Age of Aquarius: The 8 Best Reusable Water Bottles

Disposable water bottles are for suckers. There is nothing better about buying your water from a store rather than getting it out of your tap. Bottled water only has to pass the barest of FDA regulations to be considered safe to consume. The companies may claim all manner of special filtration, and while it is well known that no company has ever lied or stretched the truth to sell a product, you still don’t know exactly where your water came from. To be truly safe, not to mention environmentally friendly, getting a reusable water bottle along with a high-quality filter is the best way to get clean water.

There’s lots of choices within this section of the market. You can get rough-and-ready stainless steel that can take a beating and you can boil water in them directly. You can go for glass which will give you the best flavor, and can be smashed when you need a quick weapon; or you can get a plastic bottle which is lighter, but will wear out. The one thing to always be aware of when buying any bottle is to make sure it isn’t made with Bisphenol A (BPA) since that is a toxin. Whether you need something heavy-duty or lightweight, one of these 8 best water bottles will keep you happy and hydrated.

Lifeline 7508

Lifeline 7508

Pro: Large capacity
Con: Dents easily
Capacity: 64oz

Budget-Friendly Biggun: Lifeline has a couple of very good bottles for the person who prefers to stay super hydrated, since they both hold 64oz. The 7508 is built in a true water bottle style. Beer fans will find the 7500 with its true growler build a little more to their liking. The vacuum-sealed insulation does a decent job of keeping things cool or hot even after several hours. The irritating part of the 7508 is that even though it is stainless steel, every little bump with cause it to dent making cleaning harder and leaving you with a warped and abused-looking bottle. The cap is also a joke and should be replaced right off the bat. Best employed as a gym bottle or at your desk where it can sit upright and not encounter any long or short drops. [Purchase: $30]

Hydro Flask Insulated Growler

Hydro Flask Insulated Growler

Pro: Unbeatable insulation
Con: Overpriced
Capacity: 64oz

Premium Insulated Growler: This is built in a Growler style, but doesn’t fit the true test of a beer growler since it doesn’t make room for foam. It is 64oz. from the tippy-top of the neck to the very bottom. When you’re picking up some craft beer, you’ll get short changed by a few ounces once it settles. If, for some insane reason, you plan on using it for just water and not beer, it will work fine. The double-sided vacuum seal is one of the most amazing insulators out there. It can keep icy beverages from losing their cool for nearly a full day. They’ll even keep ice cubes after hours in a hot car, which is impressive. Though the body is marvelous stainless steel that can stand up to abuse without denting, the cap is a worthless piece of plastic that will crack if you look at it wrong. Though the carafe is good, you’re still paying extra for the Hydro Flask logo. [Purchase: $50]

Kleen Kanteen Insulated Wide-Mouth

Kleen Kanteen Insulated Wide-Mouth

Pro: Impossible to break
Con: Heavy
Capacity: 27-64oz

Stainless Steel Champ: Really, Kleen Kanteen products are all very similar. We chose the wide-mouth variety simply because it can work with water filters. If you want a narrower version, you’d be fine with their slim designs. The bodies do dent easily and the insulation is good, not great, but they are nearly impossible to truly break and come with a huge array of cap choices for sippers to sports tops to loops that belong on a carabiner. The caps all break easily, but can quickly be replaced. The vast number of options in caps and volume is what makes the Kanteen brand good for nearly everyone. Hard-core outdoor enthusiasts, backpackers, and climbers will find the Kanteen to be too heavy to cart around, but anyone in need of durability and versatility will be pleased. [Purchase: $16+]

Camelbak Eddy

Camelbak Eddy

Pro: Can’t be spilled
Con: Sipping straw fights for water
Capacity: 32oz

Slick Sipper: The Eddy from Camelbak could be the most beloved bottle on the planet, and with good reason. It is made from very durable tritan copolyester which is both BPA free and tough as nails; giving it more longevity over most plastic bottles. The easy flip-top lid can be operated with one hand in the car or can be anchored and used with no hands for rock climbers who don’t want to fall to their death but still need to hydrate. The sippy-cup lid is fine for those who enjoy that, but gulpers will feel like they are sucking like a newborn just to get enough water. It has a wide mouth that works with most filters. You can also get the Groove from Camelbak which has a filter built in. [Purchase: $9.25+]

Nalgene

Nalgene

Pro: Lightweight
Con: Hard to hold
Capacity: 32oz

Light and Simple: Nalgene has always been ubiquitous among adventurers for a reason. It doesn’t try to add in anything special. It just makes lightweight, BPA-free bottles that are affordable and don’t need replacing. They don’t have any standard features beyond holding the flavor of your water, keeping adulterants out, and offering a little insulation. The cap is as tough as the rest of it, which is a trick that almost every other reusable water bottle manufacturer could stand to learn. When weight is a concern, there are few bottles better than a Nalgene. You may want to invest in a cozy to help you keep a grip, since a Nalgene full of water is easily cracked if it hits a rock, and the smooth sides don’t offer much of a grip. [Purchase: $8+]

Oko Level 2

Oko Level 2

Pro: Unbelievable filter
Con: Body is very basic
Capacity: 16-32oz

Filter Master: Hypochondriacs can relax. There are very few filters attached to water bottles that can touch the Oko Level 2. It is so stringent it can literally take the caramel color out of cola. It can clean 100 gallons before it needs to be replaced which is better than most built-in filters can offer. The body is dishwasher safe and BPA-free, though generally unimpressive. It does have a concave build with a textured grip that won’t try to escape, even when sweaty with condensation. If you’re looking for a Camelbak alternative, this might suit you, though the only cap option is the sport opening which doesn’t appeal to everyone. [Purchase: $12+]

Bkr Bottle

Bkr Bottle

Pro: Maintains flavor
Con: Easily breakable
Capacity: 16-32oz

Flavor Lock: Glass bottles aren’t intended to travel, though the Bkr does include a silicone sleeve to help protect it, insulate it, and give you something to grip. Even so, using it around the house or the office is recommended. This has been largely touted as the best water bottle made out of glass whether drinking water or whiskey. You won’t get a metallic canteen flavor nor the slightly chemical flavor a warm plastic bottle can impart. Glass lovers will enjoy it, though the mouth is a little small if you like to add a little ice or want to put a filter in to get an even cleaner taste. [Purchase: $30]

Vapur Element

Vapur Element

Pro: Portable
Con: No insulation
Capacity: 32oz

For Runners: Those who like to do roadwork, whether on the streets or on the trail, need to keep hydrated more than almost anyone else. Without sufficient water they can suffer from muscle cramps, headaches, heat exhaustion, and other ailments that can be deadly. Yet, very few manufacturers of reusable water bottles have made anything that these people can carry without strain. The Element from Vapur is little more than a very nice bag with a flip top, but its collapsible body allows it to add minimal weight while the top is easy to operate, even while churning out that 15th mile. It doesn’t leak despite its soft sides and the body is very hard to puncture. It’s too small for backpackers or extreme excursionists, but daily joggers will almost certainly fall in love. [Purchase: $11]

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