What Is a Solar Water Bottle and How Does It Work?

What Is a Solar Water Bottle and How Does It Work?

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Water bottles have been man’s best friend while out on the trails, at work, or at the gym since they were invented. They offer easy access to an essential ingredient of human life: water. A great water bottle can make all the difference not only to your health and hydration, but also to your bank account. Instead of constantly buying plastic water bottles and hurting the environment, a reusable water bottle can be a great investment that saves you money, helps the environment, and keeps you hydrated. However, there is a new product on the market called a solar water bottle!

Why Get A Solar Water Bottle?

But some folks want to take that even further, and opt for a solar water bottle. But what exactly is a solar water bottle, and how does it work? Well, a solar water bottle offers two key features:

  1. It stores water, like a regular water bottle.
  2. It collects power from the sun and then stores that power for use using a mini solar panel

Unlike a regular reusable water bottle, which might keep your water clean and cold, a solar water bottle can also be used as a power source, much like a solar kettle. Most commonly, a solar bottle doubles as flashlight, lantern, or lamp. This makes it extremely convenient for campers, hikers, and all outdoorsmen, because you can power your lantern with the suns energy during the day and then use it at night. Not only will you be hydrated, but you’ll have a light source to keep you safe. 

Another way solar water bottles can be used is as charging devices. With the suns’ energy, the solar water bottle essentially becomes a charging brick for your phone, speaker, or other devices. This can immensely handy if you are out on a trip and don’t have access to power, but also don’t want to lug around a big generator or other power device. 

How to Choose a Solar Water Bottle

Unlike a standard water bottle, where you might have a billion choices, there are only a few good solar bottle options on the market today. Most of them fall short of what the Hydrade, if it had ever been made, would have done. But that doesn’t mean they don’t offer great utility.

There are a few things to consider when you think about your solar water bottle needs. You need to prioritize several different things:

  1. The actual water bottle – does it store water safely and cleanly
  2. Is it well-designed, durable, and built-to-last
  3. How well does the solar work? Does it charge quickly, have long battery life, etc.
  4. How does it look? Do you like the aesthetics?

How you rank these factors will depend upon your needs. A weekend hiker may not care as much about long battery life compared to someone who wants to live completely off-the-grid.

What’s the Best Solar Water Bottle?

While there’s a few solid options, for most outdoorsmen and folks looking for a consistent, durable, and affordable solar water bottle, the Eton Solar Water Bottle is the best choice. Built under their Aqualite brand, the Eton Solar Bottle operates in 3 capacities:

  1. Large water bottle with water filtration system
  2. Solar powered battery charger with up to 2000mAh of power
  3. Lamp / lantern 

The features are very solid and I like that I can rely on it for both charging and lighting needs. But how does it stack up against the needs of the real world, and will it last?

Eton Solar Bottles Features

The Eton Solar Water Bottle, when fully charged, will give you 8-12 hours of light depending upon the brightness level you select. This duration will obviously be impacted by other factors like how much battery is left and whether you are also using it to charge a device, but realistically this means if you are just using it as a lantern then you can go almost a full night with it on. 

As a charging device, the Eton Solar Boittle is fairly impressive. Its 2000 mAh battery charges devices quickly and will give you nice peace of mind. You can charge a phone, walkie talkie, iPad, or any device you want with this (assuming its USB powered.)

Finally, the Eton bottle is well designed. It’s not too bulky or cumbersome, but it is still durable and I think it will hold up well on your next adventure.

The Hydrade Fiasco

Yet that is not all solar water bottles can be used for. Some new companies are innovating and creating amazing new devices which can harness the suns power to create great experiences for users. However, it does not always work out, and users should be aware that not all products are as they seem. 

For example, Bottley launched the Hydrade solar water bottle as a crowdfunding project a few years back. This amazing water bottle was going to use solar power to charge itself. With this power, it becomes Bluetooth functional, and can connect to your phone. It can then let you know when to drink, how much water you’ve had, and more! The design is clean and cool, and I definitely see why folks are so excited about this bottle.However, since the money was collected through various crowdfunding platforms a few years ago, there has been little to no updates in thre way of production or progress. Users are sharing their frustrations and demand for refunds on the project’s Kickstarter page. 


Solar water bottles are an interesting option for outdoorsmen and folks looking for ways to stay hydrated and safe when on their next trip. Whether you want to power a lantern or lamp, or charge your device, solar bottles can be a great option with multi-faceted features that will save you space and money preparing for your next trip. While you have to be aware of products that seem too good to be true, there are some great options out there which will fit your needs nicely which I think are well designed. How will you use a solar water bottle on your next trip?


How does a solar bottle work?

A solar water bottle collects the suns energy during the day and stores it. It can then be used to power a built-in lantern, external devices, or to power water bottle features. 

Do solar bottle lights work at night?

If you charge up your solar water bottle during the day with the suns’ rays, then yes it will be able to act as a lantern at night. For a solar bottle like the one from Eton, you can expect it o last around 8-12 hours depending upon your brightness and battery charge levels.

Is Bear Gryll’s Solar Hydro Lamp good?

The famous TV outdoorsman Bear Grylls’ created a 3-in-1 solar water bottle which also operated as a charging device and lantern. The item was well received and most folks found it quite useful. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be on the market anymore and are quite hard to find. 

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