View Full Version : nalgene H20 bottles

2003-07-07, 00:13
I was just wondering what the big deal is with these bottles. I bought one just because they seem to be the big craze in the hiking/backpacking world and I don't see what the big deal is. I would rather have a plain ol' H20 bottle that some spring water came in ($.60). It's lighter and probably more durable. I can't see many oz. counters thinking that a lexan bottle is a good choice.

Am I missing some special feature that makes em' worth 8 or more of my hard hearned dollars?

2003-07-07, 00:38
Lexan is strong but I think most people have bought them because its the in thing to do.Like you said they are heavier than spring water bottles,gatorade bottles etc . one thing about the gatorade bottles is they have a wider mouth than soda,water type bottles making them good for mixing powdered drinks etc.I do carry a 1L platypus bottle for backup ,it only weighs one ounce and folds up very small and its also very strong!!I do think there is one other legit reason alot of people buy the Nalgene bottles is they prolly have tried some cheaper plastic bottles that get that nasty taste that never seems to go away.but lexan dont get that taste.Ive never had the bad taste with gatorade,soda,water bottles before so they are still my first choice. Streamweaver

2003-07-07, 06:01
I understand the gatorade bottles. They are my bottle of choice as well. I use a water bladder also. I usually get a piece of paper and roll it up to make a funnel if I only have a small mouth bottle. It works pretty well for mixing powders. I have noticed that if you "play" with the bottle a lot that the plastic will start to separate into layers. This takes quite a bit of massaging though and I've only done it with some water bottles never a gatorade bottle.

2003-07-07, 08:52
I see them being most usefull in the winter. If (when) a Nalgene bottle freezes, you can open it up and crack through the ice which forms on top. That's the big advantage over a disposable bottle.

Also, the OR foam insulator covers do work prtetty good in the winter. Either to keep water from freezing or to keep your tea/cocoa warm.

If I slept with a bottle of how water in my sleeping bag, I would have more confidence with a Nalgene bottle than with anything else. Having any bottle leak in your bag on a winter hike would suck.

Finally, if you have big feet, a Nalgene bottle (empty or not) inserted in your boot at night will allow you to get your foot in the next AM after your boots freeze solid.

I the summer, I don't really see the point though.

FWIW, In China you see people carrying tea in thier knock-off Nalgene Bottles everywhere. Too bad they aren't all made in Rochester, NY (Says an ex Flower/Flour City Resident)

Rick B

2003-07-07, 22:59
Nalgene bottles are light (not ultralight)
Durable (Virtually unbreakable... Ive seen one fall over 200 ft down off a rock wall without cracking)
Freezable (no worries about it exploding if you keep it in an exposed area in winter which is nasty if it gets your clothes wet, potentially deadly if it is your only water carrier)
Boilable (ever try and pour boiling water into an Aquafina bottle? Ever try and thaw an aquafina in boiling water?)
Non-Odor accumulting
the only water bottle I trust in my S.B...

I carry two...

2003-07-08, 02:01
Originally posted by snowsurfin951
I would rather have a plain ol' H20 bottle that some spring water came in ($.60). It's lighter and probably more durable.

Am I missing some special feature that makes em' worth 8 or more of my hard hearned dollars?
if ya think the spring water bottle is more durable, then yes, you're missing a lot.

2003-07-08, 11:16
I recommend the polyethylene Nalgenes over the Lexan ones. The Lexan ones are stiffer and don't expand, so temperature changes sometimes cause them to leak. They are also heavier. I have had polyethylene Nalgene bottles break when they are 20 years old - they get brittle and develop cracks. I do love them for winter hiking and wouldn't use anything else.

2003-07-08, 14:59
Here is an article on this issue:

Bottle Test Results Will Not Leave Mouth Watering
Reusing Water Bottle Can Leave Mouthful Of Bacteria
Becky Thompson

POSTED: 4:16 p.m. EDT May 16, 2003
UPDATED: 5:30 p.m. EDT May 16, 2003

PITTSBURGH -- Bottled water is a $6.5 billion business.

Most people like the product because it's something clean and healthy to drink.

But how many times have you refilled an empty water bottle?

