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BottleGuy 09-20-10 02:03 PM

Water bottles... Love? Hate?

I hope you're all doing well! I want to be upfront with you guys and say that I am looking at starting a stainless steel water bottle business. I'm still in the research phase, so I am hoping to hear some opinions and experiences. :) Mods, if this is not allowed on this forum, my apologies and please delete.

So... what do you love about your current water bottle? What do you hate about it? What would you change? What size and cap do you prefer? I'm especially looking at you Klean Kanteen guys. ;)

Thanks and cheers! Hopefully your comments will help me build a better bottle for you guys!

CraigB 09-20-10 02:06 PM

All I care about is that the mouth is big enough to put ice cubes through it when necessary. Oh, and I dislike dark colors since they absorb more solar radiation and convert it to heat. Not sure how SS would fare on that front.

borgagain 09-20-10 02:19 PM

It needs to be flexible enough to easily squeeze the amount I want out through a spout that's not too small and restrictive.

It should weigh much less than the liquid in it.

It should be easy to get in and out of the cage and not rattle in the cage.

I use down tube shifters so if its mounted on the down tube, it shouldn't be so long as to bump the levers when I remove and replace it.

It shouldn't taste or smell like anything at all.

fietsbob 09-20-10 02:29 PM

Metal bottles need a really good cap design to freely let the air in,
so the liquid can come out, with out sucking your brains out.
You buying inventory from a bunch of suppliers, or investing in manufacturing your own? Hot spinning sheet metal in a plastic state to form the body?
note the waist height of many common bottle cages..

I got a stainless bottle for $4. so the wholesale would have to cost 1/2 or 1/4 of that.

cyclezen 09-20-10 03:04 PM

luv, when they all went to a large mouth, for cleaning and puttin stuff in.
dislike, that many leak around the screw-on cap (hate is reserved for really, really bad stuff, like nukaler war or cell-yakkin drivers...)

clear or white, soz I can see any crud floatin around - dirt/crud is usually dark, so easy to spot.
light so it don;t get so hot.
easy clean spout (that needs some rethinkin on current bottles)
crap covers on bottles I might use on easy rides (foolin with a crap cover, while in the middle of a peleton at speed, is 'hairy' that doesn't have to be...)
'soft', soz I can squeeze the stuff out easily. waiting for liquid to dribble out is not in the cards.
taste? I'm used to water bottles having their own 'flavoring' - although these days I'm concerned about what carcenogenic/chemical poison is used to make and then contained in bottles made in China/Pak/other cheap producers.
am I willing to pay a premium for the assured knowledge that the water bottle isn't some glowin chemical sewer pit? prolly
would I buy a stainless bottle? too many inconveniences to be more than a nuisance; and way toooo longterm.

Oh, I am now a weight-weenie...

Edric 09-20-10 03:07 PM

Wide mouth of course, I recently bought a camelbak bottle with a jet valve, after using the jet valve, I don't think I will use anything else.

prathmann 09-20-10 03:13 PM


Originally Posted by BottleGuy (Post 11495271)
What would you change? What size and cap do you prefer? I'm especially looking at you Klean Kanteen guys.

I've got a few metal water bottles that were given out as promotional items - one of which is a Klean Kanteen from a bridge bike path opening. Don't like any of them for the reason already mentioned - you can't squeeze them and the cap doesn't let in air well enough for the liquid to flow out quickly. They look nice sitting on the shelf as momentos, but I only use plastic bottles for actually drinking from on bike rides.

RonH 09-20-10 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by CraigB (Post 11495287)
All I care about is that the mouth is big enough to put ice cubes through it when necessary.



Originally Posted by borgagain (Post 11495363)
It needs to be flexible enough to easily squeeze the amount I want out through a spout that's not too small and restrictive.


I used Polar bottles for several years but they aren't flexible enough.
I discovered Camelbak Podium Chill bottles in the spring of 2009. I've used them since. I give them 9 out of 10.
Never cared for metal bottles on the bike.

Machka 09-20-10 03:46 PM

-- size (1 litre)
-- wide mouth
-- clear

fietsbob 09-20-10 04:02 PM

Have a couple wide mouth aluminum Zefal bottles, and a couple Sigg sports bottles both have well designed caps.
both lined aluminum..

and the $4 Chinese Stainless bottle I got , needs the cap loosened to get enough air in.
Does have a reduced waist portion to engage the hook on most bottle cages to not bounce out though..

I have a number of Brittle plastic bottles, specialized, break when squoze,
likely a wrong mix batch of plastic, Must have been a friday afternoon job

JanMM 09-20-10 05:05 PM

Perfectly content with the basic Specialized plastic bottle.

Shimagnolo 09-20-10 05:10 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 11495846)
-- size (1 litre)
-- wide mouth
-- clear


SS is attractive because it would not leave that plastic taste in the water, but I fear the metal bottle would make annoying rattles in the cage.
The solution would likely be a non-metallic cage that held the bottle very securely.

