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GSI Outdoor Microlite 720 Twist Review

This bottle offers the lowest weight among insulated stainless steel bottles that we have tested
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Price:  $30 List | $28.95 at REI
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
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 13, 2020
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 18
  • Ease of Use - 40% 7
  • Durability - 25% 9
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Taste - 15% 8

Our Verdict

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.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Microlite out and about on our most recent self-isolation hike.
The Microlite out and about on our most recent self-isolation hike.

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.

We were pleased to see that the Microlite fits perfectly into a standard car cupholder.
We were pleased to see that the Microlite fits perfectly into a standard car cupholder.

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.

Durability


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.

The sturdy  simple design of Microlite allowed it to excel in our durability tests. Hardly a scratch appeared on this bottle over the course of our test period.
The sturdy, simple design of Microlite allowed it to excel in our durability tests. Hardly a scratch appeared on this bottle over the course of our test period.

Weight


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.

Though it is shown here indoors  the Microlite was one of the lightest insulated bottles we tested  making it an ideal companion to the crag or on longer hiking missions.
Though it is shown here indoors, the Microlite was one of the lightest insulated bottles we tested, making it an ideal companion to the crag or on longer hiking missions.

Taste


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.

Alexa enjoys the sweet taste of Sierra runoff while drinking from the Microlite.
Alexa enjoys the sweet taste of Sierra runoff while drinking from the Microlite.

Value


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.

In terms of value  the GSI falls within the expected price range for bottles of a similar style.
In terms of value, the GSI falls within the expected price range for bottles of a similar style.

Conclusion


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