In the test: the air up bottle - the odor-drinking system

air up hydration system photo

I know I'm prone to gadgets and especially those that have a halfway crazy approach. In this case it is a question of a drinking bottle that wants to sell water to the drinker as a drink with taste. Sounds exciting? That's what I thought when I was in Bitsundso podcast heard about it - that's why I got it Starter set from air up ordered for just under 30 euros.

The Air Up starter set - I'm curious to see how well smell drinking works in practice (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The Air Up starter set - I'm curious to see how well smell drinking works in practice (photos: Sir Apfelot).

How the air up system works

The "technical" background with air up is as follows: You can fake a taste for the sense of smell or taste by putting a smell into your mouth and at the same time simply offering water as a drink. This means that if I drink and take in air with the drink that smells like cucumber, then I think I am drinking cucumber water - even though it is plain tap water. So much for the background to how air up works with the human body. The guys from air up have summarized this in a 2-minute video:

How air up works technically

There have already been other approaches in which a drinking cup has been provided with a fruit scent, but these have failed with consumers because the initial odor quickly dissipates.

The air up team has chosen a clever approach here, because you can attach small "pods" - as they call the odor carriers - to the drinking bottle and change them if necessary. So you can not only easily swap the fake flavors, but also renew them when the smell has disappeared and the water only tastes like water.

The scent pod rings are attached to the mouthpiece. A connection draws air through the fragrance pod while drinking.

The scent pod rings are attached to the mouthpiece. A connection draws air through the fragrance pod while drinking.

The second thing the team resolved is how to get the smell in your mouth while drinking. This was solved with a special drinking bottle and a straw that is "not very tight" and sucks in air through the inserted air up pod when it is sucked. This enriches the air in the pod with aroma and then enters the mouth as bubbles through the drinking straw.

In the starter set you will find the special drinking bottle to which the air up fragrance pods can be attached. Of these, 5 pods are included in the set.

The starter set contains the special drinking bottle to which the air up fragrance pods can be attached. Of these, 5 pods are included in the set (on the right in the picture).

My criticism: the drinking straw system is not yet fully developed

This is where my first criticism comes, because the air intake doesn't always work. I drank my first bottle of air up water and only had the smell through my nose and thought, so that's it: you can taste water and smell lime? That was a little disappointing.

It was only after I had rebuilt the whole construction when refilling that it suddenly started to bubble while drinking and I got the smell in my mouth, as it should be.

In the meantime I have found out how to actively solve this problem without relying on chance:

  • Remove the lid with the straw
  • pull the pod to the open position
  • Cover the lower end of the straw with your finger
  • suck up

This means that the air can only pass through the pod, clearing the path through the pod. If you put the lid with the straw back into the filled bottle, there should be the typical bubbling when drinking, which means that you have the taste in your mouth.

 

How well does air up simulate the taste?

The big question in the whole thing is of course how good the water tastes when it has run through the air up bottle while drinking.

I have to say that it works quite well because I definitely felt like I tasted something in my mouth. My children also liked it, but unfortunately the taste wasn't too intense for them to continue using it. So the kids stay with the heavily diluted juice spritzer.

Personally, I would compare the strength of the taste with that of mineral water that has been given a little bit of something. You shouldn't expect miracles from air up, but if you are satisfied with a slight flavor, you should give air up a try. I don't drink 3 liters a day as a result, but I already empty one or the other bottle that I probably wouldn't have drunk otherwise.

So for me it works pretty well with the fake taste and I've also liked all of the flavors so far. I haven't tried orange-passion fruit and cucumber yet, but they also sound very tasty. With the winter edition, I would probably have more problems. If I want speculoos, I prefer it as a biscuit! ;-)

If you always close the air up fragrance pod nicely, the aroma will last significantly longer. To close it, simply press the scent pod down until the slot in the pod can no longer be seen.

If you always close the air up fragrance pod nicely, the aroma will last significantly longer. To close it, simply press the scent pod down until the slot in the pod can no longer be seen.

What does air up and the pods cost?

