AT On: The Search For the Perfect Water Bottle

AT On: The Search For the Perfect Water Bottle

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Sarah Rae Smith
Jul 31, 2008

Living in the Midwest where the sweat seems to pour off you (usually at the most inappropriate of times) and the heat of Phoenix is met by the humidity of Miami (lower cost of living has some drawbacks), having a beverage on hand is just a way of life. This means my water bottle and I are attached at the hip and between my normal water intake, plus dragging it along for use at the gym, it's quite possibly the hardest working thing in my house. Having decided it was time for a new one, I began searching for a bottle able to stand up to my rugged rules of water consumption. Click through the jump to see my strict standards and which one I landed on.

There are many types of water bottles on the market. I know that many people use Sigg bottles and that's fantastic. They are earth friendly, safe, easy to clean and so forth. They just never seem to work out well with me. The same goes for Nalgene bottles (which are now BPA free), but they never quite make the cut.
So follow me through a few rules as to why in my life, there is one bottle to rule them all.

WATER BOTTLE PURCHASING RULES

1) It can't be something that involves screwing off a lid for consumption.
I will admit to the fact that I'm just not talented enough to run on a treadmill and unscrew something. Better yet, be able to screw it back on when I am done without sloshing it everywhere.

2) It can't be something wide mouthed.
Although it allows for ice to be added easily, a wide-mouthed bottle means in the end, I will pour it all over myself while triyng to drink from it and do the elliptical machine. You want comedy? That's golden right there. That's why your gym membership is so high... it isn't to work out on fancy schmancy equipment, or to have a buff trainer from Sweden... it's so you can laugh at the round girl pouring water all down her shirt while still not getting enough to put her thirst at bay.

3) It must have a straw instead of the tip and pour method.
Why is this such a big deal to me? For anyone who has more weight on them than your average bear, jogging/speed walking takes actual concentration. I blame Newton. That whole "objects in motion stay in motion thing"... if you weigh a buck 10, it's not a big deal, but when you've got some meat on your bones, said meat can in fact throw you off balance if you aren't paying attention. So in the long run, trying to pour something down your gullet while not falling off the stair climber (which usually means you are in front of everyone else), can actually prove to be a challenge. And heaven knows I don't need any more of those.

4) It has to be dishwasher friendly and be to disassemble enough to clean properly.
Many water bottles don't have a lid/mouthpiece that completely breaks down. On top of that, they usually require a special brush to reach the bottom. If I am going to use one bottle all day, everyday, I have to be able to keep it sanitary. Being able to go in the dishwasher is a major plus. It has to physically be small enough to fit on the rack without the sprayer arms hitting it and also have a mouth large enough for water/soap to get in to clean it.

5) It MUST be BPA Free
Not all plastics are created equal anymore and making sure something I use year round isn't harmful is a must.

So after an exhausting search online, I forced my poor husband to accompany me to the one place we normally avoid, the sporting goods store. After reading up on the Camelbak Better Bottle, I knew I had to try one out.
Now, sporting goods stores aren't my idea of a good time. And although I'm not against sports or buying products the average athlete needs, finding things in a store of this nature (unless it's a golf club or treadmill) usually proves to be a needle in a haystack. Not to mention the weird looks received because I don't fit the stereotypical "jock" persona or because clerks can't believe I need sporting equipment let alone recreate. To those people I am secretly shooting lasers from my eyes (being an Apartment Therapy blogger gives you super powers didn't you know?). And although I'm sure it doesn't really work, it makes me happy to think it does. Moving on...

Having found the rack containing all the Camelbak Products, I was completely giddy. It had seemed so alluring online and I was excited to see it in person (yes this is my idea of fun).
We located the Camelbak products in the biking department (although we have since seen them in the hiking section at other stores of this nature). After inspecting my new find up and down, I will go on record by saying this bottle is all that AND a bag of chips.

They have a screw off lid to fill your bottle by, which is large enough to take on ice of all sizes with extreme ease. In the lid, there is a flip up bite-straw, (like other Camelbak products), which although seems a little bizarre at first, allows for complete security and safety of the beverage inside. The bite technology allows the water bottle to be spill proof, leak proof, and Sarah proof. So it's fantastic for me all around!
Once the lid is screwed on tight, the straw goes all the way to the bottom, so you get literally every last drop of your bottle before having to refill, and it has a carry loop on the lid so you can tote it around the gym or home easy, or if you do that "hiking thing" you can clip it onto your pack.

Since my purchase of the original Camelbak Better Bottle, they have release a newer version named the "Performance Bottle." It is made of a thinner material that is squeezeable to help better control water flow. The original didn't have bad water flow by any means, but the new version gives you the ability to squeeze water into your mouth as well as using the bite-straw for increased water flow. We might have to check this one out next.

They have proved to be a solid investment (typically around $13) and because of that I wanted to share it with you. I have run mine through the dishwasher, top rack and bottom, dropped it, flung it, froze it, the works and it's still in the same condition it was when I bought it a year ago.
Other bonuses to this bottle include it's ability to attach to most water filters, fit in most cup holders and the lid attaches to most bottles of this size. It also comes in 12 different colors plus 8 new graphic designs, so there is one for every member of your family without getting them confused.
Just in case you don't have a retailer near you, they are also available online.

Photos by: Camelbak Website, Gottaridebikes and Amazon

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