This was a 0. The Intak has a textured and angled body design, making it easier to hold and to open than almost any other bottle we tested. The bottle has a neat spout designed to limit how much water comes out, but both the cap and the carabiner felt cheap compared to the others. Nonetheless, the Tritan brand of plastic, made by Eastman Chemical and used in our plastic bottle pick and our large-capacity plastic bottle pick, does not contain BPA, BPS, or any other bisphenols. Also, its mouth is too small to accommodate ice cubes.
The Intak is the lightest bottle of its size that we recommend, yet it remains tough as nails. It features a meter on its lid to help you keep track of your daily liquid intake. An insulated bottle will keep your water cold when it would otherwise get warm, and the wide opening on this bottle lets you easily add ice cubes, too.
The Hydro Flask Ounce Standard Mouth is a leakproof, easy-to-open bottle designed to keep your drink cool. It does so by sandwiching an insulating vacuum layer between two layers of stainless steel to prevent outside heat from warming up the interior. Unlike most of the other insulated bottles, the coating and rubber lid make it easy to grip during opening.
The mouth is wide enough to make plopping ice cubes into the opening easy, but not so wide as to spill water on yourself while guzzling on a hot day. Relying on prepackaged, store-bought water to quench your thirst is a last minute recourse. According to a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters PDF , bottled water production in the US alone in required somewhere between 32 million and 54 million barrels of oil.
For shoppers, bottled water is also a thousand times more expensive than tap water. When you add this to the fact that in nearly half of all bottled water sold in the United States was found to be nothing more than pricey, prepackaged tap water PDF , it becomes difficult to argue with the value of a well-made reusable water bottle. At work, you could just use an open glass or mug. This is just another form of insurance. You do everything you can do prevent catastrophic damage.
Bottles become a traveling billboard of values; for those without a car, like city dwellers and college students, it becomes a venue for bumper stickers—a new arena to express personal identity. That is one reason why we review different kinds of bottles—to help find the one that best fits your needs, personality, and style for different circumstances. Your other options are bleak. If you walk into a store to just ask for water without buying something, some stores may discriminate against certain races or types of people.
She pointed us towards a sign of the ultimate decline of public water: Refill , a subscription service for water bottle refills in New York City, which will let you fill up your own water bottle inside a cafe where there is no water fountain—for a price. No matter what materials a water bottle is made from, it should be durable, easy to open and use, a cinch to maintain, and leakproof, so that you feel safe tossing it into a bag with your iPad, phone, or other valuables.
Because of their material weight, glass bottles typically come in smaller sizes than those made out of steel or plastic. As such, with our glass choices we allowed for some leeway in size, with the cutoff being around 17 ounces—the smallest amount we would want for a reusable water bottle. And because drinking warm water sucks, we also favored bottles with a mouth wide enough to accommodate ice cubes.
We started by examining a number of guides put together by trusted editorial sources such as Gear Patrol , OutdoorGearLab , and Outside Online. We also looked to Amazon to see what was popular. Any bottles we found online that showed a pattern of user complaints about build quality, usability, or leakage were dropped from the list of possible test candidates. We also eliminated any bottles made by companies that appeared to have a weak supply chain or no online presence outside of an Amazon listing.
And if the product is defective, you should be able to contact the manufacturer so that the company can make it right. Through this process of elimination, we reduced our pool of close to 50 candidates to a more manageable collection of 35 bottles. Upon receiving the bottles, we eliminated another 13 of them for suffering from build-quality issues, having a mouth too narrow to receive ice cubes, being uncomfortable to use or hold, or being too difficult to thoroughly wash.
Since a lot of people like to stash their water bottle in the same pack or bag as they do their tablet, laptop, or work clothes while they commute, we subjected all of the remaining bottles to a leak test. We filled each one with a mix of water and food coloring and then left it resting on its side on a bed of paper towels overnight.
Any bottle with even a hint of colored water underneath it the next morning was disqualified. Leaking aside, some lids are better for sipping than others. The mouth needs to be wide enough to fit a standard ice cube 1 inch by 1. As you drink, air should flow into the vessel while water flows out of it as you tip it back to drink. This allows for a strong, steady flow. Because not everyone is blessed with hands muscular enough to open a pickle jar, we tasked two women in their sixties diagnosed with arthritis to open our bottles with the stock lids and add-on lids.
They told us which bottles were difficult to open and what features they appreciated when opening a bottle that the rest of us may have no trouble with. A key component of usability is how well the bottle works with everyday life: We weighed the bottles to compare how annoying they are to lug around.
