Buzzbait's Guide to Water Bottles This is a work in progress. I'll try to make updates as time allows. This Guide is also available from Google Docs at http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AVXG6o4feoaxZGhmdHptd3NfMGZkamN2a2R2&hl=en Wide Mouth Bottles Nalgene 32oz Everyday Wide Mouth The Facts: This bottle is made of Tritan, which is a BPA-safe alternative to the old Lexan bottles. The Tritan is tough stuff, and translucent so you can see the bottle's contents. The bottle is also graduated on the outside. This is the successor to the Lexan Nalgene bottle. The bottles are advertised as being able to withstand temperatures from -40ºF to 212ºF. Both the bottle and the cap are advertised as being dishwasher safe. The Nalgene Wide Mouth works well with the Guyot splash guard. The Skinny: This is the Eastman Tritan version of the bottle that we've all come to know and love, which was the standard by which all water bottles were judged.. It's nice and big. Comes in lots of colors. There are tons of accessories designed to fit with this bottle. The downside is the Tritan. It holds onto flavors and takes on smells, unlike the old Lexan Nalgenes. These bottles are good for straight water, but I wouldn't try anything else in them, unless you enjoy soaking your bottles in vinegar or baking soda solutions. The cap has remained unchanged over the years. This means that they screw on easily, but have a nasty tendency to warp if placed in a dishwasher. But who cares? It works with the HumanGear capCAP, which blows away the stock cap. Camelbak Better Bottle The Facts: This bottle is made of Tritan, which is a BPA-safe alternative to the old Lexan bottles. The Tritan is tough stuff, and translucent so you can see the bottle's contents. The bottle is also graduated on the outside. The Classic Cap is of exceptional quality. Both the bottle and the cap are dishwasher safe. The Tritan Better Bottle and Classic Cap work well with the Guyot splash guard. The Skinny: Tritan is Tritan. I used the Better Bottle successfully with water, but the minute that I tried flavoring the water, things went downhill quickly. The Tritan has a nasty tendency to hold onto a flavor. I also noticed on a recent summer camping trip, that drinking out of a Tritan bottle when you have nasty morning breath, can cause the bottle to take on the smell of your morning breath. Nasty!!!!! It's too bad. I used to really love my Lexan Nalgenes, which did not exhibit this problem. The only way I've found to get rid of the smells and flavors is to fill the bottle with a mixture of water and baking soda, and freezing the bottle overnight. A nice gal at Eastern Mountain Sports gave me that cleaning tip. Camelbak Stainless Steel Better Bottle The Facts: Advertised as being made of “medical grade” stainless steel. This bottle is not dishwasher safe, since plastic threads have been fused onto the stainless steel. Better Bottle Classic Caps can be purchased as a bite valve replacement. Guyot splash guards will not fit on this bottle. The Skinny: This bottle was a big disappointment. No dishwasher, unknown steel, no splash guard compatibility, and the Camelbak bite valve system. The bite valve takes forever to get a decent sip of water, and requires that new bite valves be purchased as the old ones wear out. The one redeeming fact is that I can throw out the bite valve cap and replace it with a classic cap. Klean Kanteen Wide The Facts: Made of food grade 18/8 stainless steel. The company goes out of it's way to make sure that the Chinese manufacturing is done ethically, and constant testing is done to ensure the quality of the stainless steel. Klean Kanteen wide caps have stainless steel inserts, to ensure that your drink only touches stainless steel. These caps must be hand washed. Rebranded L.L. Bean canteens have caps composed entirely of plastic, and are dishwasher safe. Guyot splash guards fit this bottle quite loosely, and the cap pushes the splash guard right down into the bottle. Very light in weight for a stainless steel bottle. The Skinny: These are excellent bottles. I have the 40 ounce, 27 ounce and 18 ounce versions of the Klean Kanteen Wide. The 40 ounce version is lighter in weight at a larger volume than the Guyot Standard. Nice rounded corners show fewer dents over time than the Guyot, but do cause stability issues when placing the Kanteen on a less than flat surface. I have no idea what Klean Kanteen was thinking when they did not design the bottle to fit a Guyot SplashGuard or TapGaurd properly, but that's my only nitpick. I prefer to use the HumanGear capCAP, which works 100 times better than any splash guard. Overall, this bottle is nearly prefect for a stainless steel bottle in a casual urban environment. Guyot Standard The Facts: Made of surgical grade 18/10 