Staying hydrated is important for your body, especially during outdoor activities. Instead of buying a new bottle each time, why not consider a reusable bottle? Besides being cost-effective in the long run, they are much easier to use thanks to their design and extra features.

While buying a bottle seems simple, finding the best water bottle requires looking into sizes, materials, and construction. Investing in a high-quality bottle will guarantee durability no matter where you use it, from the gym to the trail.

To help you with this, we have created a buying guide that breaks down and explains all the important aspects. In addition, our bottle reviews comprise of high-quality bottles tested by many users, so it’s a great resource if you need reliable suggestions.

How To Choose A Water Bottle – Buying Guide

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Size, Weight, and Shape

The size of yourbottle depends on a few different things – your hydration needs, how long you are going to be carrying it and what specific activity you’ll be doing. The overall ounce capacity (volume) of the bottle is always the biggest factor when buying a new bottle.

If you’ll be running with it in your trail running shoes, you obviously wouldn’t want a bottle that is too big for your hands. In that respect, you’d probably look for something like an 18 ounce or a 24-ounce bottle (easy to hold). If you’re going to the gym or anywhere you can put your bottle down, you should get the biggest one you want (32+ ounces).

Keep in mind that large bottles won’t fit into bottle holders, which can be an issue if you want to use it for travel. On top of this, make sure that it can fit into your backpack pockets if you plan to use it for backpacking and hiking. As an alternative, another good option for hiking is a hydration bladder.

Besides bottle size, its weight also plays an important role. The bottle itself also has a certain weight, on top of the beverage you pour in. As you can imagine, steel bottles are significantly heavier than bottles made of plastic. For example, if you get a stainless steel bottle with 18-ounce capacity, you should count in about nine ounces for the bottle weight itself. That can be too much to carry for some activities, so you should be careful when choosing.

The bottle shape is also an important factor in your buying decision. A well-designed bottle will give you a higher volume in a shape that is comfortable to carry and easy to pack. Plastic bottles generally offer more shapes than stainless steel or glass bottles.

Material

As you probably know, bottles can be made of three different materials – plastic, glass, or stainless steel, each with its own upsides and downsides. Which of them is the best material for you depends not just on your own preference, but also where and how you’ll be using the bottle.

Plastic is the most common material used for making bottles, both disposable and reusable. It won’t break if you drop it and it’s going to last for a very long. This makes plastic bottles a good choice for any physical activity. However, plastic quality shouldn’t be overlooked, as it can vary significantly from one bottle to the next. Make sure that the bottle you are getting is free from BPA, phthalates and other harmful substances.

Glass is a great choice because it doesn’t alter the beverage taste or contain any harmful materials. In addition, it’s probably the easiest to clean. On the other hand, everyone knows that glass bottles break much easier than any other material. 

Stainless steel is a good middle ground between plastic and glass. It’s relatively lightweight, fairly cheap, and good at preserving your beverage. The biggest advantage of metal bottles is their durability. This type is often insulated, able to maintain drink temperature for hours. As a downside, some users complain of a metallic taste when using these.

As you can see, each type has its perks, and we can’t flat out tell you which is best. If you want the best taste, go for glass. If you want the best all-around usability, go for plastic. If you want insulation, opt for metal.

Filter / No Filter

Getting a filtered water bottle is a great idea for outdoor activities like backpacking and hiking, but spending extra money is needless if you are just looking for a gym water bottle, for example. Most models we featured are perfectly compatible with backpacking water filters. This gives you the option to drink fresh water from the source, otherwise dangerous without a filter involved.

For most situations though, a bottle without a filter would be more than fine. Like with many other features, this is a decision you should make based on your own circumstances. If you do need a filtered water bottle, there are plenty of options out there to get the freshest water you possibly can.

Quality

Quality was one of the main considerations when choosing products for our water bottle reviews. Unfortunately, not all water bottles you’ll come across meet the necessary quality requirements and some leave a lot to be desired.

Cheap plastic bottles often won’t have the highest safety rating (contain harmful substances). On top of this, not only can you smell the plastic when you drink, but with some you will actually taste it. That’s why, if you want a plastic bottle, it’s important to look for high-quality plastic.

