Water is essential to life, not to mention pretty refreshing after a hot day in the sun. Yet you can find yourself carrying water in any number of less-than-ideal ways. From disposable plastic bottles that have no cooling capabilities whatsoever (and typically end up littering our oceans) to ones whose leak-proof guarantee come with an ever-increasing list of exceptions, it can be easy to be paralyzed by the plethora of imperfect water bottle options to purchase.
Though it isn't perfect, the Contigo water bottle is worthy of your attention. From a brand name that has become synonymous with functional, quality-built travel mugs and water bottles, its Contigo water bottle AUTOSEAL Chill model includes features that live up to expectations.
Contigo offers an extensive line of well-crafted products for portable liquid transportation. Put into English, Contigo makes great travel mugs and water bottles.
A Contigo water bottle review has to include the corporate philosophy, and its philosophy is simple. Or rather, "Simple is hard." This is evident throughout its product line, each feature specifically created to combat an actual problem. The company identifies these issues through its employees' personal use of products from any number of brands. Employees are also encouraged to approach people on the streets or the train and ask commuters holding a leaky or hard-to-handle travel mug or bottle how it could be improved.
From there, they sketch out their ideas, build prototypes, and test, test, test the product. They will use and re-use and re-re-use the product, so it goes through a rough and tumble lifecycle. They bring in focus groups, send out surveys and have internal teams debate such intricacies as how much force the thumb can comfortably apply to one of the one-touch sealing lids.
This is all to say that this isn't a company that saw a trend in bottled water and decided to make a quick buck. That doesn't mean the product is perfect or that there aren't worthy competitors (some of which this review will look at), but the innovators put a tremendous amount of thought into something that doesn't require much thinking to use. To put it back into their words again, simple is hard.
As stated earlier, Contigo offers a wide array of choices when it comes to Contigo water bottle, but this article will focus on the Contigo AUTOSEAL Chill, as it's one of their best sellers and most highly-rated product.
While the bottle comes in stainless steel, you are able to select a stylish color for the lid. Like most companies these days, the descriptions of the colors require some thinking through to figure out exactly what they're describing:
This bottle uses insulation technology to keep beverages cold for up to 28 hours. Put another way, you could pour yourself some ice-cold water in the morning, and the bottle will keep it just as cold for lunch the next day.
Contigo bottles and travel mugs are perhaps most well-known for their spill- and leak-proof capabilities, features that are outstanding in the AUTOSEAL models. These bottles can be tossed around, thrown in a bag haphazardly, shaken and dropped. Even then, no liquid will escape until you press the auto-seal button.
That auto-seal button, where the product obviously gets its name, is the highlight feature here. You only need one hand to use it, meaning no more juggling your phone or bag or delicately trying to balance your handlebars with your knees as you struggle to pry open the lip. By pressing the button, the seal breaks and the spout cover lifts, giving you quick and easy access to your cooled liquids. Let go of the button and, just like magic, the cover falls and spout re-seals.
There are additional features that demonstrate the thought put into this product, from a carry handle for easy transportation to a limited lifetime warranty should anything happen to your bottle. You'll also be able to clean the lid on the top rack of your dishwasher (the body needs to be hand washed so as not to damage the insulation). Like all Contigo products, this one is BPA-free, too.
Product Table Information
Considering its lifetime guarantee and practical, everyday use, it'd be easy to expect this bottle to be fairly expensive. However, through Contigo's website, you can purchase one for only twenty three dollars. If you join the company's mailing list, you'll be able to receive an extra 20 percent off, too.
Twenty three dollars is also the price at Bed Bath & Beyond's website. It seems like Bed Bath & Beyond sends coupons out every day, and there's a real chance you have some of them stashed away somewhere in your home already, so it may be possible to get the product at a lower price.
When purchasing on Amazon, you'll be able to snag the Very Berry-colored model for about seventeen dollars, but the rest of the selections remain at about twenty three. Besides the color on the lid, there's no difference in features between the various colors. So, unless you're overly concerned about snagging a different color, that's a great price.
Walmart also offers the Very Berry model for almost seventeen dollars. However, they also offer the Monaco (navy blue) and Scuba (turquoise) for around eighteen. The other colors sell at the suggested retail price of twenty three.
So, if color is important to you, buying directly through Contigo and using their 20 percent off coupon from joining a mailing list seems to be the best deal. If color is of no important, or if Very Berry is what you were intending to go with this whole time, Amazon or Walmart are your best options.
