Saying Ecococoon three times in a row is a potential sobriety test. Nonetheless, Ecococoon is, in fact, an Aussie company that started in 2009 designing cups and bottles.
The ‘Eco’ label comes from the fact that they use 50% recycled stainless steel in their products and the ‘cocoon’ part describes the company’s “protect and nurture” ethos. Sounds a bit fluffy but each to their own and the world could sure do with a little “protect and nurture” from time to time.
So how does Ecococoon’s 600ml ICONSPEAK stainless vacuum insulated water bottle stack up against its bold claims of keeping cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot up to 12 hours? We put it through its paces during Tassie’s coldest snap this year.
Most of my day walks in Tassie utilise a bladder, a cup and a stove. The bladder means I don’t have to stop and fumble about for a water bottle, the cup doubles to scoop pristine water from creeks and streams and for hot drinks and the stove is self-explanatory. Cup-a-soups and single packet coffees are de rigour on cold days. A vacuum flask hasn’t made its way into my pack largely due to weight and space concerns and having to pack yet another item.
I have noticed though that when on SES search and rescue duties a vacuum flask can be really handy on single day exercises. Stopping for lunches can be a 15-minute affair and while I’m busting out the stove, the canister, and the wind shield, other team members are already sipping a hot coffee from their thermos having left the stove at home. Winter day walks might be just the kind of walk for the Ecococoon bottle. To test this theory I hauled the family up to Cradle Mountain National Park after the snow plough went through this morning to see just how well the bottle would perform in alpine conditions.
Design & Durability (Rating: 85%)
The design of the Ecococoon vacuum insulated bottle is pretty standard. The stainless is probably more polished than a cheaper no-name brand bottle.
The bottle comes with a “Cocoon Cap” out of the box, which is essentially a soft touch sports bottle style sipper lid with a cap that covers it. As an optional extra they offer a threaded screw-in plug style cap, which they recommend for use with hot drinks. As the “Cocoon Cap” sipper has a one way valve system so that there’s essentially nothing to pull to open, I presume the pressure from a hot drink might force past the valve causing leaks and there’s also the risk of sucking hot drinks straight out and removing the roof of your mouth which does ruin the day a bit.
The threaded plug has a really cheap carabiner attached to it for those who like to clip their bottles to the outside of their packs so they can swing about as you walk. If you do, you’ll probably want to switch out the one provided for a sturdier option because I can see it snapping.
The downside of giving options for sealing the bottle is, of course, losing one of the options, but they’ve certainly done their homework and thought outside the box on this one and even sell spares of the Cocoon Cap on their website.
The only potential design flaw I felt was the lid that covers the drinking mouthpiece. It’s lightweight plastic and while it’s a twist and click style closure with tabs that lock onto the drinking cap it doesn’t feel secure and my bet is that mine will be knocked off and rolled under a bush never to be seen again. This then leaves the mouthpiece exposed. Ecococoon have people like me in mind though as replacement cocoon lids can be had for $3.95.
The caps are dishwasher safe so in terms of hygiene they’ve ticked this one off.
For testing, I also received an Ecococoon “cuddler” which is a neoprene sleeve for even more insulation and protection for the vacuum bottle. The sleeve (I can’t bring myself to say cuddler more than once in this review) comes with a wrist strap that I can see myself using never, but thankfully it clips off.
For design and durability, I’m giving the flask 85%. The flask itself and the neoprene sleeves are really well thought out, designed and manufactured, however, the flimsy cap, cheap biner and useless wrist strap on the sleeve do detract from what is otherwise a solid outdoor product.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 85%)
My initial test was to fill up the bottle with cold water straight from the tap. It’s winter in Tassie and our tap water is about as cold as you’d ever want it.
I used the sipper style “Cocooncap” paired with the teal blue neoprene sleeve and I did my rounds for the day. I was surprised with my first few sips how much pressure I needed to get such a little mouthful of water out and initially thought that staying hydrated for the day was going to be hard work, but the mouthpiece got easier to use over the day and I adjusted to it.
The water didn’t change much in temperature over the day, or at least I couldn’t perceive any change. I was pleasantly satisfied and the warmth of being inside the car hadn’t any effect. The mouthpiece is soft rubber, not cheap plastic so has a better mouthfeel than el cheapo bottles that are hard on the front teeth.
Tassie isn’t a great test for cold drinks, so onto the hot drink test. We just had a big snow dump and roads have been closed across the state. I got on the blower this morning and called Parks and Wildlife and found out that the snow plow had just cleared the road through to Cradle Mountain – the perfect venue for a hot drink test.
Ecococoon’s claim is that the bottle will keep a drink hot for 12 hours. Obviously, the best way to make the hottest drink is to fill the bottle first with hot water, then tip that out and make the coffee but who has time to boil two jugs right? So I made my 600ml of hot coffee with a splash of milk at approximately 10:30am. We got on the road about 11:30 and we were out walking in the snow around 1pm.
We covered probably 5km all up on fairly compacted tracks as we didn’t have snowshoes and by 4:30pm I was overdue for that coffee that had been stowed in the top pocket of my pack in its neoprene sleeve. Was it hot? Put it this way – it was hot enough but had it been 3-5 degrees less it would have been warm. I think we drank it just in time. Having said that, 6.5 hours after being made with half of that time being toted about in zero temps is good enough. After all, who makes a vacuum flask full of their favourite hot drink and waits to drink it at the end of the day? To be fair, the 12-hour claim would probably be doable at normal temperate climates.
Ecococoons insulated water bottle excels at keeping drinks cool, especially with the neoprene sleeve, and it kept a hot drink hot enough to warm me up sitting in the snow six hours after it was made. I don’t have a comparable water bottle (my sports bottles are the squeezy type) but sucking on the mouthpiece does require a fair effort and if you were really thirsty my hunch is you’d be wanting to screw the cap off and drink straight from the neck of the bottle. Then again if you were going really hard, you probably would have taken a bladder.
What I Like
- The bottle is well made and finished nicely to a polished standard not just brushed.
- The stainless comes from 50% recycled stainless and this deserves a nod.
- The Ecococoon cap with the sports mouthpiece has a nice mouthfeel, has a one-way check valve and no moving parts.
- The neoprene sleeve protects the bottle from damage and is an extra layer of insulation. I imagine that on a hot day you could wet this and get even better performance.
- Having given users the options of hot and cold, Ecococoon have gone and provided two types of caps – the sports mouthpiece and the threaded plug to make both options perform well.
- The bottle worked satisfactorily in real life conditions both for hot and cold drinks.
What I Don’t Like
- The Ecococoon lid that covers the Ecococoon cap (sports drink mouthpiece) is flimsy and does not lock on solidly. The idea of twist-on lug style locking mechanism is good, they’re just not designed well enough. These lids are going to go missing which is probably why they’re sold as accessories on the website.
- The neoprene sleeve has a useless wrist strap on it (who carries a vacuum flask on their wrist?) but at least it detaches.
- The biner on the screw-in plug is cheap and flimsy but this is picky. For a few dollars just put a better one on if clipping to your pack is your thing.
- I haven’t compared competitor prices, but $44.95 just for the bottle and a further $15.95 for the neoprene sleeve does seem a tad steep.
The Ecococoon ICONSPEAK Insulated Water Bottle is available online directly from Ecococoon.
Win an Ecococoon ICONSPEAK Insulated Water Bottle
If you like what you’ve read I’m giving you the chance to win an Ecococoon ICONSPEAK insulated water bottle, as well as a bottle cuddler and a screw top lid. Here’s how:
Giveaway: Ecococoon Insulated Water Bottle
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