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Backpacker Magazine – June 2008

Green Scene: BPA-Free Water Bottles

Lighten your planetary load, water bottle style, with these BPA-free water bottle alternatives.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Courtesy CamelBak
Courtesy CamelBak

There's been much debate lately about the health risks of BPA–a chemical commonly used to make polycarbonate (hard, clear plastic usually labeled #7/PC) water bottles–but no verdict. While scientists continue to study the issue, some hikers are trading in their old bottles without waiting for the results. Here are five BPA-free alternatives.

Material Who's Using It Comments
(labeled: #2 or #4)
Most companies that make squishy bike-style bottles
Usually opaque, usually imparts a bit of plastic taste
CamelBak and Nalgene, among others
Same performance as polycarbonate; slightly more expensive
Stainless Steel
Guyot Designs, Klean Kanteen, and others
Durable and taste-free; heavier and more expensive than plastic
Sigg, Laken, and other brands
Lightweight, taste-free with food-safe lining; pricier than plastic
(labeled: #1)
Plastic used in most soda and convenience-store water bottles
Cheap and light, but not durable

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Sep 25, 2009

From what I have seen, the tritan nalgene bottles are not as durable as the original, polycarbonate version. The site states that the original is still the best.

The new bottles, though more durable than PETE or HDPE will shatter if filled and thrown or run over by a car. I just don't think that the plastic is as flexible as polycarbonate. It is also not as heat resistance.

The nalgene and sigg water bottles are beautiful though.

David from Smallville
Aug 27, 2008

I use both SIGG and Klean Kanteens, bother are great. The Klean Kanteen is a little more durable and the mouth is wider and easier to add ice to it. I still like the SIGG as well, the top seals better and mine has a nice carry case to hook on a pack. Can't say anything bad about either.

Dave in Colorado
Aug 18, 2008

Just started using one of the new Tritan bottles by Nalgene and it seems to work exactly the same great way as the older Nalgenes--no plastic taste, seems to be durable so far. Had a friend who had problems like already described with the Camelback bottles with a spout. Others have done better with the spoutless top.

Marty in Montana
Aug 15, 2008

I was Sigg before Sigg was cool. I've carried them for twenty years and they are fantastic. They dent but are durable beyond belief and tend not to acquire tastes, although it did take a few fillings to for one bottle to forget the JD it had carried. Now I have one smaller bottled dedicated to such indulgences--so no problem.

Aug 14, 2008

Dick's Sporting Goods just picked up Sigg bottles. I've used them for years and love them! However, was very sadden by this news, and having to give up my beloved Nalgene bottle...we'd been through so much together!

Aug 13, 2008

The Klean Kanteen is great, but also watch out for the sports bottle version. We found them to leak. I was able to get a free replacement top ( a cheaper version of the one you can buy) from the website. I recommend the bottle with the heavy duty loop top that screws off.

Aug 11, 2008

I'll vouch for the Sigg bottles, they're awesome. Just make sure that you opt for the liter bottle (as opposed to the 20oz), and make sure it comes with the screw top - the sport top is useless.

Aug 10, 2008

Camelbak makes some bottles without the spout, they hold up better.

Jul 17, 2008

I just spent a month out in the northern talkeetnas, AK and this camel back bottle did not live up to the terrain. With in the first week the top of this bottle was broken. Good bottle, just get a new top if you plan on putting any real use on it.

Jul 12, 2008

Yeah, but how much do they weigh?

Jul 03, 2008

Check out this bottle made out of the same Tritan material as Camelbak and Nalgene: the Titan water bottle.



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