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CamelBak eddy Review
Cons: Straw retains taste, hard to clean, bite valve is not durable
Bottom line: This contender is a light, plastic bottle; it's light enough to use for hiking, but also portable and small enough to use around town.
The CamelBak eddy has set itself apart from the other bottles with its flippable bite valve and internal straw. It also inspired the Citrus Zinger bottle, which has a similar straw design to accompany its lemon juicer feature. On both bottles, the design is intended to allow for spill-free, quick access to your water and is great for single-handed use. It does do this, but there is a host of drawbacks along the way. It is durable and lightweight, but that wasn't enough to earn it high scores across the board. While good for driving and cycling, we found other bottles like the Lifefactory Glass Flip Cap and Klean Kanteen Classic sport cap to be better lifestyle bottles.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The one-liter eddy, with its plastic body, cap, and unique silicone bite valve and straw, rings up at $16. Bite on the straw suck, and drink in the process. The bottle is a good size for everyday use and light workouts. It also proved durable and lightweight. However, it delivers water too slowly to satisfy us during moderate to heavy exercise, and we did not enjoy the rubbery flavor it added to the taste of water. Read on for an in-depth look at how the eddy performed across each metric.
Ease of Use
This contender features a four-piece bottle, consisting of a plastic body, cap, straw, and a silicone big bite valve. The body is narrow enough to fit into most cup holders, and its straw permits one-handed drinking without tilting one's head; most useful while driving and cycling. It also won't spill, and the loop on the cap is secure enough to trust.
The straw valve works by the user biting it and sucking water up through the straw. While the bite and suck method is necessary for many hydration tubes, our testers didn't like it on a water bottle. The greater drawback, though, was the slow flow of water through the straw. While fine for sips in the office, it consistently left us wanting more during exercise. We found that the straw and valve features added complexity without improving the drinking experience, unlike the unique lid of the AVEX Brazos Autoseal Stainless. This contender was also the only bottle to fail our leak test. It didn't leak a lot, but the few drops were more than we wanted and they ended up on the electronics in our bags. For bottles that are easier to use and won't leak, check out the Klean Kanteen Classic, Lifefactory Flip Cap, and AVEX Brazos.
The eddy performed poorly in our taste tests. The silicone bite valve gives off a strong taste of rubber, even after several washes. It also retained the flavor of sports drink even after washing. Once tainted with the taste of a flavored drink, the eddy was difficult to get back to neutral, despite cleaning the bottle with baking soda and vinegar. For a bottle that isn't affected by what liquids you put in it, consider the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Insulated, Soma Water Bottle, bkr Glass, or the Lifefactory Flip Cap; all of these bottles scored a 9 out of 10 in the taste metric.
This bottle did prove to be durable. It bounced off the concrete in our drop tests, suffering only minor scratches. The plastic on the lid is very burly and won't shatter on impact. Similarly, the Nalgene Wide-Mouth also did well in durability, as it too merely bounced upon impact with the ground. The Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen Vacuum were the only contenders to score higher than the eddy**.
Ease of Cleaning
This bottle took a long time to clean, with several parts that were difficult to fully clean. Like the Citrus Zinger, it took a while to disassemble and wash each part by hand. For bottles that are faster to clean, have a look at the Hydro Flask Insulated 32 or Nalgene Wide-Mouth.
Here it is also worth noting that the bite valve remains exposed in both the stowing and drinking positions, which we did not find as sanitary as other bottles we reviewed. We also foresee the likelihood for bacteria and gunk build up inside the bite valve.
The eddy weighs only 5.9 ounces, which is one of the lightest bottles we tested, only comparable to the two collapsible bottles, the Platypus SoftBottle and the Nomader. Because it is so light, the eddy can be used as a hiking bottle for shorter hikes, where you do not need to carry excessive water.
The eddy is a good choice to accompany you to work and light workout sessions. It allows you to take quick sips to maintain hydration throughout the day. It is also a great choice for driving and cycling.
For $15, we had hoped for a better functioning bottle from CamelBak. Due to lower scores in a few of our metrics, we can't say the eddy is an exceptional value. That said, if you think the straw feature will encourage you to drink more water, then this could be a very worthy investment.
If you like drinking from a straw and bite valve, you might find more value from this bottle than we did. However, we found this feature to be more of a disadvantage, as it made the water harder to access in gulps, tainted the flavor, and made the bottle overall more difficult to clean. The eddy does have its advantages in durability, and we really liked how easy it was to drink from while biking and driving.
— Jane Jackson
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