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review

Dawn To Dusk Aqua Flow Bottle with Dirt Mask

9
£15.49

VERDICT:

9
10
Great bottle for rough, dirty and exhausting trails
Stays muck-free
Works one-handed
Easy to drink from fast
Won't leak if on its side
Grippy in a cage
Will leak if squashed
Expensive
Weight: 
96g

At road.cc 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 Dawn To Dusk Aqua Flow Bottle With Dirt Mask has two innovative and practical features that make muck-free one-handed drinking easy and fast. It may leak if slung in a bag though, because you can't lock the valve.

The first of this bottle's standout features is the Dirt Mask cover, which I reviewed separately here – because you can buy it separately to retro-fit to other bottles.

The Dirt Mask is a spring-loaded cover that seals mouthpiece from mud and water, and it works brilliantly – you can easily flip it open with your thumb whilst riding. You get a spare rubber O-ring too, but in a year's riding and dishwashering all four of mine are still fine. The Dirt Mask is easily removable, as well.

The second key feature is the nozzle. Made from 'medical grade silicone,' it's an unusual design that – unlike almost every other bottle valve I've ever used – doesn't actually lock closed. So you don't have to grip it and pull up with your teeth to start the water flowing, you just tilt the bottle and either squeeze, suck, or both if you're really thirsty.

If you hold the bottle upside down or lie it on its side no water comes out, or not until a reasonable amount of pressure is put on the bottle sides. That could easily occur in a bag or pack, however, so it's better for either cage mounting or standing upright in a pocket.

2022 Dawn to Dusk Aqua Flow Bottle with Dirt Mask 2.JPG

This design is presumably a tradeoff for improved flow rate, and it really works - a combination of squeezing and sucking delivers a massive gulp of water quickly. The bottle is perfectly balanced in terms of wall thickness and material, to feel just right in the hand. It also grips cages well, with a deep indentation for cage lips to grab.

2022 Dawn to Dusk Aqua Flow Bottle with Dirt Mask - filthy.jpg

In a year's bashing about on seriously rowdy gravel tracks and red/black mountain bike trails, I never had this come loose – at least not in combination with Dawn To Dusk's own cages (reviews to come).

> The best cycling water bottles you can buy – tried and tested

The Aqua Flow bottle is a smokey clear material marked in 4oz gradients. 20oz is 600ml, and the bottle maxes out at 725ml filled to the brim. After a year's use it's showing obvious scratches from hundreds of rides, but as the logo simulates rough paint or splashes it doesn't look shabby.

Taste-wise the BPA-Free, biodegradable and phthalate-free polyethylene is just the ticket – there's no plasticky taste at all.

Value

At £15.49 with the Dirt Mask included (or £10.99 without), it's certainly not cheap. The major competitor is the £7.50, also mud-proof Elite Fly MTB 750 bottle, but having purchased a few, I found all the caps failed at the hinge within a few months.

The 620ml Camelbak Podium Dirt Series bottles are basically the same price as the Aqua Flow at £15, but use a much smaller cap over the bite valve. I haven't used one of these, but it looks like you'll need two hands to hold the bottle and remove the cap. Also the cap is not captive, and could get lost easily.

Overall

Having run a very extended test on the Aqua Flow with Dirt Mask, I'm sold. They're easy to drink fast from, the Dirt Mask keeps the nozzle completely free of cack, and one-handed operation means you keep on rolling. They're secure in their cages (sold separately), and still look good a year on.

Yes, it's expensive, but the functionality and longevity means the investment is sound.

Verdict

Great bottle for rough, dirty and exhausting trails

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Dawn To Dusk Aqua Flow Bottle with Dirt Mask

Size tested: 740ml

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's for people wanting to drink fast, on the go, from a bottle not covered in mud or poo.

Dawn To Dusk says: "All the features you could want in one clear bottle. The 740 mL (25 oz) Aqua Flow is the ideal water bottle for gravel and adventure bikes. It provides instantaneous refreshment from the latest Squeeze & Squirt technology. A fast flow of refreshment keeps you riding longer. Dirt Mask covers cap to keep that ice cold drink clean of grit."

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

1. Patented auto shut-off nozzle with medical grade silicone valve

2. Jet-like flow. Drink 4 oz in 7 seconds

3. 4 oz graduations help control your rehydration

4. 12.7 mm (1⁄2') deep groove. Great for secure cage grip

5. Tapered for easy cage insertion

6. BPA-Free, Biodegradable, Phthalate-Free

COMPATIBILITY

For complete cap coverage from dirt, use with Dawn to Dusk Dirt Mask

Capacity

740 mL (25 oz)

Material

Taste free. BPA Free Polyethylene

Weight

Bottle Only – 70 grams, Bottle with Dirt Mask – 91.7 grams

Size

Bottle Only – 232 mm (9.125"), Bottle with Dirt Mask – 235 mm (9.25")

Available Options

Without Dirt Mask, With Dirt Mask

Difficulty Level

Easy, Moderate, Tough, Extreme

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The material works well for a bottle destined to be battered about.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Being able to drink lots, fast and one-handed, is a huge win.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Some scratching evident after much use, but still looks good.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10

Not overly weighty for the features.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
10/10

The soft squeezy bottle and no-bite nozzle are great.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Given the ruggedness and parts availability, the value is great.

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

Performance is great - it gets lots of water into your mouth, fast.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The Dirt Mask and the valve.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The fact the valve can't be locked.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Pretty well - the same price as the Camelbak Podium, but better functionality.

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

The inability to lock the valve is really the only negative, as spills could be a possibility in a bag. Otherwise it's perfect.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 183cm  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Sonder Camino Gravelaxe  My best bike is: Nah bro that's it

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, general fitness riding, mtb, G-R-A-V-E-L

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