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Tuesday Tip: 4 Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

Tuesday Tip: 4 Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

Summer heat is on its way, and it’s important to stay hydrated. You could grab a bottle of water at the store, but chances are the bottle will be made of plastic – and the trouble with plastic is well-documented.

Trouble for the planet: Plastic litters our landscapes, oceans and waterways by the kiloton, and plastic bottles are a major contributor to the problem. Around 38 billion non-reusable plastic water bottles are tossed each year.

Trouble for you, personally: Many plastic bottles leach the dangerous hormone disruptor Bisphenol A. You can buy bottles that are BPA-free, yes, but many of them instead contain BPS, BPF or BHPF, which are hormone disruptors that may be just as harmful as BPA.

As CREDO continues to fight for the elimination of BPA and other toxic chemicals like it in our food supply, right now, your best option for a water bottle is a refillable bottle that is not plastic. Here are five different choices from chic to rugged. None contain BPA, BPS, BPF or BHPF.

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask makes over 100 different products in four categories: hydration, coffee, beer and food. Its stainless steel vacuum-insulated bottles come in standard- and wide-mouth versions and in a lot of sporty colors. They’re double-walled to prevent condensation and keep beverages hot or cold. They’re powder-coated to make them easy to grip and they come with a lifetime warranty. The cap has a handle, too, which makes the bottles easy to carry. In 2017, Hydro Flask launched Parks for All, a charitable giving program that supports the development and maintenance of public green spaces in the United States and beyond.

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen boasts a new Climate Lock technology that it says will keep liquids cold up to 100 hours and hot for up to 30 hours. Bottles come in a wide range of sizes, from an 8 ounce tumbler up to a 64 ounce growler. All are stainless steel and insulated. Many of the bottles wear a chip-resistant finish that’s durable and colorful. Drinking spouts are made from food-grade silicone. The company supports a variety of nonprofits dedicated to causes like cleaning up plastic pollution, advocating for safe consumer products, and protecting and preserving wild places.


If you’re looking for a good glass bottle, look into Lifefactory. The bottles have a medical-grade silicone sleeve to make them easy to hold and a wide mouth to accommodate ice, fruit slices, tea bags and whatever else you might like to put in your water. All components are made in the United States or Europe, and the bottles are assembled here. Baby and toddler bottles are also available as well as food-storage containers for your fridge.


High-design “hydration accessories” come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. There are the nine, 12 and 40 ounce versions. There are bottles in floral prints by Liberty London. All of them keep your water or other liquids hot or cold. All are triple-walled stainless steel with a copper layer to prevent condensation and keep your bottle from sweating in your bag. S’well is a partner of UNICEF USA and has committed $800,000 since 2015 to help provide clean water to the world’s vulnerable communities.

49 Comments on “Tuesday Tip: 4 Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

    • Hydro Flask: No. It’s also not a good idea to wash in hot water. The heat can affect the insulation, as well as the powder coating. Instead, use warm water and a bottle brush.
      Klean Kanteen: Some are, some are not. Generally, painted and/or insulated bottles are recommended for hand washing in warm (not hot) water with a brush.
      Lifefactory: Yes.
      S’well: No.

      All of the bottles mentioned above have detailed cleaning instructions at their websites.

    • Klein Kanteen is dishwasher safe. Mine came with o-rings in the caps that wriggled out after ten years or so. Not having them has NOT led to leakage. I carry mine (1 each day) in my office briefcase. I walk my neighborhood; I don’t hike for hours; so generally I don’t carry water. If I did, an arrangement with a landyard attached to the bottle and a windbreaker with an inside pocket would work. In the current heat, either a lanyard (around one’s neck) or a carabiner (attached to a belt) will hold the bottle as it is tucked into a big pocket of a pair of shorts

  1. Thanks so much.
    I wish Credo would take one month’s donations to non-profits and combine them all to give a big donation to help the current border crisis. Kids.

  2. Great suggestions! If only the large store chains and supermarkets would stop selling plastic bottles!

    • I think that is happening in some states. If you want to know how bad the problem is, read Donovan Hohn’s Moby-Duck (2011, Penguin Books). The whole world has to walk away from its mentality of “disposable” products. The apparently “cheap” cost of disposable plastics, and the absence of decent trash collection in many countries in East and Southeast Asia means that plastics are used and dumped wherever it’s convenient for the user. That might be the local stream.

  3. Thank you for getting this problem out to the masses. It’s a travesty to see how plastic is ruining our oceans, lakes, and lands. We need more alternatives. I remember when plastic was going to be a life saver for everyone. Now it’s comeback to bit us in the ass. Please keep up the good work trying to get people to change there habits and stop using plastic all together. It will take time, but it can be done!

