By Christopher Dudley
I have long been impressed with the plethora of handy products that GSI has come out with for the outdoor enthusiast, backpacker, hiker, and general fitness minded folk. Their catalog WEBSITE ranges from cast aluminum dutch ovens (of which we own two), to backpacking stoves designed for four season use, to camp furniture and coffee brewing apparatus. They really have it all. I have now been provided two of their new vacuum insulated Microlite bottles. LINK The first I will give specs on is the 720 Flip and the second is the 500 Twist.
The GSI Website has given these specs for the 720 Flip:
Incredibly lightweight, vacuum-insulated bottle provides 9 hrs. heat and 22 hrs. cold retention while being 1/3rd lighter than traditional designs. Impossibly thin, 2mm walls are actually thinner than most single wall plastic bottles for an amazingly compact footprint that fits anywhere. 18/8 stainless steel boasts unrivaled purity and durability. Push-button, flip top cap locks closed for transport and locks open for easy drinking.
MAJOR DIMENSION: 24 fl. oz.
WEIGHT: 11.1 oz.
DIMENSIONS: 3.5” x 3” x 10”
MATERIAL: Stainless Steel
PRODUCT USE: Day Use
Locking, Push Button Lid, 720 ml Vacuum Bottle
The GSI Website has given these specs for the 500 Twist:
Incredibly lightweight, vacuum-insulated bottle provides 10 hrs. hot and 20 hrs. of cold retention while being 1/3rd lighter than traditional designs. Impossibly thin, 2mm walls are thinner than most single wall plastic bottles for an amazingly compact footprint that fits anywhere. 18/8 stainless steel provides unrivaled purity and durability. Secure screw top cap includes leverage enhancing lobe which makes opening frozen bottles easy- even with mittens or gloves. Leash provides convenient attachment point.
MAJOR DIMENSION: 17 fl. oz.
WEIGHT: 7.7 oz.
DIMENSIONS: 3.3″ x 2.6″ x 8.2″
MATERIAL: Stainless Steel
PRODUCT USE: Backpacking, Day Use, Car Camping
Lid, 500 ml Vacuum Bottle
I utilized our very accurate kitchen scale and measured the 720 Flip bottle at 10.8oz which is slightly less than advertised. In comparison, I have another major brand similarly sized stainless insulated vacuum water bottle and it weighs 16.4oz, so it appears that the term “Microlite” is valid in this case. I measured the 500 Twist at 8.0oz which is a hair heavier than advertised. My initial thought regarding these thin walled water bottles was that they would be delicate. Upon receiving them I found that one can press their finger against the side wall and it will dent in, but spring right back out! Any other thermoses or stainless water bottles I have ever used first of all couldn’t be pressed in with your finger, and if pressed somehow, they would retain said dent. It seems that GSI has used some sort of “spring” steel which springs back out when hit. This is a great way to reduce weight. I mentioned previously that I have a different manufacturer’s vacuum water bottle and whereas I like it, it is too heavy for me to use it in any other way but around the house, camp, or car. I would not want to heft the weight. Both of these Microlite bottles are reasonable enough to carry around without being too much of a drag.
Upon looking at the specs for both bottles on the website I noticed at the bottom of the page what accessories are available for each bottle. What I quickly realized is the difference between the say, 720Flip and the 720Twist is merely the lid and you can purchase the lid you don’t have or a replacement for a very reasonable price. I can imagine cases where you would want the 720 capacity of a hot liquid but not want the Flip drinking ability but rather have the Twist option. This is a very handy feature to have. Cheers to GSI Outdoors for thinking ahead on this!
In the coming weeks I will be testing the Microlite bottles cold and hot retention claims. I am not 100% sure the exact environmental specs they used to come up with their numbers, but I will try and use average interior home ambient temps and basic cold tap water with a few ice cubes and just under boiling water. Stay tuned for my data!