Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lifefactory glass water bottles

Lifefactory is a new company to me and a relatively new family in general (launching in 2007).  Pretty cool story actually, with founders being a pediatric physical therapist and feeding specialist and an architect designer -
check it out here:

Anyway, probably the first thing you noticed was "Glass" and wondering why in the world I'm reviewing a glass water bottle.  Well, I like glass a lot as it is basically an endless natural resource, it's easy to clean, and it doesn't leach flavors (from other drinks or soap...) but, glass is... well breakable.  

Enter one of the big reasons for this review:

Now, the bottle is awesome, the caps are really cool (more on that in a minute), the company has a neat story, but what makes this all work is the sleeve!  These bottles have "carbon hex" silicone sleeves on them that "helps prevent breakage and provides a nonslip grip".  

Now, I'm quite sure it's possible to break these things, but I did Try to break it under normal use, ie I rolled it off my bar on the hardwood floor, dropped it straight down like a pencil on my linoleum covered concrete slab, even pushed it off the tailgate of my truck onto the asphalt sidewalk, and (best torture test ever) handed it to my 5 year old and told her "it's not breakable - go nuts" and it survived.  
The thick silicone sleeve is awesome.  Also helps that this is not a drinking glass - it's quite thick (my 22oz model with the straw cap weighs in at 1.2#).

This particular model is from the brand new Straw Cap Collection
There a couple of things that I Love about their particular straw cap design.  First off, it's got a nice handle that pivots out of the way when you're wanting to drink, you can open and close it with one hand (so if you're on a stationary bike you can maintain stride and grip with one hand the entire time - this same thing holds true for being on a treadmill but... why would you be on a treadmill, go outside!) the glass itself has a nice wide mouth (under the cap) that allows for ice cubes, protein powder, etc. and the Best thing about their straw cap design is the straw.  I know, sounds simple, how can you mess up a straw, right? But people do.  
Lifefactory uses a soft medical grade silicone flexible straw - not the pencil stiff plastic ones that I've always found in normal straw lids.  Why it took someone so long to figure out that was a good idea is beyond me, but awesome job Lifefactory.  Another big bonus?  I'm not a fan of using reusable straws forever, while these are great, flexible, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe, I still like to replace mine and you can buy a 3 pack of replacement flexible silicone straws straight from Lifefactory for $1.99.

The people over at Lifefactory have this awesome concept that they call Cradle to Table.  What this means is that they actually offer this exact design (nice, thick glass bottles with silicone sleeves) for babies to adults.  Seriously, they have nipple bottles in 4 and 9oz sizes, then they have toddler versions in 9oz with sippy-cup lids, and then they have "kid" ones in 9oz with screw on flat caps.  And (best idea yet) all the baby/toddler/kid lids are interchangeable on all 4 and 9oz bottles.  
Then for the adults they come in 16oz and 22oz and they have flip top lids (which are pretty cool - it's a small opening to drink out of with the ability to take it off and have the large glass top opening for putting in ice, powder, mix-ins, etc.), screw-on flattop lids, and these new straw lids (like the one I have):
"The NEW Straw Cap is designed for upright, spillproof sipping (no tipping required). The Straw Cap is perfect for the treadmill and yoga class. The pivoting handle provides a great way to carry the bottle and stows out of the way while drinking." 

So you have 
  • Stage 1 bottle nipple
  • State 2 bottle nipple
  • Sippy-cup lid
  • Screw-on flat lid
  • Flip top lid
  • Silicone straw cap
I honestly got to test this bottle for about 48 hours before my wife saw it and stole it (I knew I should have snagged 2...).  She has carried it around in her purse and diaper bag, which are about as organized as a filing cabinet that rode 3 counties in a tornado, and it never leaked a drop (her most important test criteria) and now she's decided she wants to get some for our daughters (one bottle age and one lunch box age).  

Verdict:  I really do like it.  It's well made, responsibly made, American made (sleeve and cap are made in America, glass is made in France, and assembly takes place in America), stylishly made, cool story (which you know I'm a sucker for), and neat concept (the Cradle to Table design).


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