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Can insulated water bottles be used for warm liquids?

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Can insulated water bottles be used for warm liquids?

Old 11-08-21, 07:48 AM
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chaadster
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Can insulated water bottles be used for warm liquids?

I’ve sent the question to Polar via their website and will report on their reply, but in the meantime, I’m curious if anyone has experience using those insulated liner type plastic water bottles— designed to keep water cold— for keeping warm beverage when it’s cold outside?

Maybe I’m getting old, but the temps around here dove dramatically last week, and after coming home from a 35°F ride a few days ago for which I was poorly dressed, it occurred to me that having some warm tea out on the road would probably be nice through the winter.

To be clear, I’m not talking about dumping boiling water in the bottle, but would frankly warm water work and be held warm for awhile?

I’ve never used an insulated bottle before, and certainly have had water freeze up on me in the cold, so clearly there’s room for improvement on the standard bottles I’ve been using, on both ends of the temp scale.

Has anyone been using an insulated in this way? Any insights? Do you pre-warm the insulation with warm tap water before putting in warm beverage? How long does it stay warm, or does it get cold and only delay freezing?

Thanks!
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Old 11-08-21, 08:41 AM
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I've not put warm beverages in the style bottle you are describing. I have used room temperature water in a room temperature bottle for cold weather riding (below 32 degrees). This delayed the water freezing. It got pretty darn cold after the half hour mark, but didn't freeze within an hour or so ride. To prevent my bottles from freezing, and this would also provide warm/hot tea/coffee, I use oversized bottle holders and Yeti tumblers. That's more likely to achieve what you're looking for.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:44 AM
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Yes. My CamelBack bottle is plastic thus I would limit to warm, not boiling hot that might melt the plastics.

Last edited by Steve B.; 11-08-21 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:36 AM
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Generally, the insulation doesn't care which side is of higher energy than the other. It behaves the same over the temperature ranges where you can remain alive for long.

So, I'm guessing that the question relates to the interaction between the warm liquid and the plastic bottle interior. Me, would I pour warm liquid into plastic? Not generally. There are certain types of plastic for which boiling water is appropriate. Think of the old one-shot coffee makers (I think that Black and Decker acquired one lesser brand for this), which used plastic insulated coffee mugs.

For a cycling bottle, I wouldn't do it. Get a stainless flask for that.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:45 AM
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There are smaller thermos type bottles that I take cross country skiing. It might fit the bottle cage. But obviously, you'd need to stop and unscrew the cap while out riding.

Yes, as mentioned, I'm not really into mixing plastic and hot or even warm beverages. Although, at my age, a bit more chemical contamination probably won't make much difference.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:48 AM
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plastic has it's limits


I prefer something else. this is a 16oz. Corkcicle Canteen. fits nicely in bottle cages

Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-08-21 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:52 AM
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I'm going to guess that Polar tells you not to do it because they know that their definition of warm might be different from yours and they don't want to get into a legal liability issue if you burn yourself from hot liquid or damage your bottle after "they said it was ok". As far as whether it's actually ok or not, warm (body temp or thereabouts) probably won't cause a problem and might stay better away from freezing. Warmer than that, I probably wouldn't do. Especially with older plastics that I might be concerned about what would be leaching out through the warm water into what I'll be drinking (probably nothing, but I'd rather not worry).
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Old 11-08-21, 01:52 PM
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I have in the past, when I used to ride in the cold. I'd use the Polar insulated bottles and put warm, not too hot liquids in them. But...they're not really good insulators and the liquids will cool down pretty quickly
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Old 11-08-21, 02:27 PM
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I've put lukewarm water in to my insulated Camelback Podium bottles for below-freezing rides. I think that the insulated bottles kept them liquid a little longer, but I haven't tested it out vs non-insulated bottles.
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Old 11-08-21, 02:43 PM
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I tried putting some coffee from a drip maker into a Polar bottle. Once.

15 minutes into a cold commute, I was getting chilly, so I thought, "I'll have a drink of hot coffee to warm me up." Shooting that into the back of my mouth -- well, it wasn't as bad as drinking fresh MacDonald's coffee, but it was way too hot for comfort.

It was fine at the office when I poured it into a coffee cup and could sip it, though!
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Old 11-08-21, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
would frankly warm water work and be held warm for awhile?
Insulation is insulation. The bottle doesn't know or care if the liquid is hot or cold.
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Old 11-08-21, 04:59 PM
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Yes.
Insulation is insulation.
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Old 11-08-21, 05:22 PM
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When it comes to water bottles I choose stainless steel because you can use it for cold or hot drinks
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Old 11-08-21, 07:39 PM
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They will keep warm water warm for awhile. I just put in warm water and get a slight benefit early in the ride. In general I keep warm by layering, a hot drink is not what I am craving on the bike.