stainless steel. The company goes out of it's way to make sure that the Chinese manufacturing is done ethically, and every bottle produced by Guyot carries 100lbs of verified green house gas emissions reductions. The wide cap has a very unique and high quality cord retainment system. No mention is made as to whether the cap is dishwasher safe. Guyot splash guards fit very well with this bottle, but the cap has a tendency to push the splash guard down into the neck of the bottle a bit. Heavy in weight for it's size, but very durable. This bottle is also sold through Nalgene as the Nalgene Standard. The Skinny: This is an great stainless steel bottle. Very durable and good quality stainless. The finish is a bit rough in comparison to something like a Klean Kanteen, which could possibly encourage rust, although I have not personally experienced any rust. The bottle has very large cap threads. This is both good and bad. The threads will never deform accidentally, but the threads are not compatible with some other brands of caps, such as Klean Kanteen and the wide mouth Nalgene. The Guyot will work with a HumanGear capCAP though, which is my favorite alternative at this point. The sharper corners of this bottle tend to show dents more easily than some other bottles, but the less rounded bottom does help the Guyot Standard to stand up on less than flat surfaces. The Guyot Standard has a well-deserved reputation for durability under hard-use conditions. It is not as stylish as something like a Klean Kanteen, but instead favors a more practical and industrial look and feel. Sigg Wide The Facts: Made of aluminum with a proprietary BPA-free sprayed on liner. Manufactured in Switzerland. The bottle has a wide mouth, but the cap adapts the wide mouth down to the standard Sigg narrow mouth. This bottle is not dishwasher safe, since plastic threads have been fused onto the aluminum. The Skinny: The wide mouth cap on this bottle threads quite easily and seals well. The wide mouth cap basically adapts the wide mouth bottle down to a standard narrow Sigg cap. The small mouth is great to sip from. No spills. The aluminum construction creates less condensation that a single wall steel bottle. The aluminum is ridiculously light in weight, but dents quite easily. The aesthetics of this bottle are dismally depressing, unless you prefer a bottle shaped like an Arabian mosque. I personally will never buy anything from this company again, as long as I live. They have proven, through their skirting of the truth on certain matters, that they care greatly about their money, but little about the safety of their customers. This is not a reputable manufacturer. _________________________________________________ Other Bottles Klean Kanteen Classic The Facts: Made of food grade 18/8 stainless steel. The company goes out of it's way to make sure that the Chinese manufacturing is done ethically, and constant testing is done to ensure the quality of the stainless steel. Bottles ship with a large variety of plastic caps. Plastic caps with stainless steel inserts are available as accessories, as are kid's sippy caps. The mouth of this bottle is not as wide as a 63mm wide mouth bottle, but it is wide enough to accept ice cubes. Stylish neoprene cozys are available from Klean Kanteen. Perfect fitting more generic looking 27oz neoprene cozys are available through L.L. Bean. Other neoprene and neoprene alternative cozys are available on the Internet. Plastic caps are dishwasher safe, but caps with stainless steel inserts should be hand washed. A plastic sport cap is available from Klean Kanteen. A wide mouth adapter is available for attaching water filtration systems. The Skinny: This is a very good stainless steel bottle, and it has the advantage of age in the marketplace. This mature design has a ton of compatible accessories available from Klean Kanteen as well as other companies. The 27 ounce version is the standard by which all other stainless steel bottles are compared. I personally prefer the Sport Cap 2.0 on this bottle. The Sport Cap 2.0 has good flow and an integrated attachment loop. This sport cap does whistle though, and is not 100% water proof when placed on its side of upside down. For non-sport use, the basic plastic loop cap works great. Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated The Facts: Double walled and vacuum insulated. Made of 18/8 stainless steel. The company goes out of it's way to make sure that the Chinese manufacturing is done ethically, and constant testing is done to ensure the quality of the stainless steel. Klean Kanteen wide caps have stainless steel inserts, to ensure that your drink only touches stainless steel. These caps must be hand washed. Advertised as insulating hot and cold food or beverages up to 6 hours, and iced drinks up to 24 hours. The Skinny: I have the 20oz version of this bottle, which has very similar dimensions to the Klean Kanteen 27oz wide single walled bottle. This is a flat out amazing bottle. The insulating abilities are off the charts. I can have the bottle filled with hot coffee (cream and sugar added) at Dunkin' Donuts, and the Klean Kanteen Cafe cap installed, and still have hot coffee 3 hours later. And that is with the Cafe cap's disk opened up for the entire three hours, leaking out precious heat. This bottle is a masterpiece of insulation. It even looks great too. The bottle ships with the standard loop cap, but it would be a crime not to purchase the Cafe cap for coffee and tea. The loop cap works well for long hikes in cold weather, where you want to bring along some body warming tomato soup or chicken soup broth. If 20 ounces is enough for you, this could be the only bottle you'll ever need. Sigg Steel Works The Facts: Made of food grade 18/8 stainless steel. The company goes out of it's way to make sure that the Chinese manufacturing is done ethically. My 1 liter bottle has the standard Sigg narrow mouth, which will not accept ice cubes. A neoprene cozy is available from Sigg. The Skinny: The cap on this bottle is a bit hard to thread onto the bottle itself. The small mouth is great to sip from. No spills. I personally will never buy anything from this company again, as long as I live. They have proven, through their skirting of the truth on certain matters, that they care greatly about their money, but little about the safety of their customers. This is not a reputable manufacturer. It's too bad though, as my Sigg is probably the best looking bottle in my collection. Sigg Classic The Facts: Made of aluminum with a proprietary BPA-free sprayed on liner. Manufactured in Switzerland. Has the standard Sigg narrow mouth, which will not accept ice cubes. The Skinny: The cap on this bottle threads quite easily and seals well. The small mouth is great to sip from. No spills. The aluminum construction creates less condensation that a single wall steel bottle. The aluminum is ridiculously light in weight, but dents quite easily. I personally will never buy anything from this company again, as long as I live. They have proven, through their skirting of the truth on certain matters, that they care greatly about their money, but little about the safety of their customers. This is not a reputable manufacturer. It's too bad though, as Sigg makes some killer looking Classic bottles. [img width=480 height=640]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/Almost_Green_Guy/Water%20Bottles/Sigg20oz.jpg[/img] _________________________________________________ Accessories Guyot TapGuard The Facts: This is a carbon filter that sits inside of the water bottle, filtering the water as you drink. The Tapguard ships with 2 replaceable carbon packets, each advertised as being capable of filtering 100 liters of water. The TapGuard is advertised as removing 95% of chlorine, along with iodine and other stuff. It is designed to filter clean water from municipal water supplies, thus making it more palatable. It is not intended to be used as a backcountry water filter, and should not be used in an attempt to filter non-potable water. The Skinny: This is a pretty cool device, but not for everyone. You can fill your bottle with the TapGaurd installed, but you have to sip though the grated spout to filter the water. The carbon packets are a bit on the fragile side, so be careful when inserting them into the TapGuard. When drinking through the TapGuard, water tends to have a slightly “gritty” quality, which I assume has to do with particulates being released from the carbon packets. It's your call as to whether the grit is less or more objectionable than the heavily chlorinated water you are filtering. I personally prefer the TapGaurd filtered water, but the water quality is definitely not on par with the Pur filtered water that I get at home. I do have a tip though. The more gently you sip, the less gritty the water. All in all, the TapGuard is good, but not a perfect product. Because you have to sip through the grated mouth hole, it is not compatible with the HumanGear capCAP, or any sport cap. And since you are filtering the water as you gently sip, the flow is not like a river. The flow is good, but don't expect the floodwaters to be opened up to your mouth. When your bottle gets low on water, filtering that last few ounces can be a bit fussy. HumanGear capCAP The Facts: This is a replacement cap for your wide mouth water bottle. It fits all wide mouth bottles I've tested. It is dishwasher safe. It has an integrated attachment loop The Skinny: This is the godsend of the reusable bottle industry. We all love the conveniences of wide mouth bottles, but hate spilling