Last updated on January 31st, 2019
If you are looking for some information about which water bottle is the best, or the safest, or your various choices of materials, (depending on your use), here are a few thoughts.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Stainless steel is a very durable material and is difficult to break, or even dent.
Stainless steel water bottles are fairly light weight versus the benefits of it’s strength and durability.
Stainless steel will not rust.
Liquids will stay cooler longer than aluminum water bottles.
In an emergency, water can be boiled for purification directly in the bottle — on a burner, hanging over a fire, sitting in hot coals, etc.
Some say that water tastes better coming from a stainless steel bottle rather than plastic.
No risk of ingesting potentially harmful chemicals which may leech from the walls of some plastic bottles over time.
Glass Water Bottles
THE best choice for taste, while glass has zero effect on aftertaste.
Glass is heavy.
Glass will break.
Liquids will stay cooler much longer than stainless steel or aluminum bottles.
Aluminum Water Bottles
Aluminum water bottles weigh less than stainless steel or glass, making them a good choice for long hikes or backpacking where weight might be a concern.
Similar to stainless steel, in an emergency you can boil water in aluminum bottles.
Aluminum is a robust material that will not break easily, although it may dent if dropped – depending.
If you are concerned about BPA, ‘most’ aluminum bottles are BPA free. Read the fine print though…
BPA-Free Plastic Water Bottles
Convenient and available in most stores, plastic water bottles are a good choice for many short term uses, particularly if stored in a cool location (less likely to get that ‘plastic’ taste).
They are the lightest weight method of carrying water, although susceptible to breaking open or being punctured if dropped.
Plastic disposable water bottles are designed for single use.
Note that BPA (Bisphenol A — a toxic compound used to make plastics and resins), is apparently no longer being used by well-known water bottling manufacturers.
#1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is considered safe and is used for water, soda, and juice bottles.
When storing plastic water bottles, implement ‘first-in, first-out’ rotation (use the oldest first).
NOTE: There are double walled bottles available which have a vacuum layer between the inner and outer walls, and can keep beverages cold all day. However, note that the double wall versions would be worthless for trying to boil water to purify, as the heat won’t get to the water.
NOTE: Clear water bottles – if filled with clear (not muddy) but impure water – they can be left in direct sunlight for 8 hours and the UV will destroy any micro organisms in the water, purifying it. This has become standard water treatment in third world countries.