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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.
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.
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
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road.cc 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?
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.
Very well made, with an impressively leak-proof mouthpiece and effortlessly squeezable body.
Performed very well, it kept my liquids cool and offered a strong flow.
A robust mouthpiece and flexible construction suggest it will survive well.
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
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.
About the tester
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 spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.