Hot water is also OK for the bottles, but you have to remember it is hot or you will get an unpleasant surprise at your first gulp.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
…a hot drink is not what I am craving on the bike.
Yeah, there is that…!

I think I just don’t want an icy cold, partially frozen drink either, but I dunno…. I mean, I’ve gotten through decades of winter riding without ever thinking this was an issue worth tackling before, so I don’t know what I want from all this precisely. Usually I’m not out more than a couple of hours before I’m frozen sick anyway, so drink has not been a problem so much.

I’ll try some stuff this winter and see, I guess.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:32 PM
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If you buy the one only for cold liquids, then no, do not add warm or hot liquid in it.
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Old 11-09-21, 03:30 AM
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Thermos make a flask designed for cyclists which, I presume, will fit in a bottle rack.
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Old 11-09-21, 06:05 AM
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While I've put warm water in an insulated water bottle it wasn't an issue, I use one of these when I'm serious. Fits fine in a bottle cage.
https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/produ...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 11-09-21, 06:40 AM
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i've done a few rides where I put warmer than average liquid into a sports cold beverage drinking container. Most time I could get out of a standard diameter container that fits in the typical frame mounted bottle cage is about an hour in Michigan's typical winter conditions. The wider the bottle [without losing length] the longer it lasted. I've slid a low volume {camping beverage container} double walled SS thermos in a plastic capsule I made using some SCH 20 pvc & glued on service caps. It was a conundrum for use, but the time before it lost it's BTUs increased by at least 25%, maybe more as IIRC the conditions were more frigid than usual, as that was my determination in creating something as such. I try to avoid those colder rides that would brick a typical one time use 16.9oz water bottle within an hour. Too much to contend with on the road/pathways as it is & those cold rides just are not enjoyable.

If you have a rechargeable pair of hand/feet warmers, I suggest that as an option to try. I've wrapped one of the foot warmers around a one time use bottle along with its small battery bank & put a can koozie over the complete assembly. Looks aren't going to win you anything, but you'll have a warmer drink.
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Old 11-09-21, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by biker in japan View Post
If you buy the one only for cold liquids, then no, do not add warm or hot liquid in it.
I don’t know if this is what you are thinking about, but I had the idea that some chiller bottles used a gel liner which was supposed to be frozen before use. I don’t know if I made that up— I’ve never used anything other than a typical, plastic, cycling-specific bottle— but it seems Polar, at least, don’t use gel, because there is no instruction to freeze what they refer to as “three-layer insulation.”
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Old 11-09-21, 10:44 AM
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I use the insulated Podium bottles. In winter I rarely ride more than ninety minutes and if I don’t use ice to start with, water usually doesn’t freeze (at least not solid) in the bottle. I’ve never tried anything warm. Interesting thought, I typically don’t want anything warm to drink when exercising… but after an hour in the cold, maybe?

Otto
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Old 11-09-21, 12:01 PM
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Yes you can use warm drink (not piping hot...) but I find them cooling down way too fast for my liking. Unless weight is an issue, I find Hydroflask 20oz wide mouth fits great on most bottle cage! In fact, when I used to commute about 30-40 miles one way to office in chilly early morning, I would put coffee in that one and as I enjoy warm sip whenever stopped at traffic light (coffee sipping lid of course...)
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Old 11-09-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I’ve sent the question to Polar via their website and will report on their reply, but in the meantime, I’m curious if anyone has experience using those insulated liner type plastic water bottles— designed to keep water cold— for keeping warm beverage when it’s cold outside?

Maybe I’m getting old, but the temps around here dove dramatically last week, and after coming home from a 35°F ride a few days ago for which I was poorly dressed, it occurred to me that having some warm tea out on the road would probably be nice through the winter.

To be clear, I’m not talking about dumping boiling water in the bottle, but would frankly warm water work and be held warm for awhile?

I’ve never used an insulated bottle before, and certainly have had water freeze up on me in the cold, so clearly there’s room for improvement on the standard bottles I’ve been using, on both ends of the temp scale.

Has anyone been using an insulated in this way? Any insights? Do you pre-warm the insulation with warm tap water before putting in warm beverage? How long does it stay warm, or does it get cold and only delay freezing? The one's I had I picked up in Phoenix and were for cold liquids like Ice Water.

Thanks!
That's what they're for and mine worked pretty well but got nasty pretty rapidly.
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Old 11-09-21, 05:57 PM
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So a thermos keeps hot stuff hot?
Yes, it does.
And it keeps cold stuff cold?
Yes, it does.

How do it know?
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Old 11-10-21, 01:50 PM
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I use a metal bottle for both warm and cold liquids. There is no regulating the use of BPA in the United States (other than for baby bottles and nipples) and it is very harmful even in any amount as it is an endocrine disruptor. The metal vacuum bottles hold less but they hold enough for my needs.
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