Contigo is well-known for its quality, but that doesn't mean that there aren't worthy competitors to the Contigo AUTOSEAL Chill that may offer comparable, if not superior, features. While two of these competitors are from different brands, there's also another line from Contigo that deserves comparison.
Much like the AUTOSEAL Chill, this Klean Kanteen has a stainless steel body, vacuum-insulated to keep cold drinks cold and warm drinks warm, and it comes in a variety of colors. In fact, its ability to keep beverages at the perfect temperature is where it stands head and shoulders above the AUTOSEAL.
Klean Kanteen's 30-ounce model can keep liquids cold for up to 90 hours, and its 64-ounce model can keep them cold for up to 100 hours. That's three times as long as Contigo, and that's before talking about the Kanteen's ability to keep drinks warm for up to 30 hours, too.
This bottle's exterior is finished with a powder coat, meaning it's four times as durable as a typical stainless steel water bottle and resists chipping. This water bottle is beyond durable and reliable, especially considering its lifetime-guarantee.
Where the Kanteen falls short, though, is in ease of use and price. Unlike the Contigo, the Kanteen is, well, a canteen, meaning you'll need two hands to open the bottle. Thus, it's not a great choice for activities where you still need at least one hand free.
Additionally, because the sizes don't quite match-up, the Kanteen is slightly more expensive than the AUTOSEAL. The 32-ounce model will set you back around thirty seven dollars on Amazon.
Utilizing a name that comes with the results necessary to back it up, The Coldest Water Bottle keeps water cold for up to 36 hours in its 32-ounce model. That's eight hours longer than the Contigo, but over three days less than the Klean Kanteen.
Despite not quite living up to its name, this model does come with some nifty features. For instance, sweat-free technology and a leak-free lid mean it's going to be tough for this bottle to dampen the contents of whatever bag or backpack you stuff the bottle in.
Also, the bottle floats, making it the perfect companion for staying hydrated while relaxing in a pool. It's also a great choice for boat enthusiasts who fear their pricey water bottle falling overboard and disappearing beneath the surface.
While the bottle's screw-off lid does require the use of both hands, its exterior boasts a fairly large handle on the lid, as well as a rubber grip toward the bottom of the bottle. So, you'll need more than one hand to open it, but the odds of you dropping it are almost nil.
Price-wise, you can nab The Coldest Water Bottle for less than thirty dollars on Amazon. The price does not change whether you prefer the blue- or pink-colored model.
The other contender from Contigo, the AUTOSPOUT, comes with many similar features as the AUTOSEAL. The main difference, though, is the addition of a pop-up straw that the user releases by pressing the auto-seal button. Still only needing one hand to operate, the straw makes life easier when trying to hydrate while also riding your bike or running on the treadmill.
The AUTOSPOUT holds only 20 fluid ounces and keeps water cold for up to 18 hours, both measures easily the worst of the bunch compared here. However, it's also inexpensive, coming in at $19.99 on Amazon.
Comparison Table Information
Keeps water cold for
Hands needed to use
24 fluid ounces
30 fluid ounces
32 fluid ounces
20 fluid ounces
Contigo Water Bottle AUTOSEAL Chill Pros and Cons
The Contigo water bottle AUTOSEAL chill is feature-rich, yet inexpensive, putting it near the top of the list of the best bottles on the market today. However, it's not perfect.
If you need a bottle to keep water cold as long as possible, as well as fit large ice cubes, the Klean Kanteen should be your choice. Granted, it's hard to imagine a situation where you'd need 30 ounces of water to still be available and cold close to four days after initially pouring it. Campers and survivalists may be able to discover such an occasion, though.
For more casual users, especially those near bodies of water, The Coldest Water Bottle is a great choice. It floats, can easily fit large ice cubes, and comes with a large handle and rubber grip for easy handling, even if you'll need two hands to take a drink.
Bikers and workout warriors would probably prefer Contigo's other offering, the AUTOSPOUT, due to its pop-up straw. Even though it holds less water and keeps water cold for the shortest amount of time of the bottles reviewed, it's priced higher than some models of the AUTOSEAL, making it, perhaps, more of a niche product.
The AUTOSEAL, though, is a well-rounded offering from Contigo. For most people, the combination of price, ease of use, and insulation technology falls right in line with what they are looking for. If you're still unsure of which bottle to go with, or still overwhelmed by the possibilities, the AUTOSEAL is a great choice.
So, even though there are bigger bottles out there that keep water colder longer, Contigo's AUTOSEAL Chill is perfect for the everyday water bottle user.