This water bottle sidesteps the pitfalls of most drinking vessels and is easy to use, carry and clean, delivering a thirst-quenching gush of water on the trail without ever spilling
Lightweight and packable
Easy to carry and use one-handed
Fits in most cup holders
Impact-resistant BPA-free plastic
Made using recycled and recyclable materials
No plastic taste
Only one size available
Button operated lid has more opportunity to break
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Contigo Cortland Autoseal Water Bottle 720ml: first impressions
Hiking water bottles really don’t seem like they should be a particularly complex piece of kit and yet it’s amazing how many problems you end up with if you pick the wrong one. Contigo has pulled out all the stops with the Cortland Autoseal to develop a water bottle that is hassle-free whether you’re hiking or hanging out at the crag.
This BPA-free plastic water bottle is lightweight and ergonomic, meaning you can easily drink from it one-handed, making it ideal for outdoor adventures when you don’t want to add a lot of weight and need to be able to take a slug without breaking your stride.
• List price: $23 / £18
• Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.9 x 10.3 in / 9.9 x 7.6 x 26.4 cm
• Weight: 6.3oz / 180g
• Volume: 25oz / 720ml
• Materials: BPA-free plastic
• Lid type: Button-operate screw on with AUTOSEAL technology
• Colors: Grayed jade, Monaco, Radiant orchid, Smoke, Grapevine, Georgia pink
• Best use: Hiking, camping, rock climbing
The best features of this water bottle, however, are that it seems to be completely leak proof and the spout is controlled by an on/off button. When it is turned off, there is no possibility of water spilling out and drenching the contents of your backpack, but when it’s on, water gushes into your mouth to quench your thirst in the most satisfying way possible.
It’s just small enough in circumference that you can comfortably carry it in one hand, with a clip on handle for easy on-the-go transport as well. When it’s time to give it a clean, this bottle is dishwasher safe and the top is wide enough that you can easily and quickly wash it by hand too. We like it too much to take an axe to it but as far as we can tell, it is a really durable piece of gear – at least we hope so because we want to be using it for years to come. At a great price, we can’t really think of any reason not to treat yourself to one of these unless you’re serious about owning an insulated bottle.
Contigo Cortland Autoseal Water Bottle 720ml: in the field
I’m not going to say that I have fallen in love with this water bottle, because that would be weird, but I will say that I’ve been using it for hiking for the past month, and it definitely makes me feel feelings
Here’s how it performs on the trail:
Ease of use
This water bottle is super easy to use, as soon as you figure out how. Just unscrew the top and fill it up through a nice wide opening. Screw the top back on and if the on/off switch is turned off, throw it in your bag with no worries of leakage. When it came time to take my first slug, I definitely thought it was broken at first until I discovered the switch. Once I turned it on, I was really pleased with the way it pours water into my mouth about having to suck, and there’s no danger of it pouring down my shirt. It’s also easy to hold in one hand.
Now, environmentally speaking, I prefer a stainless steel or glass bottle, there’s no question about that. But the BPA-free Tritan plastic that goes into this bottle is made using recycled materials and is also recyclable (it’s the same type used in Nalgene bottles), which is a bonus.
Weight and capacity
The light weight of a plastic bottle is certainly persuasive. Even when it is full, it doesn’t add tons of weight to my pack and with a 720ml capacity. It holds a good amount of water for a day hike without being totally ridiculous. That said, it is a streamlined enough shape that it is still pretty easy to stuff into a full backpack, another thing I tend to struggle with when it comes to giant cylindrical vessels.
Taste and cleaning
There is no gross plastic taste from this water bottle even when it’s brand new which is awesome.
When it needs a scrub, once you unscrew the lid, the opening is quite wide, so it’s really easy to clean this with a brush and it’s dishwasher safe. The drinking spout isn’t too complicated as it doesn’t have a straw that can collect loads of dirt so I’ve just given it a quip wipe with a sponge and some soap.
Obviously, plastic will never have the durability of stainless steel, but it also doesn’t dent and frankly, for as much as I drop my water bottles that’s a good thing. This plastic is pretty sturdy and I can see it holding up for a few years. The drinking spout is a little high tech, so that’s the only mechanism that I can imagine could potentially cause trouble would be if the on/off switch stopped working.
Obviously, this isn’t a flask that keeps beverages hot and cold. It’s just for carrying water, or I suppose sports drinks if they are your cup of tea, proverbially speaking. Certainly not a problem for me as I’m quite happy to use my flask for hot drinks, but if you are looking for a two-in-one drinking vessel, this one isn’t for you.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.