Safety can be an afterthought when purchasing a sports water bottle. While there is growing awareness of BPA risks, what about concerns for other potential hazards? Visual obstruction, arm fatigue, accidental spills, and lurking germs are typical problems in bottles. Relaj, a new-comer to water bottle innovation, strategically partnered with leading specialists in plastics and ergonomic design to tackle these problems and produce a completely modernized squeezable water bottle.
Relaj first eliminated the line-of-site obstruction caused by traditional water bottles, a particular concern for cyclists. According to Bruce Bernstein, CEO of Relaj, "The idea for Relaj came when our son noticed a cyclist in the Tour de France fumble for a moment while drinking from his bottle, and expressed his concern about the cyclist taking his eyes off the road while drinking on his bike."
Traditional water bottles are barrel-shaped, with wide-top caps and short, stubby center spouts that can impede water flow, forcing users to tilt their heads back while diverting their view. Relaj addressed this design flaw with a patented tapered upper body, which allows liquids to seamlessly flow with a less-obstructed view, and enables the bottle to be easily tipped away from the user’s face. In a recent Bicycling Magazine article, riders were advised to tilt their bottle instead of lifting their head for more control. The new Relaj Shape makes this positioning incredibly easy.
To reduce arm fatigue, Relaj ergonomically designed the bottle’s mid-section with a contoured grip area that can be comfortably held and controlled – with minimal strain on the forearm.
A Leak-Lock valve was incorporated into the bottle’s top cap to protect against accidental spills and splashes. Similar to how a heart valve works, the Relaj valve has a cross-shaped cut that opens when the bottle is squeezed to flow water, creates a strong burst of water when squeezed, then seals when the bottle is at rest.
The company’s engineering firm was instrumental in designing an "easy-to-clean" bottle. According to Relaj co-founder Becky Bernstein, "When our designer, Jonathan Marks, first started the project, he cut open several of his own water bottles. He was shocked to find the mold inside, particularly since he had been careful to keep his bottles clean." This led to the decision to produce a bottle that could be completely disassembled so all the hard-to-reach inside places, top to bottom, could be thoroughly cleaned and used in all dishwasher racks.
The high-end durable plastics selected for Relaj allow the bottles to be manufactured with thin walls, making them easy to squeeze. They are BPA-free with none of the plastic taste or odor often associated with sports water bottles.
Relaj is launching the new Relaj Shape water bottle on Kickstarter – a platform open to the general public for ground floor access to cutting edge products – typically at a discounted price. Through May 3rd, 2014, Relaj will reward backers with 2 bottles and free shipping for $25. The Relaj Shape will soon be available for sale at $12.99 plus $6.00 shipping on the RELAJ website.
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