choosing water bottle material

What material should I choose for a hiking water bottle?

With the aim of replacing plastic bottles as much as possible, water bottles have quickly become an essential accessory for your working days and sports sessions. A practical, sturdy ally that lets you carry your drinks in all circumstances to make sure you stay hydrated every day.

However, whether it's an ecological choice or a desire for durability, it's important to know which material to choose for a water bottle that meets all your hiking expectations. Here, Decathlon presents the different models available to you, detailing their advantages and disadvantages so you can make an accurate comparison before you buy.

What are the different water bottle materials?

When you're looking to buy a water bottle, you're quickly confronted with the many references on the market. As well as aesthetics and capacity, the type of material used is a key criteria not to be overlooked when making your purchase. You can go for different water bottle materials depending on your preferences and how you're going to use it.

Stainless steel water bottle

Stainless steel water bottles for durable equipment
Stainless steel water bottles are a safe material for your health. Whatever the liquid you're carrying (water, tea, coffee, etc.), the wall of your reusable bottle won't deteriorate, even when it comes to acidic drinks such as lemon or orange juice. The sturdiness of stainless steel also means that you can keep your water bottle looking good for a long time, thanks to a material that won't scratch or break. Optimal qualities for trouble-free travel in all circumstances. You'll also benefit from an accessory that's easy to clean and maintain each time you return from a hike.

While a stainless steel water bottle promises to be a quality accessory that will accompany you in your activities for many years to come, it also comes at a higher purchase price. It's a good idea to take the time to carefully compare the formats and qualities on offer to find a product that will give you complete satisfaction on a daily basis.

aluminium water bottle

Light aluminium water bottles
Aluminium water bottles are particularly light, making them ideal for disciplines such as bivouacking, hiking or even trekking. At a time when you need to limit the weight of your equipment, choosing an aluminium accessory gives you greater comfort for the various stages of your route.

The new models we've designed also have a coating guaranteed to be free from bisphenol A (BPA), in compliance with current regulations. With its healthy, shock-resistant material, the aluminium water bottle has been reinvented for greater safety and peace of mind.

However, this type of model is less resistant than the stainless steel water bottles. Although aluminium water bottles have a long life cycle, they will need to be replaced more quickly for sporting activities.

What's more, isothermal water bottles can't be made from aluminium. You'll need an insulated cover to keep your drinks or water at the desired temperature for several hours.

plastic water bottle

Plastic water bottle for an economical and trendy model
More economical, plastic water bottles remain popular because of their affordable price, but also because of their varied shapes and colours. Generally made from polyethylene, these products are a lightweight, trendy accessory for keeping hydrated at all times. Some models also have a semi-transparent wall, so you can quickly see how much water you have left at a glance. This is really convenient and lets you anticipate and manage your consumption as best you can, depending on the duration of your exercise or your ability to fill up along the route.

However, a plastic water bottle is a more time-limited purchase. This is because it’s more susceptible to scratches and tends to deteriorate quicker over the years, forcing you to replace your equipment more regularly.

What's more, you can't use your water bottle to carry hot liquids for your winter activities as there's a risk of damaging the sides. You'll also need to clean your water bottle daily with a brush to prevent odours from permeating it.

tritan plastic water bottle

Innovative Tritan plastic water bottle
Tritan plastic represents a real innovation that could prove ideal when choosing your water bottle. Free from substances that are harmful to health (BPA, etc.) and odourless, this specific material means you can enjoy a designer item, while sparing you the potential problems encountered with a polyethylene model. A Tritan plastic water bottle is a robust, lightweight accessory that can be cleaned in the dishwasher without risk of deformation and can hold water at temperatures of up to 90°C.

This model may be more expensive, but it's a reliable, durable piece of equipment with unmistakeable style for all your outdoor adventures. An innovative and recent plastic that shouldn't be overlooked when comparing which material to choose for a water bottle.

Glass water bottle: a model unsuited to sport?

Although attractive and suitable for all liquid temperatures, glass water bottles are not well suited to your daily routine. Whatever your activities, you run the risk of breaking your equipment every time you go out, despite the option of adding a protective cover.

While this type of water bottle may be just what you need for your days at the office or your bottle at home, it's not the best choice when you want to go hiking or travelling with all your belongings in a single hiking bag. Moreover, glass is a heavier material that can quickly add unpleasant extra weight to your activities.

isothermal water bottle

Choosing the right material for an isothermal water bottle

Stainless steel water bottles can be designed with a single or double wall. In the latter case, they weigh slightly more than your equipment, but provide an isothermal container for keeping your drink hot or cold for several hours. A Thermos function for optimum comfort that you won't want to do without in summer or winter!

If you're more interested in trail running and trekking, it may be a good idea to opt for a lighter water bottle and fit it with an insulating cover. By taking care to choose an accessory whose materials can withstand both cold and hot liquids, you can be sure of isothermal water bottles that are easy to carry on all your adventures. Depending on your needs, you should choose a stainless steel or Tritan plastic bottle.

On the other hand, if you want a reusable bottle for short sports sessions or walks, the Thermos aspect of the bottle won't be such a determining factor. You can then opt for aluminium or classic plastic models for a wider choice.

kid’s water bottle

What material should I choose for a kid’s water bottle?

Your budding athletes also need to be well hydrated during strenuous physical activity. Whether you're talking about sports lessons, club activities or family leisure activities in the mountains, it's once again important to choose the right kid's water bottle. As well as having a smaller capacity (less than a litre) to make it easier to handle, it's advisable to choose strong, lightweight materials such as polyethylene or Tritan plastic. That way, you'll minimise the risk of breakage in the event of a fall, and you'll be making a lasting purchase.

For optimum comfort, you can also opt for a cap adapted to your kid’s age. Some products come with a drinking hose for an airtight bottle that's easy for younger kids to use. With a cap that opens quickly and ergonomically, you can help them to learn to be independent by instilling the habit of regular hydration in all their activities.

sports water bottle

Sports water bottle: when ecology and practicality become one

In recent years, the water bottle has revolutionised our means of consumption. Whether you want to add to your sports equipment for hiking or simply limit the number of plastic water bottles at work or when travelling, you can now choose from a wide range of accessories. By taking care to select a durable water bottle material that's suited to your needs, you'll be able to enjoy water that's always close at hand. Decathlon has a wide selection of water bottles to help you find practical equipment and new, more environmentally-friendly habits.

All you have to do is find the ideal model with a capacity and design that will satisfy you every day.

If you'd like more information on other criteria to consider when buying a water bottle, such as capacity or the type of cap and opening, take a look at our dedicated guide "How to choose a hiking water bottle?". Drinking regularly while hiking and adopting a more ecological attitude has never been easier with Decathlon!


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