Many sources we consulted agree that the CamelBak Better Bottle is an excellent choice. This bottle is made from Tritan copolyester, which is manufactured without bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been the source of much controversy over possible health concerns and has been banned from children's products in several U.S. states. The CamelBak Better Bottle has a special bite valve and straw so you can drink without squeezing or tipping the bottle, gets high marks for durability and convenience.
Most reviewers say it's very easy to use, but we did see multiple complaints of leaking, especially when flipping the bite valve open. A few other critics say the bite valve makes this bottle harder to clean than those with a simpler design. Overall, however, most reviewers are incredibly pleased with the CamelBak Better Bottle. We also found excellent reviews for the Nalgene OTG - On The Go (*Est. $10 for 24-oz. bottle), which is also made with Tritan copolyester. This bottle has a more traditional cap, so it's a good choice if you don't like the bite valve.
The best reviews of the CamelBak Better Bottle come from Men's Journal, Time magazine and the Gardenaut blog. Each of these publications comparatively test the bottle and write a fairly lengthy review. Good Housekeeping provides the best testing, but its analysis is brief. User reviews are very helpful, especially those from Amazon.com, where more than 800 reviewers rate the CamelBak Better Bottle.
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1. Good Housekeeping
The bite valve on the CamelBak Better Bottle can be confusing if you haven't used it before, editors say. They like the fact that it resists spills and leaks, but dislike the removable cap over the bite valve.
Review: Best Reusable Water Bottles, Editors of Good Housekeeping
2. Men's Journal
Men's Journal calls the CamelBak Better Bottle "cost-effective, if basic," and says the bite valve cap does a good job of preventing leaks when in a backpack or bag.
Review: Reviewed: Water Bottles, Jon Wilde, Oct. 13, 2008
3. Gardenaut (blog)
Blogger Jeremiah McNichols says the CamelBak Better Bottle's "thoughtful features and durability make it a good buy." However, the CamelBak Performance bottle and Nalgene OTG – On The Go are his top picks overall.
Review: BPA-Free Water Bottle Showdown, Jeremiah McNichols, May 12, 2008
4. Time magazine
Reviewer Hilary Hylton likes the CamelBak Better Bottle, especially because the water doesn't spill while she's driving. She finds the bite valve a little difficult to clean, however.
Review: Top 5 Eco-Friendly Water Bottles, Hilary Hylton, Dec. 11, 2008
5. Vegetarian Times
Four Vegetarian Times staffers list their top BPA-free water bottles in this short article, and the CamelBak Better Bottle makes the grade.
Review: BPA-Free at Last, Elizabeth Turner, April 2009
More than 800 user-reviewers share their opinions on the Better Bottle, and it averages nearly 4.5 stars out of 5.
Review: BPA-Free Water Bottles, Contributors to Amazon.com
Stephen Regenold reviews a number of water bottles, including the CamelBak Better Bottle. He doesn't rate the bottles, but his reviews are detailed and based on personal testing. This review provides information about the bottle rather than a critical review.
Review: Gear Reviews, Stephen Regenold
Buzzillions.com compiles owner-written reviews from retailers around the web, including REI.com and Zappos.com. The CamelBak Better Bottle is the top-rated BPA-free water bottle with more than 300 individual reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars. While this is an exceedingly positive review, it's difficult to compare the Better Bottle's results to those of competitors because there are fewer reviews on Buzzillions.com in general.
Review: Water Bottle Reviews, Contributors to Buzzillions.com