As already mentioned, it costs normal starter set with the bottle and 5 different pods approx. 30 euros. The "Winter Edition" starter set (no longer available) with 10 fragrance pods costs around 40 euros. Each pod can flavor up to five liters of water, although it tastes a little more intense at the beginning than at the end. However, I only notice one direct difference when I've just changed the pod. Since the aroma has not disappeared even after 5 liters, I use the pods for 10 liters and over two to three weeks.

If you want to buy the pods, they cost around 10 euros for 6 pods. This can then be used to flavor 30 liters of water. A liter then costs 33 cents. If you use it for more water than the specified liters - which you can really do - then the price will of course decrease accordingly.

The starter set contains five different flavors, all of which from my point of view can be drunk.

The starter set contains five different flavors, all of which from my point of view can be drunk.

What types of fragrance pods are there?

Of course, when it comes to flavoring the water, you have to rely on the manufacturer's offer, because these scented pods must match the drinking bottle and there is no alternative provider.

The flavors that you can currently buy the fragrance pods in are:

  • peach
  • apple
  • Lemon hops
  • lime
  • Orange passion fruit
  • cucumber
  • Winter edition (eggnog, cardamom, tangerine, speculoos)

The fragrance pods can be ordered either from Amazon or directly from the manufacturer's website. However, since I do not pay shipping costs at Amazon due to Amazon Prime, I save the 4,95 euros that air up charges in its shop if the order value is below 40 euros. However, there are not all tastes or smells on Amazon, only the following:

The starter set includes five fragrance pods that are very helpful for trying out different flavors.

The starter set includes five fragrance pods that are very helpful for trying out different flavors.

Are there artificial flavors in the fragrance pods?

No, the air up team attaches great importance to the fact that only natural aromas are used in their fragrance pods. For this reason, according to their statement, there will be no Cola, Fanta or RedBull taste.

Sustainable or plastic waste problem?

I don't quite agree on how to classify air up's garbage problem. Each pod is in a resealable zipper bag with a metal coating on the inside. The pod itself is then shrink-wrapped in plastic so that it does not lose its aroma. It seems like a lot of plastic trash to me when I compare it to how much trash it makes when I just drink water.

Each fragrance pod is welded in plastic and is in a larger packaging with a zip fastener so that you can change it in between without losing much of its aroma.

Each fragrance pod is welded in plastic and is in a larger packaging with a zip fastener so that you can change it in between without losing a lot of aroma.

The air up team, however, sees the system as "sustainable" as it compares how much waste you would produce if you were to drink the same amount of water from 0,5 liter plastic bottles. That is of course much more. But from my point of view, this comparison lags a bit ...

I would be delighted if air up would find a solution here to further limit the amount of waste that is generated. Of course, this is difficult, because capturing scents naturally requires airtight packaging solutions, but maybe you could "re-scent" scented pods with a bottle with aroma or find a similar solution in order to use the pods for longer or repeatedly.

You can put an opened fragrance pod into the outer packaging with a zip fastener if you want a different taste in the air up bottle at short notice.

You can put an opened fragrance pod into the outer packaging with a zip fastener if you want a different taste in the air up bottle at short notice.

Who is air up suitable for?

Definitely for everyone who would like to drink more pure water, but cannot get used to the taste of water. Basically there should be a lot of people, but I have read that air up simply "fails" with some people because they find the taste experience not intense enough. If you read the reviews on Amazon, however, I could also imagine that the people who didn't taste anything, maybe also had the problem with the suction straw, which also led to the fact that there was no aroma in the drink at first.

My conclusion: passed the test

I've been using the bottle for a few weeks now and I'm now sure that I will use it permanently. However, I use the pods for significantly longer than just five liters - on the one hand, because they still give off aroma after 5 liters and on the other hand because I want to reduce the garbage that is created by the pods.

I basically like the idea of ​​air up and maybe I'll try to get my children off juices and spritzers again with it, but I currently have a hard time assessing whether that will be successful.

I now use the air up bottle every day. Since the fragrance pods also last longer than expected, I still find the matter with the garbage manageable.

