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Michael Graziano

Hi Joy,

I don't have kids so I can't comment on which water bottles are best for them, but I can say to the campers out there that I have had the same nalgene bottle for the last 14 years which has been on many overnight backpacking trips and day hikes and never let me down. It is plastic so it has some green points against it, but it has never leaked and served me well!


We are now down to one water bottle per family member! The Thermos funtainer with straw for my daughter. Sigg for everyone else. Thanks for your always helpful suggestions.

mom of 5

As a mom of 5 of who lives on a farm I have NO idea of the brands of the water bottles we use. Straws are a must for kids up to age 12 but are a pain in the neck to clean. My solution to that? only use it for water! i run hot water through it and consider it clean - we DO live on a farm...

I have not had any luck with aluminum water bottle at all. They get wet on the outside in 2 seconds which everyone hates and always leak. My kids also drop, kick and throw their backpacks and water bottles and the plastic holds up and doesnt dent like the aluminum.

I have never had a water bottle that broke we loose them before that could happen. Which takes me to make biggest issue. Am i causing even more waste buy having to buy 5 new bottles every six months?


Thanks for the tips Joy. Sometimes I feel like we go through as many reusable water bottles as I did plastic bottles! Part of the problem is that my son loses 2 bottles a week, but I digress...

I hate the straw bottles for all the reasons you mentioned. I don't like the slime that seems to accumulate on the inside of aluminum bottles. I prefer open mouth plastic and glass bottles. I have found that you get what you pay for with these bottles and the pricier ones are really better.

I have a plastic Camelbak bottle that has lasted for years. It's wide, easy to clean and you can see inside the bottle. I really love the life factory glass bottles: http://www.lifefactory.com/adults.html?gclid=CKjQraHUpLECFYfe4AodQDYv7g.

The glass bottles are encased in cushion so they really don't break (I have dropped mine many times), but the lids have to be screwed on just right or they leak so they aren't great for kids.

I have no answer, but I keep trying... I will investigate the ones you mentioned in your blog.

Alex C Jones

I don't have kids, but for myself, I have been using a CamelBak BPA-Free Better Bottle with Bite Valve that i bought at the REI next to the building I work in. I mostly use it for keeping water with my when I drive. As long as the top is screwed on correctly, it does not leak and it can fall over and not spill. To keep it clean, almost every day, I take it apart and soak it, so the plastic straw part gets a good soaking too. Every few weeks, I take the bite-valve off and I soak that separately in white vinegar to prevent mildew from growing. Once, mildew grew inside of that part, so I cleaned it with tea tree oil, but it took several days of soaking, and daily scrubbing to get that horrible taste out. I have not had any mildew problems with it since then.

My wife uses one of those metal thermoses with the wide screw-on top that has a plastic slide valve on the top, but for coffee and tea. For water she uses a CamelBak.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Thanks, Michael. Just wanted to let you (and others) know that Nalgene now makes a BPA-free plastic bottle, so it might be worth it to switch from your older Nalgene bottle to a more "health-friendly" plastic. There are a lot of choices (wide mouth, narrow mouth, different colors and designs), but here's a link to one of them:

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

You're still better off buying the 5 new bottles every six months than using a new plastic bottle every day--even if they get recycled. Generally, making plastic things also makes lots of pollution for the water and air, so the fewer that are made, the better. I'm amazed that you can keep it together as well as you do, between the 5 kids and the farm animals! Inspiring.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

That's a very good tip about the white vinegar for disinfecting--thanks! I'm going to start doing that.


The CamelBak bottles also come with regular screw-on tops, without a straw. I use this for myself quite a bit. Our son, age 8, has just gotten the hang of drinking from this and getting the lid on and off right. I like this option for him -- the straw was hard to clean, and I've had it leak in my bag when using the straw top.


I feel like I am on the never ending search for the perfect water bottle for the kids. You have given me a few others to try so thanks!

Have you heard of the Thinksport insulated bottles?


These are more for adults than kids because of the screw top but they keep water REALLY cold for hours. The big one is a little too big for a cup holder and is heavy but they are made of stainless steel and the company focuses on ensuring they are free of toxic chemicals.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Thanks, Amanda--that bottle actually looks like a sculptural work of art! I'd never heard of them before but will check them out.

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