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Sleepypod’s Yummy bowls: Well-made food & water bowl set

When I learned a little while ago that Sleepypod was about to release a new product, I paid attention. The company makes well-designed, quality stuff — in the past I’ve praised both the Sleepypod Air carrier and the original Sleepypod carrier — and I was interested to learn how they’d handle their new project, a set of travel food and water bowls. I wrote to the company and asked for a set to review.

This is, therefore, a product that I haven’t paid for. I will not receive any compensation from Sleepypod, however, and the company does not require that I express a particular point of view. I will be keeping the bowl set: The Yummy costs just under $40, so there’s no conflict with my review policy, but more importantly, life caught up with me a bit and the sample water and food I put in the bowls when I received them have been in there now for two weeks — nothing a good wash in the dishwasher won’t cure, but enough to make the set a bit too used to give away.

The set includes a gently-rounded triangular bowl that holds water. It’s essentially 6 1/2″ round and 3″ tall, so it’s a substantial bowl for a small dog. It has a wide rim, which is meant to discourage spills. Forming a lid for the water bowl, and functioning as one of the two food bowls in the set, is a clear frosted silicone bowl with a wide, folded-over lip. Fitting into its top (and forming the lid for the set) is the third piece, a grey bowl with a built-in saucer. Possible problems with ants? Fill the saucer with water, and they can’t make it to your pet’s food. (That actually works, I can tell you from experience.)

Photo by Sleepypod

So there you have it: A good-sized bowl for water, a food bowl, and a second, smaller food bowl. The water bowl comfortably holds about 1 1/3 cups of water — a good quantity for a small dog. Though you have two food bowls, you can only carry one heap of food — and it needs to be a modest heap, no more than about 2/3 cup. That’s because the edges of the grey, top bowl need to be tucked into its frosted neighbor, and you can’t tuck when the frosted bowl has food in it. You need to put the food in the grey bowl, then invert the frosted bowl over it, tucking and “burping” the silicone until you achieve a snug fit.

Similarly, when you put the frosted bowl “lid” on the water bowl, you have to ease it into place, burping the silicone as you go, like a Tupperware container. Sure enough, I planned poorly and filled the water bowl first — which meant that I inverted the entire lower structure, sloshing with water, over the grey lid. It’s a testimony to the product that that’s workable — no spills at all.

Mia, a loyal Dog Jaunt reader, left a comment asking if I would make a video to show how all this works, and here it is:

In fact, the set, assembled and full of water and food, is extremely tidy. As I mentioned, life caught up with me and my set rattled around my car and a tote bag, being toted hither and yon, for a couple of weeks. I had put the set in a Ziploc bag, fearing the worst, but at the end of all that activity, there were only a couple of drops of water in the Ziploc bag. If you were planning to keep the set level, you wouldn’t need a Ziploc bag at all.

How about food smells seeping through the seals? Our cats Otto and Bella live for food, and can sense its presence through most packaging — we have to put new, unopened bags of dog/cat kibble and treats in storage bins, or they’ll chew right into them. Only towards the end of the two-week period did our cats start investigating the Yummy, nibbling through the surrounding Ziploc bag. For the first couple of days that it was full, I left it out (completely naked — no Ziploc) for Bella and Otto to inspect, and neither of them was interested.

A few things give me pause for thought about this set. The lip on the water bowl surely does cut down on spills, but it also makes it tricky to empty out all the water, and you need to be mindful of that crease when you’re cleaning the bowl. The fact that the frosted bowl functions as the lid of the water bowl means that the frosted bowl will have a wet base when you disassemble the set. And, stepping back a bit, I’m having a hard time coming up with a scenario where I’d actually need this set-up.

It might make sense if my husband was taking Chloe to work with him — say he didn’t have a kitchen in his office, or say his kitchen didn’t have substantial bowls he felt comfortable using for the dog — and she was on a schedule where she needed to eat during the day. And what if we were driving somewhere with Chloe, and we didn’t know what the facilities were like on the other end (or we didn’t want to bother our hosts with dog-related demands right off the bat), and we wanted to be able to feed and water her as soon as we arrived? The Yummy might be a good thing in that situation too.

Despite Sleepypod’s best efforts (“serve wet and dry food separately”), I don’t feel the need for two food bowls. Someone traveling with two pets, though, might be thrilled (they’d have to be small pets, though, since the set only holds a small amount of food at a time).

It has to be mentioned, too, that the set is bulky. It’s the size of a substantial soup bowl, and, empty, it weighs just shy of a pound. I find myself wondering if I’m not happier with my two little stainless steel bowls, a Ziploc baggie of kibble, and water from the water bottle we’re usually carrying with us.

I want to love the Yummy, partly because it’s well-constructed and partly because it comes in colors that make me happy (as always, when given the choice, I went for bright orange, but it also comes in hot pink, lime and aqua). Perhaps in time it will weave itself into my travel routine. If you can see a need for it in your life, I have no hesitation recommending it.

Amazon link:
Yummy Travel Bowl