You cannot fault its rather simplistic name as gimmickry; the CamelBak® Better Bottle really looks like it is a better bottle. Made from a new plastic called Eastman Tritan™, these bottles are safe for cold or hot liquids, they hold up just fine in the dishwasher and they are very impact resistant. The Better Bottles are BPA-free, so whichever side of that argument you fall on, you will not have to worry about it with these. They also do not contain any phthalates, which is an additive used to make some plastics more pliable.
The advantages of the Better Bottle don’t end with its construction. They are available in 17, 25 and 34 ounce sizes, with four different types of lids. The 90-degree twist top lid free-flows when open, just like a traditional sports bottle (i.e. you can squeeze the bottle for a refreshing shower!). The “money lids” in my opinion, though, are the two bite valve lids. I have been using bite valves on hydration packs for years and they are very convenient, because you can take a drink with one hand and they do not leak when you are not drinking from them. As you can see in the picture, the soft rubber valve opens when it is squeezed – which you can easily do with your teeth.
These bottles come in all kinds of different colors, which the kids really like. It also makes them easy to find, when the kids leave them somewhere! We have our brood equipped with the half-liter version, which is the standard size that bottled water comes in. I still use a hydration pack so that I can refill everybody, if need be. And maybe best of all, we’re no longer packing a case of bottled water with us on our camping trips.
Tough construction, a cool loop for clipping onto a carabiner and a bite valve for easy one-hand drinking; The Better Bottle really is a better bottle.
Are you still using bottled water on your camping and hiking trips?
I can take the plastic smell. I’m concerned about the potential harmful chemicals that could be leaching out of the plastic and into the liquids I’m drinking.
That’s for sure – my Coleman coffee maker has a glass carafe and I’m just sure I’m going to break it one of these days! I’m just not very sensitive to the plastic smell – probably due to my Army days. Any water without chlorine tablets is a bonus – heh!
Hi Roy – I’m considering getting one of those aluminum bottles. I still use plastic bottles when hiking, but I’ve switched to using well-washed glass juice jars for the water I drink in the car. (Gotta be careful with glass though)
Hey John – I do think that the CamelBak’s have a plastic smell to them, but my sensitivity to the smell could be completely different from yours.
You could always skip the plastic altogether and go with a Sigg – those are awesome (albeit $20) water bottles and all aluminum.
I’ve been increasingly concerned about plastic containers and the potential health risks from chemicals that can leach from them into their contents.
Although it’s not scientific, I like to use the sniff test. Do the camel bottles have an odor?
In response to your main question, I never drink bottled water. I drink the tap water from my house, or water from the springs at the headwaters of the Upper Sacramento River in Mount Shasta City Park.
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