Best water bottles for camping, hiking and backpacking in 2017

best water bottles

As discussed in our earlier article, staying hydrated during outdoor trips is vital. But how to store the water for hydration? Which reusable water bottle is best suited to carry your water in? In this article, we look at answering precisely these questions by listing out the best reusable water bottles available in the market.

We will look primarily at three categories – standard hard-case water bottles, collapsible water bottles and special purpose filter/purifier water bottles. We will also look at some of the major factors to consider while picking the best water bottle for your needs.

Since our primary focus is on outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and backpacking, our size considerations and choices would be governed by the most suitable bottles for such activities. However, the different options we list are also suitable for everyday carry (EDC) and daily use.

Best standard hard-case water bottle list

Some of the best hard-case water bottles available in the market are listed below
PictureProductCapacity and weight (fl.oz. and oz.)Features 

Nalgene Tritan Wide-mouth Water BottleCapacity: 32 fl. oz.
Weight: 6.25 oz.
- Made in the USA; BPA, BPS and Phthalate free plastic water bottle made with Eastman Tritan copolyester
- Wide-mouth, leak proof and temperature friendly(-40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Dishwasher safe
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.

Thermos Intak 24 Ounce Hydration BottleCapacity: 24 fl. oz.
Weight: 6.40 oz.
- Ergonomically designed bottle made from impact-resistant and dishwasher safe Eastman Tritan copolyester.
- BPA, BPS and Phthalate free.
- Supports one hand push-button sipper lid with locking ring.
- Can be shipped to select countries outside the US.
CamelBak eddy Water BottleCapacity: 34 fl. oz.
Weight: 5.92 oz.
- BPA, BPS free plastic straw water bottle made with Tritan copolyester.
- Dishwasher safe, large bite valve for high flow rate.
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.
AVEX Brazos Autoseal Water BottleCapacity: 32 fl. oz.
Weight: 6.90 oz.
- Unique plastic bottle that supports single hand use.
- Autoseal lid automatically seals between sips to eliminate spills and leaks.
- Dishwasher safe, BPA-free plastic with a spout shield to prevent contamination
- Comes in a set of two.
Best Sports Water BottleCapacity: 32 fl. oz.
Weight: 6.40 oz.
- BPA free water bottle made with Tritan copolyester.
- Dust-proof, leak-proof dishwasher safe bottle with one click open lid.
- Comes with a “Hydration for Athletes” free guide
- Backed by 100% Satisfaction Guarantee warranty.

Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water BottleCapacity: 12-24 fl. oz.
Weight: 7.68 – 12.1 oz.
- Double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle.
- Keeps contents cold for up to 24 hours and hot up to 6 hours.
- Resistant to residual flavors
- Standard mouth, with other cap options also available.
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.
Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel BottleCapacity: 20 fl. oz.
Weight: 12.0 oz.
- Double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle with best-in-class insulation – more than 36 hours for cold liquids and 12 hours for hot liquids
- Large opening, with other cap options also available
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.
Swig Savvy Stainless Steel Insulated Water BottleCapacity: 24-32 fl. oz.
Weight: 12 oz. for 24 fl.oz.
- Stainless steel water bottle with wide-mouth and leak proof straw cap.
- Double wall, vacuum insulated that can keep contents cold for up to 18 hours and hot up to 4 hours.
- Comes with a carry pouch and carabiner.

Best collapsible soft-case water bottle list

Some of the best collapsible (soft-case) water bottles available in the market are listed below
PictureProductCapacity and weight (fl.oz. and oz.)Features 

