On Nalgene Bottles

For those unfamiliar with Nalgene bottles, they are plastic transluscent water jugs that athletes carry with them when they exercise. Here’s a pic:

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Here’s my thing with Nalgene bottles: Lauren has a ton of them. She’s always filling up and carrying around her Nalgene bottle. “Is this Nalgene bottle clean or dirty?” she’ll say, holding up a Nalgene bottle above the dishwasher. “I don’t know,” I’ll answer.

I admire her devotion to Nalgene and the Nalgene Corporation. My problem, though, is with the bottle itself: drinking from a Nalgene bottle is like drinking from a well flipped upside down. In other words: way too much water pours out. My mouth is not that big. Neither is my gullet. I borrowed a Nalgene bottle one day and took it on the treadmill and tried to drink as I ran and wound up wetter than a seal at a Seal concert.

And so, in conclusion, I rule that Nalgene bottles are pretty to look at, but not so pretty to use.

Back to you Sally.

13 comments

  1. i agree BUT if you go to rei or most any outdoorsy store right next to the plethora of nalgene bottles they will also sell small plastic (mine is blue) “splashguards” which fit into the mouth of ur nalgene bottle and only allows the correct amounr of water to fit in ur mouth!

  2. You can also purchase Nalgene bottles with smaller mouths. Of course, the problem with these is they are harder to clean and you can’t really put them in the dishwasher. The water (and food bits) that get thrown inside during the dishwashering gets stuck and isn’t rinsed out properly. Unless possibly you are one of those people that washes the dishes before washing them in the dishwasher) and so there aren’t little food bits floating around.

    Thank you for listening to my ramble :)

    – Nalgene devotee.

  3. I used to work in a science lab building (about a year and a half ago now) for a couple of years, during which this whole Nalgene water bottle thing took off. Nalgene (aka Nalge Nunc) sold lots of different kinds of containers to all the labs. That’s their specialty. All the companies that sold lab products gave out lots of freebies–t-shirts, keychains, even leather jackets if you bought enough oligos or anthrax or tiny frogs or whatever. So when I saw people with Nalgene drinking bottles, I just thought it was a Molecular Biology thing. When I started seeing them being sold all around campus and carried around by engineering majors in my new department, I was REALLY surprised. It was sort of like if everyone had started wearing t-shirts that said “Sigma Genosys” on them.

    Splash-guard or no splash-guard, I don’t think they’re particularly good bottles for drinking water. Personally, I think people just like the colors.

  4. I found your site from the Food section of Kinja. Indeed, the wide mouths are NOT condusive for use while moving but a newer bottle that just came out has an ‘inbetween’ mouth size: not too narrow, not too wide and I find it easier to use those while on the treadmill. And the caps fully detatch so it doesn’t bop you in the cheek while you’re drinking.

  5. I just love my wide mouth nalgenes and I have splashguards for them which makes the walking and drinking thing much easier and a lot less…soggy.. I also recently purchase one of the N-Gen Bottles from Nalgene. The are the in-between size which is nice to have, also. The mouth is smaller the the wide mouth but not too small, so it’s still easy to clean. It says that it hold 24 oz but I measured it and it actually holds between 31 and 32 oz.

    For those that have issues w/ the wide mouth but don’t like the narrow mouth, this may be a good compromise.

  6. The wide mouthed Nalgene bottles are generally intended for camping or expedition use. For this purpose, a wide mouth bottle is very handy. They are easy to fill, drain, and clean, and when you want to add the right about of TANG or other drink mix to the bottle, the wide mouth makes it easy for adding the powder.

    Wide mouth bottles are not meant for use while engaged in vigorous activity. They serve their purpose much better if used “during a break”.

    These bottles are patterned after water containers that backpackers have used for dozens of years. I must say that they take the concept one step further by using an extremely strong plastic that is completely transparent and does not absorb colors. I have backpacked many miles with them and they serve their purpose much better than the white ‘milky’ plastic bottles of the same dimensions. The old bottles tended to stain and deform over the years, and measuring a known amount of water was tricky at best. I can’t tell you how many caps I have lost down in slide rock, since the caps weren’t attached to the bottle. The Nalgene bottles get 2 thumbs way up from this backpacker.

  7. Some wine makers will not use a plastic cork because they feel the surface area of a plastic cork will leave a plastic taste. Some cheap plastic containers that you put water in leave that plastic taste. Is nalgene different? Does it not leave a plastic taste?

  8. Fritz – nope, no plastic taste on a Nalgene. They’re also frickin’ indestructible. I’ve accidentally driven off with my Nalgene still on top of my car, causing the Nalgene to be thrown to the ground, and it survived with only minor scratches.

  9. i wish i had some way of giving up my three nalgene bottles. i don’t believe in waste, so i’ll keep them until they’re broken, but i fully do NOT support nalgene, a company which has supported itself partially by creating devices of animal cruelty. i do not support animal cruelty when i purchase my vegetable glycerin soaps and shampoos, i do not support animal cruelty in my diet, and thusly i cannot support the nalgene company.

  10. Dishwasher works well, as does leaving it soak overnight filled with vinegar and slices of lemon, rinse well.

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