Normally, thermal bottles are too hard to squeeze to get fluid out of them, and they don't insulate very well at all. These are the first I've tried that actually worked, and they're just as squeezable as regular water bottles.
PROS and TESTIMONIAL: First time using these I froze them both, put them on the bike, went riding out in the heat of summer, and couldn't get a drop out of them because they remained frozen hard as bowling balls the more than two hours of that particular ride out on the open road. I finally had to open one and drink at least the one sip's worth of fluid that had melted. This was an absolute first. I've used other thermal water bottles over the years, but I tossed them all pretty quickly. None of them worked until these.
Second ride I refrigerated them and put ice cubes in before heading out. The ice melted but the contents remained fairly cool for hours or riding, again in the heat of summer.
Third time I came up with a brilliant idea. I filled them halfway and stuck them in the freezer, then filled them the rest of the way with refrigerated fluid just before heading out. This worked the best of the options I've tried so far.
One rider in my riding club had a great idea--freeze one bottle and fill the other one with fluid and ice. He says by the time he's ready for that second bottle it's melted enough that he can drink out of it. I go through two bottles in under three hours in the summertime, so I'm not sure this will work for me, but I plan to try it out on the next long ride.
In any case, they are absolutely freezer safe. Go ahead, fill them and freeze them, then see how long it takes before you can drink out of them.
FLAVOR: I've had absolutely no problem with the bottle affecting the flavor of the fluids I put in my bottles. Some have complained about this, but it seems more likely that they didn't thoroughly wash the bottles before use. There maybe some shipping wax in there, or just some residue from the manufacturing process. Just two drops of dish soap; any more will have your fluids tasting soapy for several rides; wash out those bottles good even before the first use, and you wont have a problem.
CON--the 24 oz bottle might be too big for your bike frame: I measured the 24 oz bottle height at 10.5 inches with the cap closed and 10.75 with it open, the caviat being that before you order two of these bottles, make sure they will actually fit on your bike. One on the downtube definitely will, but you might have to go with the smaller ones if it wont fit under your top tube when inserted in the upright cage mounted on your seat tube. Mine just barely clears the top tube when inserted in the upright cage on my 54cm Trek road frame; if my frame were only 2cm smaller, I imagine it might not fit. I've included a couple of pictures of my 24 oz bottles in the cages of both my road and mountain bikes for reference.
I've seen several riders with a 24oz on the downtube and a smaller one on the upright, but the only problem there is grabbing and reinserting the bottle in the upright cage while riding. Personally, I used up the one on the downtube and then switch them, but many recreational rider never have gotten into the habit of taking a drink from their water bottle while riding anyway.
In any case, if you have even the slightest doubt about that second bottle fitting, buy one, see if it fits, and if it does then order a second one.
BOTTOM LINE: If they were normal water bottles I would buy them just for the size. Having 48oz of water on you without having to wear a Camelbak is nice.
The fact that the thermal technology works in this make and model is just miraculous, as I've tried several thermal bottles before and none of them seemed to do a damn thing to keep cold liquids cold and hot liquids hot--in the winter.
And lastly, every other thermal bottle I've tried was difficult to impossible to squeeze one handed while riding, so they were too inconvenient to be useful on a bike ride. Especially on a road ride near a major city, it's tough to get those precious seconds for a quick drink, so it really needs to work--and these do.
on July 7, 2008
Well, I saw the other reviews and decided to buy 5 of these for a trip to Hawaii with the family. I received them today and they weren't exactly what I had expected. The outside is a frosted clear plastic and the inside is a pure white hard plastic. Can't tell if they are molded together or just pushed into one another. They don't rotate so perhaps they are glued or fused in some way. There is a layer of air between them as well as what looks like a foil wrap or sock that has the words and coloring on it. The wrap is very loose fitting and looks rather cheap. However, I didn't want to loose hope so I decided to come up with a test to see how well the double walled bottle worked, since, after all it was getting good reviews. I decided to pit it against a standard squeeze bottle that people normally put on a bicycle, and one of those hard plastic, wide screw mouth bottles that people are always carrying around work. I put 10 ice cubes in each of the bottles and left them in a hot room (between 85 and 90 degrees). I didn't want the color to be a factor so they were not put in the sun. I waited until the hard plastic bottle's ice had melted by about 1/2 then I proceeded to measure the amount of water in each of the bottles. The hard plastic bottle had 11 teaspoons, the standard squeeze bottle had 8 teaspoons and the polar bottle had 4 teaspoons. So from this I think it's fair to say that the polar bottle was much better at keeping things cold than the others. The other thing I did was put a napkin under each of them. The polar bottle was the only one that didn't get wet underneath. The other bottles both sweated quite a bit. I think the double wall would not have stopped the sweating so the foil liner must be adding some benefit of some kind. The foil, by the way, does go around the bottom of the bottle as well, not just the sides. Overall, I think it will work out well and I am going to bring them on our trip. I hope this helps others in their decision.
on March 15, 2016
I ordered the 20oz Polar Insulated Water Bottle in red, as I just bought an entry-level MTB and want to do a mix of single-track and road-riding, both long and short-hauls. I needed something to supplement the need for a hydro pak on short runs; and, for an initial purchase, wanted something that would fit on either my seat tube or my down tube. While I haven't taken it on a ride, yet... it's still too cold in PA, but Spring is literally only a couple days away... here's what I've found so far.