Platypus SoftBottleCapacity: 34 fl. oz.
Weight: 1.3 oz.
- High capacity, ultralight, made in the US, water bladder made with BPA, BPS and Phthalate free plastic with ultra-durable liner.
- Ultralight and flexible enough to fit in a pocket.
- Comes with closure cap or push-pull cap.
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.
Nomader Collapsible Water BottleCapacity: 22 fl. oz.
Weight: 7.4 oz.
- Made with soft silicone body and a rigid insulated sleeve.
- Features patented locking twist cap and anti-germ spout cover.
- Maintains shape even when not emptied, and can be collapsed and folded using attached carry strap
- Backed by lifetime manufacturer warranty.
Vapur Element Collapsible Water BottleCapacity: 34 fl. oz.
Weight: 2.1 oz.
- Ultralight, freezer friendly, made in the USA with BPA-free polyethylene & nylon liner.
- Features a flip top cap making it easy to use with single hand.
- Comes with an integrated carabiner.
- Can be shipped to select countries outside the US.
JerryBox Collapsible Sports Water BottleCapacity: 22 fl. oz.
Weight: 5.85 oz.
- Made with BPA free silica-gel
- Features a unique air valve to maintain shape when desired.
- Wide 633 mm mouth with a push-pull cap.
- Backed by 18-month manufacturer warranty
Nalgene Wide-mouth Cantene BottleCapacity: 32 fl. oz.
Weight: 2.08 oz.
- Freezer friendly, made in USA water bladder made from BPA-free plastic.
- Wide-mouth makes it easier to add ice cubes and clean the bottle.
- Leak proof with loop-top cap and gusseted bottom.
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.

Special purpose water bottle list

Some of the best special purpose water bottles available in the market are listed below
PictureProductCapacity and weight (fl.oz. and oz.)Features 

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated FilterCapacity: 23 fl. oz.
Weight: 7. oz.
- Plastic bottle made with BPA-free Tritan copolyester.
- Has a membrane filter that can filter up to 1000 liters of water. 2-stage water filter bottle with carbon capsule that lasts for 100 liters of water.
- Leak proof, comes with drinking spout and a carabiner clip.
- Proceeds from the sales go towards clean water programs around the world.
Katadyn BeFree Water Filter BottleCapacity: 20 fl. oz.
Weight: 3.2 oz.
- Collapsible filter water bottle with a 0.1 micron biological filter that can filter up to 1000 liters (264 gal.).
- Has a high flow rate of about 1 liter per min.
- The unique membrane can be cleaned easily by filling with water and shaking. Does not require back-flushing.
Sawyer Personal Filter BottleCapacity: 34 fl. oz.
Weight: 5.6 oz.
- High capacity filter bottle with 0.1 micron membrane filter that can filter 100,000 liters of water.
- Made with BPA free plastic.
- The bottle comes with a backwash syringe and 2 replacement straws

Camelbak All Clear UV Purifier BottleCapacity: 25 fl. oz.
Weight: 33 oz.
- Unique purifier bottle with a UV bulb which can purify water in 60 sec. and up to 10,000 times.
- The UV system uses a rechargeable batteries that can last up to 80 cycles without recharging.
- Features an LCD screen to indicate water treatment status.
- Backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.
GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier BottleCapacity: 16 fl. oz.
Weight: 10.9 oz.
- Ultralight, perfect purifier bottle for global traveling, which can purify water in 15 seconds by the press of a button.
- The purifier can last up to 300 times (40 gal.)
- Backed by a 10-year warranty.

Why should you prefer a reusable water bottle?

A reusable water bottle has multiple benefits over bottled water and their bottles. The pros and cons of using a reusable water bottle are listed below:

Pros
  • Environment friendly: Using reusable water bottles for storing drinking water is better for the environment, because it reduces the need for manufacturing and disposal of a use-and-throw bottle.
  • More durable: Since reusable water bottles are made from better plastic than bottled-water bottles or stainless steel, they are more durable and reliable.
  • Economical: Over time, the cost of owning reusable water bottle is paid for by the number of reuses. Bottled water tends to be costlier over time. Hence a reusable water bottle gives more bang for the buck over a period of time.
  • Versatile: Bottled-water bottles are generally small-mouth and of standard size. On the other hand, reusable water bottles come in different shapes and sizes – wide-mouth, narrow mouth, straw etc. Moreover, insulated bottles can even manage the temperature of the stored liquid.
  • Healthy and Safe: While the jury is still out on any ill-effects of thin plastic bottled-water bottles, the reusable water bottles tend to be safer (BPA and some other harmful chemicals free). Moreover, you can even get stainless steel options in such bottles.
Cons
  • Heavier: Reusable water bottles tend to be heavier than use-and-throw bottled-water bottles.
  • Higher Initial Investment: Reusable water bottles require a higher upfront investment.
As you can see, there are multiple benefits of going with reusable water bottles. So, unless you are looking for a short term ultralight backpacking trip or minimalist survival, you should always prefer carrying a reusable water bottle over something like Smartwater bottled water.

