Lots of things make me angry. Bad grammar. Payday loan companies. Prescription drug commercials. But few things make me angrier than the TSA. Thanks to the government's refusal to admit that making liquid explosives on an airplane is logistically impossible, I can't travel with reasonable quantities of shampoo. So, like every other person whose husband doesn't let her check bags, I must put my toiletries into little 3-oz bottles.
Unfortunately, NONE of the travel bottles on the market right now meet my two basic prerequisites for use as travel bottles. A travel bottle should:
A) Hold 3 ounces
This is important because 3 ounces is the limit under TSA regulations. Yes, you can get 2-oz bottles, but that's suboptimal. Why would you want 2 ounces of something when you can have 3? This is America.
B) Not leak.
This is even more important than a travel bottle's capacity because it gets to the essence of what defines a good bottle.
Aristotle once wrote something about how the way for a chair to be the best possible chair is to be the chairiest chair in the world, excelling in all the things that make a chair a chair.* That means that for a bottle to be the best possible bottle, it needs to excel in bottlehood. According to dictionary.com, a bottle is "a portable container for holding liquids," so good bottles are really good at holding liquids.
Containers that don't hold liquids include sieves, wicker baskets, and reusable canvas shopping bags. None of these things are running around claiming to be bottles. Yet the plastic thing from Walgreens that can't manage to hold 3 ounces worth of moisturizer without leaking all over the inside of my quart-size plastic zipper bag claims to be a bottle. Don't let the name fool you.
According to reviews I've been reading, no travel bottle on the market today meets my two criteria, so I've decided to settle. Nalgene refuses to manufacture 3-oz bottles, but at least they're guaranteed not to leak. Before the stupid liquids ban, I had several Nalgene travel bottles (though they were all over 3 ounces). I can attest to the fact that Nalgene bottles do not leak. Ever.
You can get sets of them on Amazon, but the Container Store sells Nalgene travel bottles individually so you can mix and match. Don't tell the TSA, but I might get the 4-oz bottles and try to sneak them through.
Nalgene Travel Bottles from Amazon
Nalgene Travel Bottles at the Container Store
*I'm paraphrasing a lot here. I might also be making it up.