Water Bottle Buying Guide

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Sure, you can read an article that’ll give you a list of the best water bottles, but:

But how do you know they’re truly the best? First, you’ll need to know the various features that make one water bottle stand above the rest in its category.


No one wants to haul extra weight. You’ll need a lighter bottle to avoid exceeding your luggage weight limits. Moreover, a lightweight bottle removes unnecessary weight from your backpack while hiking.


Materials used are one of the most essential factors in choosing the best water bottle. For starters, you’ll want to avoid any bottles that have bisphenol A (BPA). Bottles with BPA plastics can leech from your bottle and into your water, potentially causing future ailments.

Other water bottle materials you can choose from include:

  • Plastic (BPA-free): your lightest option, but not recommended for dishwasher use
  • Metal (aluminum or stainless steel): most durable, but you may notice a faint metallic taste; moreover, if you’re in hot weather and your bottle isn’t insulated, you’ll find your water hotter
  • Glass: the heaviest yet healthiest option due to being made from natural materials that won’t leak into your beverage


Because a water bottle costs more doesn’t mean it’s the best. Compare the bottle’s materials, insulation, weight, and other features to determine whether the company’s giving you the value you want.


Manufacturers sometimes line the insides of their bottles with methods like double-wall insulation. With this type of insulation, the insides of your water bottles have two steel walls separated by a vacuum. Because of this, your bottle will have a barrier to prevent heat transfer, resulting in drinks that stay warm or cold for hours.

The downsides to insulated bottles include additional weight and less space for beverages. However, if you prefer drinks at your ideal temperature, then you may want to sacrifice a bit of weight and space.


Will you want to fit your bottle in a water bottle sleeve on your backpack? Or, will you frequently store your bottle in your vehicle’s cup holder? Measure the size of your bottle to ensure that you’ll have a good fit. Otherwise, you will either have a wasted bottle holder or water sloshing around your vehicle.

If the size doesn’t matter, consider a durable lid that’ll allow you to clip your bottle onto a carabiner.

Lid Type

Water bottles have different types of lids that serve different purposes.

With each lid type, you’ll also want to consider lids with clips. Not only do clips make it easier to hold your bottle, but the bottle allows you to connect it to a carabiner if needed.

Sports cap

Sports caps come in a couple of variations—with spouts or nozzles. Nozzles are thick and short straws, whereas spouts act as an even shorter straw. Both versions make it easier to squirt or drip beverages.

Unfortunately, with nozzles and spouts, you’ll find them a lot harder to clean. Moreover, it’s easier for gunk or other unpleasant smells to accumulate on the pieces of the lid.

Screw Top

The name says it all. With these lids, you screw them off the top to drink your water. They’re the easiest to clean, and they have wide mouths, which makes it easier to gulp water and splash it on yourself.

To make your lives easier when cleaning these bottles, try to find lids with large ridges. That way, it’s easier for you to clean whatever accumulates inside your bottles.


After considering the water bottle lid type, you’ll want to figure out what material you need. If you intend on strapping your bottle to a carabiner, I recommend buying a stainless steel lid. However, if that doesn’t matter, you’ll want to stick to a BPA-free plastic lid, which is the most common.

Travel Water Bottle Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you better understand water bottles, you’ll need to answer various questions. Explore these frequently asked questions about travel water bottles to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Can I Bring a Water Bottle on My Flight?

The TSA only allows you to bring an empty water bottle past the checkpoint. However, once you pass the checkpoint, you can fill the bottle and bring it on your flight.

What Is the Healthiest Water Bottle To Drink From

As long as the water bottle doesn’t leak BPA or other harmless chemicals, it’s healthy. However, glass water bottles are the healthiest to drink from. That’s because they’re dishwasher safe, don’t contain any metals, and don’t have any way to have your water leach contaminants from the bottle.

Will Water Bottles Explode in Luggage?

Air pressure will not cause your water bottle to explode, so it is safe to pack in your luggage. However, baggage handlers may toss your luggage, which could lead your bottle to explode.

That’s why I recommend packing an empty water bottle. If, for some reason, you must pack a full bottle, store it inside a waterproof and sealed bag.

What Size Water Bottle Can I Take On a Plane

The TSA doesn’t specify a specific size or material for allotted water bottles. Because of this, it’s safe to bring any size reusable water bottle onto a plane. However, you will need to ensure it doesn’t break your carry-on weight limit. Moreover, you must make sure it’s empty until you cross the TSA security checkpoint.

Before you book your ticket, you should check with your airline to see whether they have restrictions on water bottles.

What Happens to a Water Bottle on an Airplane?

Nothing will happen to a reusable water bottle on an airplane. Therefore, you can bring any water bottle into the plane.

Don’t Waste Your Time With Crappy Water Bottles

Whether you’re here because you need the best travel water bottle, or you’re a non-traveler who appreciates quality vessels, these water bottles will do their job.

Not only does choosing a water bottle based on my shopping guide save you money on bottled water, but it’ll prevent you from having to waste money on a new bottle in the future.

If you’re building your arsenal of travel products or need more recommendations for well-built products, explore my other guides.

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