Water bottle vs. Hydration pack

With the emergence of specialized carry-on-back hydration packs over the past decade, you may be posed the question of carrying a hydration pack or a water bottle as a primary storage reservoir. The major differences between the two options are listed below:

CriteriaWater bottleHydration pack
Ease of useWith water bottles, you would have to stop, drink and put the cap back on. It can be considered a minor inconvenience.Since hydration packs have a sip-as-you-go design with a tube and container, they are more convenient to use.
CapacityCarry-on water bottles have smaller capacity when compared to bladders.You can carry more water in a hydration bladder, making them suitable for longer hikes.
DurabilityMost water bottles are more durable and sturdier.Hydration packs are more susceptible to punctures and leaks.
Temperature ControlInsulated water bottles have better temperature control.Hydration bladders are best suited for normal temperatures.
Water Level MonitoringIt is easier to determine the water levels in a bottle. This is an important factor for long trips.Gauging the level of remaining water is difficult.
MaintenanceWater bottles are easier to clean and maintain.Hydration packs require elaborate cleaning to ensure water does not smell or taste bad.
CostWater bottles are considerably cheaper than hydration packs.Hydration packs are costlier than water bottles.

As you can see from the comparison above, whether you go with the water bottle or a hydration pack for storing water is based on your requirements and preferences. Nevertheless, it is advisable to carry at least one water bottle with you, even if you have a hydration pack, so that you have some water stored securely in case your hydration pack develops a leak.

How to pick the best water bottle for your needs?

With so many options available in the market, picking the best water bottle for your needs can often be a challenging task. There are wide range of options – plastic, stainless steel, even silicone bottles; hard-case and soft-case bottles; in-built filter and purifier bottles and so on.
Since you would need hydration at almost all times and consider the fact that water bottles are not very costly and have a nice return-on-investment over time, it would probably be a good idea to opt for more than one water bottle to meet your different requirements.
In this section, we list out some of the major considerations to keep in mind while picking the best reusable water bottle for your outdoor needs. These major factors are listed below:

  • Primary purpose of the bottle
  • Building material of the bottle
  • Design of the bottle and the cap
  • Capacity and Weight of the bottle
  • Additional Features and Considerations

Primary purpose of the bottle

The first thing you would need to think is the primary purpose for which you plan to get a water bottle. Different types of bottles serve different purposes. Some bottles such as Nalgene Wide-mouth Water Bottle and Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle can serve multiple purposes and fit in multiple environments. But other bottles are generally suitable for more specific uses.
Typically, you should think about the following primary purposes:

  1. Bottle specifically for hiking, backpacking and outdoors: If you are looking for a bottle specific for hiking and backpacking, you are better off by opting for a lightweight plastic bottle such as Nalgene Wide-mouth Water Bottle or an ultralight collapsible bottle such as Platypus SoftBottle. Moreover, as we will see in the future section on bottle design, wide-mouth bottles tend to be more suitable for multi-day outdoor trips because you can add and pour contents easily in them than small or standard mouth bottles.
  2. Access to liquids: How easily can you access the liquid in the bottle is generally governed by how the cap or lid is designed. Screw type bottles provide a leak proof operation, but you would have to spend time in unscrewing the lid. Push-pull or other types of caps provide quicker access to liquid, but may not be as leak proof as the screw type bottles.

    Nowadays, even wide-mouth bottles have spouts which can be operated with a single hand. We even have unique auto-seal bottles such as AVEX Brazos Autoseal Water Bottle which provide auto seal lid. Off course, more complicated cap design means more failure points and hence you may find bottles with complicated caps not as durable as standard water bottles.

