PASSPORT FROSTBRIGHT INSULATED BICYCLE BOTTLE
93g 550ml £11.99
Bike bottles come in various shapes and sizes, but Cambridge based Passport’s Frostbright is, at first glimpse, a regular-looking plastic sport-top. However, there’s more to it than that. Aiming to keep your favourite in-ride beverage cool, there’s also a road safety take. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been impressed by it.
Pros: Cool in the sun and bright at night.
Cons: Lower capacity than most bottles.
Passport’s Frostbright Insulated Bicycle Bottle is designed in the UK. Manufactured in Taiwan, it comse in three colours combining silver with red, blue, and black. Made form a double layer of PVC, the opaque outer seals in an inner container, so insulateing against heat and cold. The inner has an attractive reflective Jack Frost pattern, designed to add to visibility - particularly from the side. That’s potentially very handy at junctions and on roundabouts.
The 550cc capacity is less than bottles with similar outer dimensions, because of the inner, insulating sleeve. It should still go easily into all but the smallest frame geometries, and even then side access cages such as the VEL SE cage, should allow it in.
In common with many bottles there’s an ergo-type indent three-qaurters of the way up for convenient grip. The whole is topped off with a plastic screw top and a malleable leak-proof valve, which certainly seems to work effectively. All neatly put together and tidily finished.
Google PVC and you’ll find a number of articles about toxins. True, PVC aint especially eco-friendly and, with long-term exposure, might, just might, prove detrimental to health, but it isn’t BPA, which has been banned in some countries. Frankly, since you’re probably not going to set fire to your bottles and you aren’t going to leave water to sit in the bottle year round, contamination’s a pretty minimal possibility. In the latter case you’d still probably be in greater danger form bacteria. All bottles should be emptied after use and given a dose of Milton, or similar, solution every now and again.
It is, of course, the PVC that gives it a nice squishy feel and aids security in bottle cages.
If some reduction in capacity, compared to traditional bottles, is a bit of a pest - especially in the hot weather of the testing period (July and August 2018) - the gain has been worth it, in the touring/leisure context. Water - my chosen beverage - has been kept pleasantly gluggable. OK, in light-weight contexts, an additional bottle might be undesirable. However, for the less weight-concious, the lesiure rider, and the tourer, a swill of cool liquid under the proverbial spreading boughs on the village green is a definite plus. Left in the sun whilst exploring a castle for a couple of hours, there was no noticeable warming.
Icing the water, has seen the water kept cold as the temperature has risen to the mid-twenties after some three hours on the bike. Not carting a thermometer in the tool kit means this is very much rule of tongue, but things have been fresh. Room temperature has, frankly lasted all day and night and half the next day. At that point it was drunk. Best to keep water-bottles fresh.
Passport say that it will stop drinks becoming too cold, or even freezing, during winter jaunts. I guess that your soup wont be piping - this is not a thermos flask - but a proper winter update will follow, when appropriate seasonal weather arrives. In the meantime, I see no reason to think it won’t do a claimed.
Add on reflective functions are plentiful these days. Ranging from “every-little-helps” to really functional safety-aids, Passport’s Frostbright bottles definitely come toward the latter. For a start, they’ll generally be located on the frame with a clear side-view. They may not help motor vehilcle drivers see you coming, but they’ll certainly help them see you pass or cross in front of them - at night-time, anyway. I find things like this helpful at roundabouts and in urban settings. The reflective properties are very good, drawing comment from a couple of helpful drivers and procaliming my presence in much the same way as reflective strips on the tyre walls (when clean) or my commuting friend, the Altura Night Vision jacket.
A few people have mentioned that extra-squishy persona makes them harder to squeeze and liquid slower to dispense. There’s some truth in this, but, for me, it is far, far, far from a deal-breaker. I’d like to suggest that those who disagree should get a grip, but I won’t. In any case, the other side of the coin is strong security of tenure in suitable cages, trad or not.
Talking cages, its worth remembering that though its capacity is only a little above the Back Bottle, the Frostbright’s dimensions are similar to a trad 750ml bottle. It doesn’t sit nicely in the jersey’s rear pocket. On the other hand I’ve fitted it into the side entry Lezyne cages on my son’s old Genesis Volant, with its small frame geometry. Top entry cages need, as you’d expect more room for manouevre
550ml means you might not want to waste any. I’ve found it necessary to ensure a good firm twist of the screw-on lid gives a good seal. There’s been no leakage through the cap or valve, except when filled with fizzy-water. That has been my experience of other bottles, too. On the subjest of the valve, it is malleable to the touch and, without being quite al dente it is easier on the teeth than some tougher plastics.