Why should we use reusable bottles instead of prepackaged kind
There is hardly any doubt about the importance of a proper hydration to our health. We try to replenish water in our bodies any way we can, and if we don't have any access to a fresh water source we bring our own. Unfortunately on many occasions the thirst quenching miracle comes in a not so nature friendly plastic water container. This might be the reason why consumers are starting to look for "green" personal hydration alternatives.
In my personal experience I noticed that while about seven years ago, when I started to play Sunday morning soccer pickup games, nearly everybody that came to our games had a few store-bought bottles of water. Fast forward to 2014 and the same group of people hardly ever brings anything else but a reusable bottles filled with filtered tap water.
There are probably many reasons that, over the years, have changed our attitude towards bottled water. Some of us probably took notice of the fact that to produce those disposable plastic bottles we need to process 32 - 54 million of barrels of crude oil every year and after a single use many of those bottles will end up in a landfill ( Watch this 2010 Youtube video: Environmental Impact of Plastic Water Bottles ). Others might have realized that they pay for something that is readily available almost for free and it is no further than their fridge. Yet, others maybe try to avoid a potential danger of chemicals from the container, polluting our drinking water. The debate on plastic related chemicals continues and when we are reading results of various studies, we can see that they are finding chemicals like BPA, BPS and others, leaching into the water content when a bottle is exposed to ultraviolet, heat or both, even from the BPA free plastics, we might be compelled to stay away from plastics as much as possible as everyday use food containers. If we add on the fact that nearly half of the bottled water is no different than the water we get from our tap and a water filter, choosing a reusable bottle over the store-bought, starts to make a lot of sense. No matter what are the reasons, they created a lasting impact on our habits. As a society we started to look for our own "best reusable water bottle". Eliminating all plastics that get in contact with our food might not be possible or realistic but replacing our water bottle with one that is safe, "green" and cost effective seems easy enough and there are some great choices among bottles for both single walled and insulated versions.
In general the following plastic groups are considered bpa free, they are:high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene and polypropylene,
recycling codes #2, #4, #5 respectively. All other plastics may not be bpa free.
Why stainless steel bottles only and not any plastic reusable bottles (not even BPA FREE)
Soon after we decided to feature our reusable bottle Top 10 Amazon Bestseller list, we found out that none of our editors would recommend any plastic reusable bottle. As a result we even had to change the name of our list to Top 10 Stainless Steel Amazon Bestseller Water Bottles. The general consensus among our editors was that the plastic reusable bottle suffers from some of the same flaws as the store-bought prepackaged type: they still require crude oil to make, they don't last very long and recycling is as hard as in the case of single use plastic containers, and they may be hazardous to our health (most of them are labeled as 100% bpa free but scientists keep finding other chemicals that under certain conditions can leach into the content - see These Popular Plastic Bottles May Be Messing With Your Hormones and/or Fox News: Is BPA-free plastic safe? ).
They are also susceptible to some problems of their own: they are harder to clean, they are not mold and bacteria resistant and in general they are less durable than their stainless steel cousins. Our editors' negative attitude toward plastics was so strong that even the stainless steel models would get their score lowered if they didn't include or offer a stainless steel cap. Therefore after much deliberation we decided to include only stainless steel bottles in our review.
Criteria used to select out top 10 stainless steel water bottles (other than BPA FREE material)
Our primary item source was the list of Amazon bestsellers in the water bottles category, as this is an ultimate general public's vote for any product in the market place. Unfortunately number of stainless steel bottles was significantly lower than their plastic brothers'. As usually we did not issue a "Best Reusable Water Bottle" title or designate a place on our list for any of our top 10 finalists. Instead we tried to create a list with products that have some unique features that would add value and create a more diversified list, accommodating a broader range of needs of our readers.
A criteria for the best reusable bottle can vary from one person or situation to another. In an effort to match those criteria, we included a value pack of four bottles (a family pack if you will), a biker bottle with a sip cap etc. After we completed the selection process we noticed that all editors agreed on one more "required feature", not a single one of the final top 10 stainless steel bestsellers was a narrow mouth models. When we looked at the narrow mouth bottles we realized that they all have a few "fatal flaws". They are: plastic caps (even if they are bpa free, they still are plastic), they are harder to clean than the medium or wide mouth ones and there is no way to throw in a few ice cubes to keep the content cool. To further diversify our list we also included a few insulated models as well and we made sure that we also have some high capacity models in our selection.
