Mira Cascade Review
Cons: Tall, cumbersome, difficult to clean
Our Analysis and Test Results
Ease of Use
We tested the 25 oz version of the Cascade. The company has three size options for this bottle — 12oz, 17oz, and 25oz. Our first grievance with the 25 oz version was its size. The bottle is a bit too wide to be comfortable in hand and, unlike other stainless-steel models, it lacks a carrying handle. For cleaning, this tall, slender shape presents a challenge because it is hard to get down into the bottom of the bottle with such a narrow mouth and long body.
In terms of insulation, this bottle excels. The Cascade kept our water so hot that we burned our tongue on hot water after 2 hours of sitting. This came as quite a surprise, as the water in the Hydro Flask was a reasonable drinking temperature after 2 hours. Though this level of insulation was impressive, we found that the shape of the Cascade was not conducive to drinking hot beverages from, as the rim of the bottle conducts heat and the narrow mouth causes hot steam to burn the mouth before taking a sip. Overall, we were impressed by the bottle's insulation but found it to be more useful for cold beverages over hot ones unless pouring hot bevies into another vessel for drinking.
Most stainless steel, insulated bottles run the risk of getting scratched and chipped. Out of the box, their fresh, bright paint jobs make them look like new sports cars, but over time, scratches inevitably appear. During our test period, the Cascade ended up with the most scratches out of the stainless-steel category. After a few months of use, the paint around the lip of the bottle had begun to rub off, as did some of the paint on the main body of the bottle. This is a little disturbing, considering our mouths were right up against the chipped rim of the bottle whenever we used it to drink.
The Mira is not made for light and fast missions. This bottle is super tall, which is more distracting than the actual weight of the bottle. On the scale, the Mira hovers right below the heaviest bottles in this review. We found that the Mira did not have enough positive, unique qualities to justify a weight of 15.6 ounces, which negatively affected the bottle's score in this metric.
Because of its towering stature, the Mira was tough to clean — which allowed flavors to linger longer than we would have liked. The lid, however, is designed much like the Yeti, with the threads exposed on the outside of the lid, making it easy to clean. This part of the bottle often got gunked up after using the bottle with tea or sports drink. Though it was tough to clean, the bottle was able to shed flavors relatively quickly over time. We found that a few rinses with water rid the bottle of residual sports drink flavor fairly quickly.
This 25-ounce bottle is a total steal. It is hard to find an insulated, stainless steel bottle online for under $20. The price is great, and the fact that the Cascade compares to these more expensive bottles in terms of insulation is a double win. For a budget option that still keeps your ice frozen and your tea hot, it's hard to beat the Mira Cascade.
Though the Cascade did not score as highly as other stainless-steel models in our side-by-side comparisons, this bottle is one we would still recommend to a friend. Without costing an arm and a leg, it still gets the job done, with only a few small design flaws that set it behind some of our favorite insulated bottles.
— Jane Jackson