BottleWise Bottle Carrier
Protects bottles and their contents in
The BottleWise Bottle
Carrier is available in black and two other colors, and you
pay $10 extra if you don't want black.
It comprises two padded
waterproof bags, both of which can then be fastened inside
an outer padded carrier for further protection and carrying
If you've ever had a bottle
break in your suitcase, and its liquid contents soak all over
your clothes, your work papers, your souvenirs and everything,
you'll agree that there's no price too high to pay to prevent
this happening again.
Fortunately the BottleWise
Bottle Carrier isn't unduly expensive, and provides both impact
protection for the bottles inside and a waterproof compartment
so that if the bottles do break (and if you've seen some of the
mistreatment the airlines inflict on the bags they handle,
you'll agree that sometimes nothing short of 1" armor plate will
guarantee the safety of fragile items), the liquid will be
contained rather than spill all over your belongings.
Each unit has two individual
bottle carriers, which can be used separately, or snapped into
an outer carrier and carried together. It is moderately -
but unavoidably - bulky, and not too unduly heavy.
The Growing Need for a
BottleWise Type Product
There's nothing worse than
having a bottle break inside your suitcase, is there. At
best, it is disappointing - you've got a mess of liquid and
broken glass to take care of, and have lost the opportunity to
enjoy some type of libation that you'd treated yourself to.
If it is red wine or some other liquid that stains, you have
major problems cleaning the clothes that have soaked up the
liquid. And if you had important documents or other items,
they may also be ruined.
There's another problem -
the broken glass can end up being ground to a fine powder during
a long and bumpy journey, and can infiltrate all your clothes.
I've found it easier to just throw away perfectly good clothing
rather than to try and pick fine glass shavings out of them.
It seems that such losses
are more common these days - at least for me - for two reasons.
Firstly, with TSA security, you can't now take bottles of wine
on flights with you as carry-on - you have to check them in your
Secondly, although you might
carefully pack bottles in your suitcase, surrounding them with
clothes and other protection, if the TSA open your suitcase and
rummage around in it, your bottles could end up anywhere at all.
I know that I've sometimes opened my bag to find what I'd
thought to be carefully placed bottles with lots of clothes
around them now lying loose in the bag.
I used to sometimes travel
with bubble wrap to wrap around bottles, but that is only a
partial solution - if the TSA open your suitcase, they're for
sure going to take the bottles out of the bubble wrap to see
what they are, and they may or may not put the bubble wrap
properly back over the bottles again.
Something else is required.
Two travelers, returning
anxiously from Australia, worrying about the fate of the wine in
their suitcase, decided to do something about it. Their
solution is the new and patented BottleWise padded carrier
system, proudly made in the US and available for sale through
What the BottleWise Is
The BottleWise system has
three components - two carry bags, each for a single bottle of
something, and a third wrap around piece to hold the two bags
together and give you something to carry them in/with if you're
wishing to use the BottleWise as a transport/carrier as well as
a packing system for your suitcase.
The two carry bags each
measure about 16" x 9", and are about an inch or two thick when
empty. Inside the bag is sewn a ¼"
thick sheet of rubberised foam which is the main form of
protection for the bottle that is placed inside. The foam is
sandwiched between a thick durable Cordura outside fabric and a
soft lining on the inside.
is a zip that runs the full length of one of the long sides of
the bag, and down 3" on each of the two sides.
The bag has a heavy gauge
plastic liner inside it with a ziplock type opening near the
top. The idea is you put your bottle inside the plastic
liner, squeeze the air out, seal the ziplock, then zip up the
carry bag. The bottle inside is therefore protected by the
¼" foam blanket, and even if something
should happen to the bag, the sealed plastic liner inside should
keep the liquid from escaping.
protects not just the bottle but also the heavy duty plastic
lining as well, so hopefully if a bottle does break, the broken
glass won't puncture through the plastic lining.
bag weighs 10.3 oz.
third piece of the BottleWise system is the outer carrier for
the two carry bags. It weighs about 12.5 oz, and is very
lightly padded. You can snap the two carry bags into this
and then carry them with the provided carry strap.