What to look for when buying a BPA FREE stainless steel water bottles
When you decide to buy a bottle you should consider your needs and intended use first and then narrow your choice by factors like esthetics and price. Even the best looking bottle is not going to work for you if it doesn't have the features that you need or require (too big, too small, wrong cap etc.). As far as the price is concerned, all our finalists last for a long time (my old H2OZone bottles are still fine, after more than 6 years of abuse on the soccer field, at least twice a week, at my weekend pickup games) and spending a few dollars more for the right bottle can be easily justified and pay dividends for years to come. As an example of intended use lets consider that you need a bottle to use around your home or office, in that case you should consider an insulated model or one that can be paired with an insulation sleeve to avoid any condensation on the metal surface. On the other hand if you take your bottle to a gym, park, sport field or biking, the most important feature might be the bottle capacity and an ease of use (short cap thread, sip cap etc.). Another criteria could be the ability to put ice cubes into your bottle, this will provide an extra cooling to keep your beverage cold for a longer time, it applies to both: insulated and non insulated models. In our evaluation we considered the following characteristics:
- Plastic elements (bpa free only)
- Extra features
Water bottle capacity
In our review and selection process we tried to provide a wide range of size options of bottles for both insulated and non-insulated versions. For non-insulated bottles the size range vary from 27 oz. - Klean Kanteen Bamboo Cap, Mirrored Stainless Steel BPA Free Water Bottle - all the way to a whopping 64 oz. - Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth with Stainless Loop Cap - this model is also the most versatile in a capacity category, it features 18 oz., 40 oz. and 64 oz. version. The remaining non-insulated two bottles come in just one size of 40 oz. In the insulated bottles category the most versatile two bottles are Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Bottle (Stainless Loop Cap) + Brushed Stainless Steel models that feature 12 oz., 16 oz. and 20 oz. and Treksos insulated stainless steel water bottle double wall vacuum wide mouth Bpa free with a stainless steel lid, it features 12 oz., 17 oz., 20 oz. and 26 oz. sizes (although our favorite Treksos two sub models: Brushed Silver and Mirror Silver come only in 12 oz.; 26 oz. and 12 oz., 17 oz., 26 oz. respectively).
Stainless steel water bottles durability
In general all featured water bottles are very durable and with proper care should last for a very long time. The single wall non-insulated models have a little stronger outer walls and are a slightly more resistant to dents. All bottles included in our review are constructed with a rounded bottom edge and that in turn protects your water bottle from damage when you drop your filled-up bottle. The one thing that you want to avoid as much as possible, is putting your metal bottle in a freezer, if left for extended time, the entire content will freeze and as water turned into ice will expand. That will most likely, permanently damage your bottle. It was hard to impossible to simulate long time wear and tear on our test bottles but they all handle our tests very well with not much visible damage except for some scratch marks and minor dents. If it could be any indication of their longevity, my old H2OZone twin stainless steel water bottles (not available anymore), that are very similar in construction and material to some of the bottles featured in our review, are still in perfect shape after seven years of extensive use.
Water bottle value
When we created our final list we also evaluated how much value each of our finalists delivers to the consumer. If value was the only criteria in our review then in non-insulated category we would list only Together Bottle: 40 Oz Stainless Steel bpa free for $10.49(at the time of this review), it is a "bare bones" one size bottle. That model comes also in a family multi-pack Stainless Steel Water Bottle Canteens Family 4 Pack 40 oz. - 4 Color Variety that at $34.99 offers an even greater value per dollar performance. There are other bottles on our list that while a little more expensive give you some extra options like a little more practical size Klean Kanteen Reflect Stainless Steel 27 Ounce Water Bottle with Bamboo Cap, extra wide mouth opening Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth with Stainless Loop Cap, or a carrying strap New Wave Enviro 40 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Strap. In the insulated bottle category the most value award goes to the MIRA Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle, Wide Mouth - Cold/Hot - 20 oz. bpa free the only drawback is the limited color choices - only two colors available. While overall insulated bottles are more expensive, they keep their content at an optimal temperature for significantly longer time, they are more pleasant to touch (more important for hot liquids) and they don't suffer from "sweating" effect from condensation caused by the cold content in elevated humidity conditions. In the end, all our editors agreed that while almost all our bottles are slightly more expensive then their plastic counterparts, they offer much longer life span and that more than offsets the premium price.
