The Cool Gear ez-freeze bottles showed up unannounced and with no fanfare at GearGuide recently. But their bright colors and interesting approached to cooling and filtering commanded some attention.

For those not familiar with the Massachusetts-based company, they’ve been doing business since 1986 and are known for their use of freezer gels to deliver in-bottle cooling. We had the chance to try both their ez-freeze pure bottle and their CG Sport product.

The ez-freeze pure employs a combination freezer gel and water filter to create its point of difference in the market. Don’t be fooled by the name, however, the ez-freeze pure doesn’t actually “freeze” or “purify” anything. In particular, don’t expect the product to replace a Steripen bottle or similar offering that actually does eliminate harmful bacteria from drinking water. What the ez-freeze pure does do is keep beverages cool – thanks to that built-in freezer gel insert – and reduce chemicals and odors from tap water. Cool Gear claims that the ez-freeze pure’s filter life is approximately 100 gallons. We didn’t have time to test that longevity. We have reasonable good tasting water, so the ez-freeze pure provided nominal improvements in taste. And the freezer gel, well, let’s just say we’ll stick with ice.

Materials: Tritan BPA free plastic
Size: 30 fl oz
Weight: 10.625 oz

The CG Sport also from Cool Gear uses a freezer gel insert. However, unlike the ez-freeze pure, the insert can’t be removed from the lid, requiring the entire top portion of the product be kept in the freezer, which is very awkward.

Overall, the Cool Gear products are fine hydration bottles, but they’re not really designed for hardcore outdoor use. They’re also not designed to fit in a bike cage. But if you have a casual Saturday afternoon soccer game with the kids, Cool Gear should do the trick.