Contigo Autoseal Chill Water Bottle Review

Overall Score

Last Updated November 3, 2021
  • Ease of Use 75% 75%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Seal 70% 70%
  • Maintenance 70% 70%
  • Insulation 70% 70%

Key Takeaways

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Lightweight Design and Materials

The AutoSeal Chill is one of the lightest stainless steel bottles on the market.

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Ergonomic Push-to-drink Cap

Intricate design makes for a functional and easy user experience, especially during physical activities.

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Medium Maintenance Required

You may end up hand washing both the vessel and cap.

replacement parts

no sweat

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Overview

If you’re someone who has an active lifestyle and needs on-the-go hydration, the Contigo Autoseal might be your new best pal. Everything from the lightweight construction, to the easy to grip shape, to the practical cap design makes this bottle a fantastic choice for those who want on demand hydration during activities.  

HydrationReview tested the 24 oz “Chill” model which is made of 18/8 stainless steel. While we were a bit skeptical of the complex cap design at first, we came to appreciate everything about it once we took it out for testing. Taking a drink of water during a trail run only required a quick push of the button and barely slowed down the reviewer. In another instance, a reviewer appreciated the one-hand, no-look sip while he had his other hand on a fishing rod waiting for a bite. The Contigo Autoseal truly makes drinking easy. 

As mentioned, the model we tested was made of stainless steel though Contigo does make a similar plastic version. If you plan on being outdoors with your bottle, we recommend going with the stainless steel version. The insulation is well worth the extra weight (at least that’s how our team felt). One pitfall of the stainless steel version is the required maintenance; you’ll at least need to hand wash the flask and we recommend some manual cleaning of the cap as well (more below in the Maintenance section).

Here’s the takeaway: If you’re an active person and don’t like to spend time fiddling with your bottle when you drink, the Contigo Autoseal is a great match and you should add this to your bottle collection. 

 

Ease of Use

Did we mention how easy it is to drink from this bottle? Though the actual mechanism is a bit unorthodox, we promise you’ll quickly get used to it. This was the case with several of our reviewers, but they all gave praise to the bottle by the time the testing period was complete. You drink by pressing a button on the back of the cap which opens up the spout. With the force of a single finger you’ll have the spout open and water will be ready to flow. After removing the pressure of your finger, the button will quickly snap back into the closed position. Taking a look under the cap, you’ll find a pretty intricate opening mechanism with several moving parts and a small stainless steel spring that powers it all. It’s all seemingly well built and we’d expect it to last a long time.

Moving on to the shape of the bottle, Contigo clearly did their homework here. The base of the flask measures 2 ⅞ inches in diameter which is rather slim and will fit in most cup holders. A little more than halfway up the flask, the bottle curves inwards making the girth or the bottle about an inch smaller. The width of the flask then expands a bit at the very top making for a larger mouth. We found this design lends itself to easy gripping at the narrower section of the bottle, especially when we were on the move. Pair that with the push-to-drink cap and you have rapid on-the-go hydration. 

One of our team members appreciated this bottle most while walking a trail on a warm day.

“One of my favorite summertime activities is power walking the trails in my neighborhood. I keep a fast walking pace the entire time so my heart rate stays up and I get a good calorie burn. I always have a water bottle in hand to stay hydrated since I could be out there for over an hour… The Contigo has a great design that lets me drink without slowing down. This made it a much better choice over bottles with a twist off cap or straw.”

If gripping the bottle by the flask isn’t your preferred method for carrying, you could also use the handle grip that hinges off the bottle cap. Most users will be able to fit two fingers through the handle which will allow for a comfortable carry. If you prefer not to use this grip, you can lock it into place and it will stay out of your way. 

The other part you’ll find on the cap is the hinged mouth cover. It’s a small plastic flap that snaps into position while covering the spout. If you’re not using it, it can be flipped into the open position (non-locking) and lays flush with the cap. While it adds protection from your fingers and whatever else might rub against the mouthpiece, it won’t stop water from flowing through if you inadvertently press the button that opens the mouth. To be honest, we didn’t find this flap particularly useful, but it can easily be ignored. 

 

Durability

The Contigo Autoseal Chill flask is made of 18/8 stainless steel and the cap is made of durable plastic. Overall, this bottle kept up with the busy lifestyles of our testing team without sustaining much damage. Awkward drops only resulted in small dents at the base. Like most other stainless steel bottles, dents are a fact of life unless you keep the bottle locked in your cupboard. Bottom line: If you want the insulation, you should expect some small dents. 

During our testing trials, reviewers reported minor scratches from normal use. We do want to highlight that the scratches were pretty visible on the Monaco color that our reviewers used. Underneath the single layer of paint is the raw silver material which is a strong contrast to the deep blue paint. The scratches didn’t seem to get any larger or more noticeable after our rigorous cleaning routines which we were happy about. 

If there’s one component of the Contigo Autoseal that might give out, it’s the push-to-drink button on the cap. As noted earlier, this is a pretty intricate mechanism that is powered by a single stainless steel spring. We didn’t notice any signs of wear during our testing period, but that was only over a small time frame. It wouldn’t surprise us if the spring lost its strength after a year or two. If we’re being honest though, a bottle that lasts a full one to two years is money well spent.

Seal

The push button on the cap does a great job of controlling when you want water to flow out of the Contigo Autoseal. The seal was never an issue for us when the bottle was in hand. If you’re packing this bottle in your bag though, that’s a slightly different story. With no locking mechanism on the button, there is a higher risk of spill when the bottle is sharing space with other items in your backpack. 

Our reviewers took extra care when packing this bottle in their bags and backpacks, always making sure the bottle was in the upright position to avoid spillage. Though no spills were reported, we wanted to call this out as a potential risk to buyers. If you’re someone who throws a water bottle in a bag without caring what position it lands in, this bottle might not be a good match for you.

Maintenance

Like most other stainless steel bottles tested at HydrationReview, the Contigo Autoseal flask requires hand washing. This was a pretty easy exercise, especially when we used a bottle brush. The cap, on the other hand, is cleared for the top rack of a dishwasher by the manufacturer. Our team is always glad to take the dishwasher route since it saves us some time and gives a high temperature clean that can’t be replicated in the kitchen sink. 

If you’re someone who uses electrolytes though, you might be better off hand-washing the cap since there are a lot of small crevices to get into. Here’s a quick tip from one of our reviewers who frequently uses electrolyte mix. 

“Sometimes I noticed a slight taste of hydration mix in my water even after I ran the cap of the Contigo through my dishwasher. I found that a short scrub with my dish brush and dish soap took care of this and since then I prefer to hand wash the entire bottle, cap included.”

Insulation

As expected, the Contigo Autoseal Chill performed well during the insulation test. After 2 hours, nearly freezing water only warmed by 4.2°F. Between the 2-hour and 8-hour checkpoints, the water warmed up an additional 6.6°F to 44.2°F. 

The Contigo slightly underperformed most other stainless steel bottles tested to date and this probably has to do with the lighter weight and visibly thinner wall. Overall though, we felt the temperature control was more than adequate and will satisfy users who are looking to keep their beverages cold throughout the day. 

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