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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: Insulated Stainless Steel Bottles by Laken

When I travel, I always have a water bottle with me. It’s important to keep hydrated, especially in the warmer months and in the drying air of plane travel. Summer brings road trips, theme park visits and tons of travel, which means you’re going to need to keep some water with you more often. You know what sucks? When you’ve carried that bottle for like an hour and it’s already warm and blah. Yuck! I know when I’m wandering around Disney, it’s usually in the hot sun, which means even if I freeze a bottle, by mid-morning, it’s pretty much melted again. Enter Laken insulated thermos bottles.

Laken bottle reviewLaken bottle review

I’d heard about these insulated bottles that promise long-lasting cooling and warming for your beverages, but seeing as how I have spent quite a bit of money on different containers (you probably have too), I was a little skeptical. I saw some reviews that confirmed that they were really great, so I wanted to see for myself. Not only do they keep stuff hot and cold, but they have screw-on tops, so no matter what you’re doing and how jostled your bottle gets, your beverage stays inside without spills, which is not something most travel mugs can claim.

So, whether you’re roller coaster-bound, hiking, or just wandering the streets of a new city, you’ll want to get one of these bottles. I received two of Laken’s bottles: A wide-mouth version and a narrow mouth version. With a two-week trip to Orlando coming up and a shorter trip to Las Vegas in July, I definitely have the need to keep some cool water on my person. There’s nothing worse than trying to hydrate in 90+ degree weather with water that isn’t much cooler than that, and buying multiple drinks throughout the day can totally break your budget. Theme parks are known to sell water bottles at $5 or more a pop. Ouch. We’ve even gone the refill-the-bottle-you-brought method, which can be gross, because it ends up being lukewarm right off the bat.

So, what makes Laken bottles better than any other bottle you might have at home? The promise to keep liquids cool for 24 hours and keep them hot for up to 8. It is a reusable bottle that has food-grade stainless steel inside, so you aren’t subjected to plastic leaching or the heat making your water taste funky. I tested this out once they arrived. I’ve had other “double-walled” containers that didn’t work much better than a plastic water bottle, so it’s hard to wrap your head around such long warming and cooling times.

I grabbed lunch from a fast food place last week and somehow ended up with two large drinks. Since I couldn’t drink two, I put the one in my Laken thermos, ice and all, and left it out on my kitchen counter. 8 hours later, it looked and tasted just like it did when I put it in the thermos. I checked it every few hours and then left it overnight. At 24 hours, there was one sad little ice cube still floating around, but it was still there…and the soda still had fizz in it. What???? The soda was cold and not flat…after a whole day!

The next day I picked up a coffee and transferred it to the Laken bottle, went off to do some stuff and drank out of it for several hours without it ever cooling off, even with me opening and closing it quite a few times. That’s really one of the worst things about taking a coffee out with you anywhere. Sometimes it gets cold before you can finish drinking it. Well, we did another test with a hot coffee to see if the 8 hours was even close. My husband put a steaming hot coffee into the thermos, left it in his car while he was visiting his parents, then brought it home and put it on the counter. 8 hours after it was put in it, it was still hot. Not warm, but hot. After 12 hours, it was still warm. Can you imagine keeping this full of hot chocolate for outings with kids? Awesome!

With two, I can have my morning coffee and then have my cold water, tea or soda later in the afternoon if I want. It’s like having a little fridge with you wherever you go. Plus, the 25oz size (the largest) will fit into the water bottle pocket of most bags. The small travel bag I’ve been carrying around lately has a zip-out mesh pocket (for those sweating bottles) and both of these fit perfect in there and they were really stable. If you don’t have a day bag with a bottle holder, these have handles on the lids, so you can attach to a caribiner on your backpack or belt loop or even add a strap to them. Convenient, right?

I could easily take this everywhere with me, even on theme park rides all day long, because it’s airtight and won’t spill all over everywhere. If you fill it with ice, refilling it even with room temperature liquid will help cool it down and actually refresh you in the hot weather. I can promise you, I won’t be going anywhere without one or both of these bottles from now on.

Other specs:
Where can I buy it? On the Laken Website, On Amazon: Wide Mouth | Narrow Mouth
How much is it? Wide mouth: $13-64 | Narrow mouth: $12-65
What sizes do they come in? Depending on the style: 12, 17, 25 and 34 oz.
What colors does it come in? You name it, they got it. Mine are fuchsia and red, but you can also get them in black, yellow, blue, green, orange, silver and fun prints.
Other info: 18/8 food grade stainless steel, BPA free with no leeching effect, no powder coating, extremely durable and easy to clean. You can also purchase different lids for your Laken thermos.

Want to connect with Laken? Find them on their website | Facebook | Twitter

Where would one of these insulated thermoses come in most handy for you?

Disclosure: I was provided with two Laken bottles for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

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