Good Question: Best Healthy Alternative Water Bottles?

Reader qatet asked this question after our post yesterday about "Carbon Neutral" Bottled Water:

I don't like buying bottled water, but I like the bottles in which the water comes. Sure, I know that it leaches nasty chemicals into my body. I'm apparently willing to overlook that in favor of a cheap supple plastic container that fits into the water bottle pouches on the outside of my bookbag.

Has anybody found a substitute for bottles like that?

This is a good question, especially since the largest Canadian outdoor-goods retailer pulled Nalgene bottles from its shelves last month, citing health reasons...

The Nalgene issue was because the bottles are made of polycarbonate plastic containing bisphenol A, a petrochemical product that mimics estrogen. There is increasing evidence that bisphenol A is linked to health issues, and we are trying to avoid food and drink containers that have it.

This is difficult, though, since polycarbonates are ubiquitous these days. How do you know if a bottle is made from polycarbonate? Look for the recycle designation #7.

Here are a few other bottle options convenient for people on the go. Remember that no matter whether you use a "healthy" bottle or not you still should clean it regularly. Bacteria build-up can cause sickness; just get a baby bottle brush (available for cheap at pretty much any drugstore) and clean out narrow bottles frequently with hot soap and water.

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CamelBak Performance Bottle: Last fall CamelBak announced that they switched the plastic in their popular bottles from one that contains bisphenol A to one that does not. The new plastic is also more dishwasher-friendly. These bottles are still squishy enough to jam in a water bottle holder, and they're inexpensive - about $8.

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Swellz TapSacks: Like old wine jugs from the Middle East and Europe, these bags are made out of leather, with a modern latex interior. We have no idea how to clean them, but they look adaptable and interesting. $32.

Non-plastic bottles...

Aluminum Bottles: We've talked about Sigg bottles. We love ours; it doesn't leach anything into the water and keeps the water cool and fresh. They are also extremely light and come in multiple sizes. Not squishy or "supple" though.

Stainless Steel Bottles: Guyot has bottles that run about $24.95. Klean Kanteen's start around $30. The up-side to these is that they are extremely sturdy and long-lasting. They are heavy, though.