  3. Types of liquids: If you are primarily looking for a bottle for storing water, then plastic hard case and collapsible soft-case bottles. However, if you plan to use it for other types of liquids such as flavored water, juices etc. then you can consider stainless steel bottles, as they do not pick up taste considerably, though you may get a friendly metallic taste at times.
  4. Temperature control: If you are fine with a bottle that can store water at normal temperatures then you can go with standard bottles. However, if you are looking for temperature maintenance such as keeping contents cold or hot for extended periods of time then you would have to opt for insulated water bottles such as Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle and Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle. It is worth mentioning that due to double walls and insulation, such bottles weigh considerably more than standard plastic bottles.
  5. Building material of the bottle

    The building material of the bottle is a major consideration for the most suitable water bottles for outdoor activities. Common outdoor friendly bottles can be made from – plastic, stainless steel or soft silicone. The most popular and commonly used material for standard water bottles is plastic. Plastic is durable, malleable and lightweight. However, many studies in recent times have found some ill-effects of plastics such as high estrogenic activity due to BPA, BPS, and Phthalates used in making plastics. Moreover, even food grade BPA free plastic bowls are found to contain traces of lead- another dangerous chemical.

    While the jury is still out on the effects of plastic, you can take some basic safeguards to prevent these chemicals from leaching into your contents such as not overheating plastic bottles, hand washing bottles rather than using dishwashers and discarding bottles when they become scratched or old. Still, if you want to be conservative about using plastic bottles, you can opt for stainless steel bottles such as Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle and Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle or chemically inert silicone collapsible bottles such as Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle and Vapur Element Collapsible Water Bottle. The metallic water bottles are however heavier than plastic water bottles.

    Another factor to consider is to choose between hard-case bottles vs soft-case collapsible bottles. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Rigid, hard-case bottles are generally more durable, leak proof and easy to drink with as they maintain the shape even when half-filled. Moreover, hard-case bottles work well with common water filters. However, collapsible bottles are more transportable and generally lighter than hard-case bottles. Collapsible bottles such as Platypus SoftBottle are especially ultralight and hence can be used as backup water reservoirs. If you can opt for more than one water bottle, then definitely consider getting a collapsible bottle as a back-up.

    Design of the bottle and the cap

    The design of the bottle and the cap, mouth or lid is another factor to consider while picking the best options. After all, you are going to use your bottle as a reservoir that is convenient to use.
    There are two broad options for the bottle mouths – wide-mouth such as Nalgene Wide-mouth Water Bottle or Nalgene Wide-mouth Cantene Bottle and narrow-mouth bottles such as Platypus SoftBottle. Wide-mouth bottles are easier to fill and pour water out of. They are also easier to clean and more filter-friendly. However, directly drinking from wide-mouth models may be a bit of challenge because of chances of spilling.
    Narrow and standard mouth bottles are very easy to use for direct drinking. Also, except for collapsible soft bottles such as Platypus SoftBottle and Vapur Element Collapsible Water Bottle, the mouth of even these bottles is wide enough to add ice cubes.

    Because of these features, you should consider getting a wide-mouth bottle if you are planning for a multi-day trip and you would be filling and emptying the bottle several times. If you are just looking for a water-reservoir for a single day trip, you can opt for narrow-mouth bottles. Furthermore, most of the models listed above offer models with different mouth sizes.
    These days, many wide-mouth bottle bottles have special spouts that can be opened with one hand. Such bottles thus offer the best of both worlds. Moreover, we have some straw bottles such as CamelBak eddy Water Bottle, which provide the convenience of drinking from a straw without any chances of spilling. Such bottles are especially suitable for kids, but unless you are habituated to drinking from straws, you would find such bottles cumbersome to use and maintain.