  4. Do any fit in bicycle bottle cage and have easy to sip opening suitable for drinking while cycling?

    • Hydro Flask makes a line of bottles specifically for cycling. So does Klean Kanteen, which also sells cages for its bottles. Lifefactory doesn’t make any of its glass bottles specifically for cycling but some should fit in a cage. All have a silicone sleeve for easy gripping. S’well does have a “sport” line but none with a flip cap.

  5. Great ideas! Thank you- I only wish that the e-mail addresses of these valuable products were also listed for convenience sake.

  6. Thanks, great collection of alternatives! Sadly, I tend to give water bottles to the universe (i.e., lose them), so I try to hunt down high-quality ones in thrift shops or on sale.

  7. These are all good choices I will be looking out for him thank you! I used to be a customer of yours I just can’t afford it right now!

  8. This is all fine and good but these water bottles are not biodegradable so they just add to the garbage landfills when people are tired of the pretty wrappers around the bottle. It helps but not enough. We need something that will totally break down and do no harm.

  9. How do I make the water that comes out of my tap clean? Do you have a green way to do that because I do spend a lot of money on bottled water.

    • Go online to check out a water system called Life Source. It’s for the whole house, can include the garden and a way to soften hard water, which eats away at pipes. No filter to change, no maintenance at all! The system lasts for about 15 years, I think. I know people who have had it for about 10 yrs. and love it! So good to know you can drink your tap water, too. It filters out so much, even chloride!

  10. I was told Klean Kanteen metal for the tumblers were made in China…..I will NOT buy them even when sold my American company. I will find out where the other products are made before I buy….

  11. Hi,
    Thanks for this.
    What about Nalgenes? They made the switch to BPA-free. Do they have some of those other harmful chemicals?

  12. I wish that the reviews noted whether or not the products have plastic lids. If drinking out of plastic bottles is such a bad idea and stainless steel and glass are both good for bottles, then why is plastic still okay for the lids? This seems especially problematic for the lids with a built-in plastic straw, intended for hot liquids.
    Maybe some of these products have lids that aren’t plastic, but the Web sites don’t seem to mention one way or the other.
    Does anybody make non-plastic bottles with silicon seals and zero contact between the contained fluids and plastic? If not, then these bottles cost a lot for the benefit of merely REDUCING contact with plastic. Somebody ought to eliminate it.

  13. I have a hydra flask and totally love it…it keeps water cold and coffee hot…can’t live without it and I don’t buy bottled water anymore…feels good…

  14. I’ve been using my pair of Klein Kanteen water bottles for years. Each one wears a custom-made sock that improves its already awesome insulation. We should do away with plastic bottles and give every kid a Klein Kantean on their sixteenth birthday, in a solemn ceremony that makes them accountable as a Planetary Steward.

  15. Are there any that allow users to freeze water. I generally freeze my water in plastic water bottles, carry them with me in my car in a thermal lined pouch and then let them melt during the day to supply me with ice cold water all during the day.

    • With a Kleen Kanteen you don’t need to freeze your water. Also, water expands as it freezes, so sooner or later the pressure of the freezing process might CSU’s a plastic bottle to leak. I fill my Klein Kanteen with ice cubes and water. Since the ice cubes stay largely frozen throughout the day, I keep refilling the water.

  16. Left out of your article is the weight of each bottle. A heavy container isn’t practical to carry when walking or running.

    • It’s not so much the bottle that’s heavy as the water itself. I believe that a cubic yard of water weighs a ton. And it takes only about six inches of water in, say, a flash flood to knock an average person off their feet. My 20-oz. Klean Kanteen, full of ice and water and clad in its sock, weighs about two pounds.

  17. These all look great, but what is still needed are good reusable water bottles for people who can’t afford these. What about a good $10 bottle?

    • A very affordable alternative is glass. Buy a 6 pack of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, or Tonic Water. Costs $4-6 for six, 12 ounce bottles. Drink, rinse,and use them till you lose them. They can be recycled like other beverage bottles.

  18. In my experience, Kleen Kanteen is very heavy when filled with water. How do the others compare?

  19. Thank you for the information. I may discard several plastic drinking bottles I now own and replace them. What about aluminum drinking bottles? Are they healthy too?

  20. The question is where are these 4 options made? I have a hard time finding anything not made in China, I wouldn’t buy anything made in that chemical wasteland.

  21. I found your article over the Internet and I was seriously surprised how you can represent every little thing in a very good manner, which can be helpful for all of us.Thanks for sharing

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