Friday, January 28, 2011

Pure Glass Bottle Reusable Vessel

I was recently sent this vessel by PURE Glass Bottle, a relatively new company offering a new and innovative option in the reusable bottle market. Founded by an experienced environmental chemist, PURE produces portable glass beverage vessels that are durable, convenient, and completely friendly to the environment. As an aspiring engineer, sustainability and eco-friendly efficiency are very important focal points in my life, and I believe that, as a society, minimizing our disposable plastic bottle usage is one important step in moving towards a collective attitude of decreasing waste. That being said, I support PURE's product, and was excited to try out the company's bottle.

PURE currently produces two variations of their bottle: The Traveler (520 mL, pictured above) and the Explorer (740 mL). The two bottles differ somewhat in shape, and the Traveler features a two-piece narrow orifice design, as opposed to the Explorer's wider and more conventional one-piece lid. I was sent the Traveler, and have been using it heavily ever since it arrived. 

From an aesthetics perspective, the bottle is pretty eye-catching. The clarity of the material gives the bottle a very clean, sterile appearance, particularly when being used with water. The unimposing simplicity of the logo and pure cylindrical geometry of the bottle's body give it a very modern, minimalist look. The nozzle-shaped lid of the Traveler model does slightly break the continuity and "oneness" of the bottle's appearance, but the added function of the lid makes the mild loss of form easy to overlook. One of my favorite aspects of trying different beverages is the variety of colors that one tends to come across, making the vessel's clarity an interesting dwelling point for me. The complete colorlessness of the bottle accentuates the natural color of whatever is inside, and allows you to see clearly into whatever it is that you are drinking. The bottle has a very clean, healthy motif, and from what I have experienced, the bottle's look makes it very inviting, as many people who have seen the bottle instinctively reach out to pick it up.

The body of the bottle is indeed made of 100% pure glass, but what sets the PURE Glass Bottle apart from other competitors is the vessel's transparent safety coating. The body of the vessel is coated in an impact-resistant safety material to prevent damage to the bottle and to contain potentially hazardous shards of glass in the event that the bottle does break. The coating has been proven effective, and PURE has even posted a rather humorous video on its website in which a representative is actually trying to break the bottle with a metal wrench to demonstrate the coating's containment of the glass, and only manages to actually damage the bottle after quite a few repeated strikes. The coating adds a bit of tactility and grip to the glass body, and makes the bottle easy to dispose of in the event of an unfortunate gravity-related mishap. The high-friction nature of the material does cause it to tend to attract small particles of dust and grit during use, but a quick rinse of the exterior solves this immediately. The body of the bottle feels great in the hand, and is the perfect size for most people to grip comfortably. The vessel is just big enough to fit in most cupholders, but its height may make it a bit unstable depending on the depth of the cupholder's well. The glass is thick and weighty and adds a satisfying heft to the container. Unfortunately, this reduces it's "portability" a bit, as it is less convenient to carry around, and probably would not make for the best jogging bottle. The added durability from the coating would likely make this a perfectly acceptable work-out bottle for the gym, but it is difficult to imagine running longer distances without being able to set the bottle down.

Another unique feature of the bottle is its two-piece lid. The lid (pictured below), screws onto the wider opening of the primary body, and gradually narrows to a diameter very similar to that of a common disposable bottle. The second cap then screws onto the lid to close the container. The lid contains a sealing ring (also pictured below) that matches with the top edge of the bottle's threaded area to prevent leaks, and the cap seals with the threaded portion of the lid in much the same way as a soft drink bottle. A few days ago, I began to worry that the seal was not complete when, for some unremembered reason, I decided to pick up the bottle and shake it around. I noticed droplets of water being flung from the bottle, and realized that they were emanating from the seam between the lid and body. After closer inspection, however, it was determined that they were originating from small traces of water trapped between the threads (presumably from my apparent inability to accurately pour liquid from one container to another) rather than from the fluid inside the bottle, so it is recommended that the threads be dried before sealing the bottle. The three piece-design also makes the bottle much easier to clean. All three parts of the bottle are top-rack dishwasher safe, although I have general reservations about putting plastics (lid and cap) in the dishwasher, as it tends to reduce their overall effective life span.

Wider opening of the bottle's body

Lid and cap

View of sealing ring with cap and lid replaced

I really like the design of the lid, as the narrow opening allows for a seal between the bottle and the drinker's mouth to be made, making it much, much easier to control the amount of beverage accessed at a time. This can be more difficult with wider openings, especially during situations involving inconsistent accelerations such as walking or riding in a moving vehicle. I have certainly had my fair share of embarrassing dribbles onto my shirt/pants while trying to drink in the car, and it is nice to find a bottle that takes that into consideration. 

My only real complaint about the entire bottle is in regard to the fact that the lid and cap are both made of what feels like a standard plastic. Everything in the bottle is FDA approved and BPA free (no danger of any estrogenic chemicals here), so there are no health concerns about the plastic, but the plastic is a noticeable contrast to the heavy feel of the glass bottle. The lid's plastic does not feel low-quality in any way, but it does not necessarily feel high-quality, either. The blue cap is also remarkably similar to a soft drink cap, and it is easy to imagine a scenario in which the cap is separated from the bottle and left unattended to be thrown away by an unwary third party. Leaving the cap on the bottle is an easy solution to this problem, but some sort of markings or distinguishing qualities could help to avoid the concern altogether. 

Although I suppose that it is a bit ironic that I am more concerned about damaging the plastic lid than I am about damaging the glass bottle to which is attached, I don't know that it would necessarily be fair for me to give the bottle less of a good review because of it. The nozzle shape of the lid involves some fairly complex geometries, and my first-hand knowledge of how these sorts of things are designed and produced tells me that making the lid out of glass would have been an impractically complicated and expensive undertaking. Plastic universally tends to seal better than glass, as well, so I don't know that glass-on-glass threading between the bottle and lid would have been a good idea, anyway. The physical difference between the materials in the hand and on the mouth while drinking produces a strange mental incongruity during early usage of the bottle, but the sensation vanishes after a short "break-in" period, and I no longer notice the inconsistency. Although I do maintain my complaints about the generic appearance of the cap, they are small when considering the bottle as a whole. I love this bottle, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a durable, sleek, and clean-tasting reusable vessel.

Verdict: Highly recommended

Pricing, size, and purchasing information can be found at PURE Glass Bottle's website, located at:


  1. Nice review with lots of info...

    One thing I would love to see is the weight of each. Which bottle is lighter between the Takeya and the Pure Glass?

    Also, between the two, which one would you bring on a day out?

  2. Thanks for bringing that up. That's a good point.

    While I'm not entirely sure about the exact weight of each bottle, I would say that, honestly, they're pretty close. Neither one is heavier than the other, but I think that I would say that the Pure Glass Bottle feels a little bit heavier simply because of it's dimensions. It's overall larger size gives it a little bit more heft, but I don't know that it's heavier, per se.

    For a day out, however, I would definitely recommend the Pure Glass Bottle. The silicon wrapping of the Takeya bottle tends to attract a lot of dust and dirt, and constantly having to pick it off gets a little bit tiresome. My Takeya bottle has essentially become my "at home" bottle (it still gets PLENTY of use though, believe me), while I alternate between my Pure Glass and Kor One bottles as my travel bottles. The Pure Glass Bottle is particularly advantageous for days out because of its smaller opening, as well, making it easy to drink out of in just about any circumstance.

    I love both the Takeya and Pure Glass bottles very much, but I would definitely have to recommend the Pure Glass bottle as a better choice for an all-around, more "everyday" portable vessel.