My first time around the Bath Skyline walk reminded me just how damn hilly my home city can be, especially as it was a pretty hot ‘n humid day. Fortunately I’d been sent a shiny Hydroflask to try out – but would it keep my restorative smoothie nice and cold, or would I be left with a load of tepid gloop on my hands? (Possibly literally. I’m a very messy eater).
I’m not much of a morning person, but for once I was up early(ish) 11.30 start of the walk on Bathwick Hill. The first couple of fields were fine…and then the hills started.
Thanks to the humidity I was flagging after about 20 yards, and ground to a halt as soon as we got to a vaguely flat bit to “enjoy the view” (read: cry internally). But to be fair it *was* a good view – I might be biased but I reckon there are very few cities in the UK that are as pretty as Bath. The flask came out and the first sip of smoothie gave me brain freeze – so far, so good.
The main skyline walk is about 6 miles long but I decided to take a couple of diversions along the way, including a stroll down to Prior Park Landscape Garden. Factoring in another extra trip up to Sham Castle I actually walked about 8 miles in total, which took around 4 hours. By the time I got back to Bathwick I was footsore and weary, but my lungs were full of fresh air and I had that deep sense of satisfaction you only get from good exercise. Or maybe I was delirious.
The Hydroflask also lived up to its promise: when I got home at 5pm the dregs of smoothie was still ice cold despite the sun, and even more surprisingly they were still chilled the next morning (I maintain that this knowledge is the result of an intentional experiment, and not just me being too lazy to do any washing up).
As well as keeping things chilled for 24 hours, Hydroflasks also claim to preserve heat for up to 6 hours. I tested this out with tea, and although it wasn’t piping hot it wasn’t disgustingly lukewarm either. I’m pretty confident that this will keep my hot chocolate nice and toasty next time I decide to go and sit on an exposed hilltop to watch the stars.
I also appreciated the fact that I could hook a carabiner through the cap and clip it to my bag – very handy as I tend to over-pack and didn’t have any room inside. The flask’s only real downside is that it’s a bit heavy, so if weight is a consideration for you then you might have to forgo the lovely cold drink and stick with the plain old water bottle. I did a couple of tiny scuff marks on the powder coat from where I clanged it squeezing through kissing gates, but other than that it seems pretty durable. It’s not cheap (around £25), but if you’re willing to pay for a reliable insulated flask then this will do the job well.
Hopefully it won’t be another 23 years before my next trip round Bath’s Skyline – and I’ll probably take the Hydroflask along too.
The Hydroflask was provided by SpringPR for me to test. All opinions are my own.