The Zefal Arctica insulated water bottle is a good choice for keeping your drinks cold/hot for a prolonged period of time at an affordable price. The 700ml capacity of the bottle is great for longer rides but don’t be mistaken, this is not a thermos. The bottle is constructed of two bottles with foil between them in order to prolong the time needed for your drinks to warm up / cool down to ambient temperature. Although Zefal say that you can remove the inner bottle for easier cleaning, I found it impossible to do without damaging the bottle.
The opening is large enough and allows you to put your drinks in without any trouble. You can even put ice cubes in it or fill it and freeze it. The valve is nice, but it does not let as much water as you would like even when squeezing the bottle which is a bit harder due to the double layer walls. Squeezing the bottle too hard will make the water go through the screw-in cap of the bottle.
As far as insulation goes, don’t expect too much, it keeps drinks moderately cold up to 2 hours depending on the temperature outside. In colder weather, my tea was kept at a drinkable temperature for around 1.5 hours in 0°C, after that it was really cold. I do not think that putting any liquids above 80°C in the bottle is a good idea.
The plastic used on this bottle is better then the cheaper models I have used so far by Zefal and you get rid of the plastic smell quite easy.
The only thing I did not like on this bottle was, after one month of intense usage, strange black spots were starting to develop on the foil between the two walls. Since I am unable to open the bottle and clean it, it is starting to annoy me a lot.
Pros: Does a fair job, no plastic smell, large capacity, large opening
Cons: The valve could be better along with the bottle cap, strange black spots on the foil after one month of usage
You can get the Zefal Arctica Insulated Water Bottle at Amazon.