Ahh, Nissan bottles. The briefcase bullet every self-respecting yuppy wouldn’t be caught dead without. Nissan was the innovator in this "too cool for the 20th century" thermal product, and to this day they still make some of the most recognizable and most efficient bottles on the market.
A "bottle" as defined by this Detailed Review is pretty simple - no handle, a lock down lid, and a cap that can double as a drinking cup.
So what the heck is the sports bottle doing in this section? It doesn't have a drinking cap!
Well, it's called a bottle. And without it, this section would have two items. So what the heck. :)
All of these products carry Nissan's big time 5 year guarantee.
Briefcase Bottle (#FBB750, avg price $30)
This be it - the ultimate bullet bottle. The one that could be the trophy in the Yuppy World Olympics! (of course, it would have to be dipped in platinum or something like that).
It's a quality performer too. In our hot temperature test, the bottle was still at 74C after eight hours! That's a full working day to a hard working yuppy, you know! Okay, enough yuppy references for this segment of the review.
I'm actually not a huge fan of the bullet bottle look in a large shape, such as this one - at 750ml capacity, it's a tall bottle. Still, it does fit in most briefcases - at least the ones I own, which are the sporty fabric type briefcases you get at Mountain Equipment Coop. It fit nicely in the bottom of this expandable type briefcase, but it was a tight fit standing upright in the case.
The exterior, like most Nissan products, is a brushed steel and people besides me think it looks great. The lid/spout is the standard, stock "twist and pour" no frills style that does work well. And in this spouty lid lies another reason for the amazing heat retention ability of the bullet bottle - it's insulated, and fairly long. If you recall from the start of this Detailed Review, I said that the one weak spot in thermal products with vacuum insulation is the lid/opening area. The good products make up for this by insulating the closing lid as well as they can be, and the bullet bottle's twist and pour spout does the job well.
The outer cap is nice, and holds 200ml to the brim. It isn't insulated as far as I can tell - if you hold a hot beverage in it, the outside metal heats up a fair amount. It isn't what I'd call unbearable, but you can look at it one of two ways: it is either bad because your hand gets hot, or it's good, because your hand gets hot on a cold day. An interesting side note - I did this temperature feel test with the outer cap from the Ti Bottle, and the outside walls got hotter much quicker than this bullet bottle. Go figure - I would have thought the Ti would somehow be a bit "cooler" to the touch.
The bottle does not feature a no slip bottom. I wouldn't call this necessary, but still, it's a big, tall piece of steel and vacuum and stuff, and it slides very easily across the table, potentially knocking over. Good thing it's absolutely leak proof when the lid and spout cap are sealed!
Overall, I like this bottle. As mentioned above, I'm not a fan of the larger bullet bottles (I like the sub 500ml design best), but at $30 average price, this is probably the best bullet bottle you can buy (until you have the bucks to spend on the TiBottle, that is :)).
|FBB750 Bullet Bottle Temperature Tests|
New Pint Bottle (FDB500, avg price: $30)
I'm… too sexy for my coffee… too sexy for my thermos… too sexy for my liquids…
Okay, I admit - that's the song that went through my head when I first saw this bottle. It seemed like a chick bottle. But if so, why the heck does it feel just perfect in the hand, and… uh, calling Dr. Freud!
This was one of the products I handed off to a female friend to let her do some testing on. Here's her report.
It's certainly easier for me to hold onto this bottle - it fits in my hand quite comfortably. The liquids inside have stayed at the desired temperature for much longer, to the point where my own (piano) students were impressed. Gosh. The dark translucent plastic seems "business-like", and would have been much more fun with more exciting colours, but that's a matter of preference.
The fact that it doesn't leak that easily helps me make the quick decision to fill the thermos and toss it in the car with me as I run out the door. I just wish that this would fit in my drink holder.
(ed.note: It is a bottle, not a mug or tumbler, after all).
The pour spout has come in handy and since I wasn't a big a fan of bare metal touching my lips (conducts heat a little too easily) the plastic edge makes it easy to drink hot liquids straight from the container.
| The Curvy(tm) bottle has a double spout system, which turns out to be pretty good. Lid is insulated. |
(note to readers: this product has a double-lid thing happening. At first I couldn't figure out why it had an outer cap with a hole in it, then a twist and pour inner cap. Reason? You can drink from it without touching metal. Also, the opening to the bottle is larger to accommodate ice cubes, but smaller (with just the inner lid in use) to pour from easily).
From a more practical point of view, I see this as a relatively easy container to clean. One thing I've always disliked a lot other thermal products is the rubber seal collecting all the smells and odors from previous uses. This one is easy to clean, with the blue rubber O-ring looking relatively easy to change should it become damaged, discoloured, or worn. I wonder if Nissan sells replacement lids or O-rings for this product. I'm sure I'm not the only one on the planet the breaks, cracks or damages things on products.
(ed.note: the seals in all the current Nissan products we're testing are made from silicone, not rubber).
All in all, it's a pretty handy little thermos. I just wish it were a little bigger in volume than 500 ml, but retain the same physical size. =) I gave it a grade of A-.
Leakproof BackPack Bottle (JMW350, avg price: $30)
Which one of these things does not belong? Remember that old Sesame Street cartoon that helped you associate things with other things? Hrmm maybe not.
Anyways, this is a "bottle" in title, so I put it in this category. 'Nuff said about that. This is one nifty product. It is part of a new trend at Nissan to do sporty things. They have a new line of products designed for athletic, risk seeking types who jump off mountains and spelunk in water filled caves - sport bottles. The line includes easy sip, carbonated beverage bottles, bottles that fit bicycle cages, and this style of bottle.
When they say leak proof, they mean it. I've never seen a more beefy lid system on any thermal product. It features an insulated lid with a rubbery (very soft, probably silicone though) outer "wrap" that completely clamps down and seals with zeal when you click the lid shut.
If that wasn't enough, it has a double locking system - first there's a spring loaded clicking clatch that clamps onto the lid when you close this thing. Next, you can flip up a metal bar that makes damned sure the lid stays closed. Nissan wasn't pulling any punches with this closing system.
| This bad boy is definitely leak proof when closed! |
| Wide opening, tall, thin, comfortable, keeps stuff very hot! |
Even with all of this, the bottle can be "operated" one handed - flip the metal latch, press the button and wallah! Lid opens thanks to springs in the back. Well, it opens sometimes. In my experience, the contraction of hot air inside the product (in the product, not in the walls of the product) produces enough suction on the soft inner silicone material to keep it from flipping open. Other hand! To the rescue! (this isn't much of a knock - I don't know how Nissan could solve this - a stronger spring would be too much force for the lid flipping back. Watch out nose!)
At 350ml capacity, it's a mite small for my liking, mainly because it is fairly tall (though thin) outside. Good news is, there's a 500ml version of it available now, (JMW500) in three colours - stainless steel and black (SBK), champagne gold (CG - looks cool!), and Metalic Blue (MTB) versions.
I said it was tall, but it sure does feel comfortable in the hand. The little curve near the lid makes it even more so. Drinking is fun too, but the fluids come out a bit slow.
The thermal ability of this bottle is probably the best of any of the sub 500ml products I've tried - at 4 hours, my near boiling water was 70C - pretty damned good. By comparison, the Ultimate Desktop Mug was down to 60C in just 2 hours.
Overall, I really liked this product. It's innovative, it's something that, as far as I know, no other thermal maker even approaches in look, design and function, and if you want leak proof, look no further.
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Hot 98.1C 90.4C 82.6C 76.8C 70.0C 66.1C 62.0C