We also greased up our hands and tried gripping the bottles to determine how slippery the surfaces would be. We also conducted several additional tests on the collapsible bottles we included in our test group in During the leak testing, we laid all of the collapsible bottles on their side, as we did their rigid counterparts.
But to simulate being crushed under the weight of a pile of books or a laptop in a bag, we also took the extra step of placing a 2-pound weight on top of each one to see if we could force a leak. Provided that a collapsible bottle passed this initial leak test, we then spent time bending and twisting it while it was full of water to discover if it would leak from its lid or seals while being torqued.
We tested any of the bottles that claimed to be insulated to see how well they kept beverages cool over the course of an eight-hour day. We filled each insulated bottle to capacity with water chilled to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, sealed it, and then checked it hourly over ten hours, and then again after 23 hours, using a digital probe thermometer to see how well each vessel maintained the chilly temperature of the liquid inside.
The ounce Klean Kanteen Classic is our favorite water bottle for most people. Why drink from stainless steel? Many people find they look fancier than plastic bottles. Most metal bottles these days, including our pick, come with electropolished interiors to help keep the bottles from taking on the smells or tastes of the liquids you put in them and vice versa.
This design makes for a strong, steady stream of water with no annoying stops and starts to the flow. You can accessorize the Klean Kanteen Classic with a number of optional lids to change its look or functionality. Klean Kanteen usually offers about 11 different caps on its website , including an all-stainless-steel construction option, a non-leakproof silicone sports spout , bamboo highlights , a straw lid kit that comes with a cleaning brush, and even a sippy-cup style for handing the bottle to kids or for rehydrating while recovering from a particularly harsh hangover.
How much you enjoy the Klean Kanteen Classic depends on which cap you use. Several Wirecutter staffers reported that after a year of use, they found the standard Loop Cap to be difficult to open, especially when driving from one elevation to another.
The slightly pricier Bamboo Cap was not only stylish but much easier to open. Testers who had arthritis also found it easier to open. The Bamboo Cap has a metal hook that was easier for our testers to grip and yank on when opening than the Sport Cap or standard lid. Like the Bamboo Cap, both caps screw down watertight, so you can throw your bottle into a book bag, a shoulder bag, or the backseat of a car without worrying that its contents will leak out all over your valuables.
Both lids offer a loop, which allows you to put the bottle on a carabiner or lanyard so that it stays attached to you. The Klean Kanteen Classic is light, too, which is great since the additional weight of water in your bag is enough to haul around without your having to deal with the added heft of a bulky bottle. In our drop test, the Klean Kanteen Classic stood up to a beating whether it was full or empty. So it should be able to withstand any of the casual abuse most people put their belongings through on a regular basis.
A while back, one of our readers suggested that wrapping a few rubber bands around the bottle eliminates this issue; the trick works great. If done properly, it can withstand 12 hours on its side without a drop. Recent research says that the risks have been overstated, and that plastic—even plastic with BPA— is just fine to drink out of. What sets the Intak apart the most is its usability: Its screw-off wide mouth allows you to drop in ice cubes easily.
After screwing the lid on, the well-designed narrower spout regulates flow while drinking without causing a splash as you guzzle. We found it to be leakproof, leaving our test bed dry as a bone after we left the bottle there lying on its side overnight. Most notably, the hinge connecting the flip top to the lid is more than twice as wide as the hinge on the Nalgene and is reinforced with plastic. The Intak lid has fewer crannies than the Nalgene, making it easier to clean.
The Intak has a textured and angled body design, making it easier to hold and to open than almost any other bottle we tested. As a result, our testers with arthritis considered it one of the most usable bottles they tried. The Embrava , which has a similar two-step cap and design, has instead a smooth and slightly thicker body, which gets slippery when wet and is too wide to comfortably hold even when dry.
The Intak performed well during our durability test. Three years after we originally tested it, the Intak is still going strong, albeit with a few scuffs that it has sustained along the way. Nonetheless, the Amazon reviewers who were not happy with this bottle said they have had the plastic hinge fail after dropping the bottle.
We still feel that the plastic hinge on the lid is the strongest of all those on bottles that have the handy dual-hinge design. Given how well this bottle performs as well as how massively popular it is on Amazon , we were surprised to find that no trusted editorial outlets have bothered to review the Intak recently. We were able to find a review from Good Housekeeping dating back to , but the bottle has gone through a couple of incremental changes since then, so that review is no longer relevant.