Pros: The body is a nice, durable, pliable, contoured plastic. Contours cause the bottle to sit a little higher in my cage; but, allow the cage to grab the bottle. It has a quality feel to it, unlike cheaper "gimme" bottles. The red, mylar-like liner might serve a purpose, e.g., light/heat deflection and minor insulation; but, I think it's the double-walled construction that really serves the purpose of insulating. The outer shell is the semi-transparent part you see. Behind that shell is a another semi-harder white inner wall. The inner wall also feels more quality-driven than those you find on freebie bottles. I can definitely see how this will be freezer safe, given its pliability. The entire bottle body just feels durable, but not so much so that you can't squeeze it one-handed. Based on decent hard tugs, the black strap feels tear-resistant. The cap is well made and seems, despite being more opaque, like a material similar to that of the inner wall of the bottle--flexible, yet durable. The outer shell of the cap has a textured/contoured feel to it, allowing you to unscrew it easily. The nozzle (which feels like a durable, hard silicone) slides out with the perfect amount of resistance using either your teeth or your fingers. The nozzle is removable (which I really like, as it will make cleaning the cap much easier). To remove the nozzle, twist it in its housing and pull it out of the cap. It's not overly easy to do--it shouldn't be or it'd pop out on its own--but not so hard that it's impossible. When you finish cleaning the nozzle, pop it back in (ensuring the nozzle tabs are in the gaps provided). Water tests (i.e., topping the bottle off, capping it, and squeezing it as hard as I could) resulted in no leakage. The cap uses compression to keep liquid in it. There's a lip in the cap into which the mouth of the bottle fits--no gaskets or foam, only compression, but it works (at least for me). I would imagine cross-threading the cap would cause irreparable damage and leakage. Be careful not to cross-thread it; and, you should be okay. The water stream was perfect. The taste of the water in the bottle, after a thorough cleaning before first use, was excellent.
Cons: I honestly can't think of any based on what I'm seeing and experiencing, which is strange for me, as I really pick things apart... keeping in mind I haven't yet ridden with it. I’ll update the review after I take the bottle on a ride.
General Comments: After reading many reviews and doing a great deal of research, I settled on Polar Insulated bottles, vs Camelbaks, for a couple reasons. Some reviewers noted that this bottle doesn't keep liquids cold as long as other bottles (e.g., the better-insulated Camelbak Podium Chill); however, reviewers that actually purchased both bottles and tested melt-/warm-times thoroughly said the better insulation of the Chill was negligible and not really worth paying more than double what you'd pay for certain styles of the Polar bottles. In addition, compared to similar Camelbak-insulated designs, the cap on this thing is going to be much easier to keep mold-free (a huge plus, IMHO). My plan for this bottle, based on all I read, is, for short rides, to ice and go. For longer rides, I plan to fill it halfway and freeze it before my rides. Then, I'll take it out of the freezer right before the ride and fill it up the rest of the way. I've read accounts of others who pack two bottles and note they freeze the first half way and fill it with liquid and then freeze another solid. By the time they finish the first, the other is semi-thawed and ready to go. Before testing the bottle for leakage and taste, based on all I read, I cleaned it multiple times. First, I used barely a dot of dish soap and hot water on the cap and bottle--multiple rinses. I then used a baking soda/water mix on the cap and nozzle, rinsing well. Finally, I cleaned the bottle with a 1/4 lemon juice & 3/4 water mixture, rinsing well afterward... money. I don't put plastic in dishwashers. This bottle will be no exception. From this point on, I should be able to do the baking soda/water mix for the cap (nozzle out) and lemon juice/water mix for the bottle--allowing a complete air dry before reassembly--and be okay. Thorough cleaning and dry times are worth it, IMHO, to avoid mold that will grow in wet, dark places like any bottle's cap and nozzle.
Recommended Purchase: So, do I recommend purchasing the Polar Insulated Water bottle based on my experience so far (and based on all the other reviews I read)? Yes. This was my first Polar purchase. Based on what I'm experiencing, I'm getting another--the 24oz, in red--to supplement this one. The 20 will go on my seat tube, the 24 on my down tube. However, I wouldn't pay above $10 for this bottle, $15 at the most. For $8, depending on the style you choose and the oz you choose... absolutely, it's a great bargain for a great bottle.
In case you're wondering, I paid the Amazon-advertised price for this product. I only write reviews for items I personally use and test. Please know I did the best I could at the time I wrote this review and always welcome both constructive feedback (to make my reviews better) and all questions related to this review (to make it better and help where I can). I will try to address both as time allows, within a reasonable period from the date I posted the review. I'm a family man; so, my time isn't always my own. Thanks for understanding.