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Hands-on Gear Review
Avex Brazos Autoseal Stainless Review
Cons: Carry loop becomes detached easily, lid is difficult to clean
Bottom line: We were pleasantly surprised by the Brazo's unique autoseal button for easy one-handed drinking; this insulated bottle is excellent for hot or cold beverages.
The Avex Brazos Autoseal Stainless is a .7 L, insulated water bottle with a unique lid design. The lid makes drinking with one hand easy with its push-button function to allow the drinker to regulate the amount of water let out of the mouth of the bottle. We were pleasantly surprised by the Brazos and found this drinking mechanism to be the most effective of all the one-handed drinking solutions provided in the water bottles we tested this year.
Straws, like those used by the Camelbak eddy or the Citrus Zinger got dirty, while the Klean Kanteen Classic sport cap leaked accidentally if it was not securely closed. But the Brazos Autoseal function worked great; it was both leakproof and clean. Its insulated feature makes it great for hot or cold liquids and its small size allows it to toe the line between a to-go mug and a water bottle. This versatility is a nice feature for a small bottle.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The most notable feature of the Avex Brazos is a lid design that is great for one-handed drinking. This insulated stainless bottle solves the problem and dangers of removing a lid to drink water while driving, walking, or biking.
Ease of Use
Initially, we found the push button lid feature to be a little confusing, but after some time getting used to the bottle, we began to enjoy it. One of the main things we focused on when assessing the ease of use of a product was its design; we tended to prefer bottles with more simple lid designs without a lot of plastic parts that could get dirty or break. The Brazos Autoseal ended up working very well despite its complex-looking lid design. It was unique is that we were able to drink using one hand when driving or walking. Other options for easy, one-handed drinking are the Klean Kanteen Classic with the sport cap or the CamelBak eddy. The lid also passed our leak test with flying colors, and the Brazos earned a near perfect 9 out of 10 for this metric. Other contenders to receive the same score include the Nalgene Wide-Mouth and Miir Slate 27, while the Hydro Flask received the only 10 out of 10.
The bottle itself is very durable and did well in our drop test, scoring an above average 7 out of 10. The lid, however, has a few accessory parts that could easily break off, including the carrying handle and a small mouthpiece cover that to us appeared flimsy and not integral to the design. The carrying handle flew off during the drop test but is intended to be removable, and thus was easy to put back on. A slightly more durable option for an insulated bottle of this size is the Hydro Flask, or the Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated, which has a sturdier handle that has less of a chance of breaking when dropped. The body of the Avex Brazos is equally as durable as the Contigo Thermalock Glacier, but both bottles have complicated lids that were susceptible to breaking.
Ease of Cleaning
Since wide mouth bottles are easier to clean than narrow mouth bottles, and the Brazos falls somewhere in the middle, we gave the bottle an average score for ease of cleaning. With a bottle brush, it is easy to clean the inside of the bottle, and the lid is relatively easy to clean although it has a few nooks that can trap flavors if you're not careful. Similarly, the Contigo Thermalock, the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Insulated, and the new Yeti Rambler were easy to clean because of their wide mouths, but the Brazos and the Thermalock have significantly more complicated lids that are hard to clean. The problem with the Brazo's lid specifically is the inside, where many nooks and crannies are nearly impossible to access without surgical equipment!
The stainless steel Avex Brazos weighs 13 oz. This makes it comparable to other lightweight but insulated bottles like the Klean Kanteen Insulated or the Contigo Thermalock Glacier, both 12 oz bottles. If you're after a lightweight bottle for shorter hiking adventures, we'd recommend the Nalgene Wide-Mouth, Klean Kanteen Classic, or the lightest in the fleet, the Platypus Softbottle.
The Avex Brazos, like most of the stainless steel vacuum insulated bottles we tested, did fairly well when it comes to taste. The taste of coffee and tea dissipated after washing with soap and water. Additionally, the bottle had no metallic taste when it first came out of the box, unlike the rubbery taste that some of the plastic bottles came with initially. Its average score of 7 for taste originates from the lid, which has many places for flavors to get trapped. A bottle where you drink right from the rim, like the Hydro Flask, has less of a chance of lingering flavors becoming stuck in cracks.
For an easy-to-use, one-handed bottle that can hold hot and cold liquids with ease, the Avex Brazos is a good choice. It is easy to clean and fill with its wide mouth, and the push button drinking system worked surprisingly well during testing. It is a good bottle to use in the car or at work. Its small size makes it portable and great for tea or coffee.
At $30, the Brazos is not cheap. But, for a bottle that doubles as a coffee or tea mug/thermos, it is a good investment because of its versatility. Its similar competitor, the Contigo Thermalock Glacier, is half the price but falls back in terms of design.
The Avex Brazos is a functional, small bottle that is vacuum insulated and leak proof. It confronts the issue of one-handed drinking with ease, using the autoseal push-button that allows the drinker to regulate the amount of water that comes out of the spout. The carrying handle is not effective, but the shape of the bottle feels nice in the hand, making it easy to carry around nonetheless. Though it is a bit of an investment, the Brazos is durable and can end up being a good investment for keeping your drinks hot or cold.
— Jane Jackson
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