8 Best Water Bottles | March 2017

Perfect for camping, hiking, cycling or simply to take to work, our selection of water bottles, ranked by capacity, durability, and how easy it is to keep them clean, will keep you well hydrated anywhere. Skip to the best water bottle on Amazon.
8 Best Water Bottles | March 2017

Overall Rank: 8
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
The Contigo Autospout Addison Bottle has a wide enough opening to accept ice cubes. Its durable tritan material resists stains and odors, and will last through years of washes, drops, scratches, and more.
The Vapur Anti Bottle folds up and packs away into a bag or even a pocket, yet can hold a half liter of water. This is a great item to keep on hand in your car or bag in the event of a quick need for hydration. Comes with a clip for personal or bag attachment.
The MIU COLOR® Borosilicate offers stress-free portability for many types of beverage. It works with an included tea infuser for hot or cold drinks, and comes with two brushes for easy and effective cleaning. It has a metal lid and food grade rubber seal too.
The Nalgene On The Fly prevents dribbles and spills with a reliable silicone stopper seal built into its drinking spout. The water bottle fits easily into most vehicles' cup holders, and is a very affordable option.
  • easy to fill at fountains and sinks
  • locks shut when not in use
  • can be frustrating to close
Brand Nalgene
Model on the fly-8
Weight 4.8 ounces
The Hydro Flask Insulated never sweats, even in warm weather, due to its premium quality stainless steel construction. This is a great choice for long hikes or bike trips, where a cold drink is worth a bit of extra weight.
  • keeps drinks cold for hours
  • extremely durable design
  • not dishwasher safe
Brand Hydro Flask
Model S21075
Weight 1.1 pounds
The Thermos Nissan Intak keeps germs and dirt at bay with a simple operation hygienic push-button lid. It's a good choice for use in the field when you'll be filtering and/or purifying your own water for an extended period of time.
  • rotating meter monitors consumption
  • impact resistant construction
  • convenient flip-up loop
Brand Thermos
Model HP4000MBTRI6
Weight 4 ounces
The Polar Bottle Insulated has a thick double-wall insulation construction to keep drinks cold or warm. It works with most bike water cages and also comes with a removable carry strap for toting it when you're on foot. Handwash to keep them in working order.
  • bpa and phthalate free
  • safe to store in freezer
  • comes with lifetime guarantee
Brand Polar Bottle
Model POLAR Thermal Insulated
Weight 4.8 ounces
The Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth has a one quart capacity, and is an ideal choice for serious hydration. It is impact resistant, available in more than a dozen colors, and is the go-to choice for countless satisfied users.
  • made in the united states
  • easy to open loop top
  • stress-free cleanup
Brand Nalgene
Weight 3.5 ounces

How Consumer Demands Brought About Bottled Water

As long as humans have needed to drink water, there's been a need to find ways to transport and store that water.

In the 1600s, spa days became hugely fashionable in Europe and North America, and people became obsessed with the water found near these spas.

Mineral and aerated waters became health obsessions, and if Goop had existed back then, they would have told you to try water therapy.

In 1622, the Holy Well of Malvern Hills, England, realized they had a hit on their hands and started bottling their water. By 1850, Schweppes (yep, that Schweppes) had set up shop there, and began distributing the water far and wide.

Meanwhile in America, Saratoga Springs was producing over 7 million bottles a year by 1856. The trend had gone viral.

For most of the history on bottled water, glass was the packaging of choice, since it was sturdy enough to handle carbonated water and sodas.

In 1973, a real smart guy employed by DuPont, Nathaniel Wyeth, started to wonder whether there were plastics that could also handle the force of carbonated products. Eventually, he realized that bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate - or PET - could withstand the pressure of carbonated products without leeching chemicals into its contents.

The bottled water craze exploded, and by 2008 30 billion bottles were sold in the United States alone.

All these disposable water bottles made for a heck of a lot of trash, so environmentally-minded, and cost-conscious folks started demanding reusable water bottles.

Choose Your Own Adventure, Water Bottle Edition

There's a near-absurd number of water bottles available for purchase out there, and ultimately, what's best for one person might not be the right thing for someone else.

Most bottles are made of metal, glass, or plastic. Metal tends to be the most durable, but plenty of people think it makes their water taste metallic or bitter. Glass won't impart a taste, but it's heavy, and, well, it tends to break if you drop it.

Plastic is lightweight, durable, transparent (so you can track how much water is left), but often absorbs odors and bitter tastes over time. There are even plastic grades that can go into consideration here. To get a better idea of them, check it out here.

Beyond that, there are a variety of features: some feature flip-open lids, and others screw open. There are measurement markers and meters for how much you've had to drink; some are insulated, others are ergonomic, some are made to fit in a cup holder or bike water cage.

How all of these features work together and whether you need them are up to you.

If you're a desk jockey and the only action your water bottle will see is the break room water cooler, weight and durability might be less of an issue than ease of refilling.

Fancy yourself the next Lance Armstrong (minus the doping scandal, of course)? Size, compatibility with your bottle cage, and ease of one-handed use are the biggest factors.

More interested in sub-zero, 5am skiing before work? Insulation and fewer ounces are going to be key as you ski uphill.

To get a better idea of different bottle types, and their safety, this is a great read.

What's Up With BPA?

Bisphenol A, or BPA, was added to plastic bottles to make them harder.

As it turned out, BPA can leach into water.

Over time, BPA was linked to potential negative side affects, including fetal abnormalities and reproductive system issues.

In response, most manufacturers of plastic water bottles removed BPA from their products; a fact often loudly proclaimed in the product packaging and online information. However, other recent studies have called into question how much of a risk BPA is.

The bottom line is that commerical plastic water bottles are considered safe by the FDA, and the EFSA, the European equivalent. But if you're still concerned about using a plastic water bottle though, there are plenty of metal and glass options out there to suit your needs.

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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information