Perhaps the only request we could make of Thermos would be for the company to sell it in a few different sizes. We removed the suction cup when cleaning, and learned it is very important to replace the suction cup from the bottom of the lid up.
It will also fit the hole from above the lid, but this causes major leaking trust us. If you want to carry a little—or a lot—more water, the CamelBak Chute is a lightweight, easy-to-clean way to do so. With a wide opening similar in size to that of our former high-capacity pick, the Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth Water Bottle, the Chute is easy to fill with water, ice cubes, or your favorite drink crystals.
We also liked how easy it is to clean. If the Thermos Intak has too many moving parts for your preference, or if you just need to carry more water, the Chute is a good option. After researching and testing 10 of the top-rated bottles in this category, we found that this model was the best, offering solid, relatively safe construction as well as a watertight lid and a pleasant drinking experience.
It was also among the highest scoring in our arthritis tests and, surprisingly, was among the easiest bottles to open that we tested. We can think of a number of reasons to dig the Lifefactory bottle, starting with the fact that, despite being made primarily from glass, it proved to be surprisingly resilient in our tests.
Like the Aquasana bottle that we tested—and destroyed—in , or the Kanrel bottle our tester broke when it fell out of his backpack during a commute in , the ounce Lifefactory bottle comes sheathed in a silicone sleeve that, in addition to making the bottle easier to grip, also is also meant to provide it with a small measure of protection from bumps, drops, and other casual abuse.
By the way, think twice before bringing a glass bottle to the gym or the yoga studio; many fitness facilities, fearful of breakage, have banned such products. It has a large mouth, which makes it easy to drink from no matter whether you feel the need to gulp your drink down or sip at it. This was a problem across the board with glass bottles sheathed in silicone. Empty, the Lifefactory bottle weighs just over a pound meaning a filled Lifefactory bottle weighs nearly 2.
We did interview someone who had broken a Lifefactory. If you want to ensure that you always have a cold drink ready to quench your thirst on a hot, sunny day, an insulated bottle is just the thing.
In extreme heat, insulation can reduce condensation from forming on the outside of your bottle and sweating all over the electronics that the bottle shares space with in your backpack. For vacuum-sealed bottles, stainless steel is a durable and superior insulating material. As we explain in our guide to the best travel mug , plastic, glass, and ceramic vessels are inferior insulators and can be fragile. Our testers—arthritic and not—found the rubber on the lid and the handle made it the easiest insulated bottle to hold and open.
It has a rubber O-ring inside that helps with loosening the lid. The handle on the rubber lid was also softer and easier to carry than the lid on the Klean Kanteen. In insulation testing, the Hydro Flask was among the bottles that kept drinks the coolest over a hour period and a hour period. That was unexpected, so we ran the test again just to be sure, and the Klean Kanteens were fine for the second round.
Another problem with the Cafe Cap 2. Though the Cafe Cap 2. To test how capable this bottle was of keeping liquids cool over time, we filled it with water chilled to 47 degrees Fahrenheit and then monitored the water temperature inside the bottle for ten hours.
At the end of the test, the water was a still very drinkable 58 degrees. Despite that, we opted to go with the Hydro Flask Ounce as our main insulated pick for the reasons outlined above. The Yeti seemed too heavy and thick-walled for no reason, weighing 2 ounces more to carry 6 ounces less water than the Hydro Flask. The Hydro Flasks are also much easier to open and hold than any of the other better insulating contenders.
In addition, the Hydro Flask did well in our durability and drop test. We asked both Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen PR reps about whether vacuum-insulated bottles will lose their insulating properties if you put them in the dishwasher. Your results will depend on your dishwasher, water quality, detergent, and the color of bottle you choose in our experience, the stainless-steel insulated bottles generally show fewer cosmetic flaws than more colorful bottles.
We tested the Hydro Flask in the ounce capacity and in the ounce wide-mouth capacity, but the bottle also comes in ounce, ounce,ounce, and ounce sizes and can pair with a number of add-on lid options, including a sport cap. The lip appears not to be as well insulated as those in models like the Yeti Insulated, meaning that it could burn your lip if your beverage is too hot.
The options it does have are mostly advertised as non-leakproof. This proved fairly easy for most bottles, but a few caused problems with a spout that was too small, or just because the bottle was too long. The wide mouth of the Klean Kanteen made it much easier to fill with ice and to drink out of, and its slim design made it easy to fit in cupholders and bottle compartments in backpacks.
