The insulated Simple Modern Summit gained our approval for its reasonable price tag, insulating properties, and clean design. We like this as an everyday water bottle with its screw cap in place or as a larger vessel for hot beverages with its flip lid. Two lids are better than one, and the Summit held its own against longstanding vacuum-insulated favorites. Plus, we love the dimensions of the 32-ounce size we tested — it fits nicely into the side pockets of a backpack and car cup holders. The simple, interchangeable lids make it ideal for hot beverages. With the more than fair price, this water bottle was an easy pick for a Best Buy award for a steel bottle.Editor's Note: We updated this review on June 10, 2022, after a retest during our Spring testing session.
Simple Modern Summit Review
Cons: Paint chipping after a few months of use, flip cap seemed to lack security
Manufacturer: Simple Modern
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|Pros||Affordable, insulates well, has interchangeable lids, easily portable||Simple design, inexpensive, lightweight||Light, durable, resists flavors, simple design, wide mouth makes for easy filling||Lightweight, well-insulated, simple design, reasonable price tag||Durable, simple, wide mouth makes it easy to clean|
|Cons||Paint chipping after a few months of use, flip cap seemed to lack security||Made of plastic, doesn't fit in all cupholders||Diameter too big for cup holders, wide mouth makes it difficult to drink from when walking or driving||Carrying handle is an odd size, rim of bottle is a bit sharp||A bit heavy|
|Bottom Line||This is one of our favorite bottles because it's easy to use, just the right size, lightweight and inexpensive||This bottle is recommended because it is simple, lightweight, durable and has a solid feature set||A tried and tested classic, this model is versatile and reasonably priced||This bottle offers the lowest weight among insulated stainless steel bottles that we have tested||A straightforward and simple stainless steel bottle with a reasonable price tag|
|Rating Categories||Simple Modern Summit||CamelBak Eddy+ Trit...||Nalgene Wide-Mouth||GSI Outdoors Microl...||Iron Flask Insulated|
|Ease of Use (40%)|
|Specs||Simple Modern Summit||CamelBak Eddy+ Trit...||Nalgene Wide-Mouth||GSI Outdoors Microl...||Iron Flask Insulated|
|Body Material||18/8 stainless steel||BPA-free plastic||Eastman Tritan co-polyester||Stainless steel, polypropylene, silicone||18/8 stainless steel|
|Empty Weight||15.7 oz||7.1 oz||6.4 oz||10.5 oz||14.9 oz|
|Volume||32 oz||32 oz||34 oz||24 oz||32 oz|
|Bottle Weight per Fluid oz Capacity||0.5 oz||0.22 oz||0.19 oz||0.43 oz||0.47 oz|
|Mouth Diameter||2.25 in||2.3 in||2.5 in||2.25 in||2 in|
|Base Diameter||3.5 in||3.8 in||3.25 in||3 in||3.5 in|
|Height||9 in||9.25 in||8.25 in||9.3 in||9 in|
|Free of Materials||BPA-free||BPA, BPS, BPF free||BPA, BPS and Phthalate Free||BPA-free||BPA-free|
|Cap/Lid Type||Screw Cap, flip top||Screw cap, flip top||Loop-top screw cap||Screwtop||Screw cap, flip top|
|Volume Options||14 oz, 18 oz, 22 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz, 84 oz||14 oz, 25 oz, 32 oz||16 oz, 48 oz||17 oz, 24 oz, 34 oz||14 oz, 18 oz, 22 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Summit is easy to use, fairly easy to clean, and keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. It fell a bit short in the durability metric, though, and its flip lid faltered in our leak tests. However, the screw cap didn't leak a drop. These issues are balanced out by the bottle's overall performance and reasonable price tag.
Ease of Use
We have tested different versions of the Summit over the years, and this year, we tested the 32-once version. Like the smaller versions we've reviewed in the past, this bottle is sleek and has a great shape. Its diameter is similar to that of the other 32-ounce bottles we tested. We like that it doesn't have any added bulk around the base and fits in every backpack water bottle pocket we tried. We often found ourselves using this bottle with the straw lid attachment, which we liked because of the compactness of the straw and the low-profile handle.
While we didn't have any issues with the traditional screw-top lid, we did run into a few hiccups with the straw lid regarding leakage. We found that when the bottle was full, water would sometimes squirt out of the straw when it was deployed. This isn't a huge issue, but it did mean that we had to be careful when the bottle was at its max capacity. The straw also does not stow as securely as some of the other bottles we tested, making us wary if the bottle was loose in a backpack or bag. The other issue with the straw lid is that it limits the bottle's versatility. Most straw lid-style bottles cannot hold hot liquids, which is also true with the Summit. We typically didn't use the bottle to hold anything other than water and the occasional electrolyte drink with this particular.
We took extra care to test the durability of the latest Summit bottle due to issues we have encountered in past years. In the past, we noticed chips and dents showing up more frequently on the Summit than its other stainless steel competitors.
This year, during our drop test, the 32-ounce Summit performed similarly. When dropped, the paint chipped, and the bottle got a small dent in the bottom. Perhaps the Summit falls a bit short in this metric because it is one of the more affordable stainless options, though this outcome is fairly typical for a steel bottle.
Regarding weight, the Summit hovers around the rest of this review's 32-ounce stainless steel bottles. Most of these bottles weigh between 14 and 17 ounces, and the Summit weighs 15.7 ounces. We had no problem carrying this bottle on day hikes, but anything more than that, and it started to feel a little bit heavy. These larger stainless bottles work great as around-town hydration vessels but are not necessarily designed to be carried on longer excursions or into the backcountry.
In terms of taste, the Summit is comparable to the Klean Kanteen and Yeti bottles. Stainless steel bottles, in general, are better for getting rid of flavors than plastic.
The Summit is easy to clean, and the bottom of the bottle is relatively easy to access with a bottle brush, helping it succeed in this metric. That said, the straw on the Summit is plastic and imparts flavors more than the stainless steel straw on the Klean Kanteen. It's also harder to clean than a simple flat lid. However, with a wide mouth and interchangeable lids, it's easy to swap out lids when one is dirty and needs to get washed.
Should you buy the Simple Modern Summit?
We were happy with the shape, insulating qualities, and design of the Summit — not to mention its low price. This affordable model is a breath of fresh air in a category typically overrun with pricey insulated bottles. We especially like the two interchangeable lids — one for securing contents tightly during transport and the other for drinking hot liquids. Overall, if you're looking for an insulated bottle at an approachable price, we recommend this bottle.
What Other Water Bottles Should You Consider?
If you go hard on your gear, both the Klean Kanteen TKWide and the Yeti Rambler 26 are more durable options. Plus, the Klean Kanteen comes with a stainless steel straw if you're trying to buy or use less plastic. If you just need something lightweight to get you going in the backcountry, check out the Nalgene Wide-Mouth or even the soft-bodied Platypus DuoLock.
— Jane Jackson
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