Square Water Bottle Raises $126K on Kickstarter. We test it out

A novel idea can raise six-figure investment via crowd-source funding sites like Kickstarter. Clean Bottle recently proposed turning its popular hydration vessel square, and people responded in droves.

We got a first look at the stainless steel bottle last week. Beyond its stand-out shape, the Clean Bottle Square opens on both ends for easy washing, is dishwasher-safe, and it fits in average car cup holders for universal use.

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Clean Bottle Square

While it may seem a little superfluous, the top-and-bottom openings are pretty darn convenient. They allow the bottle to be fully cleaned from either end, no reaching in to scrub.

The top and bottom caps fit snuggly on, and they close with a reassuring click in just a quarter turn. The caps are made of non-BPA plastic. Rubber gaskets seal them shut.

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Exploded view of Clean Bottle Square

While the Square looks like a Thermos-type bottle, it is not. Don’t make this mistake like we did — it is a single-walled bottle. Metal conducts heat, and I found out first-hand that hot liquids in this thing can burn fingers if you’re not carful!

Style-wise, the bottle matches the look and feel of a metal Macbook Pro, which should bode well for the coffee-shop set. As noted, it fits in a car cup holder, letting you take it easily along on trips or errands. It is very tall, though, so watch out because it can tip over easily.

A potential downfall, the bottle holds only 20 liquid ounces. To me that amount is the absolute minimum size a water bottle can be and still be worth carrying around.

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Tall! 11 inches in height

As noted, the bottle is tall at 11 inches and it weighs about 10 ounces when empty. This is not a bottle meant for backpacking or serious outdoor pursuits.

Advantages to the square design? If dropped the bottle can not easily roll away. This is not a problem that I’ve faced a lot in my life, but maybe for kids it could be an advantage.

My take? Outside of the notable exception of use on sailboats, trains or other moving vehicles, I really don’t see the big advantage to the square shape. On sailboats or other places with shifting angles and unstable surfaces the bottle might really shine.

At $40, the bottle is pricey. But with an eye-catching design and quality build it could fit nicely in a lot of Christmas stockings when it is released in December. The bottle can be pre-ordered now at Cleanbottle.com.

—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor based in Denver.

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End view: Looking through opened square bottle

Posted by kevin thomas - 10/22/2012 10:07 AM

Camelbac better bottle is better(no pun intended) because you can boil water in it.

Posted by Chris @ TheGearHouse - 10/22/2012 03:11 PM

Does the world really need another water bottle design? I mean come on. The only neat thing about this is that you can take the bottom off to fully clean the entire bottle, but that’s not going to make me throw away all my other bottles and spend $40 each to replace them. Oh and $40? Just crazy.

Posted by Greg - 10/23/2012 04:36 AM

I’ve seen many unecessary inventions, but this one is the most ridiculous of all.
Who on earth is gonna pay 40 USD for a bottle that adds no benefits compared to re-using any plastic bottle… I’ve been using the same Coke PET bottle for all my backpacking and mountaieering trips in the last couple of years.
I can’t imagine any reason why this bottle would do a better job; except that the steel will get damaged, the rubber are additional potential sources of leaks, it’s heavier…
Seriously, anyone who invested in this project has to be as stupid as the 3 customers who will actually buy one.

Posted by Joel - 05/29/2013 11:00 AM

An old plastic water bottle has more heat resistance than this metal one. Cold water gets warm – hot coffee gets cold. You’ll burn your hand if you pour coffee into it. It wouldn’t have taken much to add an insulating surface, or add a double wall, and still be able to see it for $40.00 !

Posted by Outdoornut - 06/19/2013 02:27 PM

Personally, I’ll continue to use my nalgene. I see no real purpose for this particular design and as someone else mentioned, there really is no need for “another water bottle design”. If you don’t know what the Nalgene is, its this one http://www.camping-water-filter.com/nalgene-1qt-wide-mouth-bpa-free-water-bottle

As far as the style, who really cares what it looks like or if it resembles a mac book, function and use are the only thing needed.

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