Drip, drip. What’s that sound? Oh yes, the sound of drink containers leaking into school lunches across the nation. I’ve been there. I often bring a drink container to work or bring a container for my daughter when we head out for the day. What are your options when you’re looking for a reusable drink container?
Thermoses for Hot and Cold Drinks or Soups
Thermoses are great because they are insulated. The layer of air around your drink will keep it warm or cool. However, as you wash the lids, over time the point that connects to the top of the thermos tends to erode, and this can lead to leaking. Check thermoses regularly by tipping and shaking them while water is inside.
Reusable Metal Water Bottles
Stainless steel and treated aluminum water bottles are growing in popularity. Sigg bottles come with gorgeous graphics on the outside. They are made of coated aluminum, so the aluminum will never touch your drink. The fact that they are made of aluminum makes them very light.
Stainless steel water bottles are much heavier. Bottles such as Klean Kanteens do not contain aluminum at all, which makes them attractive to many consumers who are concerned about the possibility of aluminum entering their water. These bottles tend to be less fancy than the Sigg bottles, but they do come in different colors.
Both aluminum and stainless steel drink containers come with a variety of choices in lids. These run from the simple screw top to a lid that can connected to a belt clip or a bike. Pop-up lids and sippy cup attachments are ideal for smaller children. Some steel water bottles like the Intak from Thermos even come with a pop-up straw!
When a stainless steel water bottle is exposed to juice and then water, it sometimes develops an interesting taste, so it’s best to choose one bottle for water and another for juice.
Plastic Water Bottles With Straws
If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative to disposable water bottles, small plastic bottles often seem to be the way to go. These are made by plastic ware companies and come with a foldable top that attaches to a straw inside the bottle. The advantage to these products is their price. The disadvantage is that they often leak at the seam between the lid and the container. The straw can be difficult to clean. If you choose this option, look for BPA-free containers that do not leach into the water.
Reusing Old Water Bottles
Old water bottles are great for a few uses, and often the screw tops are fairly secure. Over time, they do tend to crack and leak. There are also concerns that the single-use plastic bottles could leach over time. Glass water bottles may not be made of sturdy glass and can crack when they hit the ground, since they are not made for multiple uses. It’s best to save these bottles for one or two uses only. Invest in a sturdier reusable bottle for long-term use.
One tip of note: whatever water bottle option you choose, make sure that your bottle is well-sealed inside a lunch bag. For extra parental brownie points, add ice to the bottle on a hot day or place the whole thing in the freezer before school. Make sure that you cool it a little and wipe off the condensation to avoid the dreaded wet sandwich. Cheers!