Stanley AeroLight IceFlow Bottle with Fast Flow Lid 16 oz Review
The Stanley AeroLight Iceflow Bottle is nice to drink from and carry with the handle on the Fast Flow Lid, although, ironically, that’s what makes it heavy.
- Comfortable handle
- Convenient place to hold lid while drinking
- Nice to hold while taking a sip
- Handle and lid very heavy
- Spout stains easily
- Doesn’t hold hot liquids
0.75 lb (0.3 kg)
9.61 in x 2.95 in x 3.70 in (24.4 x 7.5 x 9.4 cm)
Stainless Steel, Plastic, Recycled Materials
We can extol the benefits of staying hydrated for hours: it helps relieve jet lag, staves off muscle aches and illness, and gives you glowing skin … You get the drift. So it’s really not so much about whether you’ll drink water throughout the day but how you’ll imbibe.
If you’re a straw sipper or prefer hot beverages, this may not be the bottle for you (the word “ice” is right there in the name, after all). But many people like a comfortable drinking experience from a container that will keep your beverage icy for hours. While they already have a very popular straw quencher and have been known for years for insulated mugs and bottles to tote your coffee, tea, and soup, Stanley has designed the AeroLight IceFlow Bottle with the Fast Flow Lid for active users who want to get a drink quickly.
So, is it the travel water bottle of your dreams? Let’s find out.
The AeroLight IceFlow Bottle comes in a variety of sizes, from the 16-ounce that we’re testing all the way up to 50 ounces, in case you need to hydrate throughout the day and won’t be near a refill station. There are also more than a half-dozen colors to choose from, including the standard Black and Polar (white), and several that rotate seasonally, like the Citron we’ve got.
The Stanley brand name and logo are printed vertically near the bottom, and the opposite side has the horizontal AeroLight name and logo.
All of the sizes and colorways share the same characteristics. The bottles are made with recycled stainless steel, which provides a fairly clean taste—i.e., it doesn’t taste like metal, and flavors wash out easily between uses—and they’re BPA-free, too. That’s a nice shout when you’re looking to avoid a lot of plastic yet don’t want a metallic aftertaste from being eco-friendly. They have a powder-coated finish that hasn’t scratched during our two-week test period, and the 16-ounce size is compatible with the cup holder in most vehicles.
The bottle is called AeroLight, so you’d expect it wouldn’t weigh too much, right? Stanley says it uses “AeroLight featherweight technology” to make the bottle easy to take on the go, and the bottle alone weighs just 7.5 ounces. However, the Fast Flow Lid accompanying it includes a carry handle brought forward from the IceFlow line, which seems to negate the lightness of the bottle. Indeed, the lid weighs 5.3 ounces by itself, which is how you get to a total weight of three-quarters of a pound before adding water. While that’s not outside the average range of similarly-sized insulated bottles, it seems heavier for something touting itself as “light.”
The lid is plastic and has a few components. There is a cap that covers the spout that you must remove before taking a sip. Finding a clean place to set a cap can be annoying when you plan to drink for a while and don’t want to keep opening and closing it, but Stanley has accounted for that with a handy feature.
The lid also includes a metal and plastic handle with a built-in clip to hold the cap! It just clicks into place and holds steady, so you can leave it uncapped throughout the afternoon and continually sip, as long as you’re not trying to keep your drink as icy cold as possible. Obviously, for the best insulation, you’ll want to recap it after taking a swig.
One thing to note for anyone wearing makeup before we move on: the plastic seems to hang on to stains for a while. We could see a slight reddish shadow on the spout for a week after a tester drank from it while wearing lipstick for just one afternoon. While it did eventually wear off, it took a long time.
The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps your drink cold for longer than a typical workday if you leave it sitting that long, and it lasts even longer with ice. Stanley claims it will stay cold for 10 hours and iced for two days, and we find that to be a bit optimistic. The ice in water at a cool room temperature melted in the first 24 hours. While the water was still cold, it was no longer icy.
It’s not designed for use with hot liquids, primarily because the Fast Flow Lid helps your drink to flow out, well, fast, and you can get scalded if that happens with toasty beverages. You’re not meant to carry carbonated beverages inside, either, which makes sense since you don’t want a Mount Vesuvius situation happening as pressure builds up from your cream soda after running to catch the bus.
The handle is very comfortable to hold, in case you need to carry it to your car or your seat on the plane. The area you hold is the same sturdy yet soft plastic as the lid, while the section that attaches to the lid is a sturdy piece of metal. It’s held on with hex screws, so you can take it off if you need to slide the bottle into a tighter space or want to save a little over 2 ounces, though we left it on throughout our testing period. The handle is quite large, so it definitely adds to the area the bottle occupies. Still, we had no problem sliding it into internal and external bottle pockets in our travel daypack or various cup holders. It’s so securely attached to the lid and easy to grasp that it also helps when you take the lid off the bottle.
Indentations in the top third of the bottle make it easy to hold when you want to drink, too. Your hands just naturally slip inside for a comfortable fit.
Whether you’re heading out for a road trip, going out for a hike, or just need hydration every day at work or school, the AeroLight IceFlow Bottle with Fast Flow Lid (say that three times fast!) is pretty packable. It fits nicely in cup holders and bottle pockets, and it can even be clipped to the outside of your travel backpack with a carabiner if you don’t have a dedicated slot.
It’s not the lightest bottle, but it’s not the heaviest either, and it’s about the same size as bottles with a similar capacity. That said, the handle takes up more room than what we see on some other water bottles, which we’ll discuss below.
We’re comparing the Stanley AeroLight IceFlow Bottle to two others from equally popular brands. Unlike the Stanley, the YETI Yonder 20 oz Water Bottle is not insulated, but it only weighs 8 ounces, compared with the 12 for the AeroLight. Both have ways to keep the cap attached to the bottle when you’re drinking from it; the Yonder Tether Cap remains attached to the bottle with a piece of plastic and provides a similar drinking experience. The only difference is that your water will not stay cold for hours in this YETI, while it will in the Stanley. Oh, and you get 4 more ounces of capacity with the YETI, too.
On the other hand, we have our trusty Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth Water Bottle, with a slightly larger capacity but a very similar footprint. Seriously, they look about the same size when you sit them next to each other. The Hydro Flask is also well insulated to keep your drink icy throughout the day and also fine to sip from. However, you have to find a place to set down the cap or hold it in your other hand when drinking. It weighs almost as much, at 11.3 ounces, though the flexible handle is much smaller.
It’s hard to say why the Stanley feels so much heavier, although it may be a trick of the mind because of that word, “light,” in the name. If the heavy cap doesn’t bother you—and frankly, we got over it quite quickly—it is pleasant to drink from throughout the day and would be a great travel companion, whether you’re jetting off on a plane, taking a road trip, or just going for a hike.
- Interesting cap holder
- Lots of fun colorways
- Excited to see how the Fast Flow Lid performs
- The handle is removable if you want
- Nice to drink from
- Really like the cap holder