As outdoorsmen, it’s essential to live by the philosophy: “Leave it as you found it.” If you’re one of the many who subscribe to this, you already know how to return your campsite to its original state at the end of every adventure.
But even with a simple effort like this, the earth and its wilderness are still facing an incredible litter problem—and a lot of it is plastic waste from water bottles and packaging.
Since plastic doesn’t decompose for many years, it builds up. Currently, this material makes up nearly 70% of all ocean litter and 80% of all waste on land. There is good news, though: It’s easy to begin combatting this issue by switching from single-use plastic bottles to reusable water bottles.
When it comes to the health of the earth and your body, stainless steel reusable water containers are the way to go.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Stainless Steel Water Bottles:
What Are the Benefits of Stainless Steel Water Bottles?
With a stainless steel water bottle, you can help preserve the planet and save money. These bottles are mold-resistant, leak-proof, and safe to drink out of, giving you the perfect vessel for hydrating in the wilderness.
Benefit #1: They’re Environmentally Friendly
In the past 70 years, companies have produced 8.3 billion tons of plastic, and around 60% has ended up in landfills or the natural environment. This high percentage of waste shows that plastic has a low recycling rate, despite the ongoing recycling initiative in the United States.
On the other hand, stainless steel water containers are sustainable since they require fewer resources and less energy to make, and they are 100% recyclable. (But you don’t have to worry about recycling your container anytime soon, as stainless steel bottles typically last well over a decade.)
Stainless steel containers are more environmentally friendly than aluminum or plastic water bottles because they’re BPS- and BPA-free.
These harmful chemicals are in some plastic and aluminum containers. When they leach into the environment, they can negatively impact wildlife by disrupting endocrine systems and organs, including the kidney, liver, and gallbladder.
Benefit #2: They’re Safer Than Plastic Products
In recent years, consumers have become aware of the health risks that come with BPA and BPS.
BPA (bisphenol A) and BPS (bisphenol B) are industrial chemicals commonly found in plastic water bottles as well as food and beverage container linings. Medical science shows that BPA and BPS can affect the brain, the prostate gland, blood pressure, diabetes, and even children’s behavior.
Stainless steel water bottles don’t contain these harmful chemicals, making them the healthiest reusable water bottle option for your body.
And because of the natural properties of stainless steel, it won’t develop rust, mold, or bacteria, making it extremely easy to clean. This is also why stainless steel materials are perfect for sterilizing water while out on the field.
Benefit #3: Stainless Steel Helps Water Taste Better
While it might be true that bottled or store-bought water is the more popular opinion when it comes to household water consumption, a blind taste test found that most people prefer the taste of tap water or non-bottled water. With reusable water bottles, it’s easy to refill the container with filtered tap water.
Stainless steel also doesn’t retain flavors. The stainless steel doesn’t react with whatever it touches, which means nothing is leaking into your food or drink that will change the taste. So despite its silvery appearance, you’ll be free of any unwanted metallic taste when you drink water from stainless steel bottles.
Benefit #4: They Save Money
Next to aluminum and plastic water bottles, you might notice that stainless steel water bottles generally have a higher price tag—but it’s for a good reason: They’re extremely durable, reliable, and safer for both you and the environment.
And when you do buy one, you’re making an investment that will save you money for years to come.
It’s estimated that Americans spend over $100 a year on bottled water, with larger households spending several hundreds of dollars each year. When you make the one-time purchase of a $40 stainless steel bottle and then stick to refilling it with clean water, you’re saving thousands of dollars over the course of a decade.
Benefit #5: You Can Customize Your Bottle
Stainless steel water bottles can be as versatile as you need them to be. Whether you’re going on a hike, setting up camp, or hunting early in the morning, these large containers can be customized to fit your every activity.
Our stainless steel bottles come in 32 and 64 oz sizes. We chose 32 and 64 oz bottles for specific reasons. This is mainly because water purification tablets are compatible with 32 oz of water, so having a 32 or 64 oz bottle makes measuring how many tablets you need easier.
