The mercury is rising; summer is just around the corner—if not downright upon us. What better time for me to test out a few cool, newish entries to the water bottle market—three eco-minded, healthy ways to ensure that having fresh water on-the-go doesn’t mean having to fork over several dollars for a tiny bottle. So you save the earth a bit, and your wallet, too.
Winning the award for best-looking: Bobble water bottle (left). Designed by famed industrial designer Karim Rashid, this softly curving BPA-free bottle comes in a choice of six rainbow-hued caps, and it's one handsome H2O holder. The water filter snaps right into the cap, so you can simply fill the bottle with water from any tap (however dubious the sources seems) and feel confident that what you’re drinking has been purified. You can use the recyclable filter up to 300 times (about 40 gallons) before it’s recommended you change the filter. If you buy the bobble online, they’ll send you a notice after 2 months suggesting you consider getting a new filter. No less than four people stopped me on the subway or on the street when I was testing this bottle, inquiring as to where I’d got it.
A note on taste: The first time I took a swig, I noticed what I’d categorize as a slightly earthy taste to the water, perhaps owing to the carbon filter, but it wasn't unpleasant at all, and I quickly got used to it. The Bobble is $10 and can be bought at waterbobble.com as well as The Container Store and other retail locations.
Winning the award
for most versatile: the Water Geeks filtered stainless steel bottle (left), also
BPA-free. It reminds me of the very popular Sigg aluminum bottles, but this one
also comes with a replaceable filter that plugs into the cap. It comes in 9 colors for the bottle, which can be paired with 7 colors for the cap. You can choose from one of two filters: one is a ‘Tap’ filter and it filters chlorine, bad taste, odor, lead and other potential tap water contaminants. The ‘Advanced’ filter eliminates all those tap water contaminants plus bacteria and other potential ground water contaminants. Each filter lasts for up to 800 12 oz servings and it holds a full 24 oz, which is plenty for a long, hot walk or run or a long flight where you have to fill up at a sketchy airport fountain. (It also comes in a 12-oz ‘child size’.) Interestingly, I noticed no funky taste because of the filter, but the fact that the bottle doesn't squeeze but has a sport top took me some getting used to. Each bottle is $25 at thewatergeeks.com.
Winning the award of easiest to tuck into any bag, briefcase, purse, or overstuffed backpack: the 16-oz. Vapur "anti-bottle". This is a foldable, reusable “bottle” that is BPA-free and available in five colors. It stands easily on end when at least one quarter full of water; less than that and it tended to slump over. They are freezable and dishwasher safe, too. I tossed two in my bag before a recent picnic and was able to easily tote them to the picnic spot, and when they were empty I simply rolled them up and stuffed them in my bag, without added bulk. (Great for hiking trips, too, or for overstuffed carry-ons!) It comes with a small carabineer clip on it, so you can attach to a bag, if you like; there’s a small white space on the back where you can write your name with a marker, too. An additional bonus use that I discovered when my husband complained of having pulled a muscle in his wrist: it can double as an ice pack!! Available for $9 at vapur.us.