As yet another addition to the numerous stainless steel, vacuum-insulated models out there, the GSI Outdoor Microlite 720 Twist is a familiar-looking bottle these days. The Microlite has a plastic cap and a vacuum-insulated body that is on par with many of the other vacuum insulated models we've tested in past years. The bottle proves to be a few to several lighter than some of the other stainless options out there, and the lid is unique. Besides these small features, the Microlite did not have much in terms of features or unique attributes that made it stand out from the rest. That said, it is mid-range in terms of price with no frills and a durable design, making it a sturdy workhorse option for an insulated bottle. For folks who want hot tea on the skin track or afternoon coffee at the crag, the Microlite is the ticket. This bottle is functional, simple, and insulates well.
GSI Outdoor Microlite 720 Twist Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, well-insulated, simple design, reasonable price tag
Cons: Carrying handle is an odd size, rim of bottle is a bit sharp
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Ease of Use
At first glance, the GSI Outdoor Microlite looks just like the many other vacuum-insulated bottles we've tested over the past few years. But, there are a few specific features that set this bottle apart from the rest. To start, the Microlite has a silicone pad on its base, which not only protects it from denting but also gives it a bit of friction on surfaces, reducing its chances of spilling when lightly knocked. The bottle's plastic lid has a hinged handle that can be stowed along the bottle's side when it's not in use. We liked this aspect of the carrying handle, but we found that when it was deployed, it was too small to carry comfortably unless you want to hang the bottle from a single finger. Alternatively, this handle could be used as a clip-in point for a carabiner, but we don't typically clip stainless steel bottles to anything.
Cleaning the Microlite is a fairly easy and straightforward task. The wide mouth makes it easy enough to get a bottle brush down into its depths, but the lid proves to be a bit more difficult to clean thoroughly.
In our drop tests, the GSI Microlite showed no signs of damage after being dropped from a height of 3.5 feet. The silicone padding on the bottom of the bottle seemed to absorb quite a lot of impact when the bottle was dropped, protecting the stainless-steel body from damage. Other stainless bottles we have tested in the past have dented upon impact, but the silicone protected the GSI bottle significantly. Also, the cap design feels especially sturdy, as it is made of a softer, more malleable feeling plastic than other bottles we've tested.
Here, the GSI excels. The name Microlite is truly fitting — as this is the lightest of all the vacuum-insulated, stainless bottles we've tested. With a total weight of 10.5 ounces, the Microlight falls in between the vacuum insulated and non-insulated stainless bottles we have reviewed in the past.
Right out of the box, the Microlite had a bit of a plasticky, packaging taste to it, but this was quickly remedied with a few rinses. The simplicity of the lid and the rim of the bottle make it so that flavors do not linger in these areas. Stainless steel bottles, in general, don't hold on to flavors, so we were not surprised by the Microlite's performance in this category.
Compared to similar models from other brands, the GSI Microlite lands in the middle of the pack for insulated bottles. Considering that the performance difference between this bottle and more expensive stainless steel, vacuum-sealed bottles is small, we think this bottle offers solid value.
The most notable aspect of the GSI Microlite is its weight. Hence the name. We were definitely impressed that GSI was able to make a vacuum-insulated bottle that functions well and is significantly lighter than most other options out there. The Microlite falls alongside some of the non-insulated stainless bottles we've reviewed, with an added layer of stainless steel hidden in there somewhere! Impressive. Beyond that, the Microlite performed much like any other insulated bottle we've tested in terms of ease of cleaning, durability, and features. If you are looking for a particularly lightweight insulated bottle, this one might be the ticket.
— Jane Jackson