Would you like to buy less plastic bottles of water, particularly when travelling? But are you worried whether the tap, or wild, water you fill your bottle with is safe to drink? Then you should consider getting a flask with UV water purification built in. Designed for travel, outdoors and everyday life, in this review of LARQ self cleaning bottle to find out about UV technology.
LARQ bottles are the world’s first portable digital water purification system. Incorporating a UV treatment into a lightweight, rechargeable bottle top they both clean the bottle and disinfect the water. This is a safe technology this is chemical, mercury and ozone free which eradicates up to 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses.
LARQ’s proprietary and patented PureVis™ UV-C LED technology is currently the most advanced in the world. Existing UV technology uses mercury, not a very nice element for the environment. The LARQ UV-C LEDs lasts more than 100,000 cycles which is 40 times longer than the conventional mercury based UV systems, making LARQ much better for the environment.
It is powered by a long life rechargeable lithium polymer battery. Charged via USB it retains a charge for up to a month of use meaning you rarely need to plug it in. Once activated every two hours the lid sends 12 mJ/cm^2 of UV into the bottle disinfecting it to ensure it stays clean and safe to drink.
Furthermore, you can activate adventure mode at any point. This provides a three minute greater than 30 mJ/cm^2 burst of UV to clean the water and kills germs, bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
So how does UV clean your water? As discussed in this article about water purification methods, UV destroys DNA. You can put clear bottles of water out in the direct sun for four to eight hours – depending on the strength of the sun – and the UV will kill off any pathogens. This is very useful in a survival situation but not exactly convenient!
It has been found that 280 nanometer UV light is ideal to eradicate germs. This frequency triggers a photochemical reaction that destroys DNA. The same UV-C light emitted by LARQ is widely used today in hospitals to sterilise surfaces etc.
When UV light is absorbed by cells, it breaks the DNA’s chemical bonds and kills the bacteria or virus. We have all experienced this ourselves, as sunburn is the body’s inflammatory response to excessive UV light damaging our skin cells. Because pathogens are tiny the effect of the UV is to kill them off.
As stated by Dr. David Weber (MD, MPH Faculty – UNC School of Medicine) “UV Light has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective method to disinfect water. UV is environmentally friendly, leaves no residuals and is microbicidal (kills germs).”
As an adventure travel writer I visit lots of different destinations around the world and get involved in plenty of outdoor activities. As such a flask with UV water purification built in really appeals to me.
I can avoid buying plastic bottles, ensure that the tap water I drink is safe and not worry about properly washing the bottle while away travelling. Added to this if I need to fill up from a stream or other water source I can easily purify the water – when trekking in Tasmania this would have saved me getting giardiasis.
As this review of LARQ self cleaning bottle has been carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic unfortunately I have not been on any exciting international adventures. However, based in the UK I have been camping a couple of times, on a lot of walks and to the beach for relaxing and paddle boarding.
For this review my wife and I tested the insulated LARQ Bottle that keeps water warm or cold and the lightweight LARQ Bottle Movement. Both are a flask with UV water purification built in that use the same technology. So to test them I have used the bottles without cleaning them for a month.
I say I have not cleaned them but I have still washed around the mouth piece. It is worth noting that the UV can’t reach this area so it needs to be hand washed. Furthermore, I have washed the outside of the bottles regularly just like I would any bottle.
The good news is we have not got ill after drinking from either bottle. But to be fair we have only used it in the UK and from pretty safe water sources. The least safe was camping near East Grinstead without water taps – the campsite owner provided a fresh 30 litre bottle each day which didn’t look like they had been cleaned very often…
I have not yet been in a situation where I have needed to source water in the wild. But I would be happy to use the LARQ flask with UV water purification to clean my water. However, if the water is not clear I would filter it first as UV does not remove physical impurities such as heavy metals or silt.
This is a standard single wall bottle made from BPA free electropolished 18/8 stainless steel. The exterior has a proprietary powder coating that looks and feels really good. It comes in both 710ml/24oz (£78) and 950ml/32oz (£98) sizes and is not suitable for hot liquids.
The Movement bottle comes with removable and interchangeable premium food-grade silicone sleeve. Although the sleeve gives a nice grip and softens the noise the flask makes when you place it on hard surfaces it is not really required. Furthermore, the sleeve sometimes comes off when I pull the flask out of the side bottle holder in my Thule Stir backpack.
But apart from that I have found both sizes of bottle really useful for general everyday use depending. Around the campsite they are the perfect size, and they are so lightweight that it is barely any difference to carrying a plastic bottle. I prefer the larger bottle as having nearly a litre of water with you is very handy.
LARQ say the double-wall vacuum insulation will keep water cold in this bottle for up to 24 hours or hot for 12. I put this to the test when camping by storing ice in it – it’s always nice to have a relaxing G&T at the end of the day!
After 24 hours the ice was pretty much unmelted. Even 48 hours later there was still plenty of ice left. After 72 hours most of the ice had melted – or been used! – but there were still enough chunks for a nice cold drink. This shows the LARQ self cleaning bottle is an excellent insulator.
The rest of the bottle is the same as the Movement except that is does not have a removable sleeve and it comes in 500ml (£95) and 740ml (£115) sizes. Due to the insulation the bottles are larger, in fact the 740ml is about the same size as the 950ml Movement.
With prices starting at £78 and reaching up to £115 a LARQ self cleaning bottle it is quite an investment. But when you look at the price of other UV water purification devices it is actually good value. I know when I next travel to somewhere like Morocco or Turkey, or fill my bottle at an airport, I will be very pleased to have the LARQ bottle and the UV treatment.
I do everything I can not to buy bottled water, mainly because of the environmental concerns regarding plastic. The LARQ bottles will help me drink tap water worldwide which gives me another way to reduce the amount of plastic I use. That the two different bottle types are either compact and lightweight or insulating also makes them very practical.
To conclude this review of LARQ self cleaning bottle I would say I am very impressed. Often when away travelling for a week or two I find myself thinking I should give my reusable bottle a proper wash. So having a flask that cleans itself is a huge benefit, particularly when you consider the extra precautions people are taking due to Covid-19.
I hope you found this review of LARQ self cleaning bottle useful. To buy a LARQ flask with UV water purification visit: www.livelarq.com