Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Review: Siliskin Protector for Glass Baby Bottles
Glass baby bottles are the way to go, and now a new bottle cover, Siliskin by Silikids, gives plastic users one less excuse. It’s like a big, thick silicone condom that protects your bottle when it goes places it shouldn’t and does things you don’t expect.
Why glass bottles? I strive to review products I can recommend, and I cannot recommend plastic bottles… if not for their potential health risks, then for their toxic afterlife. Some plastic bottles are now being made without bisphenol-A, but why bother navigating that maze when time-tested healthy and environmentally friendly glass exists?
My daughter was fed exclusively by me from Evenflo glass bottles, or direct from her mother’s tap. Glass is safe, washes and freezes well (haven’t had one crack anyhow) and is eminently reusable â€“ plastic wears quickly with scrapes and repeated washings. If you don’t resell your glass bottles after your last child, they are easily recycled.
What is Siliskin? It’s a protective silicone sheath you place on your 4 oz. (120 ml) or 8 oz. (240 ml) Evenflo glass bottles. Think of them as thick flexible condoms, but in fashion colors. The Big Idea is that its silicone skin will help reduce the chance of the bottle chipping or breaking when dropped.
What’s cool about Siliskin?
- It puts your breakage fears at ease.
- If a bottle breaks, glass shards are likely to be partially contained inside the silicone wrapperâ€”and maybe the wrapper prevents breakage in the first place.
- It’s reassuring when an older child is helping feed your baby. I’ll be glad to hand my almost-4-year-old daughter a Siliskin-protected bottle when she learns to help feed her baby brother in a few months.
- The wrapper fits Evenflo bottles and one bottle is included with your purchase. That’s crucial because Evenflo is one of maybe a handful of companies offering glass bottles today in America, and yet the bottles are reasonably priced. (I’d love to hear from international readers about whether glass is more common in your country.)
- The silicone material is already a good gripping surface, but there are also nubbins placed around the bottle. Also, several circles are cut into the sheath to let you peek at the milk level.
- Siliskins are dishwasher safe.
- The product colors are soothing, not blinding. Curses upon the Baby Product Cabal that decided everything for babies must be in primary colors. The Siliskin colors vary between the 4 and 8 ounce bottles, coming in sedate aqua, lime, purple, pink or white.
Drop Test! I knocked a Siliskin-protected 8 oz. bottle off our 29″ tall dinner table onto hard laminate flooring and off our 36″ tall kitchen counter onto linoleum, twice each â€” once empty and once full of water.
The bottle never broke, but on the last test, with water, hitting hard laminate flooring, the bottle hit cap-first…. and a piece of the cap broke, gushing water onto the floor.
If I had been using a nipple or the cap cover, nothing is likely to have broken. I would normally only be using the round cap piece in question when storing milk in the refrigerator. I consider this breakage a fluke, not likely to happen very often, unless you’re a proficient bottle dropper when opening your fridge.
The Siliskin performed as advertised. Your mileage may vary of course, but I trust the thick Evenflo bottles a long way even without a wrapper.
What about bottle warmers? Glass bottles are not recommended for bottle warmers because the glass can quickly overheat. But here’s a dirty little secret: A hungry baby will drink warm or cold. You don’t need a warmer.
Siliskins are marketed as being microwave safe, but here’s a tip from the US Food and Drug Administration: “Heating breast milk or infant formula in the microwave is not recommended. Studies have shown that microwaves heat baby’s milk and food unevenly. This results in ‘hot spots’ that can scald a baby’s mouth and throat.”
How do you put the Siliskin on? The instructions shown above come attached to the enclosed bottle. You peel the Siliskin outward and roll it down halfway upon itself. Then you slide the bottle inside the skin and roll up the skin. Step-by-step photos can be found at the end of this article.
The application process can be annoying the first few times you do it. I’d like to see the wrapper’s design modified to eliminate an inward slope at the top of the wrapper (a slope that matches the bottle’s contour). The slope makes the hole where you insert the bottle smaller than the bottle’s circumference. That’s why you must peel the skin back to insert the bottle.
Competition? Not really! The only Siliskin competitor I’ve seen is the Wee Go by Babylife. I was duly impressed with it, until I saw Siliskin. As of this writing, Wee Go is only sold in what I assume is an 8 oz. bottle (I didn’t find a size listed on the company’s website), and it apparently uses a proprietary glass bottle. The company states, “[...] they donâ€™t fit well on other bottles.”
A six-pack of Evenflo bottles runs about $15, or $2.50 per bottle.
In other words, buy one Siliskin in each size, and a bunch of inexpensive plain Evenflo bottles. Save yourself gobs of money by using the Siliskin on whichever bottle is clean at the moment. It’s a no-brainer. I recommend Siliskin.
And now… a Siliskin being placed on an Evenflo 8 ounce glass bottle by my wife…
Truth be told, I don’t apply the Siliskin the official way shown in these photos. I finagle the bottle through the skin’s narrow hole, and then slide the skin on in a straight forward fashion.
See also: Z Recommends has a positive review of Siliskins.
[The Siliskin samples detailed on this page were provided by Silikids to Thingamababy for review.]