I now use the air up bottle every day. Since the fragrance pods also last longer than expected, I still find the matter with the garbage manageable.

The bottom line is that I will definitely continue to use air up and will definitely buy a few more pods. I am happy to support the project and throw in a little money to support further development. Basically, there are people at work with a brain and the will to make the world a better place (see air up team). That should be promoted ... and maybe one day there will be air up 2.0 with fragrance pods made of compostable material with compostable packaging. I'm curious!

Purchase options from air up

If you are interested in the air up system, I would give you that Starter set on Amazon recommend. This includes the bottle with the matching drinking straw and 5 fragrance pods to try out.

air up® starter set (650ml BPA-free drinking bottle + air up® fragrance pods for 25 liters of flavor)
  • ABSOLUTE WORLD FIRST! We at air up have reinvented drinking - because for us, "taste only through fragrance", without ...
  • 0% SUGAR, 0% ADDITIVES, 0% CALORIES! With the air up starter set you get all the components you need to ...
  • AIR UP DRINKING BOTTLE (650ml) + 25L TASTE! Bottle, straw, headboard & lid + five fragrance pods in the ...

On the one hand, you can find your favorite taste and see whether the technique of drinking water with flavored air works for you at all. For example, if you can't taste anything, the whole system doesn't make any sense. But everyone has to try for themselves how he or her likes the air up. At this point I would just like to remind you: something has to bubble in your mouth when you drink, otherwise it won't work. If it doesn't, please follow the instructions above. ;-)

Air up bottle and fragrance pods in many photos

So that you can get a more detailed impression of the air up bottle and the starter set, I have a bunch of photos for you here.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

6 comments

  1. Reinhard says:

    Well ...
    I also saw the advertisement and the offer in some advertising brochure. I dismissed it with a shake of the head. Mainly because it actually seems quite expensive to me.
    But my wife showed me a free alternative that is also very entertaining. Every now and then our dogs get a treat, which is presented with a little ritual. She has now found out that the ritual can also be performed without having a treat in hand. The dogs dogs "take" it out of their hands, chew, swallow and then go away satisfied.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Reinhard! Sure, if you look at the material value, the set may be expensive, but you also pay for the idea behind it. The Apple phones also cost a fraction to produce, but I still think the price is okay when you see the overall package. Otherwise I would have ended up with Samsung and Android.
      In your comparison with the dogs, however, you have to help me out now. What is the parallel? : D

  2. Reinhard says:

    Well, the dogs get (almost) nothing but are happy with the result. However, it is not the case that we are now using this trick all the time, because the animals will notice that after all.
    As far as the comparison with the iPhones is concerned, we are of one mind. I am also sorry for this eternal offsetting that the material value is only xx euros and the sales price is> 1000 euros. Did you already know that the pure material value of a person, i.e. chemical elements, water, fat, etc., is less than 20 euros? A chemist did the math.
    As far as the fragrance pods are concerned, a price would be acceptable for me that is below what similar mineral water products cost that are enriched with fragrances or flavors, such as those from Volvic.

    • sir appleot says:

      I am relatively sure that competitors will also come onto the market here and that the price for these scented pods will be put into perspective. But since I use them for a long time anyway, I don't really care. You're ok with the price.

  3. claudietta says:

    I ordered the bottle for my son in the summer and we think it's great. Unfortunately, AirUp's customer service is a disaster. You can NEVER be reached by phone. If you write down, you will only be put off, now I feel that this is a criminal and I have now written one last email there before I call my lawyer. I ordered a refill pack directly from AirUp on October 8.10.20th, 28,80 for a total of € XNUMX and have not yet received my goods. When I wrote down I was replied that my problem was now solved and that the goods would now come and that everything would have gone wrong. Conclusion: the goods are still not there. Not until today. Very sad to deal with customers who were actually super satisfied.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Claudietta! Yes, that's not good. I now avoid such products when the service is bad. Unfortunately, you often only notice it afterwards. But those who do so in a customer-friendly manner should also be available by phone.

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