You’d be forgiven for thinking most reusable water bottles are the same, except for the graphics on the outside. It started out that way – a reusable water bottle was functional. It held water, allowed you to drink, then refill. Along the way, manufacturers tried to differentiate from each other by making their bottles more fashionable and touted the environmental benefits of reducing the world of disposable plastic. Although, it took a while to get past some adverse side effects like BPA and other toxic substances in the manufacturing process.
More recently, however, there’s been an explosion of innovation. Reusable water bottle manufacturers are coming up with vastly more innovative approaches to storing and drinking water by meeting more specific consumer needs. Segments of the industry now concentrate on how best to extract the water from your bottle, how best to filter the water, to keep it hot or cold, to clean the bottle after use, or how best to hold something other than water in the first place. And more and more new entrants are coming up with more and more ideas, different substances for the bottles, different designs, or different manufacturing processes that make the water bottles seemless or safer or even more environmentally friendly.
Below is a sampling of some of these innovations. This list of reusable water bottles is far from an exhaustive, however. It’s simply the reusable water bottles we’ve had a chance at Southern Ascent to test and are amongst our favourites.
SIGG: Long popular, SIGG has been making water bottles for over 100 years, still manufactured in Switzerland to ensure quality. SIGG’s newest innovation is the Active Top. The Active Top has four key settings for the screw cap on the bottle: ‘Open’ and ‘Close’ as usual, but also ‘Clean’ and ‘Air’. ‘Clean’ allows the top to be taken apart for ease of cleaning. ‘Air’, however, is what’s new, allowing carbonated water or soft drinks to be carried by the inclusion of a small valve to release any built-up pressure.
Camelbak: Over the last two years, Camelbak has expanded its reusable water bottle range with filtration and purification. For filtering tap water to reduce chlorine and odours, the Groove has a plant-based coconut carbon filter integrated into the straw used to sip water from the bottle, giving you a fresher taste. The All Clear bottle goes a step further, allowing you to drink from lakes or streams on longer hikes or treks. The top of the All Clear contains a 500 micron pre-filter that eliminates large sediment. Then, UV technology is used to neutralize microbiological contaminates in just 60 seconds. For a full review, click on the following link written for our affiliate, The GearCaster.
Eco Vessel: Eco Vessel’s approach to filtration has been to devise a straw with a filter attached near the bottom of the bottle. The key is the 3 micron pore size of the filter, blocking microscopic pathogens, such as giardia, toxins and heavy metals, again allowing you to drink from lakes, streams and other questionable sources. Eco Vessel also has a line of insulated stainless steel bottles to keep your drinks cold for up to 36 hours, or tea, coffee or soups hot for up to 12 hours.
Polar Bottle: Colorado-based Polar Bottle was originally created for cyclists wanting to keep liquids cool on long rides. The bottle is made of two layers of low-density polyethylene, which creates a a thermal layer of insulating air, keeping your liquids cooler for longer. A thin foil liner in-between reflects the sun’s heat, making the bottle even more effective. It’s lightweight, flexible and easy to squeeze. The liner also lends itself to numerous graphics. While still a favourite with cyclists, Polar Bottle has added a removable carry strap for other outdoor activities, such as hiking.
Eco Bottle: Canada’s Eco Bottle has made a number of interesting adaptations. First, they’ve designed a quick thread cap that twists tight in only half a turn. If you’re fumbling with gloves, for example, this has its advantages. Secondly, they’ve widened the top to allow for ice cubes, fruit or powder mixes. And Eco Bottle is using a nickel-free stainless steel. Nickel helps stabilize stainless steel and is actually beneficial to humans at low levels. Nickel, however, can be toxic with greater exposure, and there is some debate concerning nickel (and chromium, for that matter) leaching from stainless steel.
BlenderBottle: In the shape of a water bottle, the BlenderBottle is strikingly simple, but incredibly innovative. A wire whisk, called a BlenderBall, inserted into the bottle essentially gives you a portable mixer. Smoothies, protein shakes, pancake batter, marinades, all become possible on camping trips without electricity, for example. There’s even an associated recipe book.
Most of the products mentioned above are available in Australia and New Zealand or can be purchased online and shipped from overseas.
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