water all over the front of us. Splash guards work fairly well, but are far from perfect. Enter the capCAP. This cap replaces the cap that came with your wide mouth bottle. It has a robust and comfortable attachment loop. The cap has a smaller cap on top, which you unscrew and drink from. The resulting water spout is the perfect size for splash free drinking, with excellent water flow. Best of all, the capCAP makes room for your nose. It is unfathomable that it took so long for man to invent something this simple and this effective. In a nutshell, if you own a wide mouth bottle, buy a capCAP. The only possible downside that I've found to the capCAP is that the wide mouth cap sometimes unscrews accidentally when trying to unscrew the smaller cap. But this is easily remedied by tightening down the wide mouth cap in a somewhat forceful fashion. Klean Kanteen Cafe Cap The Facts: Plastic construction. Designed for hot liquids on the go. Not water tight. Spin the plastic disk to reveal the sip hole. Designed to fit Klean Kanteen Wide and Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated bottles. The Skinny: Not bad, but not great. It's well constructed, but the design isn't anything earth shattering. It's easy to sip from, but I wasn't impressed by the amount of leakage, when turned over with the disk spun closed. A lot of coffee leaked out very quickly. You can consider the disk to be nothing more than a very effective splash guard. Guyot SplashGuard Universal The Facts: This is a simple silicone rubber splash guard, designed to fit wide mouth water bottles. You sip through the small spout, thus restricting water flow. The Skinny: This is a good product. It does restrict water flow. Unfortunately, the SplashGuard has a tendency to slip and fall into the watter bottle, and it is not the most comfortable solution. The SplashGuard is not nearly as effective a product as the HumanGear capCAP. GSI Glacier 18oz Stainless Steel Bottle Cup The Facts: Made of 18/8 stainless steel. Handle folds in around the outside of the cup for easy storage. Can be used as a small pot. Responsibly made in China. Product Number 68214 The Skinny: This is a survivalist favorite. A good quality camp cup. I've tested this cup with the Guyot Standard, 40oz Klean Kanteen Wide and the Nalgene 32oz Everyday Wide Mouth bottle, and it nests perfectly with each of them. LL Bean 27 oz cozy The Facts: Designed specifically to fit both the 27oz Klean Kanteen Classic and Klean Kanteen Wide. Made of 3mm neoprene. Has rear loop attachment.. The Skinny: Good insulating value. This a well made cozy, but I hope you like black. It's the only color choice. It looks nice enough, but I'd prefer it not to have the white trim. It looks a tiny bit effeminate. GreenSmart Neogreene tall cozy The Facts: The tall version fits a 27oz Klean Kanteen or 1 liter Sigg. The Sigg fits pretty tight though. Lots of color choices are available, but only the black/green version is easily found at this time. Advertised as having twice the insulating value of neoprene. Made in an environmentally conscious manner, using mostly water based materials. Has rear loop attachment and carabiner. The Skinny: This is the Cadillac of cozies. Insulating value is actually only about the same as a thinner neoprene, but the construction value is far better than most other cozies. The cozy is easy to load, thanks to the open front and elastic band. Aesthetics are off the charts. Fits the 27 oz Klean Kanteen Classic like a glove, and the Klean Kanteen wide almost as well. Unlike neoprene, the Neogreene has no offensive chemical smell. [img width=480 height=640]http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/Almost_Green_Guy/Water%20Bottles/NeogreeneKleanWide.jpg[/img] Nalgene Cool Stuff The Facts: Designed to fit a 32oz Nalgene Everyday Wide Mouth. Thick neoprene. Sewn in d-ring attachment and drawstring at opening. Fits a 32 oz Nalgene or a Guyot Standard perfectly. Too short to properly fit a 40 oz Klean Kanteen Wide. The Skinny: Okay, but not exceptionally well made. This neoprene is smellier than most. Very good insulating value though. Walmart Sport Cozy The Facts: Found in the grocery section. Fits the 18oz Klean Kanteen very well. Drawstring opening and sewn in attachment clip. The Skinny: Very cheap, but it works. Comes in various colors. Decent insulating value. A real bargain. Built Cozy The Facts: Made of thick neoprene. Good insulating value. Integrated loop carry handles. Fits a 27oz Klean Kanteen or 1 liter Sigg very well. The Skinny: Kind of odd looking. Very modern. Definitely not manly looking by any stretch of the imagination. No attachment points other than the loop handles. Good insulating value though, and the construction quality is excellent. This is a great cozy for a woman. My wife loves hers. _________________________________________________ Personal Notes 1.I've never noticed any aftertaste imparted by stainless steel bottles. But the water can tend to take on a faint smell of the stainless steel, which can be interpreted by the brain as taste, if the water is left in the bottle for a couple days. A narrow mouth (think Sigg) or the HumanGear capCAP will effectively negate the possibility of smelling this, since your nose is never over the water itself. 