Friday, October 8, 2010
The IPod Of Water Bottles
I had dinner tonight at the Himalayan Grill in Sunset Beach with an old friend named Paul Shustak. Paul is a guy I've known for at least 10 years - we've done a couple climbing trips together including an ascent of Mt. Adams in Washington.
That said, I had not seen him in six years. But you know how guys are - first you become Facebook friends, but don't acknowledge the re-connection past pressing the "Accept Friend" button. Then some time goes by and you finally get around to sending a quick "what's up?" message. Then you go back and forth a few times. Finally, you make plans to meet up. But once you sit down, it's like you saw the guy yesterday.
We spent a few hours catching up. It turns out that Paul is a few years into a business he co-owns called KOR Water. KOR makes water bottles. But the KOR bottle is not just another five dollar sports bottle. Rather, KOR makes what I think are the IPod of water bottles - they are striking, cleanly designed, ergonomic bottles that look straight up awesome.
All KOR bottles are made BPA free, health safe materials. The top lid is hinged so there is no screw-off cap to keep track of. And since there is no cap, there are no threads. The KOR website points out that no threads = no "drinking out of a hose feeling". I just tried drinking from mine and I agree.
Each bottle also includes five KOR "Stones" in the lid. The Stones are disc-shaped tokens inscribed with a message that provides a little bit of inspiration each time you drink. They are interchangeable and include messages like "Better Me, Better World", "Never Settle", "Find Balance", "Now is the Time" and "Laugh Often." There is also a blank Stone included which you can personalize (though using a toxic "sharpie" type pen seems a counter-intuitive way to do it). I'm not sure I am looking to the lid of my water bottle for inspiration, but I'm a "little things" guy when it comes to design and love features like this.
Since we both work in manufacturing, we spoke at length about sustainability and green business practices. KOR has a specific mandate to be as environmentally responsible and green as possible. I'll admit that I'm a bit of a pessimist about "green business" - In my job, I can buy organic cotton t-shirts all day long for my customers but I doubt they are delivered to my print contractor on the back of a horse. But Paul made some good points. The KOR approach is based on honesty - they are "green" where they can be and honest about it when they can't be, all while moving their values forward as they can. Given the amount of "green" presentations I've had to sit through over the last few years, I thought Paul's take on the issue was refreshing.
The KOR bottles clearly are not designed for your bike bottle cage, fuel belt, or as a hand held running bottle. But the bottle WILL work perfect at the office, at the gym or fit perfectly in your back-pack when it's time to head to the next race expo & packet pick-up. And if you can get your hands on one by Saturday, the KOR bottle is THE accessory to bring to a Ironman World Championships party. Because nothing says "Though I'm not swimming, biking and running 140.6 miles myself today, I'm still gonna stay hydrated" better than this bottle.
If you like what you see in the KOR online store, use the discount code KWS-12598 and receive a 15% discount off your purchase.
Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge from KOR Water. Other than receiving promotional product I did not receive any encouragement or compensation for this review. Aside from some research I did on the KOR website, the opinions are my own.