    Capacity and Weight of the bottle

    The capacity of the bottle is largely a matter of your preference, purpose, and weather. After all, you should drink more than 100 fl.oz. of liquids during a day in the outdoors. Generally, any bottle with more than 25 fl.oz. is a decent size reservoir to have. If you have weight constraints and you have ample water sources available in your trail, you can opt for a smaller water bottle in the interest of lighter weight that you have to carry.
    Closely associated with the capacity of the bottle is the weight of the bottle. As discussed above, stainless steel and insulated bottles such as Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle tend to be considerably heavier than the standard or collapsible plastic bottles such as Thermos Intak 24 Ounce Hydration Bottle and Nalgene Wide-mouth Water Bottle. Similarly, ultralight Platypus SoftBottle offers an excellent collapsible bottle option when compared to other silicone based bottles such as Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle.
    Also, in case you are looking for a special-purpose bottle with an integrated filter or purifier, you can opt for GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle or Katadyn BeFree Water Filter Bottle which have lesser capacities and are relatively lighter in weight.

    Additional features and miscellaneous considerations

    In addition to the four major factors discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a particular model more suitable for your needs.
    One such feature is the water meter. Most hard-case plastic bottles such as Thermos Intak 24 Ounce Hydration Bottle come with a water meter that can help you to track your daily water intake. Stainless steel water bottles and collapsible bottles do not have such indicators on them.
    Another factor is whether the bottle supports single hand operation. Bottles such as Thermos Intak 24 Ounce Hydration Bottle come with a push-button that makes it easier to operate with one hand. AVEX Brazos Autoseal Water Bottle even boasts of an autoseal lid that automatically seals between sips to eliminate spills and leaks.
    Another consideration is the carabiner, loop cap, carrier ring or strap if any, that comes with the bottle. The Swig Savvy Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle comes with a pouch and a carabiner, making it easy to carry the bottle around. Similarly, Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle and Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle come with a durable loop cap. Another example is the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle which comes with attached carry strap for easy transportation.
    Finally, we have special purpose bottles such as Katadyn BeFree Water Filter Bottle and LifeStraw Go Water Bottle that come with an integrated filter, which can get rid of bacteria and any dissolved impurities that the water may have. The only drawback of these bottles is that they require more maintenance and care.
    You can look at all these features to determine if they make a specific water bottle a better choice for your needs.

    Which are the best water bottles and what our picks are?

    Nalgene Tritan Wide-mouth Water Bottle – Editor’s pick for the best all-purpose water bottle

    best all-purpose water bottle
    Over the years, Nalgene water bottle has been synonymous with water bottles when it comes to an all-purpose water bottle for multi-day outdoor trips. Why else would you see popular tips such as using hot-water filled Nalgene bottles to warm your sleeping bag?
    Nalgene Wide-mouth water bottle is made in the USA, plastic water bottle made with Eastman Tritan copolyester. It is built while maintaining high FDA and EPA standards and is BPA, BPS, and Phthalate free. Moreover, the manufacturing process does not use any lead or other harmful chemicals so the chances of these chemicals leaching into the water are really minimal.
    At 6.25 ounces for 32 fl. oz. bottle, it is very lightweight when compared to some other choices. The wide-mouth makes it easier to pour water in and out. The bottle is temperature friendly and supports temperatures ranging from -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottle along with the cap is dishwasher safe. Moreover, the bottle is marked with milliliters and ounces for easy measurement. This is especially useful, as you can even use the bottle has a measuring cup while cooking.
    Nalgene water bottles are backed by limited lifetime manufacturer warranty. What this means is that if there are any manufacturing defects in the bottle, you can get it serviced or replaced by the manufacturer throughout its life.

    For its diverse utility, excellent quality and popularity, the Nalgene Tritan wide-mouth water bottle is our Editor’s choice for the best all-purpose water bottle in the market. You should definitely have one of these bottles in your gear list.
    Pros
    • The most popular all-purpose wide-mouth water bottle made in the US with BPA, BPS, and Phthalate free Tritan plastic with no lead or any other harmful chemicals.
    • Supports both hot and warm liquids (-40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit).
    • Advertised to resist flavor retention of stored liquids, making it suitable for juices and flavored drinks.
    • Backed by limited lifetime warranty.
    Cons
    • Because of its symmetrical, 2.25 inch diameter, it may feel a little big in hands and does not fit the normal cup holders.

