Summer is here, and that means we'll all be spending a little more time out in the yard, at the beach or pretty much anywhere else in the hot sun. All this extra time outdoors means hydration is more important than usual. While some still turn to bottled water to cool down quickly and conveniently, more and more people are quenching their thirst with water they're toting in reusable bottles. Don't have a bottle? Luckily, we've found the best-reviewed reusable water bottles, and a few brands stand out.
What makes a water bottle the "best"
Before we could crown any water bottle "Best Reviewed," there were a few qualifications. First, it had to be free of bisphenol A (BPA). Research reveals that there is definitely something unsavory about BPA, though conclusive results are still unavailable. Regardless, the FDA concedes that certain segments of the population -- specifically, children and infants, if not all of us -- should avoid the substance. In addition, it had to be a good value and finally, expert reviewers and users had to like it...; really like it.
The Top Brands
In true ConsumerSearch fashion, both big and small brands got equal attention from us though the major reusable water bottle producers simply get all the review-love. CamelBak, Klean Kanteen and Sigg stir up serious brand loyalty with consumers. So it isn't surprising that our best-reviewed bottles come from these companies with Nalgene drafting behind them.
CamelBak makes our Best Reviewed list with the best BPA-free plastic bottle and best water filter bottle. Having founded their reputation on creating the rugged water packs used by athletes and outdoors-people, it comes as no surprise that reports of CamelBak bottles breaking or malfunctioning are almost unheard of. Reviewers universally find these plastic bottles very durable. What our sources can't agree on, however, is how they feel about the CamelBak Bite Valve mouthpiece. Originally used in their hydration packs, the trademark Bite Valve requires that you bite and suck simultaneously to get water out of a CamelBak bottle. Most of our professional reviewers love this feature, but consumers are decidedly split here.
Klean Kanteen takes the best metal bottle title, with the Klean Kanteen Classic being named the best stainless steel bottle. However, if you prefer an aluminum water bottle The Sigg Classic Traveler is a good bet. Consumer reviews of both bottles included anecdotal evidence that many users buy multiple identical bottles from these companies and keep them for years. Even after the controversial news of Sigg's liner, which, in fact, did include BPA, users were more than happy to recycle their old bottles and buy the new Sigg bottles with the BPA-free EcoLiner, even though the company will not disclose the materials that make it up. It's difficult to pin down exactly what keeps consumers coming back to these particular brands, because as our report shows, there are plenty of other durable metal bottles available. Perhaps it's the name recognition, the familiarity of these bottles' quintessential designs or maybe buyers just don't want to give up on a good thing. Whatever the reason, brand loyalty certainly helped our best-reviewed bottles on their road to glory.