More fun and games with tricky water bottles

More fun and games with tricky water bottles

Despite the abundance of reusable bottles available, designers keep coming up with new, unique styles. Camelbak, a leader in the hydration business, recognized a largely untapped market and promptly tapped it. The new Camelbak Groove bottles target users who buy bottled water simply because they don't like the faint taste of chemicals in their tap water. The Groove bottles sport a carbon filter element in the drinking-tube system. That activated charcoal filter strips chemicals and impurities out of water, though it doesn't touch pathogens (that is, it's not a purifier). The bottle works great at taking chlorine taste out of tap water, and our testers found it equally useful in stripping the aftertastes of iodine or chlorine out of our chemically treated water in the backcountry. In short, it's a perfect bottle for use around town, or for backpackers who prefer to use the lightweight convenience of chemically purifying their backcountry water, but who don't want the chemical aftertaste. The 20-ounce bottle includes a spill-proof, flip-up drink valve that draws from the near the bottom of the bottle, so you can comfortably sip without having to elevate the bottle above your face. The carbon filter fits into a cylinder on that drinking tube. The carbon filter is effective for upwards of 50 gallons of water and is easily replaced. The Groove is available in a stainless steel version (a favorite of our male testers) and colorful BPA-free plastic (preferred by most of the women — it's brighter, lighter and cheaper). The stainless steel version sells for $35, the plastic for $25. Replacement filters sell for $25 for a 6-pack. More information:www.camelbak.com. Another novel bottle comes from Seattle-based Stanley. Its Nineteen13 1-Handed Water Bottle pairs a fairly typical stainless-steel bottle with a unique push-button cap. The push-button mechanism on the screw-on cap opens a valve on the lid, allowing the fluids inside to flow out. Personally, I loved the bottle for use on road trips. In the 24-ounce size, the narrow bottle fits easily in most vehicle cup holders. The cap is completely leakproof, unless the button is pushed, so it won't slosh water on you as you bounce along a washboarded mountain road. And its one-handed operation means you can keep one hand on the wheel instead of having to steer with your knees while wrestling a screw-top off the bottle. It sells for $20 for the 24-ounce size, or $24.95 for a 34-ounce version. See www.stanley-pmi.com.
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