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Hands-on Gear Review
Zo-li Bot Straw Review
Price: $15.00 List | $14.99 at Amazon
Pros: Staw you can use upside down, flip cover lid
Cons: Difficult to clean, plastic, hard to drink from
Bottom line: Fun design, poorly executed with additional cleaning and replacement costs
While the Zo-li Bot Straw cup has a unique design, and was one that most in-house testers were initially drawn to, its overall below average scores, and special cleaning system made it a cup we didn't really love. The Zo-li Bot failed to score well for eco-health, and ease of use as well. It is made from plastic, and was surprisingly hard to drink from, considering it is a straw type cup; most of the straw cups we tested were easy to drink from, like the Thermos Foogo Phase 3 Insulated. In addition, it scored low for ease of cleaning, because the parts were difficult to disassemble, and it required a special cleaning kit that is sold separately. The added expense of the kit, combined with the lack of eco-healthy components, make this a cup one we do not recommend.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Zo-li Bot Straw Cup is a unique plastic sippy cup made by Zo-li. It is designed to be easy to drink from, even upside down; a rare option in a straw sippy. The cup comes in various sizes, has a closeable attached flip lid, two handles, and is made with BPA, and Phthalate free plastic. The cup requires a special cleaning tool kit that is sold separately, and includes replacement straw mechanisms. It is primarily available online.
The unique design of this cup was eye-catching and drew the attention of many of the tiny testers. So we liked that it was an intriguing cup that might entice children into using a sippy for the first time.
We also liked that the cup was lightweight and had a closeable lid. This meant that toddlers could hold it better, and that the straw mouthpiece had a better chance of staying relatively clean.
The Zo-li did not fare well in the ease of use category, with an overall score of 4 of 10 in our tests. While it did well for being lightweight, earning a score of 8 of 10 in this portion, it was below average for both ease of sucking, and grips.
One of our most important dislike however, was the ease of sucking, or rather how difficult it was to drink from this cup. The Bot did not do well in this metric with a score of only 4 of 10. This came as somewhat of a surprise because the other straw type cups we tested scored well in this metric. The Kid Basix, and Thermos Foogo Phase 3, both scored 7 of 10 in this metric. Our feeling was, if the cup is difficult to get liquid from, and required more than average sucking strength, compared to the other cups tested that it was a cup toddlers would forgo; and they did for the most part. IN addition, the poor ease of sucking also meant this cup lost points for not aligning with the American Dental Associations recommendation of a suck free/valve free cup. While it was a straw spout, a type the ADA like, the no
For eco-health the Zo-li continued to disappoint, being made entirely of plastic. We simply prefer cups to be made from inert materials (like glass and stainless steel). The Zo-li bot does however claim to be free of BPA and phthalates.
Our final dislike was the ease of cleaning for this cup. In order to properly clean the Zo-li, you have to purchase special cleaning tools. While some parents might already own a straw brush, the Zo-li actually requires a special cleaning kit in order to clean it well. We did not like that a kit needed to be purchased, or that it took so many additional steps to ensure the cup was indeed clean.
The Zo-li Bot Straw cup is one you will want to like. Your toddler will be drawn to the fun design, and floppy ball at the end of the straw. And while it is pretty cool that you can use it upside down, and that it didn't leak, the cleaning system and difficulty we encountered trying to actually use it, compared to some of the other cups we tested, made it a cup we do not recommend.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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