The Lifefactory is top notch in the ease of use and ease of cleaning metrics, while it does not excel in terms of weight.
Toting the Lifefactory on a quick urban hike in between coffee shop sessions.
Ease of Use
We tested the 22-ounce version of this bottle. The Lifefactory Flip Cap has a sleeker shape than its preceding versions and is slightly easier to use than the previous one we tested. The lid, shape of the body, and flip cap all saw minor changes that add to the overall ease of using of this simple bottle. For starters, the flip cap is made of a malleable silicone, rather than hard plastic, which we found to be much more pleasant. Our lead tester is weary of flip caps, sport caps, and novelty lids of all kinds, but she liked the new, low profile flip cap on the Lifefactory. The lid has a small spout (think child's sippy cup) which helps direct water straight into your mouth, without spilling or sloshing into your nose. Major plus!
Like before, we struggled with the screw cap and had a few mishaps with securing the lid completely. It can be hard to tell if the threads aren't lined up, which can cause accidental spillage. We liked the Purifyou for its easy-to-use lid that we trusted to roll around in our bag unattended.
Another factor in this metric is the overall feel of the bottle — how it feels in hand, how it feels to drink from, and how it carries. Like our other favorites — the Klean Kanteen Classic and the Hydro Flask, the Lifefactory has a nice, grippy texture that feels good and secure. The silicone sleeve has a pattern of circles on it, which we preferred over the square pattern on the Purifyou.
Here is a close-up of the rubbery cap and updated spout on the Lifefactory's newly designed lid.
The silicone sleeve strikes again with this one! We were impressed by the Lifefactory and its ability to withstand everything we put it through during our test period. At the gym, in between coffee shops, and in the campground, we treated this bottle as we would any other, and it survived. The silicone sleeve protects the glass bottle inside, with rubber reinforcement on the bottom of the bottle.
Additionally, the plastic lid seemed to be designed with durability in mind. The flip cap is almost indestructible, since it is made of flexible rubber. The only point of weakness we could find was the seal on the flip cap itself. The silicone cap fit in well in the first two months of use, but we could foresee this feature wearing out and potentially causing leakage as the bottle ages. We felt like the Lifefactory performed better in this metric than its competitor, the Purifyou bottle, mostly because the silicone sleeve provides more coverage on the Lifefactory.
The protective silicone sleeve, shown above, provides tons of added protection to the glass bottle beneath. The lid on the Lifefactory is also surprisingly durable, as it is made from hard-sided plastic.
Ease of Cleaning
Another factor that sets the Lifefactory apart from every other glass bottle we have tested is how easy it is to clean it. The bottle's wide mouth and relatively short stature make it about as easy to clean as a pint glass in your kitchen. In comparison to other lids, the Flip Cap is simple and has relatively few moving parts, making it easy to clean as well. In contrast, bottles like the Contigo Thermalock Glacier or the Camelbak Eddy+, take much more time to clean with their intricate drinking systems.
As with most glass bottles, the Lifefactory has a silicone sleeve that can be removed and cleaned separately. We didn't do this often since it can be a pain to get the sleeve back on. It is very helpful to do this in warm, soapy water, to assist with getting the sleeve on and off. Otherwise, plan on wrestling the naked glass bottle back into the sleeve.
The wide mouth on the Lifefactory made it one of the easiest bottles to clean.
The thick, durable glass, the intricate lid, and the silicone sleeve all add up to make a fairly hefty bottle. Weight is not the Flip Cap's strong suit; and with a total weight of 18.6 ounces, it is one of the heavier bottles in our review. The only bottle that compares in weight is the top-ranked Yeti Rambler that weighs 18.5 ounces. Though their weights are nearly the same, the Lifefactory seemed to have a heavier feel, which deterred us from taking the bottle on hikes or longer commutes.
When full, the Flip Cap weighs over two pounds, which isn't out of the question to add to a backpack or messenger bag to and from work. Since the bottle is glass and has a small capacity, we wouldn't advise taking this one out into the backcountry on the weekends, though.
The Lifefactory was not our top choice for most outings due to its weight, though short outings like this were manageable (especially with the carrying handle, and color coordination!).
As you might expect from a glass bottle, the Lifefactory scored at the top of the pack in this metric. Its scores were comparable to those of the Purifyou and the Soma. We found it to perform a tad better than both of the other glass options since it is easier to clean for removal of particularly long-lasting flavors. The only part of the bottle where flavors can linger is in the lid, which did impart a little bit of flavor from our sports drink mix used for testing in this metric.
The Lifefactory scored higher in the taste metric compared to its competitor, the Mira Cascade (in the background). In general, glass bottles did a better job at not imparting flavor than their stainless-steel competitors.
The best use for this bottle is as a work companion on a desk or tucked into a messenger bag. There is something about drinking from a glass vessel that even the flashiest stainless-steel bottle can't beat. We loved that the Lifefactory provides this experience while still being portable, leak free, and carrying well in the hand. Anywhere around town you may go — the office, the library, or the gym — the Lifefactory is right at home. For folks who are trying to reduce contact with plastic in their daily lives, this bottle is a great choice. Though the lid is plastic, your water should rarely come in contact with it, especially if it is upright most of the time. Be warned, though, this bottle is not meant to have boiling water poured into it — it runs the risk of breaking the bottom.
The Lifefactory is best used in an indoor setting, ideally between our laptop and our coffee mug.
The latest version of the Lifefactory Flip Cap is sold online for $25, making it a reasonable purchase for your go-to everyday bottle. The updated flip cap and lid make the bottle more appealing overall, while the tried and true aspects of the bottle that we have loved over the years have remained constant. A similar choice, minus the glass, is the Simple Modern Summit, which has the same capacity plus the ability to hold hot drinks as well. We liked having this versatility, but there is also value to having an all-glass bottle. We choose the Lifefactory over the Purifyou due to its wide mouth and comfortable carrying handle.
To wrap it up, the Lifefactory is still our favorite option out there among the range of choices in the glass category. The bottle is reliable, durable, and comfortable to use. We love the updated flip cap, though we wouldn't test our luck with it loose in a bag for too long. The size of the mouth is also a huge factor in our adoration of the Lifefactory - glass bottles with narrow mouths look cool, but are hard to drink from, fill, and clean. When it comes to simplicity and proportions, nothing beats the Lifefactory.