I'd like to open with a thanks to Backcountry and Avex for the continued opportunity to review products I can share with the Backcountry.com community.
I've always tended to use wide mouth nalgene bottles or a hydration system but especially for short outings or workouts I really hate hauling a pack when there's no other need, I've seen way too many wide mouth nalgene caps broken due to carrying by the cap retainer, not to mention unintended showers when trying to drink while in motion. Hydration systems in the end are always a pain to maintain and nearly always end up with tube funk and leaking from somewhere.
Several well thought out and executed features make the Avex Brazos Autoseal 25oz bottle really shine for shorter (due to volume) continuous activity where you don't really plan to stop and take breaks. (Think cycling, power walks, short hikes, even driving)
The AutoSeal system ensures the bottle is only open when you want it to be. It's easy to operate but stiff enough to ensure against accidental opening.
The pour spout is well shaped and allows for control to avoid unintended showers.
The small loop handle folds forward or back and each side can be removed to allow it to be attached to a strap and hung or just for added security when in a bottle pocket. The handle is more than strong enough to support a full bottle's weight but is coated with softer "rubberized" material for comfort on the fingers.
Due to the bottle's comparatively small size (to 1L Nalgene) the body fits well in the hand and it's contoured shape provides many comfortable positions when just keeping it in your hand is the best option.
For cycling the bottle is in the correct range for many bottle cages. If your cage allows for any adjustment you shouldn't have any issues.
A potentially significant feature for cyclists or cycle commuters is the pour spout cover. This prevents road grim/spray on parts which have contact with your mouth. It doesn't stop me but really bothers me when I wash my standard water bottles and I see what I had my mouth on! The cover can quickly be flicked out of the way for fast access.
Overall the bottle seals well (top/body, pour spout, and top air vent) but like all single wall bottles significant difference in content temp. vs. ambient will lead to condensation on exterior of the bottle.
The AutoSeal mechanism in top seemed solid but are something to keep an eye on as springs generally tend to relax over time and may lead to issues with a positive seal.
Finally as with any bottle with a pour through top you'll want to make sure to rinse or clean the top shortly after use (soaking in warm water will help remove any dried remnants).
Reduced rating to not recommended.
This bottle has leaked terribly on me a few times now. It seems there's a large O-ring that is the primary seal in the cap. On my bottle this O-ring has become loose somehow. I now have to re-seat the o-ring just prior to sealing the bottle as it falls out of place. I don't think relying on a o-ring seal makes much sense here since it will wear, dry/crack, and otherwise fail more frequently. Additionally the placement of the o-ring in the cap leads to an increased potential to fall out of place. If it were at least stretched around the bottle mouth in a seat above the threads it would likely stay in place better. I'd much rather see a design similar to nalgene type bottles where the cap seals direct plastic to plastic. Seems like perhaps an attempt to over engineer against leaks led to an unnecessary failure point.
Finally the clip-on handle turned out to be a bit too flimsy for my wife. She was a little confused how to open the bottle and must have pushed in on the handle then tried to lift it, the handle bent at the weaker attachment point and damaged the firmer plastic core. This also made me realize the dense feature set of the Avex Brazos can be a bit much when you just want some water.