Water is an absolute must when outside and active. The last couple years have seen new water bottles options on the market. Here are some things that might be helpful to know when you are trying to decide which type of water container would be the best for you on your next outing:
Nalgene BPA- Free Water Bottles- These are traditional style water bottles with some really great features. The BPA-Free plastic is non-leaching, which means that your beverage will not have that “plastic flavor” added to it. It fits into standard cup holders and mesh pockets on back packs. The size of the bottle makes it great for a trip to the gym or a short walk, but not practical for long excursions. Note: the older Lexan water bottles have been found to leach chemicals that can affect hormone levels, so make sure you get the BPA-Free bottles.
Aluminum Water Bottles-This bottle is made from recyclable aluminum. The aluminum makes it lighter, more durable than its plastic counterparts, and allows for some amount of insulation. The interior of the bottle has a non-leaching lining to help prevent residue from building and make it easier to clean. There are a wide variety of colors and images to choose from. It is not fully insulated but is able to maintain beverage temperature for short periods. This type of bottle is good for both short and medium length outings.
Insulated Bottle-Carrier- This bottle carrier is an insulated pouch that allows you to place a water bottle in side. The insulation helps maintain the temperature of the liquid inside the bottle. It has a strap attached for easy carrying on hikes and jogs. It also has a clip that allows you to clip it to a backpack. It’s great for short and medium length excursions. And for carrying cold drinks.
Hydration Packs – This is a small backpack with plastic bladder inside. A long tube is connected to the bladder and runs through the exterior of the pack to clip onto one of the arm straps. This tube allows you to drink from the bag, without having to take it off, or even use your hands. It has clips that attach easily to any other pack. The pack is fully insulated and made rugged to prevent wear and tear and leaks. The pack is designed to be lightweight and lays down the length of the back, to prevent drag when cycling. This is an excellent choice for long excursions, but might be overkill for a walk on the beach.
Collapsible Water Carrier-This is a large plastic water container that has two handles for easy carrying and pouring. The bottle has a spout that makes it easy to dispense the water. The lining is treated for with an anti-microbial to help prevent organisms form growing inside it. This is a great container to have at the activities sight because it holds so much water. However this container is not insulated and is too clunky to carry any long distance.
Built-in Purifier Bottle – The Katadyn purifyer water bottle features an internal EPA-registered Virustrat cartridge and carbon filter to remove microorganisms and all viruses from any water source. The bottle is designed to fit in most bicycle water bottle cages or cup holders, but has a carry loop as well. This 26-oz. bottle weighs less than the smallest backcountry microfilters and no pumping is required, making it perfect for extended backpacking or mountain biking around questionable water sources.
Disposable Water Bottles– Don’t forget the boring, unsexy but convenient disposable water bottles. Get a 24-pack from Walmart and grab and go in an instant. This is my family’s choice of water bottles, if only because my kids keep losing their water bottles. Would I rather they leave behind a 25 cents Poland Spring water bottle, or a $19.99 aluminum Sigg water bottle?
Stay hydrated, it’s better to drink smaller quantities frequently than one big jug between long stretches of time.