We have all been there... You just bought a brand new water bottle and you already hate it: It's too small, it doesn't fit your bike's bottle holder, it smells like plastic, and the color is boring. Fear not, we have collected a bunch of cool tips to help you pick a bottle that you will love and will want to keep, hopefully, a little longer than two weeks.
Forget Impulse Buying
Yes, we know it's tempting, but impulse buying is the mother of all regrets, and you should avoid it at all cost. Instead, sit down with us, and together let's devote a few minutes to this important project, because it turns out there are only a few key points to consider to get the most out of your water bottle purchase. We are going to examine the intended purpose of your bottle, whether bells and whistles translate into useful features, and finally, how to pick the right material to account for durability, health, and protecting the environment.
It Needs a Purpose
Seriously, give this some thought. What is the most important requirement that you want your water bottle to meet? Are you a runner? Well, forget that quart-sized glass jug unless you want to start doing curls during your evening jog. Let's say you are an avid biker. Try to look for bottles that don't need both hands to open and close. While we all know you can pedal with "no hands," the wrong cap will quickly book you into the ER. Do you have a 9-5 gig and just want something to keep at your desk? Get the one with the slightly larger capacity so you won't have to refill every ten minutes and interrupt your work. Restroom breaks are inevitable, sorry... Are you an environmentally conscious consumer who is aware of the full life cycle of products? Avoid (and never reuse!) PET bottles and non-reusable solutions, go with an earth-friendly alternative such as glass.
Giving a quick thought to usage patterns and requirements will allow you to have a very clear idea about what the intended purpose of your bottle will be, and it will help you pick one that fits your lifestyle and hydration needs.
Fancy vs. Simple
We can't tell you what color to get, however we can highlight a few suggestions with regards to style and design. A fancy, button operated coffee tumbler sure looks cool and convenient, however, have you seen the intricate mechanism inside some of those caps? Coffee can surely get inside it because there is no way to get rid of the smell, but what about a bottle brush? Simple wins the race here. Before you buy, inspect the cap and make sure that it disassembles, or better yet, has only one or two components at most.
Smart bottles are the new craze, and they do have some serious swag (and a hefty price tag). But do you ever have the feeling that the more "smart" gadgets you have in your life, the less sharp your own senses become? For instance, have you ever tried navigating without Google only to realize that all of a sudden you pay attention to landmarks and turns, and the next time you just know how to get there? Your body sends you clear signals when you run low on fuel. Learn to listen to these signals and act quickly when your internal alarm goes off. You will find that your own body has the best reminder system to regulate your fluid intake without the need for Bluetooth, batteries, chargers, or cell phones. Armed with a healthy dose of self-awareness and a simple but functional bottle you will not only conquer your thirst, but it will teach you how to hydrate the right way. And that's smart!
Pick the Right Material
We won't throw random facts at you this time, so let's just accept that plastics, especially single-use plastics, are not the right choice here. Countries around the world are banning plastic straws, bags, and Styrofoam for a reason. Now that plastics are off the table, what other materials do we have without any adverse effects on us or the environment? It turns out we have some great options.
Health-conscious people will find that good old glass is one of the best alternatives to plastic. Bottles made from glass will get you chemical-free hydration, easy cleaning, and a nice transparent look. If you are into a highly active lifestyle, however, glass may not be the best option. Running, biking, mountain climbing, sports where weight and extreme durability are important glass may fall short, so let's see what else is out there...
For activities like the ones above, stainless steel is a great choice. It's practically indestructible, and it's suited for insulated bottles with endless color and design options. On the flip side, it may make your beverages taste a little metallic, can definitely make a lot of noise when dropped (paint will chip, too), and with zero transparency, it's hard to tell if it's time to refill. Make sure you pay attention to one thing, though: Just because it's metal it doesn't mean it's stainless steel. Cheaper bottles are usually made from aluminum, and there is research that links aluminum to dementia and Alzheimer disease. Bottom line, if the sticker doesn't say it's stainless steel (SS), or if there is no sticker, walk away.
Getting rid of plastic is not an easy feat. Even when your bottle is made from glass or stainless steel, chances are there are components (lids, straws, strainers etc.) that might be made from plastic. Any plastic part that can get into contact with your beverage will defeat the purpose of going plastic-free. Luckily, there is one other material which is gaining popularity with food-contact items, and that is silicone. Silicone is NOT plastic, because it's not carbon-based (not made from crude oil). It's made from silica, which is basically sand. Water bottles, like the Meshbottles below, are entirely plastic-free because all of their components are made from either glass or silicone, therefore a great choice for consumers who are looking to transition to a plastic-free life style.
Do you have ideas to share? Would you like to contribute? Let's discuss in the comments section.
The Meshbottles Team