you're just using the BottleWise system to pack bottles into
your suitcase, it is best to pack the two carry bags separately
rather than to join them together with this outer piece.
the nicest features of the BottleWise is its unconditional
guarantee. You have to respect any manufacturer that
offers a guarantee that says
We stand behind the
quality of our products. That’s why every BottleWise bag
comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. What do we
mean by that? It’s quite simple really. If you are ever
dissatisfied the performance of your BottleWise bag, we’ll
replace it free of charge, or give you your money back. No
exceptions. No questions asked.
is one small catch with their guarantee, however. They ask
for you to include the packing slip and order number when
returning a BottleWise. There seems no justification for
this other than to make the guarantee harder to use.
BottleWise is very easy to use, as you'd expect. Put the
bottles in the bags, seal the bags, zip them up, and stick them
in your suitcase.
think of a circumstance where I'd use the outer carry piece that
joins the two bottles together, but it is available in case you
have a use for it.
Although the weight of each bag is appreciable, especially when
struggling to keep within the ever diminishing luggage weight
allowances offered by the airlines, it is not a disproportionate
extra weight when considered alongside the weight of the bottles
you are packing and protecting. A regular bottle of wine
weighs about 43 oz, so the carry bag (10.3 oz) adds about an
extra 25% to the weight of the wine alone. And if you're
putting larger bottles into the bag, the percentage weight
penalty for the carry bag gets less and less. A bottle of
champagne or a larger 1L bottle of spirits both typically weight
about 60 oz.
Although the BottleWise generally can manage to fit a bottle of
champagne or a 1L bottle of spirits, it is a major stretch and
struggle to do so. The product would be made greatly more
useful if it were made just one inch longer. Surely this
would add almost nothing to its weight and cost, but it would
then make it a comfortable fit with these other products.
With champagne and liquor costing potentially many times the
price of a bottle of still wine, BottleWise is even more
essential in these cases.
feature of the BottleWise is that when it is empty, it can be
folded flat and so takes up less space in your suitcase.
Not just wine
Although described as a
carrier for holding 750 ml (26 oz - a standard size wine bottle)
bottles of still wine, the carrier can also hold champagne bottles - although champagne
bottles hold the same amount of liquid as regular wine bottles,
they are appreciably larger in size.
They can also, depending a
bit on the shape of the bottle, be used to carry bottles of
spirits, including the nice big 1 liter bottles that are
sold at Duty Free stores around the world.
Ideally the BottleWise bag
would be very slightly bigger so as to make it easier to
accommodate large sized and strange sized bottles as readily as
it does standard sized still wine bottles.
The BottleWise bags don't
need to be used only with wine and other spirits, of course.
You can put anything fragile in them, whether it be intoxicating
liquor or something as mild as preserves and jams. But,
because the BottleWise bags have no external structure. you
wouldn't use them as a way of packing fragile china. They
provide cushioning for full bottles, jars, and other containers,
but don't provide protection for fragile items.
the BottleWise isn't bargain priced. A standard set - the
'BottleWise Duo' is priced at $48.95. A BottleWise Duo
Plus is priced $10 higher, at $58.95.
major difference between the two products is the color.
The more expensive product is available in red or yellow
- or, as they prefer to say, burgundy or cork. The more
expensive one also apparently has some extra padding on the
external optional carry piece.
However, being as how we
find little use for the external optional carry wrap around
piece, we see no value at all in the more expensive version, and
so would recommend the standard $48.95 unit.
That's a lot of money for
two wine bottle carry bags. But it only takes one broken
bottle in your suitcase to quickly persuade you of the value and
sense in such an investment.
It is a sad commentary on
airline baggage handling, but nonetheless realistic, to observe
that bottles in our checked baggage may break during their
The BottleWise system
provides good protection to minimize the likelihood of this
occurring; and - if it does occur - it acts to contain the
liquid and broken glass that would otherwise permeate through
everything in your suitcase.
$48.95, and currently
available only from the
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30 Nov 2007, last update
28 May 2011
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.