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Unable to compare but...

the sky above said:
Hi. It's getting really hot in my area, and I would like to know which water bottle keeps liquids colder, the Polar or the Zefal Isotherm. Is there a clear winner?
Here in South Texas when I ride I take the large (fits in a bottle cage and bigger than a small?) Polar bottle, usually about 1/2 full of crushed ice, and the ice is melted within an hour at 85-90 degrees ambient temp.

Don't know if that helps or not.
 

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I see those bottles all the time, but don't appeal to me. I can't stand cold drinks when I am exercising, it is like a shock to the system. I want my drinks to be about the same temp as it is outside. I know I am in the minority here, but just something I have preferred since high school as a distance runner.

Contrarily, I do put hot water in my bottles during the winter.
 

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24601 said:
I see those bottles all the time, but don't appeal to me. I can't stand cold drinks when I am exercising, it is like a shock to the system. I want my drinks to be about the same temp as it is outside. I know I am in the minority here, but just something I have preferred since high school as a distance runner.

Contrarily, I do put hot water in my bottles during the winter.
Yeah, wow that is weird... I use the Polars, fill them about 3/4 full and throw them in the freezer overnight. Next day top them off, and off riding. The water usually stays cold about 2 hours (a little less on the 100 + degree days).
 

· "Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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24601 said:
I see those bottles all the time, but don't appeal to me. I can't stand cold drinks when I am exercising, it is like a shock to the system. I want my drinks to be about the same temp as it is outside. I know I am in the minority here, but just something I have preferred since high school as a distance runner.

Contrarily, I do put hot water in my bottles during the winter.

Yep,....you're in a minority on that one. Personally, I look forward to a cold swig of Gatorade on my rides. As for the "polar bottles" they work o.k, not great, but reasonably well considering they only have some kind of space-age foil in it for an insulator. I have three polar bottles and like them pretty good. Dont know anything about the Zefal Isotherm.
 

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another bottle to check out is the Maxchill or Windchill bottle. They work similar to the polar bottle.

The maxchill is a plain plastic bottle with an insulating sleeve over it.

If you really want to keep your drink cold take the sleeve off the maxchill and put it on the polar. It will last almost twice as long.
 

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Polar bottle's a waste of money, IMO

the sky above said:
Hi. It's getting really hot in my area, and I would like to know which water bottle keeps liquids colder, the Polar or the Zefal Isotherm. Is there a clear winner?

Haven't tried tie Zefal, but I bought two Polars last year, and I've really been disappointed. They do make a marginal difference for the first hour or so, but not enough to matter. Everybody says, "If you freeze half a bottle of water, then pour in..." Probably true, but you can do that with any bottle. When I filled a Polar and a regular bottle with crushed ice, then topped off with water, the life of the ice was only extended by a few minutes.
 

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I tried Polar Bottles after recommendation by MB1 over the Commuting forum. I never leave home without it when it gets above 20oC. The trick for those long rides/hot days is to do the freezer thing : halfish bottle + frozen overnite *slanted* in the freezer. Slanting it gives water a bit more contact with the ice. I still have some ice after two hours of riding (of course it will depend on *your* outside temps). On really hot long rides, it's one half-frozen polar + one full frozen polar for backup!

Yes you can do the freezer trick with ordinary bottles, and I have, but trust me on this, they stay frozen half as long. Filling it with crushed ice + water doesn't work for me much either, that's the lazy way to do it =)

I have never tried the zefal isotherm, but I did not like the "taste" that water has with that type of plastic bottle. Ice cold water on long hot days rides rocks!

-CR

P.S.: Cory I'll take them off your hands if you want to. Seriously!
 

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I bought Polar bottles when I bought my bike several years ago. In the Florida heat, they don't keep drinks cold for very long. I also use a non-Polar bottle and fill partially with ice and partically with water, gatorade, etc.
 

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I bought a precursor to the current Zefal several years ago. It worked about like a Polar, but the volume coming through the hole was too restrictive.

Another way to freeze drinks in the Polar is to fill the bottle about half full of your drink, then add solid cubes to top it off before freezing overnight. They seem to stay colder longer that way as opposed to just freezing the drink which leaves them slushy but not really frozen solid.