    Thermos Intak 24 Ounce Hydration Bottle – Editor’s pick for the best hard-case plastic water bottle

    best hard-case plastic water bottle
    The trademark Thermos has been synonymous with the Insulated bottles over the years, and the Thermos Intak is a worthy plastic addition to the family. The Thermos Intak 24 ounce hydration bottle is an ergonomically designed water bottle which offers an excellent combination of capacity, light weight and durability.
    Each Thermos Intak hydration bottle is made from BPA, BPS and Phthalate free made with Eastman Tritan copolyester plastic, making it safest among the plastic bottles. The Intak bottle comes in 24 fl.oz. capacity and weighs a decent 6.4 ounces, which although not ultralight, is light enough to carry with you on your trips.
    The Thermos Intak has a wide-mouth with a drinking spout. It has a locking leak-proof lid with a one-hand push-button operation, which makes it a convenient choice to drink water even when on the move. The wide-mouth means that you can easily add ice cubes to the bottle and also clean the bottle easily without much fuss.
    It also has a water meter that can help you to track your daily water intake. The bottle has a textured, unique grip making it extremely ergonomic to carry around.
    Each Thermos Intak water bottle is backed by one year warranty. Thermos is a brand with wide coverage. So, the Intak bottle can even be shipped to select countries outside the US.

    For its excellent design and superior performance and durability, the Thermos Intak 24 ounce hydration bottle is Editor’s choice for the best hard-case plastic bottle in the market.
    Pros
    • Ergonomic design, made with BPA, BPS, Phthalate free plastic.
    • Wide-mouth with a drinking spout protected by a locking leak-proof lid.
    • One hand push-button operation.
    • Water meter to track daily water intake.
    Cons
    • Comes in a single size and cap design.

    Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle – Editor’s pick for best stainless steel water bottle

    best stainless steel water bottle
    Picking the best stainless steel bottle for outdoor activities is a tough ask, considering a number of great brands are in the market. Hydro flask stainless steel water bottle closely edges out the popular Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle which is also a great vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle with excellent temperature retention. However Hydro flask stainless steel bottle scores over it because of sleeker design and durability.
    The Hydro Flask bottle is made from best food grade stainless steel with a BPA-free plastic closure cap. Its durable cap makes the bottle last longer than other stainless steel models. The double wall vacuum insulation means that it weighs more than other water bottles at 12.1 ounces for 24 fl. oz. , but it is still lighter than the Klean Kanteen bottle for the same capacity. Its insulation helps temperature retention for up to 24 hours for cold contents and 6 hours for hot contents.
    The Hydro flask stainless steel bottle has a sleek design and has less diameter than the Nalgene or other similar water bottles. The cap or mouth of the Hydro Flask is ergonomically designed for better drinking experience. And it is totally leak proof. Moreover, the bottle is designed to resist retention of flavors, so you would get a fresh, natural taste every time.
    The Hydro flask water bottles come in different sizes and with different mouth sizes. The Hydro Flask Wide-mouth water bottle is one such popular design. Moreover, each Hydro Flask stainless steel bottle is backed by a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects.
    The only complaint that you may have with the Hydro Flask stainless steel water bottle is its cost. You may find it a little costly when compared to some other stainless steel bottles in the market. But trust us, it is worth every penny.

    For its sleek design, excellent performance and unmatched quality and durability, the Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle is Editor’s choice for the best stainless steel water bottle in the market.
    Pros
    • Sleek design with ergonomic mouth and BPA free closure cap.
    • Superior temperature retention for up to 24 hours for cold contents and 6 hours for hot contents.
    • Comes in multiple vibrant colors, shapes and mouth designs.
    • Backed by limited lifetime warranty.
    Cons
    • Costlier than some other stainless steel bottle options.
    • Because of the sleeker metallic surface, may slip at times when using with gloves on.

