Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Brita Bottle vs. Fill & Go

Last week, I bought a new Brita Bottle. Wanting more time to evaluate it before posting a review, this post compares it to Brita's older Fill & Go model that I've had since 2001.

First, the similarities:

1. Both are made of easy-to-squeeze, recycle code #4 LDPE. I've found this to be an inconsistent plastic in that sometimes it smells and/or imparts a plasticky flavor and sometimes it doesn't, even with the same product from the same manufacturer. Usually, the problem can be resolved by soaking the item in a solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and hot tap water overnight or longer, but sometimes, it can't which is why I generally prefer a stainless steel water bottle. I got tired of dealing with the inconsistency in my search for the perfect water bottle after the Fill & Go and Lexan (polycarbonate) products were discontinued.

2. Except for color and translucency, the caps for both bottles are exactly the same and all parts interchange. For those of you who are hoping the new Bottle filter fits the old Fill & Go bottle, yes, it most certainly does fit. In fact, right now I'm using my old Fill & Go cap with the new filter on the new Bottle, only because I like the color combination. My now all-white Fill & Go bottle looks pretty sharp, too.

3. Both bottles are leakproof although the new Bottle is somewhat persnickety about it, requiring me to be careful about getting the cap on exactly right.

4. The openings for both bottles are wide enough to allow the addition of ice cubes.

5. Both bottles fit into the water bottle pocket of my Pacsafe travel purse, but not at the same time.

Now, the differences:

1. Capacity - filling each bottle to the ledge below the screw-on threads for the cap, I measured 24 oz for the Fill & Go and 21 oz. for the new Bottle.

2. The new Bottle is slightly shorter with a smaller circumference than the Fill & Go enabling it to fit into standard car cup holders and snugly, but easily, into a collapsible koozie I have but too tightly for ease into another koozie that isn't collapsible. The Fill & Go doesn't fit into my car's cup holder or either koozie.

3. Color - the Fill & Go was available only in opaque white with a blue cap. The new Bottle is available in translucent blue or green with a translucent white cap. From my research, opaque, light colors are the safest for plastic water bottles. This makes the Fill & Go's opaque white perfect. However, the translucency of the new Bottle makes it a whole lot easier to know exactly how much water remains so one may decide whether to fill up now, at this faucet or water fountain, or if there's enough to last until the next one is encountered. Considering the size of the bottles, I don't think opacity matters as much as it would for large capacity bottles because, since we should be drinking much more than 21 oz per day, the water shouldn't remain in the bottle as long.

4. Comfort - the new Bottle is much more comfortable to hold anywhere from the widest to the narrowest point whereas the Fill & Go has uncomfortable sharp turns going from the broadest part to the waist of the bottle.

5. Carrying loop - the new Bottle comes with a flexible, removable carrying loop. The Fill & Go didn't.

6. Filter - the new Bottle filter has openings near the top instead of near the bottom as the Fill & Go filter did. This makes it easier to consume more of the contents before having to refill. The Fill & Go filters came with stickers that fit into a depressed area on the bottle as a reminder of when to replace the filter and the new Bottle does not. Not having the stickers anymore doesn't bother me, but others may wish they were still available.

Overall, I'm more pleased with the new Brita Bottle than with the Fill & Go because the new Bottle is more comfortable to hold, makes it easy to see how much water remains, fits into my koozie and car cup holders, and has a convenient carrying loop. Brita also did very well with the redesign of the filter.


Jose said...

Thank you VERY much for your review! I have the old Fill & Go bottle and having been buying filters off of eBay for years. Its traveled with me across the world so it looks a lil weathered and I was very hesitant to get rid of it. Saw the new Brita bottle and was happy to see your write-up because I was wondering what the differences were. Glad to hear it'll fit in cup holders now and the fact that the filters are interchangeable is awesome. Thanks again!

Gail Rhea said...

You're welcome, Jose. I'm glad it helped.

If I may make a suggestion, hang onto your Fill & Go until you're sure you like the new Bottle as some people have had an issue with it leaking. I discussed it in my post, "Review: Brita Bottle."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review--you answered my question: Do the new filters fit the old bottle! I'd had the F&G bottle for YEARS and only started using it recently when my old Brita faucet mount died and the new one wouldn't stay on. The other good thing about the Britas is that they don't have that annoying whistle that comes from the Bobbles, LOL!