Birddog
 

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Perception issues

Cory said:
Haven't tried tie Zefal, but I bought two Polars last year, and I've really been disappointed. They do make a marginal difference for the first hour or so, but not enough to matter. Everybody says, "If you freeze half a bottle of water, then pour in..." Probably true, but you can do that with any bottle. When I filled a Polar and a regular bottle with crushed ice, then topped off with water, the life of the ice was only extended by a few minutes.
I rode with a guy once who complained that his insulated bottles didn't do much good. That surprised me and I said so. He said "here, try it" and the water was refreshingly cool compared to my "not quite as hot as a cup of tea" water. He tried my bottle and realized that his bottles were really working rather well.
 

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the sky above said:
Hi. It's getting really hot in my area, and I would like to know which water bottle keeps liquids colder, the Polar or the Zefal Isotherm. Is there a clear winner?

I did a side by side test in Florida in Summer and even put the zefal in the front, so it would get more wind on the bottle and it kept liquids colder for at least 60 minutes longer. It has ice in it and the ice in the polar is gone. I freeze both my bottles but am careful about the Zefal one and don't fill it as full, since I split the inner lining of one.
 

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I tested them against each other and the Zefal definitely kept ice water colder longer. However, I still use the Polar because I like the shape of their bottle better because I find it easier to grip and squeeze.
 

· Adrenalina Italiana
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I was disapointed in the Polar bottle as well.

They keep fluids cooler a tad bit longer than normal bottles but not by much.This is a taller bottle and sometimes can be a pain getting it in and out of the seat tube bottle cages.

I know its not cool and all,but on my longer rides in hot weather I sometimes ride with a small camalback filled with ice and 70ounces of my favorite tasty beverage.Keeps me from having to do a "Tour de Circle K".
 

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Tested 5x all bottles

I have a regular water bottle, Polar, and Zefal bottle.

Five times I froze, all day and overnight, solid all three water bottles. Four times I put the regular water, the Polar bottle, and the Zefal bottle on my front steps and once on my back picnic table under the shade trees. I have been riding for months regularly with both the frozen regular bottle and the Polar bottle.

I live in New Jersey and the temperatures have been 82-92 with 80+% humidity.

Riding, when I run out of water in my regular frozen water bottle, the water is warm while I always have substantial ice in the Polar bottle and the water of course is very cold.

I have put the regular water bottle, Polar, and Zefal outside in the heat. Within the hour the regular wate bottle has melted. The Zefal in less than 3 hours has melted while the Polar still has substantial amount of ice in it. The Polar bottle takes 5 hours to melt and the water is still cold at 5 hours.
 

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Polar bottles definitely help keep your water/drinks cooler. They won't keep your drinks ice-cold on a long ride, but will keep them cooler. I hate drinking warm water and won't drink as much as a should if my bottles get hot. Polar bottles help me stay hydrated better, much like using a CamelBak. What I do is fill my bottles 1/2 to nearly full with ice cubes, and then top them off with water or GatorAde. The water in my first bottle is always cold or at least cool, depending on outside temperatures. If it's 95 degrees outside, a Polar bottle won't keep water ice cold for long -- but it will be much cooler than a regular bottle.

BTW, I tried the Zefal bottles once but had to return them. The ones I got had faulty valves and leaked water all over my face every time I tried to use them. The bike shop took them back and said apparently they were missing a gasket or seal. I've stuck with Polar bottles since.
 

· "Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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Yeah that was a good experiment, Lawrence. I did one similar to yours several years ago, but not as in depth. My experiment compared a plain water bottle with a polar bottle and a quart carry along bottle from Wal-Mart that had a zip up sleeve to it. The polar bottle was the hands down winner, but when I wrapped and taped 1/2" latex rubber to the quart bottle and stuffed it into the sleeve it lasted twice as long as the polar bottle. It was great, but I had to cut and modify the hell out of a bottle cage just to carry it along. I made countless 32 mile trips out on the open road to my mom's house with that bottle, but in the end simplicity won over and the polar bottle reigned supreme. :D
 
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