Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Water Bottles

You really can't work out, or do anything in Florida for that matter, without drinking a LOT of water. I was reminded of this on Saturday when we did our SOS walk. The weather was markedly cooler, so I didn't think I needed to bring my CamelBack. I was quite wrong - 6 miles is a long way to walk, no matter how hot it is. But it got me thinking, I have a ton of water bottles, and they all have their plusses and minuses. So here is a quick run down on water bottle basics:

If you plan on spending any serious amount of time outside, this is, hands down, the best investment you can make. It is called a CamelBack, and is an insulated backpack that has a built in water bag. Depending on the size you get, you will spend between $30-50. Mine, shown here is 50 oz and I think it set me back around $40, and worth every penny. It also has pockets for cell phone camera, etc. Because it is insulated, water stays cold. Only downside is that if you do not rinse and DRY it out when you get home, the liner and tubing get skanky pretty quickly. If this happens, just buy a new liner for around $14. Trust me, you will never get the smell/taste out once it gets skanky.
 This is probably my favorite water bottle. Pro's are:

  • It is insulated
  • It has a carrying strap
  • It holds 32 oz
  • It doesn't leak
The only real con is that, like the CamelBack, because it is water tight, it gets skanky pretty quickly if it isn't rinsed out immediately after use. This bottle can go in the dishwasher though. 

This type of bottle is great for in home use. Because it is not shaped and doesn't have a strap, it is not practical for carrying in the gym or when hiking. But because it is insulated, it is great for sitting on your desk while you work.
This type of bottle is okay for home use if you don't care about your drink staying cold. Again, not practical for use in the gym or hiking as it is hard to carry.
This type of bottle has all of the disadvantages of the one above, with the added disadvantage of, due to the straw, is not spill proof. Other than perhaps being bedridden, I can't really think of a practical use for this type of bottle, and even then, if you tilt it at all, it will leak.
 This is a semi-insulated cup with a lid that has a straw opening. Unlike the bottle above, there is a rubber gasket around where the straw goes on this type of cup, which makes it quite a bit more spill resistant. Plus, it has Spongebob on it, how can you not love it? But seriously, it is a good cup for in home use, not practical for the gym or hiking.
Aluminum water bottles have their pro's and cons. On the one hand, they are sturdy, don't leak and as shown here, this one has a little clip so you can clip it to your back pack or bike. If you are concerned with such things, they do not contain any chemicals suspected of messing with human hormones as many plastic bottles do. Aluminum bottles also do not seem to hold the skank the way plastic bottles do. The disadvantage is that, not only is it not insulated, but it can absorb heat, which can make it impractical for outdoor use in Florida, but should be fine in cooler climates.
This is a bottle specifically made to fit on the cross bar of a bicycle. Seemed like a great idea when I got it, but I didn't notice till I was 6 miles out into a marsh the shape of it. It is very small, and indented, which means it only holds about 8 ounces of water. If you are taking a 10 foot bike ride, it might be appropriate, anything longer, you need a real water bottle. Note that the purpose of this is supposed to make it easy to grab on the bike, but in reality, it would be far easier to just use a CamelBack.
Glass bottles are not appropriate for workouts, unless you are exercising your right to consume alcohol.
This is the absolute WORST kind of water bottle. The only time you should consume water in disposable plastic bottles is if you are for example, traveling or at an event, you forgot your own bottle, and there are NO other options.

ALWAYS bring your own water. Although plastic can be recycled, just the process of making these water bottles wastes an insane amount of our natural resources. I realize that not everyone has drinkable water. Our house water is pretty nasty, so I have a PUR water filter, and David has a Brita. I have used and would recommend either.

Let me know if I left anything off here. Coming up next week, I will be writing about what to put in your water bottle!

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