Clean Bottle and The Square: A Review

A few weeks ago I had gotten in contact with Clean Bottle, an innovative and awesome company that manufactures reusable water bottles. I was able to receive a small sponsorship with them and received four of their water bottles.

When it comes to water bottles, I greatly despise plastic water bottles. They flood the shelves of grocery stores: from your generic local brand to fancy imported water such as Voss, the packaging material is the same: plastic. A whole aisle of plastic. From one gallon bottles to 24-pack-5 oz bottles.  Plastic wrap graphics that aim to attract your consumerist attention to “33% reduced plastic content”. It’s all paralysis analysis. All plastic water bottles are a time-bomb of an environmental destruction, no matter how much recycling awareness is labeled on the each bottle. In my eyes, majority of the population will not go out of their way to recycle something– habits are  hard to change/implement. Water is one of the Earth’s greatest elements, yet it is becoming increasingly scarce and impure. The plastic water bottle industry is a horrendous victim of sustainable consumer goods and it’s not going away anytime soon.

On the bright side, there has been a recent surge in reusable water bottles. Whenever I see someone carrying one, I give them a thumbs up in my mind, unless they are a good friend and appreciate the verbal comments. There are so many reasons why we should all own a reusable water bottle. Taking it to another level, I am quite particular in a few factors in my purchasing decision:

  1. Material: Is it BPA-free?
  2. Durability and functionality
  3. Design

About Clean Bottle:

After hearing about Clean Bottle through running and cycling websites, I purchased the Square a few months ago, and it was one of the best investments in terms of an every day water bottle. I have owned several other bottles in the past, but I haven’t seen anything as aesthetic and functional as the Square.

Clean Bottle has also appeared on Shark Tank and the founder himself has even ran in the Tour de France as the mascot, Bottle Boy. The problem with water bottles is that they are hard to clean (even with a bottle brush cleaner) and without a doubt, mold and foul smells accrues. Gross! What did Clean Bottle do? They solved the problem by creating a water bottle that unscrews from both the top AND bottom.  54 prototypes later, Clean Bottle has truly reinvented the water bottle. I do not know of any other company that has implemented this structural feature.

1. The Square

The Square bottle is a sleek, stainless steel bottle. I take it everywhere and every day with me. I love modern and contemporary design, so it is naturally fitting that I posses a modern water bottle. I have gotten a lot of comments about the bottle’s aesthetics, as well as questions about the eco-aspect. I currently have the orange one.

clean-bottle-square
Square System

Features:

  • Patent pending Double Lid System: unlocks on both ends with only a quarter turn
  • Wide top handle for easy carrying
  • Square form prevents rolling, literally…and  you can get creative with this: a parking stop, fill it with sand and use it as a free weight, bookend keeper, etc.
  • Leak proof

Other thoughts: I know there is talk about a new insulated sleeve for the Square…that will be awesome when it launches. It would be cool if there was a double-wall steel bottle. If you pour cold water or liquid in the current Square, there is condensation by default. Also, I have taken the bottle with me when biking, but if the bottle cage is not wide enough, then there will be scratch marks left behind.  For $44.95, it is quite a steep offering, but as stated by Clean Bottle, it is guaranteed for life. If you see any fault with the Square (or the other bottles), then Clean Bottle will gladly send a replacement or return a refund.

photo (4)
Cycling with the Square

Bottom line: I love this bottle and plan on getting more in a few other colors.

2. The Original and the Runner

The Original is the typical sport bottle, but has the signature dual lids that make cleaning easy. The bottles are translucent and light weight. I remember someone who mentioned to me that they got one of the earlier Originals and noted the heaviness.

The Runner includes a smartphone holder, which also fits iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy 3. You can place your keys, cash, and even attach energy gels. Sport Jelly Beans are a great alternative to bring along too!

photo (5)
Originals and The Runner

Material: The BPA-free bottle is durable and light. It is easy to quench your thirst when squeezing the sides of the bottle.

Running with the Runner: I really abhor running with water bottles or carrying anything, but it becomes a necessity when running longer distances. For this review, I embarked on a 3 mile run. While I took a few gulps of water after each mile, the mechanical motion of swinging your arm upwards to quench your thirst is no different than with any other bottle. What I noticed was that the sides of the bottle are easy to squeeze. This is important since you don’t want to slow down or stop to just drink water or electrolyte fluids.

Running shoes used: Mizuno Wave Inspire 9

Cycling with the Original: It’s important to bring a water bottle when out riding. It’s great if you have 2 bottle cages on your bike. I usually ride at least 10 miles on my bike, as anything less I feel is not a sufficient workout. I went on a 16.4 mile ride with the Original and only have a few thoughts. The bottle fit well in the bottle cage; there was not any interference with the bike frame. It was a particularly cool day out riding and I was already hydrated beforehand, so I didn’t intake as much fluids throughout. Once again, an important thing I noted was the ease of handling the bottle while going approximately 10 mph.

Bike used: 2012 Trek Madone 4.7

Overall thoughts: It might sound silly to test run and ride with new kinds of water bottles, but if you believe in new  innovations for a lifestyle or sport you love, it’s very cool.  Initially when I received the bottles, I thought the material and durability was questionable. There are a multitude of water bottles sold on the market, but they are all different. Have a very flexible bottle and you will have a frustrating time trying to resolve your desire to rehydrate. Have a very firm and solid bottle, and you’re thinking, “What did I just buy? A plastic rock bottle?”. The Original is a balance between flexibility and durability.

The way I describe Clean Bottle is that it is the only bottle you will ever want to own for your life or fitness. There have been some other reviews out there with complaints about certain spots where water can be left behind after cleaning, which puts the company’s key feature in the spotlight: “How clean is Clean Bottle?”. For instance, the Square has a very unique design in which the bottom of the bottle has certain niches for the lid to open and close. Depending on how you store the bottle for drying (if not cleaned through the dishwasher), there will still be small amounts of water left. The simple solution is to place the bottle slanted upright or on the side to dry out the rest. Finally, I think Clean Bottle is taking a huge step in creating better, easier to clean water bottles. If you can spend less time washing water bottles, especially if you’re training for long endurance races, it is superb. I can’t wait to see what the next water bottle will look like.

My stars: 9.5/10

Love cycling
Love cycling

Check out the Clean Bottle website. Awesome web layout and graphics!!

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