Sigg has been around for more than 100 years and builds their bottles not from plastics but aluminum. Sigg creates its bottles in a range of sizes, artistic designs and shapes in the company’s factory in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. Their bottles typically have a screw-top cap. But the new generation of Sigg products are available with a bite valve – christened the Active Top by the company. For this test, we received the Dynamic Black Touch 0.75 liter version.

The aluminum on our sample had a light texture. When filled with ice and cold liquid this texture seemed to reduce condensation on the exterior of the bottle and improve grip.

Let’s be clear, Sigg’s new Active Top is more than just a bite valve. Sigg describes it on their website like this:

State-of-the-art engineering with pressure-relief valve and pre-ventilation system. No, we’re not talking about rocket propulsion, but rather some of the technologies integrated into our New Active Top bottle-closure system.

Wow. We’re talking the best of Swiss engineering and American marketing. So what does this really mean? Well, it means the Active Top includes a selector that spins to a series of settings including Close (pretty much a water-tight, spill-proof seal), Air (which is designed to release pressure created by carbonated beverages), Open (drinking mode) and Clean (which allows the valve to be completely removed for a scrubbing between uses).

Materials: Aluminum, BPA free lining
Size: 25 fl oz
Weight: 5.375 oz

How’d it work? Pretty well, but not without a few challenges. Close works as advertised. Drop the Sigg bottle, turn it upside down, whatever, and nothing escapes. If you mistakenly turn the selector to Air and leave it there, you’ll be literally sucking air and nothing else. Turn to Open and you still feel like you’re sucking air although mixed with liquid. It’s almost like the bottle is injecting a little carbonation into the mix, and it takes some getting used to. Clean also works as advertised, but just don’t turn the selector too far while in use or you’ll end up with Sigg parts scattered on the ground.

We liked the Sigg Active Top Bottle. It takes a little getting used to, but works well, fits nicely in a standard cycling bottle cage, and cleans up easily. It’s a little expensive at nearly $30, but should provide years of service.