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GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist Review

This bottle offers the lowest weight among insulated stainless steel bottles that we have tested
GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist
Credit: GSI Outdoors
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Price:  $30 List | $32.99 at Amazon
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  ⋅  Mar 30, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 21
  • Ease of Use - 40% 7.0
  • Durability - 25% 9.0
  • Weight - 20% 6.0
  • Taste - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

As yet another addition to the numerous stainless steel, vacuum-insulated models out there, the GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist is a familiar-looking bottle these days. The Microlite has a plastic cap and vacuum-insulated body on par with many of the other vacuum-insulated models we've tested in past years. The bottle proves to be several ounces 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.

Editor's Note: This product review was updated on March 25, 2022, with advice on what we would purchase and why.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, well-insulated, simple design, reasonable price tagSimple design, inexpensive, lightweightLight, durable, resists flavors, simple design, wide mouth makes for easy fillingDurable, simple, wide mouth makes it easy to cleanAffordable, insulates well, has interchangeable lids, easily portable
Cons Carrying handle is an odd size, rim of bottle is a bit sharpMade of plastic, doesn't fit in all cupholdersDiameter too big for cup holders, wide mouth makes it difficult to drink from when walking or drivingA bit heavyPaint chipping after a few months of use, flip cap seemed to lack security
Bottom Line This bottle offers the lowest weight among insulated stainless steel bottles that we have testedThis bottle is recommended because it is simple, lightweight, durable and has a solid feature setA tried and tested classic, this model is versatile and reasonably pricedA straightforward and simple stainless steel bottle with a reasonable price tagThis is one of our favorite bottles because it's easy to use, just the right size, lightweight and inexpensive
Rating Categories GSI Outdoors Microl... CamelBak Eddy+ Trit... Nalgene Wide-Mouth Iron Flask Insulated Simple Modern Summit
Ease of Use (40%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Durability (25%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
4.0
Taste (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Specs GSI Outdoors Microl... CamelBak Eddy+ Trit... Nalgene Wide-Mouth Iron Flask Insulated Simple Modern Summit
Body Material Stainless steel, polypropylene, silicone BPA-free plastic Eastman Tritan co-polyester 18/8 stainless steel 18/8 stainless steel
Empty Weight 10.5 oz 7.1 oz 6.4 oz 14.9 oz 15.7 oz
Volume 24 oz 32 oz 34 oz 32 oz 32 oz
Bottle Weight per Fluid oz Capacity 0.43 oz 0.22 oz 0.19 oz 0.47 oz 0.5 oz
Mouth Diameter 2.25 in 2.3 in 2.5 in 2 in 2.25 in
Base Diameter 3 in 3.8 in 3.25 in 3.5 in 3.5 in
Height 9.3 in 9.25 in 8.25 in 9 in 9 in
Body Type Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional Hard-sided/traditional
Free of Materials BPA-free BPA, BPS, BPF free BPA, BPS and Phthalate Free BPA-free BPA-free
Cap/Lid Type Screwtop Screw cap, flip top Loop-top screw cap Screw cap, flip top Screw Cap, flip top
Volume Options 17 oz, 24 oz, 34 oz 14 oz, 25 oz, 32 oz 16 oz, 48 oz 14 oz, 18 oz, 22 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz 14 oz, 18 oz, 22 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz, 84 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist water bottle - the microlite out and about on our most recent self-isolation hike.
The Microlite out and about on our most recent self-isolation hike.
Credit: Jane Jackson

Ease of Use


At first glance, the GSI Outdoors Microlite looks just like the many other vacuum-insulated bottles we've tested over the past few years. But, a few specific features set this bottle apart from the rest. To start, the Microlite has a silicone pad on its base, which protects it from denting and 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 often find ourselves clipping our stainless steel bottles to anything.

GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist water bottle - we were pleased to see that the microlite fits perfectly into a...
We were pleased to see that the Microlite fits perfectly into a standard car cupholder.
Credit: Jane Jackson

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 water bottles we've tested 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.

GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist water bottle - the sturdy, simple design of microlite allowed it to excel in our...
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.
Credit: Jane Jackson

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.

GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist water bottle - though it is shown here indoors, the microlite was one of the...
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.
Credit: Jane Jackson

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.

GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist water bottle - in terms of value, the gsi falls within the expected price range for...
In terms of value, the GSI falls within the expected price range for bottles of a similar style.
Credit: Jane Jackson

Should You Buy the GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist?


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. Beyond that, the Microlite performed much like any other insulated bottle we've tested in terms of ease of cleaning, durability, and features. True ounce-counting ultralighters will probably stick with a Nalgene Wide-Mouth, but if you want to have an insulated bottle while backpacking, this would be our suggestion, as it's the lightest insulated stainless bottle in the fleet.

GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Twist water bottle - alexa enjoys the sweet taste of sierra runoff while drinking from...
Alexa enjoys the sweet taste of Sierra runoff while drinking from the Microlite.
Credit: Jane Jackson

What Other Water Bottles Should You Consider?


If you're seeking a super light backcountry bottle, our recommendation is the Nalgene Wide-Mouth, perhaps in conjunction with the Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle. Otherwise, our favorite insulated bottles for urban use are the Yeti Rambler 26 and Simple Modern Summit options.

Jane Jackson
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