- Ease of Use 55% 55%
- Durability 80% 80%
- Seal 50% 50%
- Maintenance 80% 80%
- Insulation 20% 20%
This bottle won’t blend in with the rest of the pack
Required Extra Care and Precautions
For some, this may outweigh the benefits of using a glass bottle
Components are Thoughtfully Designed
However, they are less durable than those found in plastic and stainless steel bottles
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The concept of using a glass bottle is intriguing. During our initial research prior to testing, we found that some users reported a dramatic difference in taste compared to stainless steel bottles. Glass also provides additional peace of mind for avoiding harmful chemicals found in plastics like BPA. There’s also a “cool” factor with glass. When our team first discussed testing glass bottles, we immediately associated it with the classy drinks that come in glass containers such as wine and mineral water. All these thoughts had us excited to test out the Ello Syndicate, which is one of the top-rated glass bottles available online. Unfortunately, after the duration of our testing period, we were underwhelmed.
Upon unboxing, the bottle immediately stands out. It sports a new age look and has a unique cap design that is objectively fun to pop open. Other features, such as being fully dishwasher safe, immediately added to our liking for it. But after sustained use, the flaws were unveiled. Our main takeaway is that glass probably isn’t the right bottle material for most users. Besides a few flaws that were specific to this bottle (more on that later), glass is just too fragile for our active daily lives. Whether you’re putting this bottle in your bag (not recommended) or using it at the gym or simply holding it, you’ll be required to do more thinking given its fragility.
Some of our readers are bound to disagree, and that’s fair. The extra effort required to use and maintain this bottle may be worth it to someone who has a heightened sense of taste and is opposed to using a plastic or stainless steel bottle. It may also be worth it to folks who take every measure to steer clear of potentially harmful chemicals. It’s a matter of personal preferences.
Ease of Use
As you’ll notice in the photos, this bottle comes wrapped in a stylish silicone sleeve. In addition to this being the single layer of protection between the glass and the hard world, it also serves as a grip. Between the silicone material and generally narrow body of the bottle, users will find the Ello Syndicate easy to pick up. Another option for carrying is the silicone strap that’s attached to the plastic top, though some of our reviewers avoided it since the heavy weight of the bottle didn’t feel secure on the thin strap.
The cap of this bottle is well designed and fun to operate. With the click of a button, the entire plastic and silicone top quickly flips open with a pleasant “pop” noise. The cap movement is aided by a spring-loaded hinge that sits just above the point where the strap attaches. The hinge makes drinking easy as it keeps the cap away from your face as you chug. To close, simply click the cap back in the locked position. Also on the cap, users will find a locking mechanism that prevents unwanted opening of the bottle.
The way the cap attaches to the bottle is a bit unconventional. Our team figured this is a byproduct of the bottle material. To separate the two pieces, the user only needs to rotate the cap about 45 degrees. This is easier than most bottles that require several full revolutions to completely remove the cap, but in our opinion it separates too easily. With very little effort, you’ll find the two pieces coming apart. Even a gentle tug on the silicone strap (attached to the cap) will unlock this bottle. This raised serious concerns with our review team and is another reason to avoid carrying the bottle by the strap. For the same reason, we don’t recommend users carry this bottle in their purse or backpack. The risk of opening and soaking your belongings is significantly higher with this bottle compared to others we’ve tested.
Another point we wanted to call out was the narrow mouth. Users who plan on filling their bottle from the refrigerator filtration system will quickly take notice of this. At 1.5 inches across, this is smaller than most bottles and it will probably cause some spillage if you’re not paying close attention. Putting ice into the bottle will present a similar challenge. While most cubes will fit, users will need to spend the time to guide each individual cube through the opening.
The final factor that brought down the ease of use score was the constant extra thinking this bottle required. Given its fragile nature and heavy design, our team had to be extra careful with every action we took with this bottle. If this seems unreasonable to you, think about how many times you quickly place your bottle down or how you mindlessly toss it in your bag when you’re on the go. For an active person, this bottle will require a noticeable amount of extra attention.
For the purposes of a thorough testing period, one of our reviewers “accidentally” dropped this bottle on a concrete sidewalk. She was shocked by the result.
“I fully expected this bottle to shatter considering its made of glass and rigid plastic, but I was proven wrong. After dropping it from 3 feet at 50% capacity, the bottle hit the ground, took a bounce and landed gracefully on its side. To my amazement, there was virtually no damage. Only some slight scratches to the silicone on the bottom side of the bottle.”
Even though the Ello ended up with a high Durability score, we strongly believe another drop could easily end this bottle. Putting the durability of the glass flask aside, if this bottle takes a tumble and lands on the cap, we can almost guarantee there will be breakage. If you do happen to break your Ello Syndicate cap, you can purchase a replacement via the Ello website for about half the cost of the bottle
With the cap closed, this bottle is leakproof when held upside down or rested on its side. The reason it scored low in this category has to do with the expected leakage from normal use. It’s mainly related to the earlier point that the cap separates from the body of the bottle very easily. For that reason, we don’t recommend this bottle to readers who plan on stowing it in a bag where it could easily move around as you hike, walk or run.
One of the primary benefits of this bottle is how easy it is to wash. Both the flask and the cap are dishwasher safe (silicone case included). The Ello Syndicate lost a few points here because of the narrow bottle mouth that may prevent a full clean in some dishwashers. We had to make sure the bottle was angled directly at the dishwasher jet so the inside could get thoroughly cleaned.
For users who don’t have a dishwasher, make sure you have a narrow bottle brush to properly clean the inside of the flask. Also, pay attention to the bottom of the cap. There are over a dozen small, triangle shaped indentations that you’ll want to hit with the dish brush to prevent potential mold buildup.
This is not the right bottle for a user who desires extended temperature control. The Ello Syndicate scored near the bottom of the pack during the temperature control testing. To give you a sense of its (lack of) capabilities, just above freezing temperature water warmed to room temperature in under 4 hours. This was below the performance levels of all the plastic bottles we’ve tested to this point.
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