Hands-on Gear Review

Thermos Funtainer Review

Thermos Funtainer
Price:   $18.00 List | $15.18 at Amazon - 16% off
Pros:  Stainless steel, vacuum insulated, easy to use and hold
Cons:  Leaked on its side, harder to clean
Bottom line:  Prone to leaking
Editors' Rating:   
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Available Capacities (ounces):  12 oz
Empty Weight (ounces):  8 oz
Manufacturer:   Thermos

The Skinny

The Funtainer looks like the Thermos Foogo Insulated Straw Bottle, but do not be fooled by appearances. This bottle has subtle design differences that made it a bottle we just didn't love as much as the Foogo. Sure, it is stainless steel, insulated, and sports popular characters kids love, but the bottle itself leaks on its side, and some users had it leak even with the lid on. This made it a bottle we don't recommend, even though it is a bottle the kids sort of loved. If it used the same valve and straw spout as the Foogo, we imagine it would have scored higher and rated better in our tests. As it is, the bottle ranked 6 out of 11.


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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 Thermos Funtainer is a 12 ounce stainless steel bottle. It is tall, somewhat contoured, and has a flip up carry loop. This Thermos bottle uses vacuum insulated technology for maximum temperature retention, and is 100% BPA free. The bottle comes in a plain stainless steel and a variety of popular characters for girls and boys. It claims to keep contents cold for up to 12 hours.

Performance Comparison


This bottle is stainless steel and insulated
This bottle is stainless steel and insulated

Likes


We like that this bottle is stainless steel and insulated. The vacuum insulation means it doesn't sweat or leave water rings on table tops. The steel is easy to clean and doesn't leach chemicals or impart flavor to the contents of the bottle. Stainless steel is eco-friendly and inert for kid's developing systems. Only the straw on this container is plastic, which is a bonus in our book.
This straw spout is made of silicone and is easy to drink from
This straw spout is made of silicone and is easy to drink from
The soft spout on this bottle is also a nice feature that is easy for kids to use, and less likely to cause an injury if children should fall while using the bottle. The spout has an easy to use lid that covers the whole top of the bottle and can keep the spout clean and free of debris without little ones needing to touch the actual mouthpiece with possible grubby hands.

The contoured shape of the bottle is also a plus. It is easier for little ones to hold and carry and some of the bottles in our review didn't have any feature to help kids hold the bottles. The narrow, taller design is also fits nicely in cup holders and bottle holders in bags.

Dislikes


This bottle didn't leak upside down  but did have a significant leak when placed on its side
This bottle didn't leak upside down, but did have a significant leak when placed on its side
We did not like that his bottle leaked when tipped on its side. In our test this bottle leaked excessively with the lid open and tipped over. While it did relatively well when upside down, the side tip leak is sort of a deal breaker and resulted in wet projects and soaked backpacks. Some users even reported leaking with the lid closed.

Given that we aren't fans of plastic, we also didn't like that the straw is plastic. However, this is preferable to an entire bottle made of plastic. We could taste the "plastic taste" in the water after the bottle sat overnight, and feel it is a good idea not to let liquid sit any longer than is necessary under normal use.

Because that this bottle is insulated stainless steel it is also heavier than many of the bottles in the review. While not the heaviest bottle we looked at, it could still be a problem for smaller children or children with disabilities that prevent them from lifting or holding heavier objects.
While there aren't many parts  they can be difficult to take apart and clean
While there aren't many parts, they can be difficult to take apart and clean
This bottle is a little harder than most to put together and take apart. The parts require a special straw brush for proper cleaning and the parts can require a little force to disassemble. It is something that feels natural over time, but it can be a little frustrating at first.

Conclusion


Kids are drawn to the popular trademarked characters on the outside of the bottles
Kids are drawn to the popular trademarked characters on the outside of the bottles
The Funtainer is a kid favorite thanks to the characters and how easy it is to use. However, the leaking tendency made it a bottle we just can't recommend. This bottle has lots of features and attributes we like, like being made of inert stainless steel and having vacuum sealed insulation. It did well in many of our tests, but overall it just didn't have what it takes to rank higher than 6th out of 11. If you have children who want the Funtainer because they are drawn to the designs on the outside, it might work if it isn't a bottle that will go in a backpack or on the go thanks to the leaking. If they will use it around the house, or on the field, it might not be a deal breaker that it has a tendency to leak, but if you want to send it in a backpack or lunch box it isn't going to make the journey without getting everything a little bit wet.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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