In the summer, we were contacted by the British start-up company Apex International which specializes in water bottles for outdoor sports. The company currently only offers one insulated water bottle (500 ml) in two different colors, but after checking technical specifications and product description we were excited to test the water bottle. Thus we got a sample in return for an unbiased review.
We received the Apex International water bottle at the end of the summer which was perfect because we were then able to test it in both warm and cold conditions. For the last couple of months, we’ve been using the Apex insulated water bottle on hikes, for everyday use and while travelling. We used it not only for water but also for tea, coffee, soup and other beverages. Below is what we learned about the Apex International insulated water bottle.
The Apex International water bottle is suitable for:
- Everyday use
The Apex International water bottle is a so-called vacuum bottle (also called vacuum flask) which means that it consists of two bottles – one is placed within the other. The air in the gap between these two bottles is then extracted which creates vacuum. This minimizes heat transfer as vacuum is the world’s best insulator and if a vacuum bottle is constructed well (i.e. very little contact between the two bottles), it can keep beverages hot or cold for many hours.
When I unwrapped the package, I immediately noticed that the bottle is robust and made of high-quality materials. It performed well keeping cold drinks chilled in warm weather but I was really curious to see how it would work in colder weather. So, one evening when the temperature had dropped below 10° C, I poured boiling water into the bottle and left the bottle outside for 12 hours. The night temperatures were between 5° and 8° C and 12 hours later the water in the bottle was still very hot – actually the perfect temperature for drinking without burning your tongue. So, the bottle also passed being tested in colder weather.
I have used the water bottle on hiking trails, and I am satisfied with it in general. The bottle provides good insulation and it always kept my drinks hot/cold. Since it’s made of stainless steel, it doesn’t absorb flavor, so you can easily use it for coffee, soup and other beverages without re-tasting them the next time you use the bottle for a different beverage. Stainless steel bottles can be inconvenient for sports because they are slippery, especially when your hands are sweaty. However, the Apex International bottle features a rubber coating on the outside which provides good grip. I was very satisfied with this little detail as it makes handling the bottle much easier and safer.
The bottle cap is not attached to the bottle which I found a bit disappointing. On trails it’s easy to lose such a small item and if you lose it, you have no option but to buy a new bottle. Otherwise, the bottle cap is well-made, and I haven’t encountered any leaks during the testing period. In case I do in the future, I will of course update this article accordingly. I also missed the cap functioning as an integrated cup. Some insulated bottles come with a cup which is very convenient because you obviously can’t drink boiling hot beverages directly from the bottle. Nevertheless, you can simply put a recyclable cup into your backpack to solve this problem.
The Apex International water bottle has a capacity of 500 milliliters, which I find perfect. The bottle is not too big for the side pocket of my Osprey Talon 22 daypack and it holds enough liquid to get a cup of warm tea during each pause on longer hikes. It weighs 290 grams which is very similar to the weight of competitive products of the same volume. Now, I’m into lightweight hiking and thus I typically use insulated water bottles only in very cold conditions. In warm and moderate conditions, I prefer to use my hydration bladder not only because it’s lighter, but also because it allows me to drink on the go.
I was a bit disappointed when I read the instructions and noticed that the bottle should not go in the dishwasher. The bottle has a very narrow opening and thus it’s really hard to clean it on the inside – there is no way you’ll get a sponge in there. I did a bit of research and many competitive products are dishwasher safe which is a great advantage. I believe that the problem is in the rubber coating which would probably get damaged if exposed to high temperatures. Nevertheless, if that’s the case the opening should be wider for easier cleaning.
So, let’s start with the good things. I was very satisfied with the quality of the bottle. During the testing period I haven’t noticed any leaks or other defects. The bottle provides good insulation and keeps drinks hot/cold for very long time. I was also very happy with the rubber coating which provides a good grip even if your hands are sweaty – nobody wants to drop their drinking bottle while standing on a steep mountain side. The biggest downside is that the bottle is very hard to clean. According to the instructions, you shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher and the opening is so narrow that you can’t reach more than a couple of centimeters into the bottle. Hence, cleaning is limited to pouring hot soapy water into the bottle, rinsing it and hoping you get everything out. Besides that I really liked the bottle and I will continue using it for hiking as well as everyday use.
If you have any questions about this product, drop me a line in the comments below.