Just prior to a rather hot Summer, Polar was nice enough to send us a couple of samples of their Breakaway insulated water bottles. For the last few months I’ve been using both their 20 and 24 ounce offerings on most of my day to day rides. Here’s how they’ve been working out.
- Weight: 132 grams (20 oz) / 148 grams (24 oz) – *our scale
- Dimensions: Standard 2.75″ width X 9″ and 10.75″
- 100% BPA-free
- Replaceable “Surge” lid ($5)
- Made in Colorado
- Lifetime warranty
- $14 / $15
The grooves on the lid make it really easy to remove and install. Snugging it down and getting a good seal even when it’s wet is effortless.
The low density polyethylene plastic used is soft and pliable enough that it’s quite easy to squeeze…Even when super cold with a bunch of ice floating around inside. The point being, you won’t be struggling to get water out.
Another aspect that helps with getting water out is the valve. It has a nice high flow rate and is really easy to pop open or closed using your teeth around the ridge with the mold release dimple show above. Left: closed / Right: open.
Polar’s insulation is a “triple wall” construction sealed off between two layers of plastic. Read on to see how it worked out…
So when you opt for an insulated bottle, your gain is that you don’t have to drink luke warm to hot liquid on an already warm day. You do however either give up a little bit of liquid volume or pick up a bit of bottle size. For many riders this is a non issue, but for some who are dealing with inherent space limitations inside of the main triangle of their frame, they can only go so big…For comparison’s sake, a standard sized non-insulated Specialized bottle which holds roughly volume as the same as the 20 oz. Polar Breakaway is about an inch shorter in length. That’s not all that much, but depending on your frame it might be the difference between fitting and not fitting.
Anyhow, onto the actual performance. Starting with sealing, I had absolutely zero issues with either bottle. A huge pet peeve of mine is water bottles that leak. I don’t care where it leaks – but if it does, it’s going in the trash…or maybe the recycle bin, but you get the point. There are few things more annoying than cleaning sticky sugary drink off your your expensive frame because a bottle can’t do its very simple job. So yes, no liquid from the lid nor from the spout, so we’re off to a good start. I loved how easy it was to get a good seal due to the grabby lid, and I’ve lost lids before, so it is also quite cool that you can replace them for just $5. This also has the potential to help cut down plastic waste, which is something we can all get behind.
As far as opening and closing the spout, I much prefer Polar’s approach to anything else I’ve used as it only requires on hand – you simply open and close it with your mouth. Bottles that require twisting are really annoying. Lastly and most importantly we can touch on how well it insulated drinks. While this is no substitute for a thermos style bottle, it did keep my drinks notably cooler than a standard bottle on a hot day. When it comes to regular old water, I’m less peeved by having to drink it at air temperature, but when it comes to recovery drinks that is a whole other animal and I’ve got no desire to drink them warm. Provided that I used a few ice cubes – which fit easily in the large opening – and started out with cold water, by the end of most 2-3 hour rides in the 70º’s through high 80º’s, my liquids were far more bearable toward the end of a ride with this bottle. All in all, while the insulation part is great, it was actually the bottles overall design that won me over more than anything. To be completely honest, I’m a bit surprised that Polar bottles aren’t more commonplace in the private labelling arena. Anyhow, pick one of these up – you won’t be sorry!