We tried the Yeti Yonder, the brand’s lightest water bottle yet | CNN Underscored

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Known for its lineup of rough and tough wares — from coolers and bags to chairs and blankets — Yeti is the go-to brand for nature lovers and sideline-sitting parents alike. While the indestructibility of Yeti gear is a huge selling point for consumers, the brand is equally popular because of its smart design details. Never is this strategic engineering more apparent than in Yeti’s latest product drop, the Yonder Water Bottle.

Yeti recently launched its lightest water bottle yet make from BPA-free plastic. It’s available in two sizes: 25 ounces and 34 ounces.

Available in 25-ounce and 34-ounce formats, Yonder is a big deal for two reasons. First, it’s the lightest water bottle Yeti has ever created, making it super portable. Second, it’s also the brand’s first-ever non-insulated water carrier, comprised of BPA-free plastic. Basically, Yonder was created to deliver on Yeti’s high-performing, ultra-durable reputation, while simultaneously being light enough to accompany users in previously unexplored terrain.

To get them there, Yeti tested and tweaked Yonder amongst more than 150 professional outdoorsmen and women, including mountaineer and filmmaker  Jimmy Chin and climber Conrad Anker, who provided insights that were then incorporated into the water bottle’s development. Read: Yonder was made by outdoorsmen for outdoorsmen!

While I’m decidedly not that, I am a huge fan of Yeti’s drinkware — the vacuum-sealed, stainless steel Rambler Tumbler holds my coffee during the morning school drop off, while the Wine Tumbler is my go-to for neighborhood happy hours. As such, I was excited to take both sizes of the Yonder for a spin over the past week, testing it on the go, during workouts and yes, throughout my many daily kiddo carpools. Check out my Yonder experience below.

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Courtney Thompson

Not surprisingly, my favorite detail about Yonder is its concurrent capacity and lightweighted-ness. To compare, the 34-ounce Yonder weighs .67 pounds, whereas the 30-ounce Yeti Rambler Tumbler clocks in at 1.1 pounds. Yonder is nearly a half-pound less, despite carrying an additional four ounces of liquid.

Point being: Yonder’s portability claim holds up, which leads me to my second favorite design detail — the clip or carry handle. While it can fit into backpack side pockets, both sizes of the Yonder bottle feature a big ol’ built-in handle atop the screw cap that can be slipped through a backpack strap or attached to your bag via a carabiner. The result? Easy access, people! And because the Yonder cap is two parts (a screw cap plus a wide-mouth spout that can also be removed), you can quickly detach the cap, take a sip and reattach the bottle while you’re on the go.

More about that cap — it’s 100% leak proof. I even let my 8-year-old son test this out and trust me, if a third grader can’t break something, no one can. Despite vigorous shaking and using the Yonder as a football, the bottle remained completely watertight. And it survived drops, kicks and bangs galore, with nary a scratch. The brand acknowledges that Yonder will attain scratches over time, but its shatterproof claim definitely held up for me (and my kid).

Another perk of the Yonder cap’s two-part system is that while the controlled, wide-mouth spout makes for easy sipping and quick refills, it also screws off, making for equally easy hand-washing. And if you’re a dishwasher person, fear not, the bottle can be washed on the top and bottom racks. Say it with me: Amen!

I’m almost done talking about this cap, I promise. But I’d be remiss to not mention that both parts are lined with small grooves that make it super easy to grip and open, even with gloves on or with wet hands. This is certainly a small design detail, but one that can have a big impact depending on how you’re using the water bottle.

Lastly, I like that price. To score such a high-quality product for under $30 is always going to be a win for me.

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Courtney Thompson

By eliminating the weighty insulation, you lose the ability to keep drinks hot or cold for long periods of time. In fact, hot drinks can’t be stored in Yonder at all, nor can carbonated beverages. And while the smaller, 25-ounce size bottle fits nicely into the car cup holder, the bigger 34-ounce (my preferred size) does not. I was able to sort of wedge it into my Chevrolet Suburban’s cup holder, but there was no way it was fitting into the smaller option in my husband’s sedan.

Another (minor) complaint is that Yonder can’t be customized like most of the other Yeti gear.

It’s no secret that I also love the Stanley Quencher cup for a host of reasons, chief among them being the fact that the straw allows for nonstop, all-day hydration. In this department, the Yonder is inferior because you have to unscrew the cap every time you want a sip of water. That said, the Stanley’s biggest limitation is that it’s not leakproof and isn’t great for traveling, which is Yonder’s strength.

When compared to the slew of plastic water bottles in my pantry, Yonder wins again because while most brands claim to be leak proof, the Yeti water bottle actually is. And it’s lighter and more rugged than any other I’ve tested. Whereas plastic options from Target prove to be flimsy over time, the Yonder definitely looks and feels like it’s going to stand the test of time. And in the event it doesn’t, you can call on the brand’s five-year warranty.

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If you’re looking for a lightweight, leakproof water bottle that can take a beating on the road — whether you’re commuting to work, white water rafting or hitting the slopes — the Yonder will deliver, particularly if insulation and beverage temperature aren’t important to you. Available in four transparent colorways, the Yonder might cost a bit more than the competition, but it’s money well spent.

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