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Hands-on Gear Review
bkr Glass Review
Cons: Hard to clean, difficult to fill without spilling, expensive
Bottom line: The bkr works well as a large capacity glass bottle, but its shortcomings outweigh its positives. The bottle is bulky, heavy and difficult to clean and fill.
The bkr stands out from the rest of the glass bottles we tested for a few reasons. First, its capacity is larger than the Soma or the LifeFactory bottle. The bkr is a full liter whereas the Soma carries only .5L. This competitor is also extremely heavy, being the only all-glass, full liter bottle we tested. This is a drawback in some ways, but at the same time often times we found that we don't actually carry the glass bottles very far anyway, so weight is less of a concern. Overall, this bottle is novel, but lacks functionality and is difficult to clean.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
This bottle is attractive because of its full liter capacity (abnormal for most glass bottles on the market) and a multitude of color options. On the downside, the bottle is very heavy, a bit expensive, and has a narrow mouth that makes it difficult to clean and fill.
Ease of Use
The two moments when the ease of use of a bottle are illuminated are when the bottle is being filled and when you raise it to your mouth to drink from. If there are hang-ups in either of these situations, then the bottle lacks in the ease of use rating metric. The bkr has issues when filling because the mouth of the bottle is too small, and water tends to spray everywhere as it misses the mouth of the bottle. Similarly, when drinking from this contender, the small mouth detracts again as the body is too bulky for the size of the spout. These are finicky issues, but they add up to make the overall drinking experience less enjoyable. The Soma bottle had similar issues with the size of the mouth. We found that narrow mouth bottles, like the Klean Kanteen Classic or the Miir Slate 27oz were much easier to drink from.
The bkr did perform well in the durability metric, as its thick glass and silicone sleeve protect the bottle from breaking. That being said, its suggested to try and avoid dropping a glass bottle, so if you're looking for a more durable option, check out the Nalgene Wide Mouth or the HydroFlask Vacuum Insulated bottle-both proved to be very durable in our tests. bkr offers a free replacement if you break the bottle within the first 90 days of purchasing.
Ease of Cleaning
Here, the small mouth of the bkr bottle really becomes an issue. It is nearly impossible to clean the inside of this bottle easily. The mouth is too small to fit a stick sponge into, so your best bet is to rinse it with water. The lid also has a few cracks and crevasses that are difficult to clean and provide hiding places for tastes and general water bottle gunk to build up. The silicone sleeve, like that of the Soma bottle, is removable, so you can take it off and clean the glass underneath. Since water often spills when filling, the area under the silicone sleeve is a hotbed for mold, so beware! Overall, this is a difficult bottle to clean.
The bkr weighs in at 24oz and the heaviest bottle we tested. The bottle is not designed for backpacking or the outdoors in general and is better suited as an accompaniment around town or as your work bottle. Since it weighs a pound and a half, empty, and is bulky in shape, the bkr will not go unnoticed in your bag. The LifeFactory Glass FlipCap is a more lightweight option for a glass bottle, but has a smaller overall capacity.
Since it is glass, this bottle did well in the taste metric. Just like a glass in your kitchen, you can fill most glass bottles, including the LifeFactory, with many different beverages and the flavors will not linger. Keep in mind this is the case if the bottles are cleaned regularly. This model held flavors of the drink mix when we refilled in with fresh water during testing, but once we rinsed it once, the flavors were gone. Plastic and metal will hold flavors a lot more easily than glass, so if you plan to fill the bottle with lots of different drinks, a glass bottle might be the ticket.
The bkr is a great bottle to take to work or carry around town (especially if you're in a car and don't have to walk with it!). Since it is a full liter, it requires fewer fil ups throughout the day than a smaller capacity bottle, like the Soma. If you plan to use the bottle hiking as well as in an urban setting, the bkr is pretty heavy, which detracted us from bringing it out on the trail. If you are looking for a larger capacity glass bottle than the LifeFactory or Soma bottle, then this contender fits the bill.
At $45, the bkr is not exactly a steal. Since it is glass and silicone, it will automatically be a bit pricey, but overall $45 is a lot to spend on this bottle. It lacks the versatility of the HydroFlask or the Yeti Rambler, which are also on the upper end of the price spectrum, but is similar in cost. The bkr brand markets itself as a hot item among celebrities, so perhaps the price has been inflated because of the bottle's cult following. The 500ml version can be purchased for $35.
Overall, the bkr glass bottle did not impress in comparison to the other bottles we tested. Though it fills the niche of a large capacity glass bottle, it lacks in its design. The small mouth is a major detraction since it makes the bottle hard to fill and especially hard to clean. Also, the bottle is heavy and bulky, which left it sitting at home when we left on longer outings.
— Jane Jackson
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