Disposable plastic bottles are having a huge impact on the environment – they take over a thousand years to biodegrade and only 1 in 5 bottles is actually recycled. When you consider over 1,500 plastic bottles consumed every second, you can see the scale of the problem. As well as being awful for the Earth they also end up slowly eating away at your wallet. If you tend to pick up a bottle with your lunch or on the way to work, you can easily fork out well over £200 each year without realising it.
This is why more and more people are switching to non-disposable bottles. It might cost you 20 quid or so, but within a month you will have covered the initial outlay and started to rack up the savings. However, with so many to choose from a seemingly simple choice can become a nightmare, so we’ve gone out and tested over 40 bottles to find the best available. Three made the cut – two metal and one plastic.
The Stainless Steel Bottles
If you are going to splash out on a metal bottle, then you want to ensure that you have an insulated bottle so that you always have a suitably cold drink ready on a hot summer’s day. Plastic, glass and ceramic bottle just don’t do the job properly, so we would always recommend going for stainless steel.
There’s many of these available on the market – but for us, there were two brands that stood out above the competition.
The company boasts that it will keep drinks cold for up to 100 hours in 64oz model (that’s approximately 1.8 liters for those of us using the metric systems) and 14 hours of their 20oz model (that’s just over half a liter, so just a bit more than the standard plastic Evian water bottle) and we can attest to this. It does this by making a vacuum between the two layers of stainless steel that make up the bottle – so just like a Thermos flask for those that remember high school physics.
We can back up the company’s claim – we put some hot tea in the flask at 8 in the morning and were able to enjoy a piping hot drink on the commute home at 6.30pm.
Being steel, it won’t get smelly after a few uses like plastic bottles can and it’s dishwasher safe. It’s also very light and durable, standing up to being dropped on the tube and kicked by a passing commuter without so much as a scuff mark.
The wide open top also allows an ease of drinking – we came across far too many bottles in our testing that simply had a cap that was way too narrow meaning that we had to really suck in order to get any liquid out of them. This makes the Klean Kanteen a great bottle for the gym. The wide opening also has the added benefit of making it easy to add any ice cubes to the bottle.
The bottles also come in a wide array of colors and sizes and have a pleasing, classic look. They start at about $24 on Amazon for their insulated version and we have no problem endorsing them.
Chilly BottlesChilly’s offering was the other stainless steel bottle that blew us away in testing. Again it uses vacuum technology to keep drinks hot or, as its name suggests, cold for up to 20 hours.
The looks are certainly distinct – sleek shape, a range of colors and the distinctive Chilly logo. This one comes in 260ml, 500ml and 750ml.
We did find this bottle slightly easier to hold but probably preferred Klean Kanteen slightly to drink from.
In any case, both of these brands stand out in a crowded marketplace and we have no hesitation in recommending both.
The Plastic Bottle
BobbleThese have become almost ubiquitous in London over the past couple of years – and with good reason. These eye-catching, colorful bottles have really popularised the ‘filter as you drink’ phenomenon with an ingenious cap and straw. These contain a carbon filter that is slightly positively charged and so attracts the negative ions in contaminants as they pass over the carbon molecules.
Despite this innovation, there are a couple of downsides to the bottle:
- If you drink a couple of bottles a day you will have to replace the filter every 3 months or so.
- There is no insulation – so it’s not as good as the steel bottles at keeping your drink cold.
- We found you really have to suck to get the water out which can be really annoying if you are on a run and out of breath!
However, they are currently only $13 at Amazon.
If you’re topping up from a water cooler we’d recommend the metal bottles – but if you’re just using the tap and purification is of the utmost importance to you then Bobble could be for you.