The water in those bottles can be unhealthy. In fact, it can be downright disgusting.

Channel 11's consumer reporter Becky Thompson investigated how refilling a water bottle can leave you with a mouthful of harmful bacteria.

At the Oxford Health Club, many people use bottled water and use the same water bottle for weeks.

"I'll keep it until it breaks," club member Rich McMillen said, laughing.

"How long have you had your bottle?" Thompson asked.

"Three months," McMillen responded.

McMillen is one of several people at the club who never gave refilling an unclean water bottle a second thought.

"How many times in a week do you think that bottle is refilled?" Thompson asked.

"Probably four times a day so 20 times," McMillen said.

"Do you think there's anything in there besides water?" Thompson asked.

"I'm sure there is, but I probably don't want to know," McMillen said.

Channel 11 offered to give McMillen a new clean bottle of water and test his along with those belonging to two other gentlemen.

"How old is your bottle?" Thompson asked.

"I have no idea," member Chris Faber said.

Member Don Kerrish adds a little PowerAde to the water in his dirty bottle every workout for extra hydration -- and, as Channel 11 suspects, to make that bacteria taste a little better.

"Why do you want to use the same one a lot? Are you attached to it?" Thompson asked.

"It's just convenient. I put it in my gym bag it's there throw it in my car," Kerrish said, laughing.

Channel 11 took all three bottles to a laboratory for testing. The same test that is done for water companies to determine if the stuff coming out of their tap meets the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's standard for drinking water were performed on the bottles.

Two out of three bottles did not meet the DEP's standard for drinking water.

Kerrish's undrinkable mixture of water and PowerAde was one of them.

Channel 11 showed Kerrish the test results.

"Does (the) water meet DEP's standard?" Thompson asked.

"No, (it contains) fecal coli form. That's terrible. Oh, great," Kerrish said.

"What are you going to do now, Don?" Thompson asked.

"That which does not kill you makes you stronger," Kerrish replied.

Kerrish says he's going to get a new bottle more often.

It was McMillen's bottle that was contaminated with bacteria 114 times the recommended level -- leaving one to wonder what else had found its way into this bottle.

"For some strange reason your (test) shot through the roof when it came to bacterial counts," Thompson said.

"Uh, yes, compared to everyone else's. That's not good. That's not good," McMillen said.

Only Faber's reused water bottle had water in it that met state drinking standards.

"Emptying the bottle, I think, between workouts (helped)," Faber said.

"Did it completely dry when you emptied it?" Thompson asked.

"Probably not," Faber responded.

With the chances that the bottles you refill can eventually make you sick, spend that extra $1.50 to get a new bottle. Or simply wash it with soap and water.
Copyright 2003 by Wpxi.com. All rights reserved. This material

Zero Day
2003-07-08, 15:56
Isn't that what the Iodine is for?

2003-07-09, 13:40
I have to admit... I am terribly attached to my polyethelyene nalgene. I have an older one that is all scratched up, and has the cougar on the side. It is the first piece of "real" backpacking gear I ever owned, and has therefore been on every trip into the backwoods I have ever taken. so I guess I hang on to it for sentimental reasons. I can't imagine not having it. It would be like deliberately leaving my pack or knife or sleeping bag at home.


2003-07-11, 21:36
Well, I just got back from a 4 day hiking/camping trip to western MD and have to say that the Nalgene (Lexan) got a lot more of a work out than I thought it would. I mostly used the camel bak pouch, but did mix my coolaid in the nalgene. I didn't know there were 2 types of Nalgene. I thought they were all lexan. That's the type I got. I would never imagine freezing anything in it. I would put hot stuff in it though.

As far as that "test" goes I don't recall seeing any data on camel bak type pouches that have been used all week without being steralized or even a test on nalgene. I think if you leave water in any container bacteria is bound to build up. There was also not a study on how often those indviduals got sick compared to people who do not refill bottles.

I usually stop and get a bottle on my way to work and usually just use it for that 12 hours and get a new one the next day. When I was in Bahrain (deployed) last year, I used the same bottle for about a month and never got sick. So, I'm not taking that bacteria study too seriously.