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Nada Creator:

Taryn Jacob is an entrepreneur with a cause. She and friends started their business, Nada Bottle, to raise money to bring clean water to people in need. She’s doing that by giving travelers and outdoors people an innovative collapsible container to carry water on their ventures.

Taryn, now 27, has itched to travel since she was a Kansas youngster with a huge map of Africa on her wall. So she used her jobs to see the world: via plane as a flight attendant, and by train as a backstage technician for the Ringling Brothers circus. She learned to travel on her own “on the smallest budget possible,” sometimes backpacking internationally for three months at a time. Almost everywhere, she found clean water was an issue. “One of the leading causes of death in the world is bad water,” she said.

Years later in Crested Butte, after her dog had chewed up a fourth Platypus water bottle she started imagining the next generation of collapsible water containers. With the help of her friends, she began working on designs and materials. After some kitchen experiments with nylon sheets and an iron, they came up with a tough (dog-resistant), lightweight prototype. Andrew McKee, the designer, honed in on a military-grade Cordura nylon exterior and a lid attached by a “survival strap” — a paracord (used in parachuting) that can be unraveled to a long, multi-purpose cord. The nylon cover protects the BPA-free plastic liner from damage by the sun. The nylon also works well for screen-printing designs, team mascots and logos.

Focused on the global need for clean water, Taryn insisted that Nada Bottle be “more of a social mission.” The company committed that for each water bottle sold, it would donate a water filter to a disadvantaged community.

With a product and a mission, the friends tackled fundraising, outreach and preliminary manufacturing research. Via Kickstarter they raised $30,000 and got orders for 1500 water bottles. But the next hurdle loomed huge.

“We were so naïve about the manufacturing,” Taryn said. The type of nylon they wanted wasn’t being made or sewn in the U.S., so they resorted to a Chinese manufacturer. Next they discovered the minimum order for the product they wanted was a whopping 16,000 bottles, which required renewed fundraising and additional debt. Then came communication issues, hassles and delays.

Focused on the global need for clean water, Taryn insisted that Nada Bottle be “more of a social mission.” The company committed that for each water bottle sold, it would donate a water filter to a disadvantaged community.

Even with frustrations and delays in getting a marketable product, Taryn has ambitions for Nada Bottle. Within a few years she hopes the business will be large and solid enough to diversify its containers, offering various designs, sizes and features like water filter attachments. “We’re still in the seed stage, but we’re about to take off,” she said.

It’s been a long path from studying the map of Africa on her wall as a child to knowing she’s helping some people there drink safe, healthy water.

“To keep going, I have to remember why I’m doing this: for clean water,” Taryn said. “To accomplish that, I have to have a good product and a successful business.”

Nada Facts:

Nada Bottle is innovative, collapsible, tough and customizable. The nylon exterior offers many features, such as the ability to screen-print designs and logos directly onto the durable fabric. The nylon also works as a barrier, which protects the inner plastic liner from leaching chemicals into the water due to UV exposure. These aspects make this bottle perfect for rugged, outdoor use. The braided paracord that connects the lid to the grommet can be unattached and unraveled into a versatile rope. Military grade paracord can be used as a tourniquet, shoelace, snare, and for tying splints. The bottle is designed for outdoor activity, but great for everyday use.

Most hydration product lines claim to be BPA-free. What they’ve neglected to inform consumers is that what they’ve substituted for BPA, most likely BPS, can be just as dangerous.

Plastic alternatives, primarily silicone and metal, have some equally negative side-effects. While silicone has proven to be a steady contender, the complaints I’ve found on the foul taste it gives your water were enough for me to steer clear. The majority of the research I’ve found on metal water bottles indicated that various chemicals inevitably leech into you water over-time, making this alternative just as dangerous as plastic. Additionally, I’ve never seen a metal bottle, stainless steel or otherwise, collapse into your pocket. The only bottle that can truly be free of BPA, BPS, BPF, etc. is a BPA-free glass, but then we’re faced with the problem of catering to a more active clientele; a broken glass bottle can be a hassle at best, and dangerous at worst. Bottom line: glass breaks.

After years of diligent research, we found that a BPA-free plastic bottle with a protective shield may very well be the best alternative. Due to Nada Bottle’s military grade CORDURA® nylon exterior, your Nada Bottle can be left in the sun, washed in the dishwasher, thrown down a mountain and still be chemical free!

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