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Hands-on Gear Review
CamelBak Chute Vacuum Insulated Review
Cons: Complicated lid design, heavy
Bottom line: The Chute is the largest vacuum insulated bottle we tested, with a lid that allows you to fill with a wide mouth, but drink out of a smaller spout.
The 40 oz Chute is CamelBak's answer to the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Insulated bottle. This is the largest bottle we tested and the heaviest. Its insulated design keeps liquids hot or cold for long periods of time. The Chute also comes in BPA- and BPS-free plastic, and in smaller sizes. The smaller, plastic versions are similar to the CamelBak eddy, without the straw feature. The lid is designed so that the drinker gets a steady flow of water from the small spout but still has the ability to fill using a wide mouth. Some of these features seem a bit over-designed and did not end up being as effective as their design likely intended.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Chute is a vacuum insulated bottle with a double lid that allows for easy filling through the wide mouth but also allows for a smooth pour out of the smaller spout. This feature is unique and thoughtful, but also unnecessarily complicated.
Ease of use
As with many of the other water bottles we tested this year, the Chute has the problem of being slightly over-designed. The multi-closure lid proved to be more complicated than necessary but does provide options for those who prefer drinking out of a wide or a narrow mouth bottle. For a more simple, yet similar design, check out the Yeti Rambler, which has an even larger mouth, but lacks the complicated double lid design of the Chute. It is also a good bottle for putting ice in, as you can fill it with ice using the wide mouth, but not worry about spilling water as the ice moves around while you drink. A bottle with a similar function is the LifeFactory Flip Cap, which allows you to fill the bottle with the wide mouth and then drink from the flip cap. Another aspect of the Chute worth noting is the diameter of the bottle at its base: too wide to fit in a cup holder, which is unfortunate for driving.
The bottle is not impact resistant, and we did experience the lid holder slipping off, causing the bottle to fall to the ground when filling. A small dent appeared where the bottle impacted the ground. In addition, the number of pieces that form the lid makes it faulty. These factors together make the bottle less durable than the Hydro Flask or Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated, which both have simpler lid designs that are less prone to breaking.
Ease of Cleaning
The wide mouth of the Chute makes it fairly easy to clean. The bottle and lid parts are all dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean this way - if you have access to one! If you are looking for other dishwasher safe bottles, check out the Citrus Zinger or the LifeFactory Glass Flip Cap. If you don't want to use a dishwasher, it is easy to give the bottle a quick rinse by hand. The nice thing about the lid is that all three parts are held together by the carrying handle, so it is easy to wash without losing any of the parts.
At exactly 16 oz, or one pound, the Chute (40oz) is a hefty bottle. For using around town or taking to work with iced tea or hot beverages, it is a good choice. But, as our second heaviest bottle we tested, the Chute would not be ideal for hiking or carrying long distances. Compared to its relative, the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth, the Chute is only 2 oz heavier but is also has a larger carrying capacity than the Hydro Flask by 8 oz. Comparable in size and capacity to the Chute is the Yeti Rambler, which is 1.06L vs. the Chute's 1.2L carrying capacity.
Like its Hydro Flask competitor, the Chute does a great job at resisting flavors of the liquids you put inside it. The bottle itself sheds the scent and flavor of coffees and teas, but the plastic lid did get stained with a coffee flavor after filling the Chute with coffee. The Chute earned a 6 out of 10 for taste compared to the Hydro Flask, which earned a near perfect 9 out of 10. The other contenders to earn 9 out of 10s were glass models, like the Lifefactory Glass, bkr Glass, and Some Water Bottle.
Because of its size and weight, the Chute is best used around town or as a work water bottle. Since it is insulated, it is a good option for carrying either hot or cold liquids. The double lid feature is great for filling the bottle with ice while still having the ergonomic small spout to drink out of without fear of ice hitting your face as you sip.
At $40, the Chute is one of the more expensive bottles that we tested. Insulated bottles tend to be more expensive than non-insulated ones, and the Chute is no exception. If you are intrigued by the dual-lid design, this model might be a good investment for you. If you are more interested in an insulated bottle with a simple, sleek design, the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Insulated is likely a better option.
Overall, the CamelBak Chute performs the duties of an insulated water bottle quite well. It falls short in a few crucial departments, though. The width of the bottle is too wide for a cup holder and the lid is overdesigned and thus faulty. The smaller lid is supposed to nestle into the carrying handle, which it does not do successfully. It is also complicated and difficult to use initially. That said, the bottle does fill easily, while still having the option to drink from a smaller opening.
— Jane Jackson
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