AVEX recently sent me their Brazos water bottle and their Highland insulated stainless steel travel mug so I could let you know what I think about them. After a few tests and hikes these bottles have earned a permanent place in my pack thanks to their intuitive design.
AVEX is a company that seeks to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of creating an innovative water bottle. As someone who is used to the simplicity of Nalgene bottles I must say that the AVEX bottle impressed me when I first held it. For starters, the AUTOSEAL lid allows for one handed operation and drinking; a feat that is simply impossible with a Nalgene bottle. Some of their bottles also have built in carabineers for easy carrying. These features created a good impression but I knew that I would have to take the bottles on the trail to see how they would really perform.
The Brazos bottle seems to be a direct competitor for the traditional Nalgene bottle. Both are seemingly indestructible BPA free plastic bottles that are designed for hiking, gym or everyday use. The main difference is that the Brazos bottle is narrower and it has the AUTOSEAL lid for one handed operation while Nalgene bottles have a standard wide mouth and screw cap. Also, the Brazos bottle only holds 24 ounces while a Nalgene holds 32. However, my friends at AVEX have informed me that a 32 oz. Brazos bottle will be available this February.
I wanted to do a head to head comparison so I put a Nalgene bottle in one side of my pack, a Brazos bottle in the other side and headed for Mount Monadnock on a cool and clear day.
I was instantly impressed that I could reach into my pack, grab the Brazos bottle and take controlled sips with just one hand. The AUTOSEAL lid releases a controlled flow that eliminates the chance of any spillage. Also, the narrow profile of the Brazos bottle made it easy to take out of the pack and hold with one hand.
I found plenty of uses for the Brazos bottle off the trail as well. It makes a great gym bottle because it has a sport shield which is a simple cover that protects the lid between sips. It is also great for travel because it fits in my car’s cup holder.
Of course the Brazos bottle is not perfect. The AUTOSEAL lid has many perks but it is prone to freezing in cold temps and once this happens you need take it off to get a drink. Additionally, the Brazos bottle only holds 24 oz which gives it a capacity disadvantage to Nalgene bottle.
If you are heading to the gym, office or a hike in non-extreme conditions then the Brazos bottle is a great alternative to traditional water bottles.
The Highland is a 16 oz stainless steel bottle with double wall and vacuum insulation. It also has the AUTOSEAL lid for spill-proof one handed operation. AVEX claims that this bottle will keep drinks cold for up to 14 hours or hot for up to 5 hours.
I was very excited to put this bottle to the test because I rarely get to enjoy hot drinks on the trail. For my first test I filled the bottle with hot water and placed it in the freezer for 3 hours and the water was still piping hot. This gave me the confidence to bring the Highland bottle on the trail.
I filled the Highland bottle with hot green tea and headed for a hike up Mount Holyoke the morning after a snowstorm with temps hovering in the high 20s. Once I reached the summit the hot tea had been in the bottle for about 3 hours; it was still almost too hot to drink. Thanks to the one handed operation I was able to take leisurely sips of tea during my descent back to the parking lot; this is a luxury I never thought I would experience on a hike but I can certainly get used to it!
I did not find much not to like about the Highland. I am nitpicking here but its main drawback is capacity. 16 oz.of hot drinks can be enjoyed very quickly in cold situations. The Highland is also available in a 20 oz. version which could help solve the capacity issue. Also, it won’t keep your drinks hot for hours on end but this bottle was not designed to do that.
The Highland bottle definitely impressed me and it will be great to have in the car, at work or on short hikes. This bottle is not a true thermos so it can’t be expected to keep drinks hot for 15+ hours. However, the convenience of the AUTOSEAL lid will make it my go to choice for shorter hikes in cold weather.
Would you like to have an AVEX bottle in your pack? Check out the AVEX Brazos and Highland bottle giveaway !
Disclosure: AVEX provided New England Outside with Brazos and Highland bottles for review purposes.