The big loop lid makes it easy to carry with a few fingers or loop onto bags with a carabiner. This bottle fared well in our drop tests with minimal damage to both the bottom and the lid. In the insulation tests it ranked 2nd for cold water, and 3rd for hot water. One downside of any steel bottle is that the mouth gets hot to the touch after letting it bake in the car on a hot day.
Hydro Flask bottle we tested came in a close second. Despite ranking 3rd in the cold water test and 4th in the hot water test, it has a great, durable design that will easily withstand daily use. The loop on the cap makes it easy to pick up with one finger if your hands are full carrying other things and the grip on the cap makes it easy to open and close the lid.
A wide mouth is shaped perfectly for drinking and refilling with ice or water. If this is a concern, the brand also offers smaller, slimmer designs such as the 21 oz. In the hot water test, it was not a surprise that the Mira ranked second. As another great option geared for sports, we liked the 24 oz. It ranked fourth in our cold water test, but is by no means a poor performer given its other perks.
It even has a latch to ensure the bottle stays locked during transport in your backpack or gym bag. This was surprising based on high expectations from the Outside Online review. You have to separate the lid by unscrewing it which is not as simple as it should be, but it is an option. This bold and simple design of the cap helps prevent it from damage when dropped too. In our drop tests there was minimal cap damage, and the silicone sleeve surprisingly prevented the bottle from shattering.
The sleeve design on this bottle makes it easy to see the remaining water levels too. Simplified design, with lots of color options and silicone sleeve designs made the Ello a close 2nd place. We ranked the 20 oz. It gets the job done without features that are prone to issues. Like the Takeya, it has large threads in the cap for easy opening and closing of the lid.
Its large loop on the cap lets you carry the bottle with multiple fingers, distributing the weight for comfortable carrying for longer periods of time. This cap design also helped spread the impact nicely in our drop test that left no noticeable damage on the bottle. The uncentered design of the cap loop can affect the outcome of a drop depending on how it happens to be dropped, but in our testing it fared well.
The slanted cap made screwing the cap on particularly difficult, and the small spout makes it impossible to fit any ice or a bottle brush. The mouth was much bigger, and easier to fill with ice and water and to drink from. It also had a cap with bigger threads for easy opening and closing of the bottle. For those who want options, this brand has many cap options you can buy separately, like a sport cap , or a sippy cap.
The bottom of all of these bottles were dented in our drop test, which caused a few to wobble on the table. None of these were made to insulate liquids, and all had condensation. These are a good cheap route to go if you just need to keep water cold for shorts amount of time. This bottle dented slightly on the bottom in our drop test but still sat perfectly flat on a table. The Cheeki was the largest stainless steel bottle we tested, perhaps contributing to the amount it was dented in our drop test.
Its mouth was large enough to fit ice cubes in, but the usage of the flip top lid is a bit awkward because of its small size and poor design. In terms of quality of materials, this bottle was easily the worst when you examine the cap material, design, and loop material. We loved the Thermos Intak bottle, ranking it our top plastic water bottle. The flip top lid and single-handed use was a pretty big factor that set the model apart.
Made of shatterproof Tritan and features loops to keep the lid and cap attached to the bottle when they're open. The spout has a cap that locks into the lid, which is a bit difficult to snap in each time, but it works to keep it out of the way.
This bottle features a loop that keeps the lid attached to the bottle when you remove the lid for refilling too, something not present on the Embrava or Contigo or Thermos. Although the the Embrava and the Contigo also had single-handed operation, the Embrava was slightly on the small side, with six ounces less capacity than the top ranking Thermos. Both the CamelBak and the Nalgene had large threads for an easy opening lid and a wide mouth for cleaning and adding ice. However, the Nalgene had pretty bad plastic smell, even after a few washes.
It looks like many other owners of this bottle had this issue too, although many reported no smells. Perhaps they vary by bottle or manufacturing batch, but this factor, combined with a very cheap looking lid, pushed this bottle further down our list. All five bottles we tested were made of the copolyester, Tritan, which is a trademark of Eastman Chemical Company.
Best Collapsible Water Bottle Vapur Element Flip top for single hand use and wide mouth for easy cleaning and ice addition. Durable and made with quality materials. Our top pick was the Vapur Element bottle. This bottle has a flip-top cap for easy access, but it also closes securely with an audible click and will not pop off accidentally in your bag.
The Vapur and the Tap were the only two we tested with mouths wide enough for ice cubes and for a brush to fit inside for thorough cleaning. This was a 0. Our second pick for collapsible bottles was the Tap , which was sold in a pack of two.
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