Glass bottles simply have to be of a high enough quality to ensure they don’t break easily. All the glass bottles that we reviewed here are highly durable and shatterproof, guaranteed to last for a very long time.

Finally, metal bottles also have to meet high-quality standards. For the vacuum insulation to work, a good level of construction is required. Of course, the metal quality will determine whether you’ll have a metallic taste in your mouth when drinking. For this reason, 18/8 stainless steel is a great option for metal water bottles.

Ease Of Use

It seems as though the ease of use shouldn’t really be a concern with water bottles. However, there are surprising differences between one bottle and the next.

One of the features that make using a bottle easier is a straw. This means that you don’t need to tip up the bottle to get a drink, allowing you to take a sip without looking at what you are doing. As a bonus, a straw might allow you to use the bottle one-handed.

One-handed operation is available on many bottles but it can vary quite a lot in quality. If you want this type of bottle, make sure that the lid is leak-proof. This will prevent any accidents from happening when you are not using it.

The grip can also play an important role – you don’t want your new water bottle to slip out of your hand. In this aspect, it’s best if the bottle is powder-coated on the outside and no condensation occurs.

Another important consideration is the bottle opening. If you’re the type of person who likes ice cubes in their drink, you want to make sure that your new bottle is wide enough to do this.

Straw / No Straw

Bottles with straws are particularly easy to use because you’re able to drink while the bottle is in an upright position. For some, this makes the drinking process easier as you don’t need to tip it into your mouth. On the other hand, not having a straw allows you to take larger gulps of water (a straw limits how much water can pass in a single breath).

There is also the aspect of hygiene too. Bottles with a straw require more thorough cleaning and also need to be cleaned more often. This adds to maintenance, and many people just wish to avoid this. It’s worth mentioning that straws are only available on plastic water bottles.

Insulation

Just like straws are typical for plastic bottles, vacuum insulation is generally found on metal bottles. That’s because the material has to be strong enough to deal with pressures involved in making a vacuum. The secret is in the dual-wall construction with a vacuum between them. This works as a temperature barrier, maintaining the beverage temperature (whether it’s hot or cold).

Vacuum insulation is often associated with hot drinks (thermoses). What’s interesting is that bottles with vacuum insulation are actually able to keep drinks cold for a longer time than they are able to keep them warm. This makes them great for cold drinks as they will maintain icy-cold refreshing water throughout the day.

Whether you need an insulated water bottle depends on your activity. If you are only going out for a short period, this won’t be a crucial feature. On the other hand, if you are taking part in some endurance activity, bottle insulation will maintain drink temperature the whole time.

Insulation really adds to the versatility of your water bottle. You can use it for both hot and cold drinks (as required), as long as you maintain it properly between uses. To get the most out of your insulated bottle, make sure the lid is also able to lock in the warmth.

BPA Free

You often see the term BPA (bisphenol A) when it comes to plastics. It’s a chemical that has been widely used in the production of plastics and is the main component of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a clear and strong plastic that has often been used in water bottles, baby bottles and food containers among other uses.

The problem is that, over time, chemicals can leach into the water as plastic slowly starts to degrade and small scratches form. Due to this, you need to ensure that the chemicals won’t have a detrimental effect on your body.

Unfortunately with BPA, it is widely accepted that trace amounts can cause harm. Therefore, you should never use a product with BPA for too long. This obviously includes reusable water bottles that you are going to use time and time again.

Thankfully, when it comes to the more reputable brands, they know that a quality product has to be BPA-free. While all the plastic products we’ve looked at here are BPA-free, this is something that you should always keep in mind. This is also an advantage for glass and metal products, as they don’t contain these chemicals.

FAQs

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Q: Why Choose A Reusable Water Bottle?

A: 

Reusable bottles have several advantages – you can get an ideal size and shape, they maintain beverage temperature, they are hygienic, and they are environmentally friendly. And, in the long run, they are very cost-effective too.

