Drinkware for Sun & Snow

It is the time of year when most of us in Canada start to look to escape the mid-winter blues by either heading to fun in the sun or north for a snow getaway.

If you are like me, you get really annoyed when your ice cold water (OK, I mean beer or a margarita but let’s pretend it’s just water) warms up and you have to wade your way all the way back to the other side of the pool to get a new one. Or perhaps you are at the top of the slopes and that coffee you put into the knapsack for later is now ice cold and you need that caffeine fix to make the next run. So today, we will explore the benefits of investing in a top notch drinking vessel (i.e. travel mug or bottle) to ensure that you can spend all the time you want enjoying your mid-winter getaway. We have tried and tested them all and are happy to share our favourites with you.

S’well, Pure Hydration, Stanley® and Corkcicle make our top list for functionality, temperature retention and style. Let’s look at them individually.

S’well Bottles

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Available in two sizes, S’well is by far the trendsetter for both style and function. With new designs constantly being launched, they have quickly become a fashion accessory to many. But don’t let the unique designs fool you, they are extremely good at keeping your beverage at just the right temperature. In fact, our own staff chooses S’well over anything else, because of the fashion + function.

S’well bottles come in two sizes that can hold 500ml to 750ml (think wine bottle), are leakproof, do not sweat, and truly keep your cold beverage cold for 24 hours and your hot beverage piping hot for 12 hours as advertised. While there are many lower price imitators, what makes S’well so… um… swell is the following two key points:

  • Triple layer construction
  • 18/8 pro grade stainless steel

If looks and function are important to your beverage drinking style, there is a perfect S’well Bottle out there for you.

Pure Hydration

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A new arrival to ECS Coffee, Pure Hydration is a great multi purpose drinking bottle with some great built in features and a few fun colours to choose from. They come at a slightly lower price point than S’well but have some extra features that make up for the lack of variety.

Although they claim 9 hours hot and 36 hours cold, our tests show it is somewhere between 24-36 hours to keep your beer (I mean water) cold. But let’s face it; not many people need it to stay cold for 36 hours anyway.  It really only matters when you are by the pool and the sun is beating down on your drink, or if you leave it in your car on a hot day. Pure Hydration bottles will keep that water at just the right temperature no matter the conditions.  This is thanks to the 18/8 stainless triple wall construction, with a copper core.  Also, the dual opening lid has a narrow opening that can be used for sipping or unscrewed to the larger opening to add ice cubes and re-fill easily. But wait… there’s more!

Pure hydration bottles come with two built-in and removable strainers, one to block ice and fruit from smashing your mouth while you drink and the other to use as a tea or fruit infuser. Finally, the carrying handle makes this bottle a great choice for those on the go.

Stanley® Bottles

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Remember Stanley Green? In case you don’t, Stanley was an iconic thermos back in the day that lasted for a lifetime. And while there are no fancy colours or designs, the Black, Stainless or Green Stanley collection in my opinion are the most functional in the industry.

With multiple options to choose from including Quenchers with built in straws (think at the pool), to One Hand Leakproof Coffee Travel Mugs, Stanley bottles & mugs keep your drinks hot up to 9 hours and cold for up to 36 hours.  One of our favourite features is the easy clean lids.  While most travel mug lids get full of unseen gunk, Stanley lids can actually be taken apart to ensure that every of your bottle gets cleaned when you put it in the dishwasher.

I personally use the Mountain Switchback and love the ease of use, the fact that it never leaks, it all comes apart for easy cleaning, and my coffee stays hot all day (even though 9 hours is the claim).

Corkcicle Bottles

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The last on the list, but certainly not the least.  The Corkcicle bottle rivals the S’well for it’s functionality.  While both bottles keep drinks hot or cold for almost the same amount of time, the Corkscicle does not have the same unique designs, which is why this bottle is sometimes overlooked.  However, one of the features I love is that this bottle is not completely smooth on the sides like the S’well counterpart, meaning if you lay it on it’s side it won’t roll away from you.  And we carry the Corkcicle bottle in the 60 oz. size which can hold two full bottles of wine….ummm I mean water.

So, while all of these brands are great items, they do all serve varying purposes. For style, S’well is the clear winner. If you want more features, pick the Pure Hydration, and for sheer utility the Stanley wins out.

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