Your stainless steel bottle can also be customized with caps, carrying straps, handles, and clips so you can take them wherever you go. These accessories let you attach your water bottle to your backpack with a clip or carry it around your waist with a strap.
Is Drinking from Stainless Steel Water Bottles Safe?
Drinking from stainless steel water bottles is exceptionally safe.
Compared to other common water bottle materials like plastic or aluminum, stainless steel stands out because it’s a non-toxic material that doesn’t require a liner.
Stainless steel water bottles don’t leach harmful chemicals and can withstand extremely high temperatures, reducing the risk of bacteria or microorganism contamination while out on the field.
However, it’s important to research which stainless steel bottle you might purchase. The reality is that not all stainless steel water bottles are the same. Some stainless steel bottles are cheaply made and contain lead.
So how can you be sure the bottle you’re buying is up to par?
The best stainless steel water bottle material is 18/8 food-grade stainless steel. The 18/8 refers to the composition of metals, being 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
This combination is one of the highest food-grade materials available on the market and won’t leak chemicals into your food or water. If 18/8 isn’t an option, then opt for 18/10 and 18/0 grade stainless steel. At this grading, you can count on high quality and good corrosion resistance levels.
NOTE: 18/8 and 18/10: These two grades of stainless steel are the most commonly used to cook and serve food, also known as Type 304 (304 Grade). These two grades also belong to the 300 stainless steel series. This means that the steel is corrosion resistant, strong, and resists elevated temperatures well.
How Long Do Stainless Steel Water Bottles Last?
Stainless steel bottles and cupware are known for their longevity. Stainless steel is highly durable and can withstand high impact and extreme temperatures, so it takes a long time to age.
They can last up to twelve years before showing signs of wear — and even then, it’s only due to normal usage, not rust, mold, or weird odors.
“Plastic water bottles can start to break down after continued use and need to be replaced about once a year,” says Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority.
“Glass bottles have a long shelf life, but can break easily, so they aren’t ideal for those with an active lifestyle. Stainless steel bottles are sturdy and rust- and stain-resistant, and generally only need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear.”
As with anything you eat or drink from, frequent cleaning and disinfecting is a good idea. Hot water and soap should clean the bottle, but for deeper cleansings, you can use a 50/50 baking soda and water solution and let it soak for about ten minutes.
What Is the Difference Between Stainless Steel and Other Water Bottles?
When shopping for reusable water bottles, some of the most popular options are glass, plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Stainless steel is environmentally friendly, safe for your health, and makes food and water taste as they should—but the price point can be a little high compared to these other materials.
So, what exactly is the difference when it comes to glass, plastic, and aluminum?
Glass is well-favored in the dishware market because it is easy to manufacture and inexpensive. However, it’s not as easily recyclable since many recycling centers don’t accept glass. It’s also breakable and won’t last as long as stainless steel water bottles will. Additionally, glass can’t handle extremely high temperatures and is known to begin breaking at around 300°F, which means boiling and decontaminating water while out on the field is a no-go.
Plastic is the cheapest to produce and therefore more affordable to buy, making it the most popular man-made material. However, the low price may be the only appealing aspect: Most plastic water bottles contain BPA and BPS, which means that those chemicals will leach into whatever you’re eating or drinking. The recycling rate of plastic is also extremely low—and so is the life cycle. You’ll need to replace your plastic water bottle every year, whereas a stainless steel bottle can last over a decade.
Aluminum might look like stainless steel, but underneath the surface is where the difference lies. Aluminum comes with a protective lining (usually enamel, resin, and plastic) that prevents the bottle from mixing with its contents. So while the lining is there to prevent mixture, aluminum reacts with food and liquids by leaching harmful chemicals like BPA and BPS.
While these alternatives have benefits, stainless steel reusable bottles are the best option when it comes to your health, your money, and the environment.