Water bottle design
For an every day item as water bottle you might think that design should not play a significant role in the selection process, but every now and then there comes an item that the beauty of its design just cannot be ignored. The Klean Kanteen Reflect Stainless Steel 27 Ounce Water Bottle with Bamboo Cap is just such a rare beauty. While at about $25 (depending on the finish option) it is relatively more expensive then other of our finalists, all of our editors instantly fell in love with this bottle and they all just "had to have it". The fact that it is constructed entirely without use of any paint, coating, plastic or glue is not hurting its eco friendly image either.
The close second place had been awarded to the Treksos Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Wide Mouth Vacuum Double Wall BPA Free 26 oz. in either brushed silver or mirror silver finish option. The design simplicity and lack of plastic elements are very appealing and give them clean, modern look that makes them stand out among other models. And the fact that one of them is a larger non-insulated and the other is an insulated model makes them a perfect choice for customers that don't mind to pay a little extra for this contemporary appearance in either category.
Water bottle's plastic elements (BPA FREE only)
As we mentioned in the opening to this review, our editors tried to pick only true stainless steel models for this list and in our opinion we have done so without limiting application choices for our readers. There was however one bottle selection that we needed to find a compromise between a maximum functionality and our "no plastic" philosophy. The aspect of functionality that we were looking for was: one hand operation, this is usually very important for bikers and runners that they can re-hydrate without interrupting their pace. We think that we have found a perfect candidate hat fits the the bill Convertible Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 22 oz. -100% BPA Free. This model provides a safe stainless steel screw cap for transport, storage and two hand operation activity but when needed you can get an extra one hand sip cap made with a bpa free material. All remaining finalists featured on our list have no plastic parts that come in contact with a bottle's content and by doing so they prevent chemical leaching of harmful substances into the consumed liquid. Selected models not only do not have plastic caps but we made sure that they are inside liner free. The clear plastic liner on the inner surface of metal bottle could be even more harmful than a bottle made entirely with a good quality bpa free plastic.
Water bottle extra features
Our editors also looked for and rewarded any extra features that a bottle would offer. The most popular among them is a loop cap that allows users to clip a bottle for easy carrying or storage. All but two our selected bottles feature a loop cap, the two Hydro Flasks that do not come with a loop cap provide a JugLug - Handle for Hydro Flask Type Bottles that can be purchased separately. Another extra feature that got our editors' vote is a wide mouth bottle opening, it provides an easy, no mess way to drop ice cubes into your bottle to keep your beverage of choice chilled. All bottles on our list are wide enough to get standard ice cubes into the bottle but there are a few that make the operation super easy. Non-insulated bottle featuring wide mouth opening is: Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle with Stainless Loop Cap. In the insulated bottle category the wide mouth bottles are: Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Water Bottle with Loop Cap, MIRA Stainless Steel Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle, Hydro Flask Insulated Wide Mouth Stainless Steel 32 oz. Water Bottle and Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Wide Mouth 64 oz. Water Bottle and Beer Growler. One of our bottles features a carrying strap (New Wave Enviro 40 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Strap) that could be very useful if you plan to use your bottle for hiking or walking. The last but not least extra feature is one hand operation that is featured on Pakgaroo bottle Convertible Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 22 oz. -100% BPA Free.
Accessories for stainless steel water bottles
If you are looking for accessories for your bottle, like extra caps, insulation sleeves, carrying cases or loop cap clips, please visit Water Bottle Accessories - Insulators and Water Bottle Accessories - Other.
sizes 12 oz. - 20 oz.
Sizes: 12 oz.; 17 oz.; 20 oz.; 26 oz.
Also available in: 27 oz.; 40 oz.;
Sizes: 18 oz.; 27 oz.
Avaliable in: Silver, Black, Copper Brown
Mount Handlebar / Seat Post
Weight 45 g / 1.58 oz
Constructed from lightweight heat-treated aluminum alloy, only 29g (1 oz.)
Constructed from lightweight heat-treated aluminum alloy, only 29g (1 oz.)