2.Both Klean Kanteen and Guyot appear to be good ethical companies, who actually stake their name on ethical treatment of workers and upon helping our environment. 3.L.L. Bean sells rebranded Klean Kanteens, as well as 27ounce cozy's. Unlike the soccer mom color selection available from Klean Kanteen, some of the the L.L. Bean models sport wonderful deep colors. These colors are translucent in appearance, like anodization. Truly beautiful bottles that a guy can drink from proudly. 4.The Klean Kanteen original sport cap was a bit of a disappointment. It made a very loud whistling sound, and flow was not great. The Sport Cap 2.0 is pretty darned good. Flow is better. Less whistling. It has an integrated attachment loop. If you get dirty and don't want to touch your bottle's cap, this is the way to go. You also don't sniff that stainless steel smell from older water when using the Sport Cap 2.0. 5.All of these bottles sweat, but the stainless bottles sweat more. 6.Single walled stainless bottles provide very little insulation whatsoever. This means that hot contents make the bottle hot. Icy cold contents make the bottle icy cold. Contents reach room temperature much more quickly than with Tritan bottles. If you can find a cozy for your stainless steel bottle, these problems are largely negated. 7.The good news is that you can literally cook with your stainless steel bottle, using it to cook and heat up your dinner or your coffee afterward. Just don't use a painted bottle, as you will surely destroy the paint job. 8.Stainless steel bottles do dent. Not as badly as aluminum bottles, but they do dent. If you want to protect your bottle from dents, a neoprene cozy works well. I've also seen people use the sleeves of old wool sweaters to make cozys for larger bottles. 9.I use filtered water from the tap in my house, and have never found any rust on any of my stainless steel bottles, even after weeks of being filled. Your mileage may vary, as the content of your water may be different. _________________________________________________ Conclusions My personal favorite for daily use, commuting from home to work and back home every day, and then through the evening is the 40 ounce Klean Kanteen Wide, with a HumanGear capCAP. It fits in the outside mesh pocket of my backpack. It gives me enough water to get through the work day. It's relatively light in weight for it's huge capacity. I love the company, the transparency of their business practices, and their commitment to the environment. For mountain biking and any other activity that gets me dirty, the smaller 27 ounce Klean Kanteen Classic with Sport Cap 2.0 is my pick. It's fits in the water bottle holder of my bicycle, or can be clipped to my belt with a small carabiner. For out on the town, I like the 27 ounce Klean Kanteen Wide with a HumanGear capCAP and a black L.L. Bean cozy. The cozy keeps condensation from getting all over my clothes, and the capCAP means no spills when drinking. This combination may change though. It's a great setup, but I sometimes run out of my filtered water while away from home. I bought a Guyot TapGuard, which is sort of a splash guard with a built-in carbon filter, so I can get filtered water from any water fountain. Unfortunately, it does not fit the Klean Kanteen Wide. It just falls straight into the bottle. I may have to find an alternative to the Klean Kanteen Wide that is both TapGaurd friendly and will fit a 27 ounce cozy. If I go out camping, hiking, etc, the Guyot Standard with HumanGear capCAP gets the nod. The bottle itself is extremely robust. It's a dent magnet, but for a camping canteen it just shows many fond memories. The Guyot Standard nests perfectly with a GSI Glacier stainless steel cup, and the combo reportedly fits well into a Maxpedition 10 X 4 bottle holder. _________________________________________________ The Origins of “WaterBottleMania” I guess that I should mention the reason behind my obsession with water bottles. I'm not just crazy. There is a story here. I was diagnosed with kidney stones a while back, after a life of drinking soda pop. The urologist told me to immediately start drinking massive amounts of water, and to make water a constant part of my daily intake. So like ever other red blooded American, I began to buy those big sport capped bottles of water in