More and more Americans are ditching their sodas, juices, and sugary drinks for some good old, quality H2O. The only problem is, we’re reaching for bottled water instead of the stuff from the tap. Whether you’re one of the many people who don’t trust tap water anymore or simply think bottled water “tastes better,” take just a second to learn about the wonders of a reusable water bottle.
Not only is the bottled water you’re drinking just purified municipal and river water, but the disposable bottles can also take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade and, if burned (as most are at the end of their life cycle), can produce toxic fumes that contaminate the air we breathe and the water we drink. This means that a majority of these temporary products cast away as litter and can “end up in a landfill, our city streams, and eventually the ocean — polluting and distancing our relationship with accessible drinking water.
While recycling is an option when it comes to this plastic nuisance, it’s not exactly the most environmentally friendly solution. There are only certain types of plastic bottles that can be recycled and it’s usually a high-energy intensive process to recycle them properly. For a water bottle to not only be good, but be the best, there are a few things it needs to do, but ultimately, it comes down to how you’re going to use it.
Built with double-wall vacuum insulation that’s perfect for all-day hydration, Hydro Flask is one of the best bottle brands on the market, so it’s easy to see why it checks off every box when weighing out water bottle effectiveness. Its bottles are crafted with a powder coating for better gripping ability while also reducing the risk of condensation. And, if personalization means a lot to you, Hydro Flask offers its water bottles in a range of colors and compatible accessories that will improve your bottles versatility for multiple needs, from a sipping lid for the warm coffee you’re bringing in to work, a compatible water filtration straw for each stream pit stop on your hike, or — to quote the great Waterboy — just simply need some quality H2O.
Lokai Metal Water Bottle
First things first, Lokai’s metal water bottles look fantastic and for what they offer in appearance, it matches with tough insulation. Sporting a comfortable silicone grip, a wide lid for ice cubes, and an optimal size for cup holders, the Lokai bottle is ideal for everyday use whether you need cold water or a warm pick-me-up. And, because Lokai is all about finding the balance, they 10% of net profits to its charity partners, including The Nature Conservancy, The Humane Society of the United States, and more.
The Bindle water bottle was built for outdoor enthusiasts who want to lighten their load. Not only does it provide 24 oz. of space for all your hydration needs, but the Bindle also unscrews at the bottom, revealing a waterproof storage compartment to hold your small essential items during hikes, trips to the beach, fitting in a quick workout, embarking on a run, or really anywhere where you don’t want to fill your pockets or bring an extra bag. Plus, it provides your beverage with the cold- and heat-retention comparable to some of the other picks on the list.
Vapur Collapsible Water Bottle
Collapsible water bottles come in handy when a traditional bottle is too big for your travels. The Vapur collapsible water bottle is an excellent companion for traveling, hiking, or everyday use, and you can simply roll it up and stash it away to reduce excess weight when you’re done hydrating. It also boasts a durable 3-ply, BPA-free material that won’t rip when rolled up, is dishwasher safe, and is also freezable if you find yourself in need of an ice pack or a cold beverage on a hot day.
This one is for all you Yeti-heads who always dreamt of having a Rambler Tumbler for everyday use; it’s finally here. The Yeti water bottle aims to keep your beverage ice-cold for as long as possible, just like its renowned coolers, while also offering durability that is unmatched by many other bottles on the market. It resists dents, dings, and condensation, as it is functionally designed to supply you with all your hydration needs whether you’re heading down the rapids, walking into a hectic worksite, or embarking on new hiking goals.
Nalgene Tritan Water Bottle
Nalgene offers a stoic reusable bottle that’s become the set-standard for sports and on-the-go hydration. It’s unbreakable and made from BPA-free plastic with a fully-attached cap that lets you drink with just one hand. Additionally, the bottle is completely leak-proof and has a slim form for carrying convenience.
Camelbak Eddy+ Water Bottle
With a no-spill bite-spout and an interior straw going all the way to the bottom, you’ll never have to crane your neck to get the last drops of water ever again with the CamelBak eddy. Just make sure to wash out the spout ever so often; if water is left for too long, mold can sprout. It’s dishwasher-safe to make your life easier.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle
Unlike most other Klean Kanteen bottle types, this one has a sport opening with a soft silicone spout, 25% higher flow rate, and a “chirp”-free drinking experience. The large opening easily fits ice and the stainless steel design affords durability at a low price. The clipping ability makes Klean Kanteen one of the best water bottles for outdoor use, if not one of the most durable. You can daypack and hike without worrying where your water will come from. It also offers a double-wall insulated bottle that matches up against Hydro Flask and Yeti with ease.
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
It pays to assure clean water on the go, especially when it’s absolutely necessary. The Lifestraw Go water bottle is every hiker’s dream and one of the best water bottles out there. Simply fill the 670 ML bottle up from any pond, river, or stream and drink clean, filtered water from the integrated filter straw. No need for water purification tablets or a pump here: Lifestraw removes up to 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoa. And this bottle is not only good for you and the environment, for every Lifestraw Go purchased, Lifestraw donates an entire year of clean drinking water during school to a child in Africa.
How to Choose the Right Water Bottle for You
All water bottles have some kind of function that makes them stand out from the pack. When choosing between the best water bottles, we usually are talking about cold- and heat- retention, portability, and overall durability.
- Functionality: Whether your reusable water bottle keeps cold drinks cold, warm drinks warm, or both, you’re going to want an option that fits your lifestyle. If you simply just need something to remind you to drink water throughout the day, you might not need to splurge on a bottle that will also keep coffee hot for you in the mornings.
- Durability: If you’re going to buy a water bottle in order to deviate from the single-use plastic life, go with something that will last a few years – at least. Stainless steel is one of the more durable constructions you can opt for, but other metals, glass, and tough BPA-free plastics can last just as long if you take care of them correctly. You might also want to consider an option that is dishwasher safe, so you don’t end up ruining your bottle after a few uses.
- Size: As you may have guessed, water bottles come in all shapes and sizes. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll need on a day-to-day basis, and what is easy to carry when traveling or adventuring outdoors. Big water bottles hold more drinkable water, but they won’t be as portable and convenient as a collapsible water bladder.
- Drinkability: Drinkability is one of the most important aspects when you’re looking for a bottle that is going to make you stay hydrated. Some people like to drink with a straw, some like a squeeze bottle for a quick hydrating sesh, and some like to unscrew a lid and let the fluids flow freely. You’ll want to consider your daily usage when picking between the best water bottles.
Let’s all do our part to help ourselves and the environment simultaneously by opting for an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle, rather than your standard 24-pack of Safeway Select. We put together a list of the best water bottles out there to aid you in your transition. Most of these are inexpensive, attractive, and will last you at least a decade — and if not, there is a warranty backing to help you get there. Grab one of these and we guarantee you’ll feel better about how you hydrate.
Article updated February 2021.
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