A few weeks ago I received a press release from the reusable bottley company Contigo. They partnered up with a local festival, and offered their Grace bottle for a much reduced price (6 euro instead of 20 euro) at the scene, and provided everyone who purchased a bottle with free tap water refills throughout the festival.
A day after the initial press release we received a Grace bottle to test. The built quality seems sturdy plastic that will last. Upon opening the first time, there is a very plastic smell, which reminded me of basilica. However, with use, the smell is completely gone.
The top is a nice bit of engineering with their unique Autoseal technology. A fancy name that means if you push the big collored button, water comes out. Another claim is that it’s ‘100% Leakproof’. Is it? No. But it is almost is.
And that is how most of the product is. Almost 100%.
In the month that I’ve used it, dangling from my photo-belt, stuffed in a backpack, or just handling it on the street, I used it nearly daily, and you can see it on the bottle. It is already covered with scratches and pits. The nice rubbery carry ring can’t really handle a metal hook to dangle on, and as a result much of the rubber is scraped off, which seems weird for something that looks like it was designed just for that function.
When drinking the bottle there is a real chance of spilling. Or at least several drops of water that go everywhere. For example, while working the festivals, shooting in an overcrowded photo-pit, overflowing with photographers, security, crowd surfers, and the occasional singer deciding to join the crowd, you have those precious moments between songs to drink. So you quickly grab the bottle, push the button, and drink. And spill.
When drinking from a glass you don’t have to think how you are holding or using it. But with this bottle you have to think how you are holding it. Even while writing this review I spilled. It’s just odd that when creating a product that is meant to suit one of our basic instincts, they managed to create something where you have to think to use it. Just very odd.
It’s a great product, but not worth the 20 euro retail price. (However, at local music festival Rock Herk the bottle was available at a subsidized price of 6 euro, which hits a sweet spot.) In the end I still enjoy using my bottle on trips, but it’s not something I use day to day in the office. A glass will do just fine.