“In the absence of investment and maintenance [in drinking fountains], many people fill the void by hauling around their own personalized infrastructure,” she tells us. “If you need a cup of water, you have to find a store, wait in line, and buy something you don’t want.If you walk into a store to just ask for water without buying something, some stores may discriminate against certain races or types of people.” While reliable drinking fountains are a more environmentally friendly way cities can prevent this, in the meantime, carrying your water bottle with you is a way to avoid that.By carrying around a water bottle instead of, say, a soda bottle, you’re signaling to others that you care about your body and are on-top-of-it enough to bring a reusable bottle with you and fill it up unlike the less responsible folk who have to buy beverages along the way.Bottles become a traveling billboard of values; for those without a car, like city dwellers and college students, it becomes a venue for bumper stickers—a new arena to express personal identity.The 27-ounce Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle has been at the top of our list for four years.It’s easy to fill, easy to drink from, and ready to be tossed into the dishwasher at the end of the day.
The mouth is wide enough to make plopping ice cubes into the opening easy, but not so wide as to spill water on yourself while guzzling on a hot day.
(If you want a bottle to keep hot drinks hot, check out our guide to the best travel mug; and if you’re looking for something that holds a lot more water for outdoor sports, head over to our hydration packs guide.) Our new favorite insulated bottle is the Hydro Flask 24-Ounce Standard Mouth with BPA Free Flex Cap.
We also have two updated collapsible bottle recommendations, both from Platypus, including the Meta Bottle for planes and travel, and the Duo Lock Soft Bottle if you need one that folds down smaller.
For shoppers, bottled water is also a thousand times more expensive than tap water.
When you add this to the fact that in 2009 nearly half of all bottled water sold in the United States was found to be nothing more than pricey, prepackaged tap water (PDF), it becomes difficult to argue with the value of a well-made reusable water bottle. But when you’re drinking and computing, the risk can be high.