The humble water bottle is a simple and often overlooked piece of crucial equipment. Whatever your outdoor pursuit, there is more to choosing the best water bottle for your needs that you might think. Even on the shortest of outdoor adventures, you can easily work up a thirst, so carrying some form of fluid is an excellent idea. For longer excursions, water is essential. So, how do you choose the best water bottle for hiking and camping? Here’s our guide.
The bottles listed below are primarily designed for camping, hiking or other outdoor activities but could also be used additionally for use in daily activities too, like a trip to the gym, in the office or the car on a day out with the family, making them a first choice to grab on the way out the door, and helping the environment with the reduction of single use plastics.
What Water Bottle is Best for You?
When it comes to choosing the best water bottle, there are many options to consider:
Size – One litre of water weighs exactly one kilogram (without accounting for the weight of the container itself). On long hikes and other outdoor activities, or in a warm environment, this may be an essential amount of water to carry. For shorter trips, smaller, lighter bottles will be less cumbersome and may be more suitable, but that will obviously reduce the amount of fluids you can carry. The right sized water bottle all depends on your needs. Most on this list are in the typical 500ml-1L range.
Water Source – Many locations in the UK have perfectly drinkable water sources, meaning you can carry smaller amounts safely and top up when necessary. If you are filling from an unknown source, like a river or stream, then a filtration system is essential. This can save you from some unpleasant bacteria that could easily end your adventure.
Choice of Drinks and the Environment – Carrying warm drinks, or wanting to keep water cool, is another important factor to consider when purchasing a bottle. Many bottles available are insulated to reduce the heat transfer by conduction and convection, but have a downside of also be heavier or bulky. Knowing your usage will be an important decision to make before purchasing. The width of the neck is also another consideration, wider necks making it easier to fill with things like ice cubes or chunky soups, whereas narrow necks make it easier to swig on the go.
Material – Most good quality drinks bottles are made of BPA free plastics or stainless steel, making them more durable. These will last for many years, and have a better impact on the environment too.
The Best Water Bottles for Outdoor Activities
Klean Kanteen Classic
The Klean Kanteen classic water bottle is a solidly built double-walled insulated stainless steel bottle that is robust enough to take some knocks on your next adventure.
The insulation allows you to keep your drinks cool for up to 20 hours or hot for up to 50 hours and comes with a loop cap, for carrying or attaching to equipment, as standard.
Klean also offer other types of cap to be purchased separately if needed, including a sports cap. The bottle is designed with a wide neck, allowing larger items, like ice or chunky soups to easily fit.
- Capacity 592ml
- Keeps hot for up to 20hours/cold for up to 50hours
- Suitable for carbonated drinks
- Hand wash only
- Leak-proof loop cap closure
LifeStraw Go 2-Stage 1L
The LifeStraw Go 2-stage water bottle is made of BPA free plastic and utilises a built in LifeStraw filtration system. This allows you to fill up and drink water from any water source, such as rivers or streams, even muddy puddles!
The membrane micro-filter will remove bacteria, parasites and microplastics bigger than 0.2 microns and a second activated carbon filter will finish the job by removing bad tastes or odours.
The membrane filter will need replacing after 400 litres and the carbon filter after 100 litres, so there’s plenty of usage before replacement. The only downside with this bottle is the need to suck to get the water through the filter, so it’s not a bottle for gulping large amounts of water down. However, it’s impressively versatile when it comes to using less than ideal water sources.
LifeStraw protects against 99.999999% of bacteria (including E.coli and Salmonella), 99.999% of parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium), 99.999% of microplastics, and reduces chlorine, bad odour, organic chemical matter, turbidity and improves taste.
- Capacity 1 litre.
- The reusable LifeStraw Go water bottle holds 22 oz (650 mL) of water – fill up from a stream or tap and take your water with you, great for hiking, camping, travel and emergency preparedness.
- Membrane microfilter lasts up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 L) and the activated carbon filter lasts up to 26 gallons (100 L) of water with proper use and maintenance.
- All LifeStraw filters are rigorously tested to meet protocols established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NSF International/ANSI.
- For every LifeStraw product purchased, a child receives safe water for an entire school year.
Brita Water Filter Active Bottle
The Brita Active water filter bottle is for those who don’t need the filtration of the LifeStraw bottle, but want something to filter out the tastes and odours of tap water.
The bottle is made of a dishwasher safe BPA free plastic and comes with one free filter. Additional filters can be purchased cheaply online or in most supermarkets for about £3. They last for approximately four weeks or 100 uses.
The filter reduces chlorine and other impurities, while retaining calcium and magnesium, all of which is done using natural carbon from coconut shells. Like the LifeStraw bottle, these bottles don’t allow gulping of drinks, due to the filter. However, I’ve personally used one for a couple of years and don’t notice any issues with that.
This bottle is a great value alternative to pure filtered bottles and comes in a range of colours, complete with silicon carry loop.
- Capacity 600ml.
- Filters tap water as you drink, reducing chlorine, impurities and microparticles but preserves key minerals.
- Improved performance ‘PureTaste Technology’-fill up from any tap for a pure and refreshing taste.
- Each disc gives 60 litres of great tasting water for just pence per litre.
- Eco friendly and cost-efficient alternative to buying bottled water.
- Squeezable and durable 600ml bottle fits most cup holders.
- Bold colourway with pull out mouthpiece, silicon carry loop and removable lid.
- Dishwasher safe and BPA free.
Super Sparrow Ultralight
The Super Sparrow Ultralight bottle is an amazing value, double-wall insulated, BPA free, stainless steel water bottle. It comes in a variety of colours and styles to suit any tastes.
The bottle walls are made of medical grade stainless steel and a claimed 26% lighter than its competitors without affecting its rigidity.
Super Sparrow water bottles will keep drinks cool for up to 12 hours or hot for up to 6 hours. This is somewhat less than the Klean Kanteen, though acceptable for many average hikes.
The bottle comes with a wide neck with a folding straw and loop cap and is claimed leak free. A range of sizes are available from 350ml to 750ml capacity.
- Capacity 350ml, 500ml, 750ml.
- 18/10 food grade premium stainless steel, BPA free.
- Keeps hot for up to 6hours/cold for up to 12hours.
- Durable but lightweight, 26% lighter.
- Leak free folding straw cap.
Hydrapak Stow Flexible
The Hydrapak Stow water bottle is a flexible BPA and PVC free plastic bottle that can be collapsed when not in use. One of the best water bottles for hiking and camping, it can be packed where most bottles won’t fit.
It is 80% lighter than a hard plastic bottle, but its durable and abrasion resistant design means it can withstand some tough adventures. It comes with a spill proof drink nozzle and comes in a variety of colours.
- Capacity 500ml.
- Ultra-light water bottle – 80% lighter than a hard bottle.
- Flexible and packable – flatten and roll when empty and stow into bail handle.
- Spill-proof drink nozzle
- Ultra-durable And abrasion resistant – TPU & RF welded seams for superior durability and elasticity.
- Safe and reliable – 100% BPA & PVC free.
- Wide working temperature range (can be frozen – Max temp 60° C/ 140° F).
Investing in a good water bottle for hiking and other activities benefits you by reducing the costs over cheap plastic varieties, but it also helps lower your carbon footprint too. It’s a win-win!