There are so many reusable bottles out there now that it can be hard to decide which to buy! This week we’re reviewing some popular bottles, showing their differences and similarities to give you the information you need to make a wise choice. See yesterday’s review of the Klean Kanteen.
Today we’re reviewing the ThinkSport Insulated Bottle. This one is our staff top pick and a great gift idea for those who need to be introduced to reusable bottles. This is also the only insulated bottle in our lineup, but even so, that’s not it’s most redeeming feature! This bottle has many great qualities, but it’s still priced right, and in fact even lower than other bottles of the same size.
The ThinkSport Insulated Bottle comes as a complete package. It has two different openings for drinking, a connected cap and also a strainer, which we’ll expound upon later.
What you might notice first about the ThinkSport is its size. It is larger than the other bottles we are reviewing in girth, but the volume is similar to the larger Klean Kanteen and LifeFactory Bottles (LifeFactory will be reviewed tomorrow). The girth is an issue in some situations, it does not fit easily in a cup holder (and will not fit at all in many cup holders), and it’s not as easy to stick in a bag. This is really the only negative with the ThinkSport bottle, though, read on to see all of it’s great features
The ThinkSport has two different ways to drink. The first is by unscrewing the small cap. This reveals a Polypropylene spout. Polypropylene, marked plastic #5 with a “PP” below the recycling symbol, is the safest plastic and often used in reusable drink bottles because it does not have BPA or other harmful chemicals that can leach into the liquid. This smaller spout is ideal for sipping cold beverages from the ThinkSport bottle. Liquid easily flows through, allowing thirsty drinkers to get a good amount, but not allowing so much liquid through that it will spill if you’re active or in the car. We recommend using this spout only with cold drinks because it is plastic.
The ThinkSport is insulated, for cold drinks this means your bottle will not sweat and your drink will stay cold. But it also makes it an ideal bottle for hot drinks, which is where opening number two comes into play. First of all, screw that small top back on. Once it’s in place you can open the base of the bottle, revealing a wider opening, and with the small cap on the strap, the larger bottle top is on the strap, too, meaning you can’t lose your top!
With the bottle open, you have a stainless steel and wide opening to drink from. (I’m sure you’re wondering what that little thing is in the bottle opening in the picture to the left. That’s the big bonus that we’ll get to in just a bit. Hang in there!) Use this wide opening to gulp down your cold drink when you’re really thirsty, or to sip at your hot drink, which stays toasty warm inside your ThinkSport bottle. And the insulation on the ThinkSport is excellent. A hot drink will stay hot for hours! Be careful, folks, if you put some hot tea in your ThinkSport bottle, close it up and come back to it an hour later, it will likely still be hot enough to burn your tongue. Yup, I know that from experience.
But this wide opening makes sipping hot tea or coffee a pleasure. This is best for drinking while standing still, not as an on-the-go opening since a bit too much tilt and you’ll get a bit too much liquid. It won’t look so nice spilled down the front of your shirt.
And now, finally, the little bonus that we have yet to see on another reusable bottle. It’s what we call the Ice Blocker/Tea Strainer. It’s also stainless steel, with a little flip up-flip down handle that makes it easy to set in and out of your ThinkSport bottle. It snaps into place, once it’s in, it’s in, it won’t move around as you’re drinking your beverage. This strainer has two uses. First, when drinking something cold, if you add ice to your drink the strainer will hold the ice back to keep it from blocking the flow of liquid. Even if you’re using the smaller Polypropylene spout, this ice blocker feature is very handy, keeping your drink flowing at a good speed. And if you’re going to use the larger opening, it keeps the ice from falling into your mouth, once again this could cause splashing and ruin that pretty shirt!
If you’re in the mood for some tea, heat up some water, pour it into your ThinkSport and add loose tea leaves right to the water. This strainer will strain them out for you while you drink. Or if you prefer to use a tea bag, the strainer will keep the bag inside your bottle until you’re ready to take it out. Very handy, very cool, just a little thing that makes a big difference with this bottle.