Mini-Gear Review: Dimpled Water Bottle

author : DominiqueL
comments : 1

Rocket Science Sports has applied its hyper-technical approach to designing a water bottle. The result is a water bottle with dimples similar to those on a golf ball.

By Dominic Lazzaretto

This is my first (and maybe only) mini-review. I’m calling it a mini-review because I’m trying to keep myself to 500 words or less. I’m fairly certain I’ll fail miserably, but let’s give it a go anyway (this part doesn’t count in the 500 words, by the way).

And….go!

Rocket Science Sports has applied its hyper-technical approach to designing a water bottle. The result is a water bottle with dimples similar to those on a golf ball. The idea is that the specific size, shape, and spacing of the dimples reduces drag. Now, we were originally told that smooth things have less drag than rough things. It turns out that this isn’t quite correct. Dimpled round things apparently have less overall drag than smooth round things. See the bottom of this review for a more scientific discussion of the whole dimple thing.

Nowhere in their advertising does RSS tell you how much of an advantage the reduced drag is, but I’d have to figure that it’s a small number (smaller than say the difference between my current weight and the five pounds around my midsection that should be leg muscle).

OK, so you’ve got dimples. Now what? Well, near as I can tell, the most important thing in a water bottle is still how well it holds water. I’ve had far too many bottles that leaked when placed on their sides, dripped when you were drinking, and let water come out of the sides of the nozzle instead of the center of it. If you can’t drink out of it, you’d be better off saving even more drag by not having a water bottle at all.

(Are you nervous? I’m at 227 words already)

The Product

Dimpled Water Bottle

 

The Maker

Rocket Science Sports
(www.rocketsciencesports.com)

The Price

$7.99

The Rating

   (4/5)

The Skinny

A very functional little water bottle. It would be nicer if it came in a larger size.


So how does the RSS Water Bottle fare? Quite well, actually. In the five months I’ve used it, it hasn’t leaked, dripped, or clogged. When it sits on its side in my car, there is never a wet spot left behind. When I drink from it, the liquids come out in a steady, even stream through the center of the nozzle.

  

Once again, Al Davis would love
this color combo.

I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be dishwasher safe, but  I put all my bottles in the dishwasher (the good ones can withstand the abuse). The RSS Bottle has nicely handled it. The seals are as true today as they were when I got it. Also, the plastic that is used for the bottle is very supple, which makes it easy to squeeze. The dimples make it easy to grab with wet hands, which is probably a bigger advantage than the drag benefits for your average rider.

This is not to say that it’s a perfect bottle. I have two complaints. The first is a biggie to me. I use only 24oz water bottles. I don’t like to stop and refuel on longer rides if I don’t have to, so the more I can carry in my two cages, the better. This bottle only comes in a 20oz size that holds more like 18oz. It’s a bit small for my tastes.

My other complaint is in the design of the screw cap. While it gets credit for being a screw cap instead of a push on, the cap screws in awkwardly. Not once in 5 months has it screwed on straight and easily. Instead, it goes on at a slight angle, then clicks into place after a few forced turns. I’m not sure if I had a defective bottle or if this is an intentional design. The end result is that the bottle holds water well and it sits flat after it snaps into place, so it’s an annoyance more than a problem.

 

The screw cap goes on
 a bit lopsided…

Some people won’t like the bottle because you can’t see through it. I’m not one of those people. I can tell how much liquid is left by picking it up (if it weighs more than 3.5oz and sloshes about, then there’s something in it) and I never love it when people can see my purple drink. I have enough trouble looking manly as it is.

 

…but eventually snaps
into place nicely.

The end result is that, dimples or not, I’d buy this bottle if it came in a larger size or if I liked 20oz bottles. I happen to think that the dimples are a bit gimmicky, but I’m fairly certain that they won’t hurt, so why not have dimples? I’m sure “they” mocked the first company that designed golf balls with dimples as well. Who’s laughing now? Certainly not the guys making smooth golf balls.

…and stop! (680 words. So much for the mini-review.)

  GOT DIMPLES™ Technology 

(excerpted from the rocketsciencesports.com website)

 What separates our water bottle from the rest is its unique aerodynamic design - modeled after the golf ball to minimize drag while cycling. The majority of drag associated with water bottles results from the separation of airflow causing what's known as pressure drag. Air flowing past a traditional smooth exterior water bottle separates quickly resulting in a high pressure drag.

However, with our dimpled water bottle, airflow separation is delayed. This results in a smaller airflow separation region when compared to traditional water bottle designs. The dimples actually add more kinetic energy to the airflow forcing it to remain attached longer - ultimately reducing pressure drag.

 


A Note on the Author: Dominic Lazzaretto has completed twelve triathlons (kind of near the front of the age grouper pack) and has competed in dozens of road running races, mountain bike races, and road cycling events. He is one of the official gear reviewers for BeginnerTriathlete.com.

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date: June 6, 2006

DominiqueL