    Platypus SoftBottle – Editor’s pick for the best collapsible soft-case water bottle

    best collapsible soft-case water bottle
    When it comes to collapsible soft-case bottles, there is no better choice than the ultralight Platypus SoftBottle ( popularly called the Platy) This collapsible bottle is designed to do what all a soft-case bottle should do – lightweight, durable, easy to fill-and-drink and compact to fit in your pocket.
    This high capacity, made in the USA water bladder is made with BPA, BPS, and Phthalate free plastic with ultra-durable liner. It weighs as little as 1.3 ounces for the 34-ounce version and is flexible enough to fit your pocket or purse. This makes it an excellent choice for not only ultralight camping but also air-travel.
    The Platypus SoftBottle comes with closure cap mouth or a push-pull cap mouth. We would recommend that you go with the closure cap mouth as it is more durable and reliable to use in the outdoors.
    The only complaint you may have with the Platy is that it does not generally retain its shape while drinking. Other collapsible bottles such as Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle do a better job at that. But that should not be a major deal breaker, once you get a hang of how to drink from a soft-case bottle.
    Each Platypus water bottle is backed by limited lifetime manufacturing warranty, so you can be sure about the quality and reliability of this collapsible water bottle.

    For its ultralight design, decent durability and simple operation, the Platypus SoftBottle is our Editor’s pick for the best collapsible soft-case water bottle for outdoors.
    Pros
    • Ultralight, made in the USA with BPA free plastic.
    • Durable, yet flexible enough to fit in a pocket or purse.
    • Suitable for ultralight camping and also air-travel.
    • Backed by limited lifetime warranty.
    Cons
    • Does not retain shape when drinking, so needs some getting used to.

    Editor’s pick for the best special purpose water bottle

    As discussed above, water filter and purifier water bottles provide the ability to use your water bottle to access clean water while on go. If you are planning for an overseas travel and want to carry your own purifier, then you can opt for Camelbak All Clear UV Purifier Bottle, though because of its high cost, you are better off using popular bottled water brands.
    Similarly, if you are looking for a bottle with an integrated filter, you can check out the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle as you would find its two-stage filtering process most taste-friendly. But in our opinion, the best solution for filtering water is to get a personal water filter and use the wide-mouth bottles or a Platypus SoftBottle as a reservoir.

    Water bottle Accessories

    In order to carry your water bottle conveniently, you may at times need a carabiner or a carrier that you can attach to your backpack. Most manufacturers offer their own branded carriers. However, you can consider the following generic options in case you need one:

    One of the most important accessories that you need for maintenance of water bottles is a cleaning kit. These cleaning kits and brushes are especially useful for narrow-mouth and collapsible water bottles. If you are looking for cleaning options, you can consider the following items:

    Another closely related accessory is the cleaning tablets. These cleaning tablets are useful to remove build-up residue (mildew) and foul odor and taste from the bottle. Some of the best cleaning tablets available in the market are listed below:

    HELPFUL TIP:Always keep your collapsible bottle clean and dry after use to prevent the formation of mildew in the nooks and crannies. To dry it, inflate the bottle with air and place it upside down so that it dries down quickly.

    Final thoughts on best water bottles

    In this article, we looked at some of the best personal water bottles available in the market to use for outdoors. We primarily looked at three categories or reusable water bottles – standard hard-case water bottles, collapsible water bottles and specialized filter/purifier water bottles. In most cases, you should have a couple of types of water bottles for different situations and purposes. We summarized the benefits of using a reusable water bottle over bottled water and also how water bottles are different from hydration packs. We also looked at some of the factors to consider while selecting the most suitable water bottle for your needs. Do let us know how you found this article and if you would want us to consider anything else. Happy hydrating on you next outdoor trip!!

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    Image credits:Amazon.com

One thought on “Best water bottles for camping, hiking and backpacking in 2017

  1. Those who are regular hikers already know all the latest accessories for hiking. But what I would like to suggest to new hikers is a belt bottle holder, because you might feel awkward in taking in-out the bottle from backpack to drink or refill.

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