UPDATE - we no longer stock the Thermos brand. The information below was correct as of October 2015 when we ran our comparison. I am not aware if there have been any design changes to the Thermos Funtainer series. Camelbak are going through an update, but the basic mechanics of their new bite valve is the same as what's below.
This week we had a customer ask us about the difference between the similar bottles from the Thermos brand and the Camelbak brand. At a first glance they may seem similar, but they both have some different and unique features so we thought we'd put together this blog post to explain in a little more detail.
On the left, we have the Thermos Funtainer, on the right a stainless steel version of the Camelbak Eddy bottle. Here are the key differences to help you decide which water bottle suits your needs better.
There's not a huge difference in the physical size of these two bottles, but there is a noticable difference in their volume. You'll find out why further down.
- Thermos - 470ml
- Camelbak - 700ml
Only one of these bottles is insulated and you can probably guess before I tell you. The Thermos bottle on the left is insulated and rated for cold water only. It insulates for up to 12 hours. The biggest advantage of having an insulated bottle (besides it keeping the water cool) is if you put the bottle inside a school bag or an insulated lunch bag with ice water in it, it won't sweat and wet everything else inside the bag. You always sacrifice volume when you go for an insulated water bottle, and they will always be heavier to carry because there are literally 2 layers of stainless steel with a vaccum in between, so keep this in mind if you choose any insulated water bottle. Stainless steel water bottles with 2 layers of stainless steel and a vacuum in between will always provide the best insulation results. Anything with foam insulation or one (or two) layers of plastic instead of stainless steel will not insulate very well.
THE DRINKING STRAW
Here's where we start to notice some significant differences between the Thermos and the Camelbak, not only in drinking style, but the availability of replacement parts and the durability of the lid and the warranty of the product. We'll give you an in depth break down of each one as the drinking mechanism is usually pretty high up on the list when choosing a bottle.
THERMOS - this is a simple silicone straw (at the top) and a straight straw inside the bottle which means you don't have to tip it up and tilt your head to drink (which both of these bottles share - but that's where the similarity ends). The straw is pinched shut when the lid is closed and then opens up when the lid is open. You may have to give it a quick squeeze to open it fully, but it usually happens on its own. The straw is very narrow but lets through a reasonable amount of water. Replacement straws are available, but not through us. Thermos Australia do sell spares directly to the public. The lid on these opens with a simple push button. Beware if you have kids that are rough on things, the chances of them snapping the hinge on that lid are quite high. Replacement lids are available to purchase if that happens, but we always let people know. There is no warranty on the plastic components of the Thermos bottles, just the stainless steel portion.
CAMELBAK - this bottle has the Camelbak bite valve system. Like the Thermos, it's silicone on top and a plastic straw inside so you don't have to tip the bottle when drinking. To get water through this, you need to bite down on the valve and water comes out. When you release your bite, the water flow stops. It's excellent for on your desk because you can leave it in the open position and knock it over and you might find a couple of drops come out instead of a water fall. I also know they're particularly helpful for people who struggle using their hands, whether it's someone disabled or the elderly. Replacmement bite valves and straws are readily available from our store as are replacement lids. The best thing, Camelbak are so sure of the quality of their bottles that they have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
WHERE DO I BUY ONE?
We no longer stock Thermos but we are a Camelbak Australia official stockist and were the first online store to sell them in 2009. We have a good selection of their water bottles and spare parts available.