I've decided to buy a new water bottle.
Of course, that means I'll need the perfect water bottle. It needs to be easy to carry, easy to clean, and easy to drink from. It also needs to improve my image. I want a water bottle that says, "I have a reusable water bottle because I care about the earth and definitely not because I'm trying to break a soda habit." Also, I'd prefer it not kill me by leaching poisons into my water, as I hear some water bottles are wont to do.
You are about to see what happens every time I decide I want something.
You may want to sit down for this. Being me is exhausting.
- Do a Google search for general reviews to get a sense of what's out there and what people generally look for in a this type of product.
- Go to Amazon to get a rough sense of what the folks there are saying and how much I should be willing to pay.
- Read reviews of specific products on Amazon and narrow down my selection down to a few contenders.
- Make my decision and check Froogle to make sure Amazon is not charging too much for the item I want.
- Wait. This is the indecisive phase, where I can't decide whether I really need to spend $20 on whatever it is I want. I'll generally stay in this phase for 2-3 weeks or until I find myself wishing I had the item in question (in this case, it will be a time when I am thirsty).*
- Place an order and kick myself for not doing it sooner.
So here are the finalists in the 2009 Water Bottle Off:
Nalgene: The standard water bottle. To me it says, "I never go anywhere without my gigundo water bottle, my journal of poetry, and my feelings about peace." I have never seen anyone in a suit carrying a Nalgene bottle. Come to think of it, I've never seen anyone carrying a Nalgene bottle anywhere other than a college campus. Let's rule this one out. Also, I don't really see an upside. It's too big, the mouth is too wide, and water left sitting in it tastes like plastic. (OK, you caught me, I own one already. I was in college too, you know. I, too, had a notebook and feelings about peace.)
Camelbak: I also own one of these. It's great because of the straw. I probably shouldn't tell the internet this, but I have never mastered the art of walking and drinking at the same time. If I'm carrying a bottled beverage, I need to stop walking in order to take a sip or else I will pour whatever I'm drinking all down my chin and the front of my shirt. So the Camelbak is clearly an option for me. However, it has a few strikes against it. First, the name "Camelbak." I have trouble getting behind cutesy spellings of things. Second, it has the same "water left in it tastes like plastic" issue as the Nalgene. Third, I don't know what it says about me when I walk down the street drinking from it. I'm afraid it says, "Hey! Look at that chick who we can safely assume can't walk and drink at the same time unless her bottle has a straw!"
Sigg: I don't own one of these, but I know it says "I am too cool for plastic water bottles. Also, I am a bike messenger/coffee shop employee/person who is way cooler than you." I like that about Sigg. I also like that it comes in a skull-and-crossbones pattern, as if everyone around me will watch me drink my water and think, "Wait! Is that poison? No. She's just cooler than me." However, I'm worried because the reviews say that aluminum might be crappy even with Sigg's patented liner. I hear the aluminum means Sigg bottles can make water taste metallic. That is bad because having a metallic taste in your mouth could also mean that you have been poisoned. What if someone poisons my water and I can't tell because the water tastes like metal already? There I'll be, drinking poisoned water out of a bottle with a skull and crossbones on it. By the time I realize I've just been poisoned, I'll be doubled over, clutching my stomach, and the people around me will think I'm just being ironic and they'll let me die.
Kleen Kanteen: This seems like the less hip Sigg. I generally like less-hip versions of very hip things (see, for example, my love of Jack Purcells over Chucks). It makes me feel like I'm a little bit hip but not like I'm trying too hard. Kleen Kanteens are made of stainless steel, which is supposed to be better than coated aluminum in terms of metallic taste. Also, reviews on Amazon say that the threading on the Kleen Kanteen cap is better than the threading on the Sigg cap or something. I will, of course, need to deduct points for the spelling of Kleen Kanteen (see above analysis on cutesy spellings). Also, they only have plain colors. Seriously, Kleen Kanteen, try a little harder to impress me.
Nathan: I had never heard of this brand, but the Nathan bottle seems pretty appealing. First, the name is just some dude's name that is not misspelled in any way. Second, it is made of stainless steel, so the water will likely taste like water and not plastic or water laced with rat poison. Third, it has a straw. I don't mean to keep pointing out that I can't walk and drink at the same time, but I can't, ok? I just can't. The downside, according to Amazon reviews, is that the bottle has a tendancy to leak out the air hole. I am not active and mainly plan to carry this bottle around the office with me, but I generally prefer rugged things to non-rugged things. The other disadvantage of the Nathan bottle is that I have no idea what it will say about me. If I'm spending $20 on a water bottle, I want it to improve my image, and I honestly don't know if this will do that. That's why I selected the pattern with the trees. It says "I love the earth" in a pretty in-your-face way, which I appreciate.
Anyway, no decisions have been made yet. I still need to choose which water bottle to buy when the time is right. Please leave your vote in the comments (or vote with your wallet and just buy me one).
Water Bottles at Amazon
*Note: 9 out of 10 items never make it past step 5. That 9 can be broken into 5 items I never purchase, 2 items that evoke such impatience that I need to purchase them at a store immediately, and 2 items for which step 5 lasts too long (requiring me to repeat steps 1-4 a year later).