A review of filtering water bottles.

June 28, 2011 § 17 Comments

Upon hearing of Brita’s new filtering water bottle, I pounced on my laptop to internet-ninja my way to the best version of the product. I am fully committed to reading customer reviews prior to purchasing… well, now that I think about it, anything. If you have a smart phone you can look up reviews of most products while you’re in a store, and if you don’t you can find a customer computer and do the same (this is true for more stores than I thought). I think it’s a pretty rewarding habit and relates to informed consumership overall. If you can afford to invest in and maintain a well-functioning water filter, DO IT. I’d have to write another post to cover the full rationale explaining why, but this little FAQ is a place to start, and here the carcinogenic effects of chlorine are discussed. I found those sources hastily, but their central points are well researched and generally true.

Drinking water often is undoubtedly essential to good health and municipal water is not reliable. We are obviously privileged to have access to the water that we have, and I do not mean to suggest that our water isn’t “worth drinking” and I definitely am not advocating plastic bottles of water. No. I’d take a questionable drinking fountain (bubbler, for you weirdos) over a plastic water bottle any day. If you’re not on that train yet, check out this article. Not convinced? Here’s another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another. Anyway.

Usually which product is the best choice becomes clear fairly quickly, but I ended up spending more time sifting through reviews and websites than I normally need to on my quest for a filtering water bottle. Blog post time? YESSA. Here’s what I found:

1. Ecoflo’s stainless steel beauty.
Price: $40, Fluid capacity: 27oz BPA-free: N/A, but yeah

This bottle has only seven reviews on Amazon, but they are consistent, which is telling. This is a good option if you don’t need to drink from it often, because although it does it’s filtering job well — it’s too difficult to suck the water up. Appropriate for a day where you’d only be filling the bottle once anyway (although you could just fill a regular reusable bottle with filtered water from home) but probably not best for a person who drinks a lot of water throughout the day. Another con: you cannot return the product.
My verdict: Lazy lips, do not want.

2. Bobble’s shapely bubble thingy bottle.
Price: $7-$14, Fluid capacity: 13oz, 18.5oz, 34oz BPA-free: Yes

At first I thought I’d found The One, as Bopple’s option came with an average review of 4/5 stars from over 100 reviews. But upon digging into the 1-star reviews I came across several lamentations on the quality of the plastic, reports of breakage, and the reviewer ITguru wrote, “I bought this product base on this review and I did 2 simple test and they both failed. I checked the PPM and it only dropped .01. That means it’s not filtering anything. Then I did a test anyone can do. Add some dirt or salt. It should filter ALL of it and decrease the life of the filter, but still FILTER it. It failed dirt and salt all went through. FAIL product, nice idea. Save your money and just buy a normal water bottle as they are exactly the same.” I disagree with the very last bit…but, this reviewer, ITguru, has written positive 5-star reviews for two other products, so I gather that s/he isn’t around just to complain and, for me, that lends a teeny bit of credibility to someone who is otherwise a stranger. Too bad, because I liked the look of this one and the price worked.
My verdict: No workie? No buyie.

3. The Clear2GO Bottle.
Price: $10, Fluid capacity: 24oz BPA-free: Yes

The reviews on the Clear2GO are diverse, but some helpful points are reiterated if you read enough of them. Sometimes leaky, and sometimes requires squeezing for a successful sip. One group of people swear the thing doesn’t leak but is hard to drink from, while others report the opposite. I figure the bottles may not be produced consistently, or people are dumb. Both seem possible. You can’t find the product on the company’s website, but it is available on Amazon.
My verdict: Too unsure, do not want.

4. That Brita bottle you keep seeing an ethnocentric commercial for.
Price: $10, Fluid capacity: 24oz BPA-free: Yes

I’m not going to waste your time or mine: this thing leaked on too many people to be worth ordering. Read ’em for yourself here.
My verdict: Pffft.

5. Power Bottle USA’s 80s I’ll-just-pretend-it’s-ironic-design.
Price: $10, Fluid capacity: 20oz BPA-free: Yes

This bottle looks sort of lame in my opinion, but didn’t have any 1 or 2-star reviews, out of 19. And of the two 3-star reviews that were submitted, not much was said other than that it takes more effort to drink from than one would hope. After reading so many reviews of various bottles, I’m sure that any filtering water bottle is going to be harder to drink from than a non-filtering one. The company is proud to produce the bottles in the United States, if that means something to you (in either direction). The 4 and 5-star reviewers are adamant that the bottle is efficient, leak-proof, and worth the money. The website is sort of dated, like the bottle itself, so I’d order from Amazon.
My verdict: Maybe.

6. CamelBak’s awkwardly named Groove bottle.
Price: $25, Fluid capacity: 20oz BPA-free: Yes

Based on my experiences I feel comfortable writing that REI customers provide reliable reviews. They dig the Groove. I think this bottle is low profile, which I prefer, and I have solid long-lasting loving relationships with my two other Camelbak products. Most of the few customers who did report some dissatisfaction still responded “Yes” to REI’s Bottom Line question, “Would recommend this to a friend?”
My verdict: Yes plz.


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§ 17 Responses to A review of filtering water bottles.

  • Elise says:

    About to purchase that Camelback one because I feel the same way about their products. Thanks for all of the internet review sleuthing dirty work!

  • elana says:

    I say get a water filter in the home, so you can enjoy filtered water when cooking, washing produce and showering. You can even do it all together like Kramer!
    I really love Klean Kanteen. Somehow knowing it is stainless steel and not plastic is comforting. It is mysterious even if a company is slapping on a bpa free claim because that is what customers want to hear, or even if the “other plastic” is really that much better for us. Additionally, filling up a bottle from a big water cooler is ris-que if the water sits in polycarbonate plastic.

  • FYI. « home says:

    […] was going to amend my original post reviewing filtering water bottles, but thought this would be easier (read: I’m lazy and […]

  • Marco says:

    Wow, a review where you didn’t actually try any of the products? You must be getting paid by the word to add worthless content to the internet! Good job of that here!

    • Yo Marco, I think you missed the point being that I was summarizing reviews for others so that they don’t have to do that consumer research on their own. In other words, if anyone wants to buy a filtering water bottle and likes to read reviews (Did you know many consumer products are REVIEWED online?! It’s true! Holy technology, huh?) I tried to do some of the legwork for them.

      But if you insist on calling my content worthless, you’ve GOTTA admit that your comment is in itself pretty worthless.

  • Qing says:

    I was looking for a comparison of all the filtering water bottles, and you’re the only one I found on google! Thanks so much, I think I’m going to buy the camelbak one.

  • asaiah says:

    Might want to check out http://www.clearlyfiltered.com

    There’s a couple more options there that may be better!

    I use this plastic one everyday and I love it: http://www.clearlyfiltered.com/products/filtered-water-bottle/

    Same filter as the Ecoflow bottle, but you can squeeze it which really helps.

    Thanks for the great review!

  • Anonymous says:

    Good research for its time, but all of this has now been surpassed by the Aquagear water filtration bottle.

  • Anonymous says:

    My wife bought a CamelBak and the nipple is constantly getting black from the filter. We changed out the filter (thinking it was faulty) and got the same results. So I’m researching another one for her.

  • Kirsten says:

    You should consider the new Nubo Gen II bottle … doesn’t leak, looks great, AND you don’t have to suck the water out through the filter! The best on the market. It is brand new but maybe next time you could include it in your research.

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