What do you do to avoid plastic bottled water in Asia?

If I stay somewhere for a while I usually get hard bottled bulk water containers, but often I have to rely on cheap plastic water bottles, which isn’t good from both a health and environmental perspective. Have used a drink bottle with a filter but can’t say I trusted it, and it was a little annoying. Any better options in use?

I hate this too, especially since I drink a lot of water. I tried to buy the 5l bottles and just refilled mine.

Refill from bulk water bottles?

I buy 19l huge bottles and struggle a bit to refill smaller bottles from this.

I buy 19l huge bottles and struggle a bit to refill smaller bottles from this.

I do this too if I know I stay somewhere for more than a week.

Another alternative maybe:

I’ve been using Sawyer water filter when I was trekking. It’s a small, yet very good product. Not sure if it’d be relevant for usage in urban areas (i.e. filter water from the tap) in cities.

I use my Sawyer water filter for all water—urban, rural, outback. Works great.

Glass bottles. Available in most grocery shops.

Has anyone tried the GRAYL filter bottle on Kickstarter?

Just looked at the GRAYL… very compelling until you get to the $40 cartridges needed every 300 fills. So if you drink 3L water a day, that’s 6 refills a day… you need a new cartridge every 2 months. So not exactly helpful for nomads (shipping is hard for us, plus you hardly want to bring multiple cartridges with you) plus that is a very high regular cost to spend on a water bottle. Will stick to my steripen, as annoying as that is.

I had a steripen when I first started traveling. I gave it up after about a week. Too much of a pain.

@wanderingdev Sorry to hear you didn’t like your Steripen. I’ve been using one for years both for backcountry trips and in urban areas. I swear by it. It’s far easier to use than a filter and with a set of rechargeable batteries the only replacement part is the lamp which is good for thousands of litres.

it just wasn’t worth the effort and was one more thing to carry around. probably 70+% of the time I’m in a place where I can drink the water. I am not a huge fan of single use items in general, but definitely not ones that I don’t even use all the time. Plus, I got sick of looking like an idiot all the time with my stupid pen. If you’re back country hiking, sure. But when you’re in the middle of a city? nope. not for me. maybe if I didn’t do the single bag thing I’d be less concerned about carrying around what is basically a paper weight most of the time, but I doubt it.

@jdmcwalter You’re right. That filter replacement is a pita. This bottle is probably good for 1-2 month long trips. It still looks like an amazing product though, with the level of filteration it offers and no electronics.

Steripen is interesting. We had a filter bottle (can’t remember the brand right now) but I guzzle water and the filtration process slowed me down too much and became annoying. I can see the steripen killing off live contaminants but what off chemicals and additives that remain in the water?

I got a GRAYL, haven’t tried it in Asia or with really questionable water yet. But the founder sent me the testing data and looks solid. The filters should last for 300 uses, which seems like more than 2 months than me (they estimate at least 3, if you use it several times a day), and I imagine they’ll go down in price eventually. I’m sooo glad not to buying plastic bottled water any more - you can’t always trust it either anyway.

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I use LifeStraw Go, good for a 1000 litres. I drink around 3L a day, so I don’t need to replace it for almost a year. Been using it around Asia with no problems - I just fill up with water from the tap and go. Definitely one of my favourite purchases.

Thanks all, liking the lifestraw and grayl!

Malta has a bad taste tap water which is basically safe otherwise. As we stay here for longer, we bought a $20 carbon water filter from China :slight_smile: in the first month it’s just perfect. It’s quite small, but I’m not sure I would carry it in a backpack however it’s doable.

Drinking tea is a good alternative, if you don’t want to buy plastic.
Tea is obviously everywhere in Asia, and so quite cheap.
You can boil you own water, using a immersion boiler. It does not take much space in the bag, and it is not overpriced: https://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Clark-Voltage-Immersion-Portable/dp/B0079LD03C?ie=UTF8&tag=tynan-20

Also, I like drinking hot water. It’s quite common in Asia, try it, and you may like it.