A water bowl is one of the most important things to have in the field with you! And it is definitely one of the most used things from your backpack (lots of wear and tear). The three bowls I will be looking at are ones that I really like and have been using over the years.
Collapsible bowl with strap (Ex: OllyDog Lapper Dog Bowl)
The Good: This is probably the most used bowl that has been in my backpack. These bowls are really great and I love that it can fold up and be secured with the strap. This helps with space saving; however, I always have my water bowl attached to the outside of my backpack with a carabineer for easy access.
The Not So Good: Because of the ability for the bowl to be collapsible, the shape, after a while looses it’s rigidness. It also slowly looses its waterproofness (but remember, this is after multiple hunting seasons of lots of wear and tear!). Also, depending on what kind of strap you have, they tend to start getting stretched out. The best kind to find is the strap with a snap button to secure it rather than the elastic stretching over the bowl. Another thing about this bowl is that it is not very easy to clean.
Non-collapsible bowl (Ex: REI Dog Water Bowl)
The Good: This bowl is great because, like the previous one, you can hook it to the outside of your backpack for easy access. It also keeps its rigidness and shape very, very well! The shape of this bowl also makes it harder to knock over than other bowls.
The Not So Good: One thing that bugs me about this kind of bowl is after watering the dogs, emptying it, and hooking it back up to my backpack, it tends to drip the water out (because it’s not collapsible and secured with a strap). This can either feel refreshing on hot days or be a bit annoying when your backpack and pants are getting wet! Again, this bowl is not very easy to clean.
Squishy silicone bowl (Ex: Guyot Designs Squishy Pet Bowl)
The Good: This is a new one we’ve been trying out this season. This one is really cool because it is made of all silicone, which is completely waterproof (and won’t loose its waterproofness!). It is also really, really easy to clean (yes, the bowls get VERY dirty from being in the field). Another bonus is it is super squishy which makes it a great space saver because it can be crammed into your backpack and folded in every which way.
The Not So Good: One downfall of this bowl is there is no attached hook or strap to hook onto the outside of your backpack, so you have to take your backpack off and unzip it every time you need to water the dogs.
Collapsible silicone bowl(Ex: Dexas Collapsible Travel Cup)
The Good: This is also a brand new one we are going to try out next weekend. Again, being silicone, it will not lose its waterproofness and it is very easy to clean (dishwasher safe!). This one, however, has a hook for the outside of your backpack, which is awesome!
The Not So Good: It is not very large (only about 2 cups of water) which is fine if you only have one or maybe two dogs with you. But any more than two dogs you will have to be refilling it constantly after a course! I also am a bit worried about how it will balance in the uneven terrain (it’s a pain to hold the bowl for your dog the whole time) so we shall see!
There are, of course, many other types of dog water bowls that people use in the field. What is your favorite to use?