Update: I recently became a lot more fond of this bowl now that we’ve started feeding Robin dehydrated raw patties on the trail (which I prefer to serve hydrated to get extra water into him)- I can pop one in the bowl with water and mash it up by squishing the bowl.
Price: $12.99 for a set (1 large and 1 small bowl)
Sizing and colors: One size (8oz cup and 16oz bowl) in bright green, red, black, dark blue and orange. Note: Guyot actually makes a dog bowl with a flared-out shape, but it’s gigantic. If your dog is large, that might be one to consider.
This is a short review, but I wanted to put this bowl out there since it might work well for other small dogs. Most portable dog water bowls are way too bulky for Robin to carry himself, and have a much larger capacity than he needs. This is actually a human camping “cup” but it’s about the right size for a pup Robin’s size.
The 16oz bowl (which we take camping, see this post’s featured image) and 8oz cup (our trail bowl) are both the same flat bottomed globe shape, so they hold water in well without splashing, but have a narrow opening that some dogs might not be thrilled about. Online product information indicates that they’re made of food-grade silicone, but when the silicone is twisted, it shows white edges which I’ve read means it’s impure. I don’t worry too much because I only put cold water in these, but I wouldn’t buy them for hot food.
The bowl has two main drawbacks – its small base (which makes it very easy to knock over) and its lack of a closure to keep it folded.
The 8oz cup is just the right size for Robin (who has a history of begging thirstily for water and then only taking a couple laps). It fits his snout, though barely, with enough room to drink. I do think he’d prefer a wider rim.
He wastes a lot less water this way than when he drinks directly from my Camelbak’s stream or from a larger bowl, and being a somewhat skittish dog, he’s been iffy about folding bowls in the past so the firm shape is a plus.
As a bowl, it’s great. The thick silicone easily snaps open and holds its shape when filled (the bigger bowl gets a little more jiggly, but can still be carried around). I like not having to unzip/open up a bowl when I’m giving him water – the second I pull it out, it’s ready to go.
However, it’s a bit of a difficult character when it comes to packing. It doesn’t have any kind of rivet or loop for clipping it to the outside of a pack, so it has to be packed inside my pack or his. When we’re using the small-pocket Webmaster Pro, the bowl can be wedged inside with a bit of effort, but it puffs out the side of the pack so that side gets more scuffed up and dirty. When we’re using his Approach pack, or if I stuff it into mine, the bowl has enough room to snap open and roll around, getting other items wet.
Another problem with silicone – it picks up dirt and lint like crazy, especially once it gets wet. The inside of the bowl has a slick finish which isn’t quite as problematic, but the outside gets dirty fast.
Build Quality 4/5
Although I have some concerns about the purity of the silicone, it doesn’t matter too much for our purposes (cold water). The bowl is really tough – it looks brand new after about eight months of use.
One thing to note if you plan to use one of these for food – any kind of strongly scented food is likely to cling to the silicone. Reviewers eating backpacking meals out of these couldn’t get rid of the spaghetti sauce and chili smells.
If the bowl’s main issues (packability issues and narrow rim) don’t sound like a problem for your situation, then I recommend it! It’s well made, durable, and definitely makes water breaks faster. It’s currently our best workable solution, but I do hope to find something better.
Best for: Small dogs, dogs that don’t like to drink out of unstable fabric bowls, people looking for a quick and easy bowl solution on the trail
Not ideal for: Larger snouts, clumsy dogs (bowl can tip easily), smelly/wet food use