When the nice folks over at Refresh2go informed us they had a new water bottle which incorporated their filter elements into an insulated stainless steel bottle, we were excited. The combination of stainless steel water bottle and filter seems to be a bit of a rarity in the world of water bottles. With the Refresh2go 32 Ounce Excursion Filtered Water Bottle, Refresh2go has finally brought this unicorn of the bottle world to mass market with a reliable product.
Refresh2go is a brand which has caught our attention before. In our Refresh2go Reviews we looked at their three plastic models of filter bottle, and ultimately gave them high marks, naming that bottle as one of the Best Filter Bottles of 2017. With the new Refresh2go Excursion, they have taken the same activated carbon coconut filter straw design they employed in their plastic bottles and incorporated it into the new double-wall vacuum insulated 18/8 food-grade stainless steel Excursion bottle.
Testing the Refresh2go Excursion’s Filtration and Insulation
When it came time to test out the Excursion, our main areas of interest were its insulation and its filtration. However, we already know quite a bit about the filter from reviewing the plastic Refresh2go line, which uses an identical filter element. These filters are very simple coconut shell carbon filters which are designed to purify already potable tap water. It is important to note that the Refresh2go filters are only designed to be used with water which is already safe to drink. They are effective at removing bad taste and odor, sediment and particulates, and removing chlorine taste and odor.
Overall, they are very basic filters but can be a great companion in your water bottle, cleaning up the taste of funky taps and making even the cleanest tap that much cleaner. Each filter only has a filter lifetime of 40 gallons, but they are extremely cheap. A three pack costs only $8, making it roughly $2.66 per filter. Each Refresh2go Excursion bottle includes 2 coconut shell carbon filters and 2 straws with purchase.
If you are drinking really nasty tap water with seriously bad taste or discoloration, you would likely want a more heavy-duty filter element than the Refresh2go. However, for most people with average to poor quality tap water, the coconut shell carbon filters do a good job of cleaning up the taste and making it more enjoyable to drink, while also letting you rest easy with the knowledge that you have some kind of filter between you and whatever comes out of the tap – especially if you’re filling up your bottle on the go!
The Insulation Test
The advertised insulating capabilities for the Refresh2go Stainless Steel Excursion bottle are pretty straightforward and common among these types of double-wall vacuum insulated bottles. The Excursion claims to be able to keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 6. It accomplishes this by isolating the bottle’s contents from the outside world by a thin layer of evacuated air (vacuum) between the two layers of the bottle’s double-walled construction. This insulating construction restricts heat transfer, keeping the contents of your bottle more or less the temperature you put them in.
We’ve done a lot of insulation testing, like in our feature Best Insulated Water Bottles. For the Refresh2go Excursion, we conducted our counter-top test. At 6 AM we filled both of our Refresh2go Excursion Bottles with chilled water and ice cubes. We left them on the counter top at room temperature in the tropics. After a full 24 hours (the advertised “cold” insulating time,) we opened up the bottles and gave it a taste test.
While the water was still cold, it had warmed up significantly and there was definitely no ice. Compared to other insulated bottles we have tested, this is not the greatest performance. We repeated the test opening the bottle at 12 hours and found some ice, but at 16 hours (with the other, unopened bottle) all ice had melted. Though this test may show that the Refresh2go Excursion isn’t quite up to par with some competitors, in our everyday usage testing the insulating capabilities seem fine. Filling up the Excursion bottle in the morning with ice water and it is still nice and chilly by the time the sun is setting.
So, if you want a bottle which has the absolute maximum insulation time, you might want to check out our Best Insulated article. However, if you are just an average user and not overly concerned with keeping ice frozen for 24 hours, the Excursion’s insulation is unlikely to disappoint you in practice.
The Refresh2go Excursion Stainless Steel Bottle Itself
Aside from insulation and filtration, we are always curious about the actual bottle itself. The Refresh2go Excursion is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and is available in red or blue finishes, or “silver” unfinished stainless steel. Each bottle has a convenient wide-mouth opening which makes it easy to put ice cubes or even food stuffs into the Excursion bottle to stay insulated until you’re ready for them.
The only lid type available for the Excursion is its included straw lid with filter element. The filter element is optional and easily detached if you just want to use the bottle as a straw. Despite the fact that there are no other official lids offered from Refresh2go, the bottle uses a standard threading and is compatible with all kinds of other wide-mouth stainless steel bottle lids.
Included with each bottle is the shorter straw meant for use with the filter attachment, as well as a longer straw which gives you the option of not using the filter at all. This is convenient. if you don’t want to use your filter’s lifetime up on water which you already consider good quality. Or if you run out of filter replacements, you can still make use of the bottle until you get a refill.
Durability is definitely good, with the quality stainless steel construction being unlikely to suffer much even from heavy usage. The lid with straw mechanism is made from a thick and durable BPA-free plastic and also looks unlikely to break.
Review Summary & Conclusion
The Refresh2go Excursion does a great job of filling up a niche that was very much in need of a product to service it. Anyone looking for both an insulated bottle and a decent tap-water filter would do well by trying out the Refresh2go Excursion. The filters are affordable and effective at improving the taste of tap water. The bottle is well-designed and built, and although it might not perform quite as well at the insulation test as some of its competitors, it still offers some exceptional insulation for normal everyday usage that will keep your drink satisfying cold or your coffee perkily hot until you need it.
In terms of its price point, at roughly $25 the Excursion is a fair value. That would be an okay price for any 32 ounce stainless steel insulated bottle, but combined with the filter element the Refresh2go Excursion definitely offers more value than your average bottle, for not too much more price.
We award the Refresh2go Excursion 4.5/5 stars. Definitely a bottle worth investigating.
Learn More About the Refresh2go Excursion Bottle
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- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Refresh2go Excursion Stainless Steel Insulated Filter Bottle
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The Refresh2go Excursion combines double-wall vacuum insulation with a coconut shell carbon filter, all in a 32oz stainless steel water bottle.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.