Hands-on Gear Review

bubba Hero Sport Review

bubba Hero Sport
Price:   $18.00 List | $12.89 at Amazon - 28% off
Pros:  Easy to use, stainless steel, insulated
Cons:  Heavy, wide, sometimes the straw falls off
Bottom line:  We liked this bottle and would still choose it despite the straw problem
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer Age Recommendation:  (emailed Bubba)
Available Capacities (ounces):  12 oz
Empty Weight (ounces):  8.6 oz
Manufacturer:   bubba

The Skinny

The Bubba Hero sport is an insulated stainless steel bottle that we really really like. We love the eco-health attributes, the ease of use and cleaning, and the insulation, but the straw falls off inside the bottle making it impossible for kids to use without help and the bottle itself is really heavy. This bottle scored 3rd out of 11 which made it a bottle that did well in tests, and we really liked to use it, but we did expect it to score higher. So while it didn't have what it took to win awards, it is still a bottle we like and recommend.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

Last Updated:
Tuesday
November 11, 2014

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The Bubba Kids Sport Hero is a 12 ounce stainless steel, insulated bottle for kids over 3 years of age. The body is vacuum sealed insulation that keeps contents cooler longer. It is entirely BPA free and dishwasher safe. It has a hard flip spout and an internal plastic straw. The lid has a loop for attaching to other items like a back pack and the bottle is sweat proof. The bottles come in a few different colors and no patterns.

Performance Comparison


Stainless steel body with a plastic flip spout with attachment loop
Stainless steel body with a plastic flip spout with attachment loop

Likes


We like that this bottle is a stainless steel insulated bottle that keeps contents cool for extended periods of time. Stainless steel is very eco-healthy and earth friendly. Stainless steel is an inert material that does not leach chemicals or impart flavor to its contents, which makes it an ideal choice for products that hold consumables. In addition, the insulation of this bottle helps keep liquids cool, so taking milk or juice to school or on a field trip becomes a real possibility.
Kids liked using the Bubba
Kids liked using the Bubba
We also liked that this bottle has a mouthpiece that does not need to be touched directly by children's hands. This makes for a more hygienic drinking situation than the bottles that required touching the spout to operate. The back portion of the spout is a loop that is pushed down to bring the straw spout up for use. The loop can also be used for attaching the bottle to backpacks or strollers for easier transport. It is a nice easy to use design that uses materials for double purpose.
The bubba is relatively leak-proof
The bubba is relatively leak-proof
This bottle has an easy to use spout that didn't require much sucking to use. The nicest part might be that it was also leak-proof. Being leak-proof and easy to drink from is not something all the bottles in the review can brag about, so it is a relatively unique combination that deserves a shout out. It scored a 10 of 10 for leaks making it ideal for stowing in a backpack or accidentally rolling under the front seat in a car.

Dislikes


There isn't a lot to dislike about the Bubba. In general, the good far outweighs the bad and most of our dislikes aren't deal breakers by themselves. However, they are worth mentioning and need to be considered on a kid to kid basis depending on each child's needs and abilities.
We would have liked to see the Bubba Hero with an attached lid. The spout kind of hangs in the breeze which can act as a germ-magnet.
We would have liked to see the Bubba Hero with an attached lid. The spout kind of hangs in the breeze which can act as a germ-magnet.
This bottle is really heavy. While it wasn't the heaviest in our review (that honor goes to the Eco Vessel Frost), it is still heavier than the majority of bottles. The extra weight makes this bottle harder to pick up and carry around for smaller children. In addition, the bottle is relatively wide and can make it hard for little hands to grip because they can't wrap around the bottle and there is no design features to increase grip-ability. So for children with smaller hands or possible challenges with picking up larger items, the Bubba could be a tough bottle to handle.

The Bubba also does not have any kind of lid or spout cover. This isn't a deal breaker and the design of the spout does prevent the mouthpiece from getting ultra dirty, but the lack of lid does mean the spout is essentially exposed to all kinds of dirt and debris and might be somewhat filthy when used. This bottle has a plastic straw that sits directly in the liquid when the bottle is full. This isn't necessarily a deal breaker, and it is still better than a bottle made entirely of plastic, but it does leave potential for possible leaching and we suggest that the bottle not sit with liquid in it for any longer than is for ordinary use.

2 straws are included with the Hero.
2 straws are included with the Hero.
Possibly the worst aspect of this bottle is the tendency of the straw to dislodge from the lid leaving the bottle largely unusable. While we admit that we only had one test bottle, and perhaps it could have been just a defect of our particular bottle and therefore just a fluke, it did happen and needs to be mentioned. When the bottle gets carried or jostled around the straw can fall out of the lid and then the bottle doesn't work. This isn't as big of a deal to adults that can easily unscrew the lid and fix the problem, but it can be upsetting to little ones who may not have an adult nearby to help them. This seems like it should be an easy design flaw to fix by having either a slightly larger straw or slightly smaller hole in the lid.

Conclusion


Our testers gave a big thumbs up to the exciting graphics and functionality of the Thermos Funtainer and the cool color and modern design of the Bubba Hero.
Our testers gave a big thumbs up to the exciting graphics and functionality of the Thermos Funtainer and the cool color and modern design of the Bubba Hero.
The Bubba placed 3rd out of 11 in our tests. It is a great insulated stainless steel bottle that is easy to use and leak-proof. It has very few parts, is easy to clean, and is eco-healthy for little developing systems. There isn't much to dislike about this bottle, and while it may not have won awards it was a tester favorite despite the falling straw issue and larger size. It might have scored better if it were lighter or smaller, but if you're looking for a good bottle for older children then it is a good option to try. We do like and recommend this bottle.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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Most recent review: November 11, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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