How to Choose the Best Water Bottle for Your EDC

Avatar photo

It’s hot out. Brutal, at times. Staying hydrated throughout the day is one of the most effective ways to keep cool against this summer’s unrelenting heat. Drinking plenty of water is also just a healthy habit to have! For something as essential as water to keep nearby, not just any bottle will do for your daily carry. In this Carry Smarter guide, we’ll break down some key features to consider when picking an everyday bottle and recommend our favorites to fit your hydration needs.

How to Choose a Water Bottle for Everyday Carry

You should opt for a reusable water if you’ll be drinking often during the day, every day. It saves you money over buying bottled water, and it’s better for the environment too. A water bottle, like other EDC essentials, can be a very personal item to shop for, with plenty of factors to consider. To help you better understand what makes a bottle EDC-worthy, let’s briefly go through some of the most important ones:

  • Choose high quality, durable materials. Like with most EDC gear, your bottle needs to be dependably durable. Along with its construction, the materials used play a big role in making a suitable vessel for daily carry, use, and the occasional accidental abuse. Commonly used materials include food grade stainless steel, (hopefully) BPA-free plastics, and good old-fashioned glass, among others.
  • Make sure it won’t leak. When you’re carrying water along with things you consider absolutely essential and necessary to your day, you don’t want to risk a leaky bottle. It’ll leave you out of a drink, with your gear, and your day, ruined.
  • Get something that’s easy to use. A good bottle serves up a quick drink no matter where you are with no fuss. Bottle caps and lids come in so many different shapes and designs — you’ll want one with fewer loose parts to lose or break, and ones that hit a balance of easy to open but difficult to accidentally leak.
  • Carry just enough water for your needs. This is another one of those tricky things that you’ll need to figure out. You’ll need a bottle that can hold enough water that’ll last you long enough on longer trips away from a place to refill that doesn’t get cumbersome and heavy on your person. It’s different for everyone, but a good range to start would be 16 oz (473ml) to 24 oz (708ml). That’s the range most of our recommended bottles will fall into.
  • Don’t let your bottle weigh you down. Weight considerations vary for different materials: stainless steel and glass can get heavy, so you might want to get those in smaller capacities, whereas plastic bottles are usually lighter and allow you to carry more water. But don’t underestimate the weight of a full bottle sitting in your bag for hours on a scorching day!
  • Make sure it fits. As for size, look for bottles that fit your hand, your bag, your bike cage, your car’s cupholder, etc. (wherever you’ll want it ready most often during the day.) Also consider the bottle’s grip and finish as slippery bottles that “sweat” can really get out of hand.
  • Be mindful of taste. This is another subjective factor, but you might find the taste of your water changes depending on the vessel it’s in. For some, that can be a dealbreaker. Cleaning and maintenance can help to a lesser extent, but we won’t consider that so much for EDC-able bottles in this guide.
  • Get the right bottle for the job. Lastly, like the essentials we choose to carry, bottle designs and features serve different purposes for different applications. Think carefully about where and how you’ll be using your bottle, then pick something that you think will excel in those scenarios in addition to everyday hydration duty.

There’s a ton of bottles out there. And as you just read, plenty to consider. Here’s our best shot at making the search easier for you:

For those who want an all-around EDC bottle…

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Hydro Flask bottles earn their spot as a great everyday bottle for getting so many things right in their design, construction and features. It’s uniformly slim for a comfortable grip, which is only enhanced by its “non-sweat” unique powder-coated finish. Water stays cold through even your longest days (up to 24 hours) out thanks to its double wall vacuum insulation. Its BPA-free stainless steel construction handles drops with dependable durability to stand up to everyday use. Lastly, its flip top is easy to operate one handed for quick sips on the go.

BUY ($26)

For the outdoor adventurer…

Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Klean Kanteen have a well-deserved reputation of making high quality stainless steel bottles with durability you wouldn’t expect from their price tag. While they’re great for everyday hydration, this non-insulated option lets you throw it on the campfire when trekking outdoors to boil out anything unsafe to drink in the water you’ll collect in the wild. Stainless steel construction lets it survive drops in any terrain, while a looped screw cap lets you easily carry your precious water without fear of it leaking.

BUY ($18)

For those who want H2O, not BPA, in their drink…

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

When shopping for a plastic bottle, be sure to check what kind of plastic it uses. It’s important to choose one that’s BPA-free to be sure you’re drinking pure water and not nasty toxins given off from low quality plastic. Nalgene has been making water bottles for over 20 years, now featuring heavy-duty, BPA-free, impact resistant Eastman Tritan co-polyester. This bottle features a wide mouth opening for easy drinking, measurements in both ounces and milliliters, and a threaded plastic loop top to ensure leakage won’t be an issue. Thirstier EDCers can appreciate its 32 oz. capacity, as its lightweight plastic won’t weigh down your carry as much as bottles from other materials can. Even still, Nalgenes come in plenty of sizes, colors, and cap configurations to suit your liking.

BUY ($14)

For those after the cleanest taste…

Takeya Glass Water Bottle with Silicone Sleeve

Many people prefer drinking from glass bottles because of its purer taste over metals and absence of leaching chemicals found in some plastics. It doesn’t keep water cold for as long as an insulated bottle, but it still provides a tasty drink. This offering from Takeya is a stylish, well-designed, and durable glass water bottle. A silicone outer sleeve protects the already thick-walled glass while adding extra grip in hand. A viewing window cutout makes it easy to check how much water’s left and lends to its modern design. Its wide mouth top includes a carrying loop and airtight cap, making it both easy to carry and leak-proof — ideal for everyday bag carry.

BUY ($22)

For those with less room to work with…

Vapur Element Bottle

One downside to carrying a rigid bottle is that once it’s empty, it takes up valuable space in your carry long after it’s served its purpose. A collapsible bottle like the Vapur Element works great to store water, featuring BPA-free materials, one-hand operable flip top, and ability to stand firm when filled. Better yet, once it’s empty, it conveniently rolls up to save space. Its integrated carabiner clips it closed and is versatile enough for different carry options no matter how you like to keep your bottle nearby.

BUY ($12)

For those who train hard and carry smart…

Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

If you’re often on the move and in need of quick hydration, the Camelbak Podium should fit into your fast-paced lifestyle. Its sport bottle design boasts light weight, easily squeezable BPA-free plastic, a double-walled construction to keep your drinks colder for longer, and a self-sealing valve to prevent spills and leaks.

BUY ($11)

For the on-the-go caffeine fiends…

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug

For some of us, coffee can seem just as essential to getting through the day as our EDC setup. For that, Zojirushi makes a travel mug with a design and feature set that make it feel like another piece of EDC gear. It’s vacuum insulated to keep coffee hot and water cold for hours, streamlined and lightweight by design for easy carry and ergonomics in hand, and lockable to prevent any disastrous hot coffee spills. The lock and lid operate by pushbutton, with a satisfying activation and buttery smooth opening. If you love effortless knife deployment or clicky flashlights and pens, this is the bottle you need to experience.

BUY ($32)

Did we miss anything in our list? What are your favorite bottles for EDC? We and our other readers would love to know — leave us a recommendation in the comments. Stay hydrated, my friends.

Words by Bernard Capulong and Ed Jelley

Photos and Imagery by Ed Jelley and Bernard Capulong

Previous Post

TK Titanium Utility Knife Keychain

Next Post

Minimal Outdoors Essentials

Related Posts