Opinions on new the Nalgene bottles?


#1

What do people think of the change?

Personally… I sort of preferred the stainless shakers. I think large reason might be how I was imagining my use of the bottle – keeping a few meal-sized packets of Soylent on me, or at work, and being able to easily mix up a single-serving with the shaker bottle for lunch (maybe I’m off-base, but I imagined the shaker to neatly fit about one meal’s serving). The Nalgene looks a bit bigger and bulkier, less convenient to carry around. On a less important note, I have to say I disagree with point 4 on the blog - I think stainless looked cooler. I’m sure I could always go grab a generic version of either the shaker or the Nalgene, but if I could choose which one had a Soylent logo on the front, I’d go with the shaker.

So as not to be unfair, I’ll admit there are a few points about the Nalgene I liked more:
The volume gauge on the side is a nice combo with the larger capacity, allowing an easier portion control with more than one serving in the container. I can also agree that for those not mixing one meal at a time, this does seem more convenient for an existing mixed pitcher/container of Soylent. Overall though, these things just don’t tip the balance for me, and I still prefer the old bottles.

I don’t know if the shaker is still something that will be offered in the Soylent store, but if so, it would be great to have an option to choose either to arrive with the pre-order. If not… well, maybe there will be some Soylent stickers/decals I can get to put on a generic steel shaker bottle, and call it “close enough” :slight_smile:


#2

It’s definitely bigger (a good thing imho) but I rather doubt the metal one would be as convenient to carry… but that might just be because I’ve been carrying nalgenes for 10+ years now, so I guess I have some practice. Pro tip: Carabiner. Just in case you need to carry something with both hands / ride a bike.

Depending on where you live you might be able to find a nearby laser engraving shop that could not only put a Soylent logo on a shaker for you (if you happen to live in the Boston area there’s one at the Central stop of the Red line), it could also put your name and email address and whatever else you want on there.

I’m rather glad they switched to Nalgene because to me it’s the best of both worlds, easy to carry and easy to use as a shaker (I happen to already have the wire ball).


#3

I have to agree with you. I thought the metal shaker was much cooler. I know the Nalgene bottles aren’t cheap, but I feel like they went with the less expensive option to save money more than anything. I also feel a bit cheated that they promised one thing, and are delivering another. For many the Nalgene bottle may work better but I, like you, had intended to mix single servings on the go so the shaker would have been a better option for me. I also concur that it would be awesome if they gave us the option to choose since they changed this up on us after the deal was done.

All in all, as long as the final Soylent recipe doesn’t drift too far from what we all signed up for I guess it’s not that great of an issue.


#4

I’m rather upset by it actually. I placed a separate order just so I could get two of the bottles and now I’m getting something different than what was promised. At the very least they should allow us to choose which one. If they can only make one of the two then there should be a poll to allow the backers to decide. The larger size for me is actually detrimental as I wanted to have 3 servings throughout the day not two. Also the steel looked much better. The plastic, excuse me nalgene, looks cheap.


#5

Hi Virga, we can definitely refund you if you would like. The change was made because the shaker bottles that we were looking at didn’t end up being optimized for the usages we have been seeing with our Soylent beta testers (mixing a daily batch in a pitcher, chilling it, pouring into containers – making the shaker ball moot). Plus they were really loud and definitely not something you would feel comfortable throwing into your bag with a laptop, papers, etc.

We’ll definitely be offering alternative branded containers in the near future, but for the majority of individuals the Nalgene-style bottles seem to be the best choice.


#6

I appreciate the offer and while I’m not happy about the change I’ll keep my order as is. It’s only a difference of a few dollars as I ordered two one week supplies. Just wish there had been some sort of outreach to the community about it rather than just making the change.


#7

Is there any possibility that pre-order holders could elect to receive some form of “voucher” for one of these future alternative containers? Depending on the duration, I don’t think I’d mind waiting a little while in exchange for having a container more fitting to my personal plans.

As an alternative to that if anyone is interested, I’ve been looking around for other shaker bottles. Not a lot of luck as far as stainless steel, but along the lines of my hope to “close enough” it with a Soylent decal, I’ve found something halfway decent. This bottle is 21oz, clear borosilicate glass, devoid of any existing brand logos, and the hourglass-shaped agitator actualy looks pretty cool (and also probably addresses that noise issue)
Only downside is that it doesn’t look like it was designed for particularly high-activity use, both in construction (although it does look like tough glass) and the lid style. However on the latter point, I’m sure a clever DIYer could find/make a better one that fits.


#8

Wow, that’s a gorgeous design. Aren’t you worried about 21oz being enough? For example, our experience is that if someone is going to be bringing Soylent to work, they’ll want at least 1L to get through an 8-hour workday.


#9

I have a little, sort of… reservoir thing I keep at my desk (not sure how to really describe it, but basically I have a few gallons of volume with a little spigot tacked on) – so if I keep a few meal-sized packets of soylent stashed in my desk, 21oz is actually perfect for me, because the mixer makes it reusable.

