The perfect insulated vacuum bottle for backcountry skiing has been difficult to find these days, as some don’t keep my coffee hot long enough, while others have leaked. We’ve been testing out the Innate Kaze Modular Vacuum Bottle ever since we picked one up at Outdoor Retailer in January, and so far it’s been an awesome travel companion. What’s also really cool, and has a Utah spin, is that Innate has special Utah Avalanche Center versions for sale that benefit avalanche forecasting and education in Utah.
More on that later, but first, the specs:
- Double wall vacuum construction made with 304, 18/8 stainless steel.
- Keeps liquids warm or cool up to eight hours: pretreat with hot or cold water for best results.
- Push-button thermal stopper gives “one touch” conversion to allow drinking while stopper is screwed in place.
- Proprietary modular handle fits V2 collar: May be used as a travel mug when sipping collar and stopper are screwed firmly in place, but converts to a slim cylinder for packing.
- Unique screw-on modular sipping collar has tapered mouth area to keep fluids “on track.”
- Lined drinking-cup lid allows use as a conventional vacuum flask.
- Clipping hole in modular handle accepts Innate Retainer Clip. Ideal for clipping off to a pack strap or stroller handle.
- Capacity: 425 ml (13.5 fl oz) — Weight: 340g (12oz)
The Innate Kaze bottle is pretty good about keeping liquids hot, but absolutely works better if I put hot water inside first, let it sit there for a bit, then pour that out and add my coffee. Otherwise, my drink becomes lukewarm in about four hours. I imagine the same can be said about cold drinks too (only in reverse) but I haven’t tested it with chilly beverages… too damn cold outside.
What I really like about this container is its size. Many vacuum-sealed bottles are very large, as the insulated space between the walls takes up space. But I’ve never felt the need to lug 20 ounces of hot chocolate up the mountain on the skin track, nor do I really have room in my pack for much more than my safety gear and a puffy jacket (and a flask filled with goodness… for “emergencies.”) The Innate is just the right size; slim and short, yet it still holds 12 ounces of coffee – just enough to re-energize atop a windy peak. The bottle comes with a handle that attaches over the collar, and I guess that’s cool for commuters who like that sort of thing, but I immediately took mine off, especially so it would fit into my daypack better.
Another cool feature I really like is the push-button thermal stopper. It’s this little button in the middle of the sipping collar, allowing you to drink or pour without having to unscrew the lid. This keeps the drink hotter for longer since no heat can escape while you’re pouring a cup of coffee. The lined drinking-cup lid is also a nice touch, especially since it allows me to easily add a dash of belly-warming hooch to my coffee or tea. In fact, a real great find thanks to my buddy Mason is to keep plain hot water in the bottle, and mix it with a bit of Barenjager in the lid for a quick hot toddy.
Now that I’m craving a hot toddy, let’s talk about what I didn’t like. First, while the push-button stopper is a great idea and I really like it, I’ve found that after using it, a small amount of liquid gets trapped between the rubber stopper and the lid. After I close the seal with the button, there is a tendency for the sipping collar to “sweat” out that extra liquid. It’s not much, but it’s enough that a few drops of coffee have landed on my clothes the next time I took a drink. Since then, I’m careful to lick the sipping collar before taking another drink to remove any leaking liquid.
Second, the stainless steel lining on the screw-top lid keeps coming off every time I try to unscrew it. This is likely due to some adhesive failing between the lining and the plastic lid, so it’s not a big deal, just a minor annoyance.
What’s great about Innate as a company is that they’re all about supporting good causes in our community. One of the organizations they support is the Utah Avalanche Center. They’ve donated special red Kaze bottles with the Utah Avalanche Center logo on them to help raise funds for avalanche education and awareness in Utah. You can order yours right now at the Utah Avalanche Center webpage, but hurry, because there is a limited number left.
Good Innate Kaze: Keeps my coffee hot for hours (but only if pre-treated beforehand,) perfect size for my 32L backcountry ski pack, cool push-button stopper, lid can be used as a mug.
Bad Innate Kaze: Handle is not very useful (luckily you can remove it,) stopper can sweat small amounts of liquid into the sipping collar, stainless steel lining on lid comes off easily.
Final Word: The Innate Kaze Vacuum Bottle is a worthy addition to any outdoor recreation pack. The small size and cool features make it a hit, and it really does keep hot liquids warm for hours. It has now become my go-to bottle for backcountry ski trips in Utah.