Thirsty work: the perfect reusable water bottle

When did bottled water as a status symbol turn sour? 

The carbon footprint of imported bottled water is looking particularly ugly if you’re only a few human footprints from safe tap water. 

And have you ever wondered where  ‘spring water’ really springs from?  (According to the Earth Policy Institute, around 40% of bottled water started life as tap water).

Clearly, it’s time to get back to the tap – now all we need is the perfect reusable water bottle for between taps;  the tough decision is whether to go heavy metal (good-looking, hard wearing, and heavy as with the possibility of a dodgy plastic liner) or a safe plastic (lightweight, recyclable, and pretty tough but are they as pretty?). 

The KOR ONE is one sexy 750ml package – the supermodel of water bottles, very slender and tall, with a streamlined handle and generous mouth.  It’s made of a safe, hard wearing plastic so there’s no health issues with chemicals leaching into the water. It includes a Kor ‘stone’ under the cap with an inspirational message, which you see each time you sip. ( The stone is changeable, so you can personalise it with your own quotes or pictures when earnest saving-the-world mantras start to pall).  Philosophy with each sip.   They also sell Yoli blast caps, inserts to turn your water into a nutrient rich drink that doesn’t taste like water.  This may work for some, but call me old-fashioned, I look to food for nutrients, not water. 

Klean Kanteen bottles deliver sleek industrial good looks with the benefits of stainless steel: tough, no retained or imparted flavours, and recyclable. (And there’s no internal plastic lining required, which can contain BPA – as competing bottle maker Sigg admitted regarding its aluminium bottles, after previously falsely claiming they were BPA free.  Naughty, naughty.  They may be perfectly safe now, but their ‘safest water bottle in the world’ claims just ring hollow after telling porkies previously)

The bobble designed by Karim Rashid is a 550ml/18.5oz voluptuous hourglass bottle which filters the water, is both made from recycled plastic (PET) and recyclable, and is free of plastic nasties (no BPA, no phthalates, no PVC).  Whilst there are now plenty of bottles available which tout their usage of safe plastic, not many of them are made of recycled materials like the water bobble. (They are made in the US, so if you live elsewhere, I guess the recycled factor would be completely cancelled out by travelling around the world to your place? It’s not easy being green).  This is design for good, not evil – attractive and functional with zero pretense.  Ahhhhhh.

20 oz Poppy

EarthLust bottles have definite appeal:  stainless steel bottles with whimsical artworks on the outside, and I can just see myself dangling from a sheer clifftop with my water bottle securely fastened from the carabiner.  What is it with water bottles and carabiners?  Putting the ‘climber chic’ styling aside, these bottles come in various sizes and are decorative as well as practical. There’s no dodgy plastic liner inside the metal, as the squeaky clean stainless steel doesn’t require it.


The Camelbak Better Bottle is for biters.  It has a Flip, Bite and Sip action.  It won’t spill, even if left on its side in the open position, you just have to remember to bite first, then sip.  (Maybe this comes naturally to some).  Camelbak is the go-to brand for sporty types who take their hydration seriously as they cycle, snowboard and leap buildings in a single bound.  This company is best known for its hands-free drinking systems, but the handheld versions are also favourites with Sport Billys and Sweaty Bettys.  The bottles come in various sizes, colours and with enough lids to suit everything from extreme sports to barely moving to adjust a cushion on the sofa.

Nalgene bottles are made of a co-polyester which is BPA free, extremely durable and resistant to odors and staining (not that I’ve found water stains much – is there anyone out there putting Coke in their water bottles? You’re really only cheating yourself).  The only thing that concerns me about this groovy looking bottle is that it purports to target “outdoorspeople”.   Come on folks, that has huge Scrabble argument written all over it.


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