To expand my reasoning, my overall plan is to have a single-serving sized bottle (and if 32oz is half of a day, 21oz should be just about a single meal), mix up a serving in the morning and drink it on the train (breakfast on the go ftw), mix up another at my desk at work, and then a third later after I’ve returned home. I suppose the nalgene could sort of work for this, but if it has 1.5 servings, then I have one on the train, and then… have a second bottle on me for lunch, and end up with most of it unused? Keep a pitcher at work somewhere? I guess I could go .75/.75/1.5 for meals, but any way I arrange it, it seems like a compromise, and not a “plan A”. 21oz just feels like it would work better for me, because it’s a simple, easy, single serving. And as long as I have access to water, I just need to carry some single-serve packs of Soylent around and I’m set because it has the mixer built in. Maybe I’m overestimating the portability of Soylent in its stored state, but I can’t imagine it would be that difficult to keep some baggies in a pack, at the least.

I can see how the Nalgene would definitely have some capacity advantages in some situations, but in mine the extra size is usually just going to be extra bulk.

And yes, I was impressed by the aesthetic of that bottle as well. It really sets itself apart on the search page. I’m sure it’s pretty unlikely with copyright / timing / etc, but if you did offer a Soylent-branded mixer like that one, I would absolutely be interested.


#10

I completely agree and am in the same situation, having ordered a second time to receive a second bottle. The loss of the ability to easily mix pre-measured packets on the go makes the new bottle lose all value to me. Some sort of option would be nice.


#11

I already have Nalgene bottles, so this one will be just an extra thing lying around the house. I don’t think one looks better than the other, I just want the one that’s easiest the make Soylent in and carry around. I liked the stainless steel because it’s effortless to keep clean, and I liked the idea of a mixing ball because it seems like the best way to break up caked powder. I actually don’t like carrying around Nalgenes because they’re so bulky. Does it really take a whole Nalgene to fit one “meal” of soylent? That’s a lot…


#12

For the record, I am also annoyed that you guys are ditching the stainless steel blender bottles, especially after promising them. It’s a bit of a bait and switch. I also envisioned making single use meals at time of consumption. That way I can be sure that it’s chilled.

But the real reason I think the blender bottle is superior is that they can be easily cleaned. Nalgenes are great, but they’re rather difficult to clean by hand (works fine with a dish washer). You really need a brush tool to clean them out well.

In the end, i’m not that annoyed. I already own a blender bottle. They’re quite cheap, and if needed I bet if I threw the little wire ball into the nalgene it’d work just fine.


#13

Actually, hold on I just re-read the blog post. Is Soylent going to ship with an actual Nalgene, or a “Nalgene-Style” bottle?

if “Nalgene-Style,” than I actually am annoyed. I have found that there is a significant quality difference between a real Nalgene and most of the knock-off Nalgene style bottles. The cheap ones always leak eventually, the exact problem you’re trying to avoid.

I hope you guys pick a quality bottle. I think it’ll reflect badly on the company if a cheap bottle leaks soylent all over someones bag.


#14

This is what I plan to do: buy an inexpensive blender bottle like the one in the link below, toss the bottle, and put the shaker ball into the Nalgene bottle. Seems like that might work just as well, except for the cool steel factor.

http://www.amazon.com/Sundesa-BB28-SC08-BlenderBottle®-Classic-28-ounce/dp/B001KADGMI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374688714&sr=8-1&keywords=shaker+ball


#15

I am using 3 x 28oz blender bottles as shown above, each 28oz bottle (828ml) is a meal.

You will really need at least this volume, even then I keep topping it up with water while i’m sipping it.

I mix all my ingredients in a 3 litre plastic jug, slowly adding water until it is like a very thick smoothie, then pour into the 3 blender bottles which go into the fridge overnight. I give the bottles a shake again just before consumption to mix up anything that may have settled.


#16

I use a narrow mouth steel bottle currently, and I like it better than my nalgene bottle. I was looking forward to a wider mouth steel bottle coming with my Soylent for easier mixing. The change is absolutely a bait and switch, which isn’t cool.

I don’t know how big your beta group is, or who’s in it, but being y-combinators yourselves do you have an entrepreneur demographic skew in it? How many beta users are mixing a pitcher at home and then going to their 9-5 job away from their home fridge? I can’t imagine a pitcher being super useful for me for at least half of the day that I’m awake.


#17

Enough people are chipping in to this that it may be appropriate to actually have a proper survey/poll on the topic…
Maybe a Google form, with a main sliding scale between “Strongly prefer New Nalgene/Original Shaker” (and various mid-level opinion strengths), plus some supplementary items, such as “steel/nalgene/other/etc”, “large capacity vs single serving”, “How important is the mixer ball”, etc.

I have no doubt that the Soylent team made this change because their data showed it was more beneficial for users – if we dispute that assertion, then rational scientific discourse says we should support our claim by bringing additional data to the table. If people are interested in this idea, I’ll plan on putting together a survey form over the weekend, and post a link Sunday afternoon or Monday morning (with the delay both because I have work, and because I think it’s probably appropriate to leave some time after posting this in case @JulioMiles or another admin would rather make something more “official” – don’t want to step on any toes!).


#18

Could not possibly care less about a measly $9 bottle. Metal, nalgene, don’t care
If this bottle was your determining factor for buying Soylent then I don’t know what to tell you.


#19

The problem with that is that you’re effectively asking people to guess at what they will later prefer, once they actually know what one of the options will be like. People are hilariously bad at that sort of preference prediction.


#20

I don’t think the bottle was so much a “determining factor” for anyone as to whether to buy Soylent, but it would be nice to have the Soylent-branded bottle be something I actually use for Soylent. As it is now, the nalgene will probably just gather dust while I use that shaker bottle I linked earlier.

Basically, I contributed because I think this is a cool concept, and as such it’d be nice to have a useful object (the bottle) that identifies with it.