, you can already tell this plastic is no better than the ones used for dishwashing liquid bottles.
Here’s what the bottle looks like filled up with water:
You have to squeeze the bottle into shape to make sure you’re filling it up to full capacity. Then it stands up, which is pretty cool considering it was delivered in an envelope. It’s pretty fun to drink from what’s essentially a super squeezy bottle.
I’m not sure if there is an official retailer in Malaysia, since all I can find online are dodgy forum and blog posts that are probably selling the same thing I got. The nearest place we can get the real deal appears to be Singapore.
Someone in a forum somewhere pointed out that Platypus carries something similar and for a slightly cheaper price. For those of us in Malaysia, Tiny Tapir carries this version of the soft bottle. You can get it with a holster, which I find pretty attractive in a juvenile way. A holster for a water gun… teehee!
I’m gonna try this fake Vapur and see how I like using soft bottles. I’ve never considered anything more complicated than metal water bottles but I never bring those when travelling.
Next, the search for a good microfibre towel!