There are so many reusable bottles out there now that it can be hard to decide which to buy! In some ways this is a good problem to have, people are really seeing the value in ditching the single-use water bottles and going with reusable. You don’t have to look far to see people with their bottles, in the park, at the rec center, I’ve even seen them in stores, sticking out of purses and bags. Keep your bottle with you so you’re not tempted by a single-use when thirst strikes!
So which bottle is right for you? You might find you need more than one for different situations, something for when you’re exercising, something else for toting around town. (They’re great to keep in your car, too! Fill a clean bottle with distilled water and it can be ready and waiting when you’re on the go. Clean and refill regularly to avoid bacteria growth.) This week we’ll review some popular reusable bottles and their pros and cons.
Up first is the Klean Kanteen. This is the product that made carrying your own bottle trendy. We owe them a lot for paving the way toward reusable water bottles.
Klean Kanteens are single-wall stainless steel (they do have a double wall option, but for this comparison we only feature the single wall). They come in great colors or the old standby brushed stainless. The original Klean Kanteens all have the same threaded mouth opening, and the smallest three sizes are all the same diameter at the bottom. The largest size, 40 ounces, has a wider bottom. The 12, 18 and 27 ounce bottles fit easily in cup holders and there are a variety of options for on-the-go toting, like straps or Built NY totes.
Because the tops are all the same diameter on the original bottles, you have your choice of covers. Most popular is probably the Sport Cap. It was redesigned earlier this year to also include a loop so you can clip it and go. Just pop the top up to drink. A well designed vent allows the liquid to leave the bottle without leaking, although some might complain that the vent reduces the flow too much and doesn’t allow big gulps when you’re really thirsty.
The loop cap is also popular, with this top just unscrew and drink. The loop is handy for carrying or clipping to a bag. If space is an issue, choose the flat top, which unscrews just like the loop top but without the loop so it will fit in smaller spaces. Both the loop top and the flat top come in Polypropylene (Plastic #5, BPA-free and the safest for liquids) or you can choose to upgrade to a cap with stainless steel lining and Polypropylene top. This ensures your drink is not exposed to any plastic.
One final option is the sippy top adapter, which is a $4 upgrade. This Polypropylene top is two pieces between which a standard size nipple or sippy top can fit. Avent sippy tops are included in the upgrade price. The benefit to starting your child out in a Klean Kanteen is the same bottle can be used later, just swap out for a sport or loop top when they are older and no longer need the sippy top.
The rolled top of the Klean Kanteen is pleasant to drink from, and their threaded design and caps do not leak. The design of the Klean Kanteen has been imitated, but in our experience the knockoffs don’t have the same quality. Many bottles that look like the Klean Kanteen do not perform as well, and often the tops will leak, which can be very disappointing.
One last option in the Klean Kanteen lineup is the wide mouth bottle. There are quite a few benefits to the wide bottle. Standard ice cubes can be easily dropped into the bottle. The wide mouth bottle also comes standard with a stainless steel loop top. The underside is stainless steel (which comes in contact with the liquid in the bottle, the top is Polypropylene with a loop for easy latching and carrying. In a slight deviation from the standard Klean Kanteen design, the wide mouth bottles have silicone attached at the rim. This feature allows the bottle to close tightly, eliminating leaks, and also cushions the mouthpiece for those who are opposed to drinking from metal. One big drawback to the wide mouth Klean Kanteen is that the tops are not interchangeable with the other Klean Kanteen tops. There’s no swapping back and forth on these if you want a sport top one day and a loop top the next. But if you’re just starting your reusable bottle collection, that may not be an issue.
Stainless steel does not taint the taste of liquids as other metals might, but some still report either discomfort or a slight metalic taste when drinking straight from stainless steel bottles.