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Contigo Drinkware Update

The full set of Contigo drinkware products I have been trying out recently ~ previously reviewed FreeFlow AUTOSEAL 1L Water Bottle, Thermal Bottle THERMALOCK 740ml, Grand THERMALOCK Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle 1.9L and Thermal Bottle THERMALOCK 1.2L [© Mike Gormley]

Contigo have really upped their game since I first reviewed one of their drinkware range over a decade ago for C&S Magazine, writes Mike Gormley.


I have long been a user of Contigo but now have the opportunity to look at some of their latest evolutions. I recently covered their FreeFlow AUTOSEAL 1L Water Bottle and lately I have been using three of their thermal flasks:-

Thermal Bottle THERMALOCK 740ml:

Contigo Thermal Bottle THERMALOCK 740ml [©MG]

To most of us this is a more normal ‘flask’ that we all use frequently for many reasons. Relatively small and compact enough for general everyday type of use to keep a ‘hot wet’ or a ‘cold one’ with us for our daily refreshments. This latest bottle from Contigo has some good features for the likes of us who are ‘out there’ and in conditions which can often be a bit rough and tumble.

The THERMALOCK 740ml flask kept my water hot for my Torq breakfast some hours after leaving home [©MG]

Contigo quote 30 hours for hot and 45 hours for cold but I suggest I would be unlikely to leave it this long. That said, on one trip I did fill this with hot water and never got to use it and two days later it was still notably warm. As with the others in this range, it is made from 18/8 stainless steel and is matt black powder coated, but this flask has some very nice features. Well placed on the outside and just where you naturally grab hold of the flask is a section of grippy rubber compound. So with cold wet hands when carrying, and importantly when pouring, your grip is assured.

The THERMALOCK screw caps enable 360° pouring and can easily be taken apart to clean [©MG]

And talking of pouring. The screw cap on this flask is very neat. First of all, the opening into the flask is a good size so easy to fill. Into this the screw cap fits as one would expect and has a good ‘feel’ as it tightens and seals. However, this has an inner section which also screws into the main cap. This has a yellow seal to identify the joint where the fluid will pour from when the inner is unscrewed about one half of a turn. This has it own limiter so does not come out. If required, and for cleaning, further effort will fully unscrew this inner section. The good bit is when part undone you are able to pour the contained liquid at any angle. As those at Contigo say, it is has a 360 pouring. Very handy this as no searching for the allocated spout which is never where you want it and often tricky to see on other flasks I have tried; especially in the dark or when cold and wet. It is a controlled pour so it is generally difficult to spill your valued brew as well. This is definitely my ‘go to’ flask from now on.

Thermal Bottle THERMALOCK 1.2L:

The Contigo Thermal Bottle THERMALOCK 1.2L with folding handle [©MG]

This is the bigger brother of the of the 740ml flask and carries all the same features, only with more capacity. However, it does have a significant additional feature in the form of a neatly folding handle. When folded, this makes only a small difference to the overall bulk of the flask so again it will easily fit into a rucksack or bag. However when required, this folding handle is simply deployed to form both a carry handle and a safe and secure means of holding and tipping the flask for pouring. Both flasks have the same screw cap which is the mug. This mug also has the nice grippy band round it so is not likely to slip out of your hand.

The Contigo 360° pouring capability is very good and safe [©MG]

These flasks are clearly well thought out and designed by those who know and use such items. The only thing I think they missed is not adding the same non-slip base as is fitted to the Grand THERMALOCK. If this was fitted to these bottles on the base of the flask as well as the top, and so base when the mug is in use, this would take my rating of these to 100%.

Grand THERMALOCK Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle 1.9L:

Contigo Grand THERMALOCK Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle 1.9L [©MG]

This is a large insulated drink flask containing near two litres and also made from 18/8 stainless steel. Probably more than one would normally use in a backpack, but perfectly robust enough for this. I have been using it as a ‘bulk resupply’ container mostly for cold water. For this it has worked really well and keeps the valued liquid cool for may hours. I did put it in the fridge overnight when we were heading out for a long energetic day and what we did not use was still nice and cool the day after.

The Grand THERMALOCK was perfect for keeping water cold to refill the FreeFlow AUTOSEAL 1L Water Bottle during a charity half-marathon Jean and her daughter took part in [©MG]
The Grand THERMALOCK has a very useful and useable handle [©MG]

This flask has a neat captive strap to retain the insulated screw cap, which in turn forms part of the integrated handle. This whole assembly is well thought out. It is unobtrusive when packed away but immediately available to both haul the flask out of a bag or pouch and ideal to carry the flask. I can see this coming in really handy over the winter months when I go in support of moorland training teams, allowing me to have a good supply of hot water for on-the-go drinks. Contigo quote cold for 43 hours and hot for 22 hours. I have not tried it but this flask is said to be fine for carbonated drinks ~ open with care I would suggest! This would have great possibilities for beach barbecues etc.

The 1.9L Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle has a very good non-slip base ~ it would be good if the others had this same feature [©MG]

The Grand THERMALOCK base is non-slip, which is more handy than one would perhaps realise and it is quiet to put down. No clunks and clanks. The flask is matt black powder-coated so good for many of our more tactical readers.

~ $ ~

While out on a forestry job both Contigo drinks bottle and flask came in really handy and were well suited to this harsh environment where knocks are almost inevitable [©MG]
Finally, a feature I missed on my recent coverage of the Contigo FreeFlow AUTOSEAL 1L Water Bottle is the way the control valve can be popped open to clean [©MG]

[images © Mike Gormley]


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