I’ve got a major dilemma over here: water bottles. I pack a reusable water bottle for the kids’ lunches every day, but the problem is, most weeks someone’s lunch box comes home soaking wet because the water bottle has leaked. Or, the water is hot by the time lunch rolls around (this is a problem mostly in hot weather obviously). These water bottles aren’t cheap, and I’m tired of “trying” them out. What gives?
OK, here’s what we’ve tried:
1. Thermos: Love the flip top, keeps water ice cold for hours, and easy for little kids to use. Really hard to clean if anything but water is put in it. And this sounds silly but it’s really annoying to put ice in them – it definitely makes a difference when I am making 4 lunches in a morning rush, though. Plus the big kids think it’s a little too “baby” – but I’m sure that’s because we still have character ones. Flipping through the Thermos web site, and I see they have tons of options but they are pricey – is there a “best of the best” Thermos?
2. CamelBak (plastic, 16 oz): Not well insulated at all, but big enough for big kids’ needs. Has leaked several times.
3. Polar Bottle Insulated: Keeps water cold, easy to clean, but this one definitely leaks A LOT.
4. Thinksport: Stainless steel bottle and vacuum seal holds liquids ice cold (or piping hot) for hours. Great for bigger kids and adults but too complicated for the little ones. If the top isn’t screwed on well enough, it will leak. Kind of a pain to clean.
As you can see, I haven’t found the Holy Grail of water bottles. The Thinksport it probably the best for me, but as far as kids’ lunches go, it’s not the perfect one. I really want to hear from you – do you and your kids love their reusable water bottle?? What is it and where did you get it? Surely someone in the Smarty community has found THE perfect water bottle! Let’s hear it!
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I love the ThinkSport for myself although its kinda heavy and sometimes I can’t unscrew the top cap. For the kids my new favorite is the ones you buy at Bed Bath and Beyond (and elsewhere I am sure). They are metal bottles with rubber grips – some have names on them…they have a screw on cap and then another cap to cover the mouthpiece. No leaking and keeps stuff cold.
#1 doesn’t leak however have you found that it’s so heavy? I need a better option, too!
My kids love the #1 bottles…..they have plain ones, with no characters on them. I just love that I don’t have to hand wash them, which isn’t the case with other stainless steel ones we have. They never leak in their lunch boxes.
I love my #2 bottle – same thing, love that it’s dishwasher safe!!
My son is 5 and has been using these bottles for the last couple of years. They are a nice step up from sippy cups, and leaks have not been an issue. My biggest issue with them is that once you run them through the dishwasher, the tops need to air out a little before putting them away to keep mold from developing.
The nalgene works well in my kids lunchboxes (make sure the plastic thing on this lid is in place and it won’t leak). They are sturdy too. I found mine at REI but I think I saw them at Target the other day.
I like the nalgene as well, and use the Thermos. To clean the thermos ones, I use the Camelback cleaning kit that has the little scrubber made to go through the straw. When the cups and sipper parts get gunky, I soak them in a little bit of automatic dishwasher detergent and water and they clean up really nicely. I use that cleaning mixture on the nalgene parts too. And my husband’s Bubba commuter coffee mug! I wish there was something medium sized for grade schoolers that wasn’t huge or didn’t look like a toddler cup! Those Thermos ones are expensive but I think I found a way to keep it maintained and clean at least.
We like number one. I replaced a bunch at the being of the school year and noticed they were slightly different from our older ones. The opening at the top was much wider. The new ones are easier to clean and adding ice isn’t annoying anymore (totally agree about the ice thing on the old ones). I keep I close eye on what comes to school and we haven’t had any leaks with the nalgene and camelback water bottles this year. Same with thermos (unless it isn’t put back together correctly). Other cups/water bottles leak all the time! I haven’t seen anything new and exciting come to class. I’m always on the look out for the next best lunch item.
This Nalgene On The Fly water bottle with the lock is the ONLY one that hasn’t leaked in my children’s backpack. Even if the button is knocked, the metal lock holds the top in place. We also like that you can hook it to the lunchbox (through the handle), so it doesn’t take up room inside. Got ours at Target. They have ones with designs or without, for the older kids.
Thanks for featuring a bottle by Polar Bottle! Did you know we have a 12oz size as well? It’s perfect for kids. We have even customized the graphics to be kid-friendly. You can check them out here: http://www.polarbottle.com/polar-bottle-shop/category/12-oz-series/
Thanks again for the feature!