The Mira Cascade is a good budget option for those looking to buy a well-insulated, stainless steel bottle without the price tag of a Hydro Flask or a Klean Kanteen. The bottle works well overall, but we had a few hang-ups on with the bottle's design and ease of use. The Cascade also fell short in our durability metric, as it chipped and scratched easily after only a few days of use. Cosmetic, but still, it was fast. On the plus side, the Cascade kept our beverages piping hot for hours. The blend of positive and negative experiences we had with this bottle lands it in the middle of the road in our side-by-side comparisons. Other stainless-steel, insulated bottles we recommend are the Simple Modern Summit, for an affordable alternative, or the Yeti Rambler 26 for our all-around favorite bottle in this review.
Mira Cascade Review
Cons: Tall, cumbersome, difficult to clean
Compare to Similar Products
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 Mira towers over the Hydro Flask 24 oz and the Simple Modern Summit. The bottle is a bit too wide to be comfortable in hand and, unlike other stainless-steel models, it lacks a carrying handle.
In terms of insulation, this bottle excels. We filled the Cascade and the Hydroflask with boiling water at the same time and checked back on the temperature of the water over the next 6 hours. 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. Perhaps because of the paint used, how it's applied, or maybe we were even more clumsy with the Cascade, but it got more scratched than both the Hydro Flask and the Simple Modern Summit. 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.
Ease of Cleaning
The Cascade received a lower score in this metric mostly because of its tall, narrow shape and narrow mouth. These features make the bottle difficult to clean without a specific bottle cleaning brush. That said, most bottles of this capacity (20-30 ounces) have a similar shape and are thus also challenging to clean. We found the Simple Modern Summit slightly easier to clean because of its wider mouth and shorter size.
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 (the Yeti Rambler and the Lifefactory). 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 Hydro Flask Standard and 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.
We found that this bottle is best used in an urban setting. We preferred using it to keep cold beverages cold, rather than hot ones hot (for reasons listed above). The narrow mouth diameter and long, thin neck conduct heat and make it extremely difficult to drink hot drinks from. Because of its weight and lack of carrying handle, we found that this bottle is best used around town, where it can be stowed in a backpack or cup holder. If we could have a do-over, we would probably get this bottle in a smaller size, since the 25-ounce was tall and cumbersome.
For $19, this 25-ounce bottle is a total steal. It is hard to find an insulated, stainless steel bottle online for under $20, and compared to name brands like Hydro Flask or Yeti, the Mira is almost half the price. 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