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Specialized Purist Insulated Chromatek Watergate



Keeps drinks cold for hours and easy to use, though the price is a little hard to swallow
Keeps drinks cool
Easy to squeeze
Good flow rate

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Specialized Purist Insulated Chromatek Watergate bottle is one of the more expensive on the market. Unlike some cheaper ones, though, it does do its job very well. It's easy to use and keeps drinks hot and cold, which goes some way to justifying the cost.

You might be wanting to keep your drinks hot rather than cold at the moment, but when it's sweltering in high summer there's nothing better than taking a sip from your bottle and finding the drink inside as cold as when you filled it. This is what the Purist Insulated is aiming to achieve, while also offering a superior drinking experience – and it succeeds.

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In terms of insulation the bottle works really well, keeping drinks cold for hours. I tested it indoors as well as out on rides, where winter temperatures might not give an accurate indication of its performance in summer. After about three hours the temperature does begin to climb, but if you haven't drunk what's inside by then, you need to cycle harder or drink more!

A good flow is essential too – nobody wants to be gasping for a drink and getting only a trickle. With this bottle when you suck, you get nothing – no bad thing, as I'll explain in a moment – but when you squeeze you get a really satisfying amount of water without a huge amount of effort. This is particularly impressive given that, as with most insulated bottles, it has an internal 'bag', which typically means having to squeeze really hard to get anything out.

The main reason you can't really get anything out of the bottle by sucking only is that the bottle has one of Specialized's new 'Heart' valves, which stops leaks. I have to say that it does this perfectly – I didn't notice any leaks whatsoever throughout testing.

Specialized Purist Insulated Chromatek Watergate 23oz – X-Ray - cap.jpg

The indent around the middle keeps it secure in a bottle cage. I used this on a few different bikes with different cages and didn't have any issues with any of them – even going over rough roads at speed.

While many new water bottles have a bit of an aftertaste, Specialized has used its 'Purist infusion shield' which stops this, and it works. The shield also prevents odour, stains and mould – I left water in this for two weeks straight to test this, and there was no weird smell or any other kind of impact.

At £20 it's not a cheap bottle – it's £5 more than the Camelbak Podium Chill and £8 more than the Passport Frostbright Reflective Water Bottle. However, it does perform better than both, and it's cheaper than the Camelbak Podium Ice at £22.99 and Hydro Flask that Mike tested, which is £25.95 on its own, plus another £8.95 for the Sport Cap.

Overall, I was really impressed by this bottle's performance. You can squeeze it easily for a good flow, it keeps water cool for longer than others, and has no nasty aftertaste. It's hard to justify £20 for a drinks bottle, but if its features are important to you then I'd say it's money well spent.


Keeps drinks cold for hours and easy to use, though the price is a little hard to swallow test report

Make and model: Specialized Purist Insulated Chromatek Watergate

Size tested: 23oz

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It is an insulated water bottle designed to maintain the temperature of liquids, while offering anti-bacterial and anti-odour properties.

Specialized says, "The all-new Purist Insulated features our Chromatek™ liner''a proprietary insulating barrier that lines the core to keep your liquids cold. Not only do your liquids stay cold, but new squeezable materials allow for unmatched flexibility, too."

I agree with this to an extent – I don't know whether the flexibility is unmatched, but it is certainly very impressive.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Specialized lists:

Purist infusion shields the bottle from odour, stains, and mold to keep your water pure and your bottle clean.

Chromatek™ liner keeps your liquids cold.

Updated materials make for unmatched squeezability.

Self-sealing Heart Valve™ delivers a high rate of flow with a 100% leak-proof design''even when the valve is open.

BPA-Free plastic is made from 100% FDA food- grade materials, and it's printed with non-solvent base (UV Cured), CPSC-approved ink and materials.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Very well made, with an impressively leak-proof mouthpiece and effortlessly squeezable body.

Rate the product for performance:

Performed very well, it kept my liquids cool and offered a strong flow.

Rate the product for durability:

A robust mouthpiece and flexible construction suggest it will survive well.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

It's more expensive than the Camelbak Podium Chill at £14.99 and the Passport Frostbright Reflective Water Bottle at £11.99, but neither is as good, and it is cheaper than the Podium Ice (£22.99) and the £25.99 Hydro Flask. So although not cheap, it's not bad value for what you're getting.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performed very well – providing cold water over several hours, with an impressive flow rate, and no mould or odours.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The flow rate is really impressive.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a very good bottle that offers great insulation, anti-bacterial qualities, and flow rate; it's not cheap, but it isn't as expensive as some.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

George is the host of the podcast and has been writing for since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

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ktache | 4 years ago

Back in the early 90s I had a Specialized water bottle that could have been the best I had ever used.  It was called the "Racer's Edge" it had a little rubbery heart valve at the top, and a silicone band at the bit just below the dent, like some Bodum things have.  Lasted many years, until I dropped it one too many times.  I was gutted, couldn't find anything as good.

Eventually found that Cannondale's were acceptable, though quite delicate, even had to get some from the US.  

Then discovered CamelBaks, the Podium Chill with the little cap to stop mud from getting on the spout, 1st gen, is my favorite.  I have 4 now, 2 normal and a 2nd gen Ice, which is not shaped right.  They are indestructable, for me at least and cannot justify any new ones.

Dangerous Dan | 4 years ago

I was at a post race gathering at the local bike shop and they were throwing out freebies.  Just standing there minding my own business when one of these literally landed in my helmet.

Oh well.  Another water bottle.  Don't want to look like I don't appreciate the work they go to sponsoring these events, so I took it home.  I read the propaganda on the tag, filled it with water, let it sit overnight and... no foul taste.

I went back and bought two more so that we can both have one on the tandem.  I did look into the coating that works the magic, and it seems to be a silicone.  Should not be a health hazard.

Long and short of it is that the "free" bottle cost me about $40 US.  If the plastic taste is a big deal, these bottles seem to solve the problem.

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