Single-use bottles can be convenient on the go, but there are a few drawbacks to that. One of those is that the bottle won’t be the easiest to drink from, especially compared to the products we have looked at here. All this makes reusable bottles a much better long-term option.

Q: Can I Wash My Water Bottle In The Dishwasher?

A: 

This depends on the material used for making the bottle. Aluminum and glass bottles are dishwasher safe because they are more resilient to heat (compared to most plastic bottles). On the other hand, while most should be hand-washed, there are still plenty of plastic bottles that are dishwasher safe. However, you should check that for every individual product.

If a plastic bottle can be washed in a dishwasher, it will often state that it should only be placed in the top rack. The heating element is usually on the bottom, meaning that the temperature on top is lower. With all this said, it’s probably best to avoid the dishwasher because the cleaning residue can affect the taste afterward.

Q: What Are Reusable Water Bottles Made Of?

A: 

As mentioned in the materials section, reusable bottles are made of plastic, glass, or metal. They all have their pros and cons, so you need to decide what is most important to you – whether that’s portability (plastic), ease of cleaning (glass), or maintaining temperature (metal).

Plastic is a material that is commonly associated with bottles, but many people prefer the great taste of a glass bottle or the insulation of a metal bottle.

Q: Are Metal Water Bottles Safe?

A: 

Yes, as long as they are made of stainless steel. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, nor does it release anything into the water. Other metals can alter the water taste or contain harmful lead, so make sure that the bottle you’re buying is made of 18/8 stainless steel.

Q: How Long Does A Reusable Water Bottle Last?

A: 

It depends on the material used to make the bottle. Stainless steel bottles last the longest, with a life that can easily exceed 10 years. Glass bottles are also very durable, provided you don’t break them.

As for plastic bottles, it depends on the quality of plastics. If the bottle BPA-free and made from tough plastic that doesn’t scratch easily, you can use it for several years before it needs replacing.

Q: Are Metal Water Bottles Better Than Plastic?

A: 

Yes and no. Metal bottles are more durable, don’t leach chemicals, and often have insulation. On the other hand, plastic bottles are significantly cheaper and come in a much larger array of shapes and sizes with various useful accessories. As long as the plastic is food-grade, which of the two is best really comes down to preference.

Q: Do Insulated Water Bottles Work?

A: 

Yes, they do. The vacuum between the two wall layers significantly slows down heat transfer, allowing the bottle to maintain the beverage temperature regardless if it’s hot or cold. As a bonus, the insulation prevents condensation on the bottle surface, so you won’t have a wet bottle problem.

Q: Can You Put A Stainless Steel Water Bottle In The Fridge?

A: 

Yes, it’s perfectly safe. However, because of the insulation, your drink will take much longer to cool down compared to glass or plastic bottles. If you don’t want to wait, a quick way of cooling down the beverage is adding a few ice cubes to the bottle.

Q: Is Water Bottle Mold Dangerous?

A: 

While this depends on the type of mold, many types are actually dangerous (including the common black mold). Drinking from a bottle with toxic mold growing inside can be a big health risk. To prevent this problem, disposable bottles shouldn’t be used several times, while reusable bottles should be washed properly after each use.

Q: How Do You Get Mold Out Of A Water Bottle?

A: 

The easiest way of cleaning a bottle is to scrub the insides thoroughly with a cleaning brush and warm soapy water. If you think this won’t do, you can use a mixture of white vinegar that you’ll leave in the bottle overnight. Afterward, you rinse and scrub it as you would normally do.

As for metal bottles, pouring boiling water and leaving overnight can help kill the mold before washing it. Regardless of the method, always rinse the bottle thoroughly so you don’t have any aftertaste from cleaning.

Globo Surf Overview

From going to the gym to hiking in the wilderness, having the best water bottle can always come in handy. If you’re going to use it daily, it only makes sense that you get the best water bottle you can.

As you have seen here, there are several different aspects to take into account before choosing. These aspects include size, material, quality and ease of use, among all other things.

Hopefully, all the information here has given you a clear idea of what exactly you want from a bottle. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll have easy access to fresh water whenever and wherever you might need it.

More Water Gear Reviews:

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!