Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Colorado-based Polar Bottle makes insulated, customizable water bottles.

In 1994, avid cyclists Judy Amabile and Robert Heiberger wanted to find a way to keep liquids cold during long rides.

Photo courtesy Polar Bottle

So the duo teamed up to come up with a solution. Heiberger, a mechanical engineer, used his experience working with heat loss in medical technology design to develop an insulated water bottle. Amabile and Heiberger then hit the road in their minivan to pick up the plastic they needed in nearby Denver.

More than 20 years later, their company Polar Bottle is now one of America’s leading insulated water bottle manufacturers, employing 65 people from the Boulder area and growing. Amabile and Heiberger are no longer confined to a minivan, but still source almost all of Polar Bottle’s components within the United States, from either Denver or Garden City, Missouri. 

“The Polar Bottle will easily keep your drink cold more than twice as long as a standard single-wall, uninsulated bottle,” Heiberger said.

Along with keeping your drink ice cold, one of the company’s main goals is “[t]o strengthen the U.S. economy by keeping manufacturing jobs in our community,” said Amabile, who serves as the company’s president.

Polar Bottle maintains U.S. operations because it gives the company the ability to be close to the manufacturing process, which in turn helps create the highest quality products. It also helps Amabile and Heiberger stay involved in the production process, according to Ryan Bertrand, a Polar Bottle marketing associate.

The only thing that Polar Bottle sources from outside the United States is a special stainless steel used in the Thermaluxe Vacuum Insulated Bottle, because there is no proper source made in America, Bertrand said.

In addition to its line of water bottles, Polar Bottle also recently unveiled a new hydration system for long days spent on the trail. Cenote is a recyclable, easy to clean hydration pack offered at a fraction of the cost of the company’s competitors.

Polar Bottle offers a lifetime guarantee on all of its products and a free cap replacement if needed. All of the company’s bottles are BPA and Phthalate-Free and are dishwasher safe. Every bottle goes through several levels of quality control to maintain Polar Bottle’s high standards.

Polar Bottle prides itself on being environmentally friendly, which is why all products are designed to be completely recyclable even though the bottles can last for years. Polar Bottle offers the option of recycling it yourself, or you can send the bottle back to the company’s headquarters to be recycled for you.

Polar Bottle also is dedicated to giving back to the community.

“We remain committed to philanthropy and advocacy, particularly within the cycling community that helped us establish out roots back when we started in 1994,” Amabile said.

In 2013 alone, Polar Bottle donated nearly to $200,000 in cash and product to organizations, teams and events. Last year, Polar Bottle gave its single largest charitable donation in the company’s history to THE Breast Cancer Fundraiser totaling $31,000. The company also is an official water bottle licensee of the United State Olympic and Paralympic Teams.

Polar Bottles are available at more than 3,500 retailers and online companies worldwide. Check out Polar Bottles here and the company’s customizable options here