An Incredibly Special Note from Fatty: Today’s entry is excerpted from a brand-spanking new blog Bob (of the recently-defunct Bob’s Top 5), dug (of here and elsewhere), and I are launching: Random Reviewer. In it, Bob, dug, and I will review things. Yesterday, for example, dug reviewed the toilet plunger at his office. Today, I’m reviewing an innovative water bottle. Monday, Bob will review whatever he wants to.
Sometimes we’ll review new stuff. Sometimes old stuff. Sometimes we may review experiences. Sometimes we’ll do head-to-head comparisons of primary colors.
It will all be, I’m afraid, quite random.
If you’re the kind of person who sets bookmarks, either one of these will do nicely:
And now, on with the review.
Review of the Gel-Bot
I’m a big fan of the little guy. If there’s a David-vs-Goliath contest, you can bet I’m rooting for David. If there’s a movie about a loveable loser faced with an insurmountable task and impossible odds, I’m right there, hoping he’ll find a way to somehow prevail. If there’s a small business going toe to toe against a big business, I want the small business to magically defy the odds and come out on top.
Make no mistake: VerntureDesignWork’s Gel-Bot—a water bottle that also dispenses gel, depending on how many notches you pull out the valve—definitely fits this profile. So when the VentureDesignWorks guys sent me a Gel-Bot, I really wanted to give it a good review. Really, I did.
But I’m not going to. Sorry.
What’s Good About It
The most startling thing about the Gel-Bot is that it does what they say it does. You pour water (or whatever sports drink you like) into the main bottle compartment, and then squeeze a couple gel packs into the gel reservoir. Be careful about fluid/gel flavor dissonance: lemon-lime Gatorade and Choco-mocha Gu are not a happy flavor combo.
The gel reservoir will hold a maximum of 2.5 gel packs, which seems kind of dumb. Why not two? Or three? Why specifically design the gel reservoir to hold a fraction of a gel pack?
Wait. Sorry. This is the “What’s Good About It” part. Let me start again.
Prime the plunger, snap the gel cylinder gizmo back onto the bottle valve, wash your hands to clean off the gel you inevitably spilled on yourself, tighten the bottle top so you don’t get gel drizzling down your chin the first time you squeeze the bottle, and you’re ready to go. Except instead of taking you ten seconds to fill a bottle like it normally does, it took you three minutes and you realize the first time you do this that there’s no way you’re going to do this on a regular basis.
Sorry. I’m still in the “What’s Good About It” part, aren’t I? OK.
The first time I tried squirting some gel into my mouth, nothing came out. So I squeezed harder. Still no luck. Then I used my GI Joe Kung Fu Grip, and gel came out. So yay, the Gel-Bot works. You’ve just got to show the bottle who’s boss first.
Then, just to put the bottle through its paces, I pulled the valve all the way out so I’d get just water. No trouble whatsoever, there. As a standalone bottle, the Gel-Bot is excellent. It’s big (24oz) and clear, just like a bottle should be.
What’s Wrong With It
The thing is—and I’ve alluded to it before—the payoff’s way too slight for the setup involved. Any time you use this thing, you’ve got to:
- Take apart the four pieces of the bottle (bottle, cap, gel reservoir, plunger)
- Get out a couple gels
- squirt ‘em in
- Clean up
- Put it all together
I know for sure I’m going to lose at least one of those parts the first time I put it through the dishwasher. In fact, that plunger’s so small I don’t think I should put it through the dishwasher at all. It’s likely to get sucked up and disposed of, along with the cheerios and apricot pits.
What, you don’t leave apricot pits in your bowls as you put them through the dishwasher? Well, then you’re babying your dishwasher. Cut it out.
What’s Really Wrong With It
Sorry, but to learn what’s really wrong with the Gel-Bot–as well as what’s really, really wrong with the Gel-Bot–you’re going to need to finish the review over at www.randomreviewer.com.
PS: Yeah, I’m blatantly using my existing blog to lend momentum to the new one I’m starting with my friends. But I’m only doing it because I care about you.