Seamless 09-20-10 06:29 PM

I've been using vacuum Nissan Thermos for years; it works superbly. Wide mouth, easily accepts ice; doesn't leak; easy to drink from (has a 1-way air valve in addition to the spout); fits a cage; very very long cooling. Only downside might be I can hear the ice clinking while I ride, and some riders might not like the added weight versus plastic.

Saw last week at REI that Camel is marketing vacuum stainless bottles.

CNY James 09-20-10 07:34 PM

I like my insulated bottle but it's pretty firm so it's tough to squeeze a drink out of it. If you're sucking air up a hill on a hot day, you DO NOT want to be sucking water out of your bottle. That being said, no way I'm switching to a metal bottle, ever.

StephenH 09-20-10 08:43 PM

I can't think why I'd buy a metal one, actually. I like the insulated ones, and like a mouth big enough to put ice cubes and Perpetuum in.

Machka 09-20-10 09:01 PM


Originally Posted by Machka (Post 11495846)
-- size (1 litre)
-- wide mouth
-- clear

But I wouldn't mind a variety of lid colours. Right now, I'd go with a royal blue, a british racing green, and a yellow.

hotbike 09-21-10 12:34 PM

I have an Eco-Canteen, and another, slightly smaller no-name SS bottle. The knockoff was a disappointment, because the air-valve was stuck. I removed the silicone rubber piece, and lost it, so now it leaks if I lay the bottle on it's side. Furthermore, the knockoff brand was slightly smaller in diameter, so it does not stay tight in it's cage... Which led to the bottle popping out and landing on asphalt. At first, it only looked dinged, but when I got it home, it would not stand striaght on the countertop, next to the sink. The bottom was now bulged out. I made a temporary fix by pounding the bottom back in , with a hammer.

The Eco Canteen is on sale at CVS, for $4.99, and I plan to buy another one.

The stainless seems to reflect sunlight, so the water stays cooler, for a longer time than a plastic bottle. I would like the plain stainless, and not colored.

I don't know how you can make a bottle cheaper, but good luck with your business venture.

tligman 09-21-10 01:15 PM

I like the bottle to be large (24oz is the smallest i'd consider), and have the appropriate bumps to "lock" into my bottle cage. Insulated is a nice touch, but not necessary. my polar bottle has a plastic loop that's sort of handy for pulling it out of the cage without dismounting the bike...

slowandsteady 09-21-10 01:30 PM

Why would I want a steel bottle?

With my plastic(BPA free) polar I get a flexible, insulated, easy to clean, easy to see(light in color) unbreakable, undentable, easy to drink from bottle.

jefferee 09-21-10 01:53 PM

Love my Camelbak podium bottles. Just the right squishiness, and the valve does a pretty good job of keeping water in the bottle when not drinking. The only thing I don't like is that the valve is hard to open one-handed if I happen to leave it closed at the start of the ride.

What I hated most about the Kleen Kanteen (the only time I used it on the bike) is that it rattled like crazy and then launched out of my bottle cage and across the road on the first major bump a couple of miles into the ride.

rumrunn6 09-21-10 02:12 PM

I dislike the water freezing in the winter

fuji86 09-21-10 02:13 PM

I bought one for the road bike years ago and rarely use it, I have mixed feelings about them. For me, there are enough convenience stores or even drug stores at each corner that I carry a couple dollars and buy an ice cold beverage with flavor rather than water. I guess if I ride in the middle of nowhere, I'll use one, but in general I figure on a cheap soft drink or Arizona tea to hydrate at certain points in any long distance ride. If I make a 1/2 day or more of it, I'm going to get a snack/meal and drink anyway.

Not trying to discourage anyone, but there are already a bazillion products out there, just like the beverages. so the product better be a visually striking and priced right, because at the end of the day, it just holds water.

BottleGuy 09-21-10 02:36 PM

Guys, thanks for for the responses so far! Very much appreciated. :)

It seems like a lot of you guys prefer squeezable plastics. I will further research BPA-free plastics, but initially I will most likely be offering SS as it's proven to be completely safe.

fietsbob, for now I will be working with a supplier that I have a solid relationship with. Of course, my goal is to eventually have my own manufacturing so I can really build the perfect bottle. :thumb:

Importance of a solid cap is duly noted. What do you guys think about KK's Sport Cap 2.0?

Do you guys prefer a straight body or something more contoured?

Thanks again!

rumrunn6 09-21-10 02:43 PM

I like little knobs which help grip the bottle

cyclist2000 09-21-10 04:53 PM

I like a contoured bottle so it won't pop out of the cage when going over bumps. I don't like to use a hard shell water bottle for the above reasons and if it falls when drinking, I don't want it dinging my paint job.

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