the grocery store. Poland Springs Grip-N-Gulps to be exact. I was buying A LOT of water. On average, I'd spend $25.00 per week alone on bottled water. That doesn't include what was consumed by my wife and daughter, and water bottles purchased in convenience stores while out shopping. Then I got a letter in the mail from my village. It was a water quality statement, and the local water tested as being excellent. That really got me thinking. So I tried some tap water and instantly remembered why I hated tap water. It tasted like a swimming pool. Yuck!!!! Back to the bottled water I went. Then one day at work, the custodian left a huge trash can next to my desk at work. I asked him about it, and he said that it was to recycle my water bottles. Apparently, he noticed that I threw out 2 plastic water bottles every single day for the last year. Enough to fill a bin every 2 weeks. The entire office thought that it was hilarious, and started referring to me as Mr. Plastic. That was the last straw. Not only was I the laughing stock of the office, but I was also not helping the environment even a single bit. Not the right thing to do, especially considering that my wife works for the State in the Parks and Recreation bureau, and has to deal with closed-minded people like me on a daily basis. I probably wasn't being a very good example to my daughter either, who is going to get stuck with the dirty world I leave for her. I did my research and bought an inexpensive Brita water filter that attaches to the tap in my kitchen sink. I started filling 2 pitchers every day with filtered water, so I'd have nice ice cold water to drink. The water actually didn't taste all that great at first. Not like the Poland Springs. But after a few days, I didn't notice the difference any more. I'm not sure whether I just got used to the taste, or whether the filter started working better as it got used more. But I love the taste of the filtered water now, cold or room temperature. I'm a tap water junky!!!! Now what to do with all of that money that I save every week. Hmmmmm.......... Well, as common as you normally see in EDC Forums, the money has gone into the eternal quest for the perfect accessory of my obsession, the water bottle. I'm not even remotely worried about the spending. I don't have THAT MANY water bottles, and they get used like crazy. My wife uses a few. My daughter uses a couple. I use a bunch. When we go camping with family and friends, they all get water bottles to use. Everybody who tries the bottles wants one. “No problemo. I've got spares.“ _________________________________________________ Wide Mouth Accessory Compatibility Matrix - An "X" indicates compatibility Camelbak Better BottleCamelbak StainlessKlean Kanteen WideGuyot StandardNalgene Everyday Wide MouthSigg Wide Nalgene Wide CapXCamelbak Classic CapXXXXXXCamelbak Bite Valve CapXXXXXXGuyot CapXXXXXKlean Kanteen Wide CapXXHumanGear capCAPXXXXXSigg Wide CapXXXXXXGuyot SplashGuardXXXGuyot TapGuardXXX _________________________________________________ The Big Bottle Volume Mystery Through repeated refillings and seeing all of the bottles sitting next to each other, it quickly became obvious that something was amiss concerning the advertised volumes of the larger bottles. For instance, the 40 oz Klean Kanteen towers over the 38 oz Guyot Standard. Much more towering than the advertised 2 ounce difference. Also, the 38 oz Guyot Standard looks to be smaller than the 32 oz Nalgene Wide. Huh? The real puzzling thing is that this cannot be a trick of the eye, as the diameters of the bottles are all the same. Only the height of each bottle is different. Unless the thicknesses of the walls of the bottles are extremely dissimilar, something doesn't add up. So I did a little test, filing each of the three bottles up to the bottoms of their threaded necks with water, and then pouring the bottle's contents into measuring cups, to get a definite measurement of the volume of liquid contained in each bottle. Below is a table showing the advertised volume of each bottle, along with the actual volume. Advertised Volume (oz)Actual Volume (oz) Nalgene Wide3240Guyot Standard3838Klean Kanteen Wide4045 As you can see, there are some rather large differences between advertised and actual volumes. The Guyot Standard holds exactly what Guyot says that it holds. No more and no less. On the other hand, the wide mouth Nalgene holds a full extra eight ounces of liquid. Bonus!!!!...... And for you particularly thirsty individuals, the 40 oz Klean Kanteen wide holds a whopping 45 ounces of liquid. Nobody is going thirsty with that monolith!!!! I believe that these discrepancies are all good for the consumer, as long as you're not using the full volumes of the bottles for mixing purposes, or assuming their weights based on volume.