My favorite water bottles

24 Mar 2024

A collection of water bottles

Inspired by "my favorite mugs" posts from Cassey and Benji, here's a few of my favorite drinkware. While I do have a set of mugs I love, I probably get more use out of my water bottles. They pull double-duty as a convenient vessel for daily drinking, and for any activities on a bike.

Gravel Worlds

I've raced Gravel Worlds a half dozen times, and get a new bottle every year. It's both functional (at 24oz, it's a decent size to throw on a bike) and stylish, and a mainstay of my bottle collection.

Elite Fly MTB 950

Liter-sized bottles are a mainstay of my gravel races. The extra few ounces have kept me from having to carry a hydration pack, and let me make full use of the two bottle cages on my bike. I especially like these ones from Elite with a protective cap, which helps keep the lid free from gravel dust. I've eaten enough dirt through the years!

Runner-up: the Zefal Magnum 1L bottles have traveled the most miles on my bike.

Powersauce

This one's substantially smaller and doesn't actually get on the bike frequently, but it makes me smile every time I break it out. I don't buy many products from meme influencers, but I make an exception for an especially good Simpsons reference. It makes me want to conquer the Murderhorn, even when I fill it with apple cores and Chinese newspapers.

Postscript - Bottle Longeivity

One endless conversation that I've never heard a satisfactory answer is bottle longeivity. Advice is all over the place, from "replace your bottles every season" to "use them until mold is visible and unremovable".

I tend to be pragmatic; I'll give them a good cleaning with soap and a bottle brush, and they'll be good for years. If I start to notice a funk/aftertaste, they'll get replaced. This is probably more psychological than scientific; most of the advocacy I've seen around microplastics, etc. tend to be from the same groups that are focused on trends and style, not sustainability.

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I'm Matt Steele, a programmer living in Omaha, Nebraska. You can find me on GitHub and Mastodon.