Good level of carbonation
No batteries or electricity needed
Single-use CO2 cartridges
Multi-step carbonation process
We purchased the iSi Stainless Steel 1-Quart Soda Siphon so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Whether you call it soda water, sparkling water, fizzy water, or seltzer, this carbonated beverage has been growing in popularity, and many people are looking to gadgets like the iSi Stainless Steel 1-Quart Soda Siphon to get their soda water fix at home.
This sleek soda maker is made by iSi, a company that’s been around for over 50 years. The iSi Soda Siphon looks and operates differently than many other soda makers on the market today, so we wanted to see how its traditional design stacked up to more modern options. We put it to the test, and here’s what we found.
Setup: Make sure to buy chargers
It’s not exactly simple to set up the iSi Soda Siphon. The package includes a 1-quart stainless steel bottle, two rubber tubes, a pressure-control valve, and an ergonomic charger holder with a non-slip silicone grip. However, only after laying everything out did we realize that the package didn't come with any CO2 cartridges. We found this to be a significant inconvenience, as the directions did not specify cartridge size or brand, but eventually, we found the brand's soda chargers, which you can buy in packs of 10, 30, or 100.
Only after laying everything out did we realize that the package didn't come with any CO2 cartridges.
Once we received the cartridges, we were ready to get started. First, we assembled the two measuring tubes inside the siphon, using the included plastic turnkey to prevent any water overflow. Finally, we filled the siphon with water and screwed on the top.
Performance: Too many steps
At first glance, we noticed that the iSi Stainless Steel Soda Siphon is extremely compact, especially when compared to other at-home soda makers. The stainless steel 1-quart bottle looks simple, but once we read the directions, we found it’s fairly complicated.
First, we had to put the unit in the freezer before using it to make the water colder, as this increases the rate that CO2 dissolves and makes for extra carbonated water. Next, we took out one of the CO2 cartridges—small, torpedo-shaped units that are only good for one use each. They fit into the charger holder, which screws into the top of the Siphon. Once we did this, we were instructed to shake the bottle vigorously at least six times, then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to let the water settle.
Finally, we pressed the lever to release the new carbonated water into a glass. The iSi Soda Siphon can only be used with water, so the good news is that clean up is easy.
The carbonation level is strong, especially if you take the time to freeze the bottle.
In terms of its carbonation process, iSi Soda Siphon is definitely more involved than most soda makers, but the carbonation level is strong, especially if you take the time to freeze the bottle. The process from start to finish sounds tedious and, compared to other soda makers, it is. However, in its defense, we could see iSi Soda Siphon being useful to a mixologist or someone who travels a lot because of its convenient portability.
Design: Incredibly sleek
The iSi Soda Siphon shines when it comes to its design—literally. The 1-quart bottle is made from stainless steel with a black accented screw top. The product may require several steps to make one quart of sparkling water, but it does have an impressive minimalistic, vintage look.
Cleaning: Disassemble and hand wash
The siphon can only carbonate water, so cleaning up is easy. None of the components can go in the dishwasher, so instead, we had to remove all the pieces and wash them by hand. This required us to use the plastic turnkey to remove the inner plastic tubing and rinse it with water.
Price: Too high
The iSi Stainless Steel 1-Quart Soda Siphon retails for around $90, and for the number of steps involved to make just one bottle of soda water, we felt the product was not nearly as convenient as other comparably priced appliances. Plus, the Soda Siphon doesn’t come with CO2 cartridges, and because each cartridge is only good for one use, we don’t think this is the most economical appliance.
iSi Stainless Steel Soda Siphon vs. Baskiss Soda Siphon
The iSi Soda Siphon is one option for anyone seeking an attractive and portable soda maker, but if you’re looking for a less expensive model, the Baskiss Soda Siphon Maker is another good choice.
Both appliances offer a sleek stainless steel design that holds roughly the same amount of water and uses small CO2 cartridges. Both units operate using plastic tubing inside the siphon to prevent overflow, and they both carbonate water using the shake method. They're both portable, hand-washable, and easy to store, but the two siphons vary dramatically in price—the iSi costs nearly $100, while the Baskiss Siphon retails for around $30.
Even if you’re specifically looking for a portable soda maker, the iSi Stainless Steel Soda Siphon is just too inconvenient to justify its high price—we think you’d be better off putting the money toward a freestanding model, which will get the job done faster.
- Product Name Soda Siphon
- Product Brand iSi
- Price $89.95
- Weight 1 lbs.
- Capacity 1 quart
- Material Stainless steel
- Warranty 2-year limited warranty