8 Best Water Bottles | March 2017
- easy to fill at fountains and sinks
- locks shut when not in use
- can be frustrating to close
|Model||on the fly-8|
- keeps drinks cold for hours
- extremely durable design
- not dishwasher safe
- rotating meter monitors consumption
- impact resistant construction
- convenient flip-up loop
- bpa and phthalate free
- safe to store in freezer
- comes with lifetime guarantee
|Model||POLAR Thermal Insulated|
- made in the united states
- easy to open loop top
- stress-free cleanup
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.