Many athletes prefer squeezable bottles for sporting activities, but usually a squeezable bottle means an uninsulated bottle. That's where the Product Architects Polar Bottle -- a double-walled bottle with a layer of foam between -- comes in. According to reviewers, the foam doesn't seem to insulate as well as double-walled vacuum-sealed containers, but those bottles have rigid walls that aren't as functional for athletic activity. The Polar Bottle features a sport lid attached to the bottle by a carrying loop. Its shape offers a grip, which many users find convenient, and the bottle is decorated with a foil lining. An array of linings is available including solids and designs, though some users still find the bottle unattractive.
The best reviews of the Polar Bottle come from Good Housekeeping and the Gardenaut blog. Good Housekeeping does extensive testing of 32 bottles and asks a panel of users to discuss their usability. Gardenaut reviewer Jeremiah McNichols lives with each of the 10 bottles he reviews and scores them on design, durability, insulation and value. User reviews from Amazon.com and Buzzillions.com bring to light pros and cons not seen in the professional reviews.
1. Good Housekeeping
Good Housekeeping tests 32 reusable water bottles that claim to be BPA-free. Each bottle is subjected to stability, leak and drop tests, and a panel of testers evaluates the bottles for comfort, ease of use and appearance. Polar Bottle comes in at third, and Good Housekeeping lists both pros and cons. While testers find the bottle easy to hold and carry, they complain that the bottles aren't attractive.
Review: Reusable Water Bottles Tested, Editors of Good Housekeeping
2. Gardenaut (blog)
Blogger Jeremiah McNichols evaluates 10 BPA-free water bottles over a five-week span using four criteria: design, durability, insulation and value. The Product Architects Polar Bottle earns a Gardenaut Top Pick thanks to its durability and value. Surprisingly, McNichols isn't especially impressed with the bottle's insulation, saying single-walled metal containers insulate better; however, he does say insulation improves if the bottle is stored in the refrigerator before filling.
Review: BPA-Free Water Bottle Showdown, Jeremiah McNichols, May 12, 2008
The Polar Bottle gets nearly 300 reviews on Amazon.com and does relatively well. Users here note problems that other reviewers don't, including leakiness. Some user-reviewers also complain that the insulation doesn't work well, while other owners praise the Polar Bottle for being squeezable.
Review: Polar Insulated Water Bottle, Contributors to Amazon.com
On Buzzillions.com the Polar Bottle does even better than on Amazon. With 60 reviewers, more than half say the Polar Bottle insulates well. Few users list cons in their reviews, but the most common are "small capacity" and "leaves aftertaste."
Review: Polar Bottle Water Bottle - 24 fl. oz., Insulated, Contributors to Buzzillions.com