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Contigo Thermalock Glacier Review

An insulated bottle designed specifically for keeping drinks cold, and thus has a wide mouth to make filling with ice easier.
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Price:  $17 List | $16.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, durable body, lid and bottle both easy to clean
Cons:  Lid design is confusing, mouthpiece in center of lid is difficult to drink from
Manufacturer:   Contigo
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 25, 2019
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#17 of 18
  • Ease of Use - 40% 3
  • Durability - 25% 6
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Taste - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Contigo Thermalock Glacier lies somewhere between an insulated thermos and a daily water bottle. Contigo markets this product to keep heat out and cool drinks in, but the bottle can be used the other way as well — keeping hot drinks warm for long periods of time. We found this bottle to be best used for either hot or cold beverages, rather than straight-up hydration due to its small capacity. The Contigo is easy to clean and does not retain flavors, making it a great vessel for sports drinks or iced tea. The lid is overly complicated and has many plastic parts that seemed excessive and prone to failure.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, durable body, lid and bottle both easy to cleanDurable, easy to carry, wide mouth for easy drinking and cleaning, good designLight, durable, resists flavors, simple design, wide mouth makes for easy fillingStylish, well-insulated, easy to clean, simple design, durableLightweight, easy for one-handed drinking, re-designed sport cap is effective, durable, good color options
Cons Lid design is confusing, mouthpiece in center of lid is difficult to drink fromExpensive, heavyDiameter too big for cup holders, wide mouth makes it difficult to drink from when walking or drivingHeavy, expensiveSport cap not as secure as a screw cap, carrying handle is small
Bottom Line An insulated bottle designed specifically for keeping drinks cold, and thus has a wide mouth to make filling with ice easier.The Rambler quickly became our new favorite bottle after a few trips with it. The size, shape, and design make it easy to use.A tried and tested classic, the Wide Mouth wins again as our Top Pick for Plastic, as well as the Best Bang for your Buck bottle.This hip bottle is a simple, easy to clean vacuum insulated bottle with a narrow mouth and a portable size.It is hard for us to find anything bad to say about this bottle. It's simple, easy to use, and reasonably priced.
Rating Categories Contigo Thermalock Glacier YETI Rambler 26 Nalgene Wide-Mouth Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Klean Kanteen Classic
Ease Of Use (40%)
10
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3
10
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9
10
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8
10
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9
10
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8
Durability (25%)
10
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6
10
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9
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7
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8
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6
Weight (20%)
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6
10
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3
10
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8
10
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10
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8
Taste (15%)
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7
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7
Specs Contigo Thermalock... YETI Rambler 26 Nalgene Wide-Mouth Hydro Flask... Klean Kanteen...
Body Material Stainless Steel 18/8 stainless steel Eastman Tritan co-polyester 18/8 stainless steel 18/8 stainless steel
Empty weight (oz) 12.0 oz 18.5 oz 6.3 oz 12.9 oz 7.4 oz
Volume (oz) 20 oz 26 oz 34 oz 24 oz 27 oz
Bottle weight (oz) per fluid oz capacity 0.60 oz 0.71 oz 0.19 oz 0.54 oz 0.27 oz
Mouth diameter 1.5 in 3 in 2.5 in 2 in 1.75 in
Base diameter 2.75 3.25 in 3.25 in 3 in 2.75 in
Height 9.8 in 10 in 8.25 in 11 in 11 in
Body Type Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional
Free of Materials BPA-free BPA-free BPA, BPS and Phthalate Free BPA-free BPA-free
Cap Materials Not available Not available Information not available Polypropelene Polypropylene, Silicone spout
Cap/lid type Flip-top with button lock Wide-loop cap Loop-top screw cap Wide-loop cap Sport cap wih spout
Other versions None 18 oz, 20 oz, 36 oz 16 oz, 48 oz 18 oz, 21 oz 18 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz, loop cap/sports cap, wide mouth
Warranty Lifetime Guarantee 3 or 5 year warranty Lifetime Guarantee for normal use Lifetime Warranty Lifetime Warranty

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Thermalock Glacier is designed for hot summer days where you want you cold drinks to last longer than five minutes in the sun. The lid is meant to be removed to put ice in or fill easily and the bottle itself is vacuum insulated.

Performance Comparison


The Thermalock Glacier accompanied us from the boulders to the coffee shop  keeping hot liquids hot and cold ones cool.
The Thermalock Glacier accompanied us from the boulders to the coffee shop, keeping hot liquids hot and cold ones cool.

Ease of Use


There is a trend in water bottle design to solve a few long-standing problems that occur when drinking out of a bottle. Water bottle companies have been working to eliminate the issue of spillage when drinking out of wide-mouth bottles and they are also trying to figure out how to make one-handed drinking (think driving or walking) easier.

The Glacier's answer to these issues is a push button that opens the lid, with a large hole in the center of the lid to drink from. The issue here is that the hole is in the middle of the lid, instead of on the side, making it awkward to actually drink out of. The carrying handle is another component of this lid that is not ideally placed. It flips out of the outside of the lid when the lid is opened but is not an ergonomic shape for carrying with one hand.

The lid mechanism has a number of hinges and plastic parts  bringing down the bottle's overall durability score.
The lid mechanism has a number of hinges and plastic parts, bringing down the bottle's overall durability score.

The Thermalock is easy to clean, only taking a few minutes with a bottle brush to clean out the inside. The lid is also relatively easy to clean, considering the complexity of its design. The wide mouth on the spout is easier to clean than the narrow sipping features and straws on other models.

Durability


Like most of the insulated contenders we tested, the Glacier's body is quite durable and did well in our drop tests. There was little damage done to the body when dropped from a height onto concrete. The lid, however, has a number of hinges and plastic parts that are susceptible to breakage. The bottles with fewer moving parts did better overall in durability because they had fewer weak points where breaks could occur.

Weight


At 12 oz, the Thermalock Glacier is comparable in weight to the Klean Kanteen Stainless models. All of these bottles are proving that just because it's made of metal, it doesn't mean it has to be bulky and cumbersome; all of these competitors are sleek and lightweight. They are also relatively small, so they though they are light, they do not have a very large carrying capacity.

Taste


Of all the metric ratings, the Thermalock performed best in the taste category. The bottle took on different flavored beverages and was able to shed their tastes with one quick wash between uses. The plastic of the lid is simple, so flavors don't get stuck in nooks and crannies.

The Contigo fits perfectly in a car cuphold  making it a good option for anything from the daily commute to a road trip.
The Contigo fits perfectly in a car cuphold, making it a good option for anything from the daily commute to a road trip.

Value


This competitor is fairly priced for an insulated water bottle. However, the lid design is complicated and has many features that are subject to wearing out quickly. For the same price, we preferred the much more versatile Simple Modern Summit since it can be used for both hot and cold beverages.

Conclusion


Because of its many parts, (mainly the push button flip lid, with multiple hinges) the Thermalock Glacier received low scores in the ease-of-use and durability metrics. The bottle itself is durable and works very well to keep liquids cold or hot, but the lid lacked functionality.


Jane Jackson