One of the biggest producers of trash in my life was from disposable water bottles. It’s common for many Americans to purchase a flat of bottled water from the grocery store because you can usually get a 24 pack of water bottles for less than $5. Unfortunately, this creates lots of trash, which often becomes a major source of litter. Many people think buying flats of water bottles is better and more affordable than purchasing a reusable water bottle, because the top brands today (YETI, Hydroflask, Camelbak, etc.) literally seem to cost an arm and a leg. These are the top brands today because they are often of the highest quality, but they aren’t the most affordable.
I thought it would be a good idea to compare a few of these brands side by side and let you be the judge of what water bottle is best, so I scoured Amazon.com and 2 local stores. These are my results.
§ 32 Ounce Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle
This water bottle is the #1 best seller in Camping & Hiking Hydration Flasks and the #32 overall product in Sports & Outdoors on Amazon.com. This water bottle is made from stainless steel and contains non-toxic and BPA- free plastics. It is said to keep hot drinks hot for up to 6 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours! Additionally, this is compatible with all wide-mouthed Hydro Flask lids, so if you have others you can mix and match. This water bottle averaged 4.3/5 stars in 2,876 different customer reviews. 9% of reviews were 1 star, and most of these reviewers rated it that low because of the price, which I will have to agree with. The only downside is that it will cost you $44.95 on Amazon.com.
§ 32 Ounce CamelBak Chute Mag Vacuum Stainless Water Bottle
This is another stainless-steel water bottle. CamelBak also claims that this can “keep liquids cold for 24 hours (even longer if you add ice), and hot for 6.” The cap is also magnetic, so it stays out of the way while you are drinking, but still leaves the lid attached to the water bottle, so you have almost no risk of losing the lid and being stuck with a lidless water bottle! It also comes with the Got Your Bak Lifetime Guarantee that covers anything that might be defective in the water bottle for the entire lifetime of the product. This averaged 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.com, with 77% of the reviews being 5-stars, 13% being 4-star reviews, and the remaining 10% were 3, 2, and 1 star reviews. This water bottle costs $29.99 on Amazon.com.
§ YETI Rambler 36 Ounce Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle with Cap
This water bottle is pretty similar to the Hydro Flask listed above. It is made of the same type of stainless steel (kitchen grade), leak-proof, and double-wall vacuum insulated. YETI even claims that these are “over-engineered drink holders to keep your favorite beverage as cold – or as hot – as science allows.” It is ranked #23 in thermoses, #100 in travel & to-go drinkware, and #389 in home storage & organization. It averaged 4.3/5 stars in 608 reviews, with 75% of the reviews being 5-star reviews, 8% being 4 star reviews, and the remaining 17% as 3, 2, and 1 star reviews. These are great water bottles. My father has one and he swears by it, and I do too. Similar to the Hydro Flask, this water bottle is really expensive and costs $49.99.
§ TAL Stainless Steel 40 Ounce Water Bottle
I just purchased this water bottle a few weeks ago for a camping trip. It’s the greatest water bottle I’ve ever owned, hands down. It’s 40 ounces, so a little bit bigger than the others I have talked about, which I prefer. There is also a 26-ounce option. It claims to keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot beverages hot for 12 hours. It definitely will keep ice for 12 hours, and keep it cold for 24 hours, and I’ve noticed it keeps things hot for about 6 hours, which is still a fairly long amount of time, especially if it’s just for a day hike. I paid $16 for this water bottle. The 26-ounce version is $12. I wouldn’t say it is as great as a YETI or a Hydro Flask, but at 1/3rd the cost? It’s clear that for the price, this is one of the best water bottles out there. Unfortunately, the 40-ounce version is only available online, but you can find the 26 ounce version in stores and online.
§ SmartSource 27 Ounce Water Bottle
This is the ultimate budget water bottle. It has no bells and whistles. It is a kitchen-grade stainless steel water bottle that holds 27 ounces. It isn’t double walled, so it isn’t very insulated and your drink’s temperature is likely to equalize with the environment much faster than the other water bottles I’ve discussed. On the positive side, I paid $4.99 for this at Tri-State Outfitters in Moscow. They had a huge tub of them right by the registers. I haven’t put anything hot in it, but I’ve put ice water in it and it held ice for about 4 hours, and the water stayed relatively cool for maybe another 2 hours. It’s not the best one out there, but if you’re on a minimalist budget and looking to make a difference, this one is for you!
Not only will buying a reusable water bottle help you reduce the amount of waste you create, it’ll also save you money in the long run. I’ll break down the math (approximately) for you just so you can see it. If a pack of 32 16-ounce water bottles costs $4, and you want to drink 48 ounces of water a day, you will need to drink 3 water bottles a day. That means you’ll have just under 11 days of water from each pack, which is about 33 packs of water a year, which will cost you $132! That’s so much wasted money. If you go for the cheapest option discussed here ($4.99), you will save over $120. Even if you buy the $50 YETI, you’re still going to save about $80!
So what are you waiting for? Go out and buy a water bottle to live a more zero-waste lifestyle, and save some money in the process.
The above article reflects solely the author’s opinions, and does not reflect the views of the WSU Environmental Science Club, or any entity affiliated with Washington State University.
~Written by Ian Barnes~