Though plastic water bottles often get a bad rap, modern reusable BPA free bottles made from durable and massively customizable plastics can do some awesome things. Able to come in shapes, sizes, colors, and intricate designs that other water bottle materials like glass and stainless steel could never imagine, plastic water bottles have some unique offerings in terms of both form and function.
The best plastic water bottles don’t suffer from the concerns of toxic leaching that have given disposable plastic bottles such a bad rap. While water left in any container for too long can pick up a funky taste, we’ve done our due diligence to select only high quality plastic bottles which don’t impart any taste to their contents under normal use.
Below, we’ll review our top five selections for the best plastic water bottles you can buy. We pre-selected only bottles which are BPA free, made from non-toxic plastics and tested by independent third party regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. Our tip-top concern was choosing completely safe plastic water bottles. Fortunately, this makes up the majority of the available market! Let’s take a look!
The Amazing Versatility of Plastic Bottles
Even the best plastic water bottles tend to be extremely affordable. Individual models of plastic bottle also tend to be available in a much broader selection of sizes, colors, and designs than other types of water bottles. Generally, even affordable plastic water bottles are quite durable, and this durability can take different forms. Exceptionally hard, rigid Tritan plastics are popular in some bottles like Nalgene and Camelbak. These can endure intense abuse, while soft, squeezable silicone and polyethylene bottles are flexible enough to absorb damage without cracking or leaking.
Plastic water bottles can be found with just about any feature you desire, including plastic water bottles with filters, collapsible bottles, high-capacity bottles, and too many other features to list. While many might be quick to write off plastic bottles as “cheap” or even unhealthy, we’d invite you to explore the huge diversity of options before judging too harshly!
Are Plastic Water Bottles Safe?
A decade or so ago, before the world awakened to the dangers of BPA, plastic water bottles were not given proper scrutiny in terms of materials testing to ensure safe plastic water bottles were the only type of plastic water bottle. There was a time when finding a BPA free water bottle brand was the exception and pretty much never the norm. Now, with a decade of of scrutiny and public awareness surrounding not only BPA but the overall safety of plastic water bottles, the industry has set a new, safety-first course.
As a result, we can now shop with the peace of mind that every modern plastic bottle brand is a BPA free bottle brand. We can take advantage of our neigh-unlimited ability to mold and shape plastics into just about any form, and the result is a plethora of interesting and amazingly affordable plastic water bottles.
Far From A Disposable Plastic Water Bottle
If when you hear the term “plastic water bottle” you think “bottled water” as in the sort you buy in a super flimsy disposable bottle at the super-market, think again! Those sorts of bottles are not only so weak as to fall apart rapidly, they are also potentially bad for your health and not suited to being used more than once. Ideally, you should get a good reusable bottle and not even use them once at all!
The types of bottles we’ll be looking at, the types that make up the best plastic bottles, are made from much stronger stuff than any disposable plastic bottle. They are made from high quality plastics, engineered to be reused, washed, and to suffer through the abuses of everyday life and keep on keeping on.
Next time you think of plastic bottles, be sure to make the distinction between reusable plastic bottles and disposable plastic bottles. We don’t want any of those nasty little BPA-filled bottled water brands of yesteryear. We’re looking forward, and the future of plastic bottles is extremely colorful (literally!)
Top 5 Best BPA Free Reusable Plastic Water Bottles
This 20oz Brita Sport Bottle has everything we like in a plastic bottle: amazingly affordable price, a flexible body which allows you to squeeze water out with one hand, and a filter to top it all off!
The Brita Sport bottle is also equipped with a no-spill cap which you can open and close. But getting water through the bottle requires a bit of force when squeezing anyway, to push water through the activated carbon filter. The filter is simple, but does a good job of cleaning up your tap water and reducing the taste of chlorine and other common tap water contaminants. It’s just a basic Brita filter, simple even as plastic water bottles with filters go, but is an added bonus on this less than $10 bottle.
Brita recommends replacing the filter every 2 months or 40 gallons of use, or around 256 refills of the 20 ounce bottle. Replacement filters run around $10 for 2-pack.
If you’re looking for a squeezable plastic bottle with a filter, this is a top pick. If you just want a good all-around everyday water bottle on the cheap, it’s also a fantastic option.
Check out current prices, learn more details, read other customer reviews, or purchase one for yourself by visiting the Amazon listing.
The Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth might be one of the most enduring and widespread plastic water bottles. No review of the best plastic water bottles would be complete without it. These extremely rugged Tritan plastic bottles are available in sizes ranging from 16 to 32 ounces, in just about any color you like, all of them with the distinctive transparent Nalgene tint that adds style without obscuring view of your drink.
If you’ve been camping or hiking in the last few decades, you’re probably familiar with these plastic Nalgene bottles. Practically everybody seems to have one laying around somewhere, and that is because they are extremely durable. Truly a buy it for life item, unless lost or subjected to some truly unhealthy amounts of torment, we think you’ll be keeping your Nalgene purchase at hand for many years to come.
We selected this classic Nalgene Tritan for its ubiquity and proven ruggedness. But we’d also like to give a shout out to the Nalgene On The Fly Plastic Water Bottle, which takes the same high quality Tritan plastic and Nalgene manufacturing and adds a spout with latch for easy drinking. This lets you flip it open one-handed and not worry about twisting it off, but sacrifices the wide mouth of the classic design, making the Nalgene On The Fly a sort of narrow mouth variety of everyone’s favorite classic Nalgene bottle.
Check current prices or get your own Nalgene (why haven’t you got one already?!) by visiting the Amazon listing.
If keeping your drink cold is important to you, insulation is the way to go. With the Polar Bottle Insulated Plastic Water Bottle, you get a super lightweight, sporty bottle which can be squeezed for one-handed operation. But the main selling point is the insulation. Manufactured with a double-walled design to create a layer of air which minimizes heat transfer, the Polar Bottle is one of few plastic water bottles to incorporate this type of insulation. To add a bit of extra insulating capacity, the bottle is finished with a reflective and insulating foil, kind of like a thermal blanket.
As one of our first reviews on Hydration Anywhere we took a look at the Polar Bottle Ergo and put its insulation to the test. Years down the road and countless water bottles tested since, we still feel the Polar Bottle stacks up as one of the best plastic water bottles on the market. The sub-$10 price makes them a serious bargain, and they are well equipped to serve as your companion to the gym, cycling, your favorite sport, or as just an everyday water bottle.
Learn more, check current prices, or get one for yourself by visiting the Amazon listing.
This .75 liter (25 ounce) CamelBak Chute Plastic Water Bottle is a simple, rugged workhorse of a water bottle. With no frills except for the well designed cap which has a carrying handle that doubles as a clip to hold the twist-off cap when its not on the bottle, the CamelBak Chute is nothing but business.
CamelBak is one of the leading brands in outdoor equipment and these Chute bottles are clearly designed with the rugged demands of camping, hiking, and outdoor activity in mind. They are exceptionally durable and made from high-quality BPA free plastic which does not leach any taste into the bottle’s contents.
Despite the overall simplicity of the bottle’s design, there are a huge variety of CamelBak Chute varieties to choose from. Select a simple and understated color or an eye-catching piece of art work that invokes a favorite movie, character, or even location.
Check current prices or pick one up for yourself at the Amazon listing.
The KOR Nava Plastic Water Filter Bottle is probably the fanciest-looking bottle in this review, and also the fanciest-priced. It runs around $22, quite a bit more than most of our picks here, but it makes up for it with a stylish design and a few neat features.
The main draw is the bottle’s coconut shell carbon filter, which is installed in a straw that runs down the bottle. KOR advertises “EasyFlow Technoogy” in this Nava bottle, and it is indeed quite easy to draw from the straw, easier than some other filter bottles where the addition of the filter makes sucking a task.
Overall, while the bottle is a little expensive, the design is very elegant and feels comfortable to hold, carry, and drink from. The tap-water only water filter is a great addition to improve the taste of your tap, especially by reducing chlorine flavor, and the replacement filters are reasonably priced at $12/2 pack with a filter lifetime of 2 months or 40 gallons of use, or around 245 refills of the 21-ounce KOR Nava plastic bottle.
Find more details, read other customer reviews, or check current prices at the Amazon listing.
Explore Other Water Bottles
Didn’t find the perfect water bottle in this article? Not to worry. Check out our Best Water Bottles 2017 Article for more suggestions. For more plastic water bottles, head to our Plastic Water Bottles Reviews Section, or just explore all of our water bottle reviews to find all kinds of neat suggestions!
Thanks for reading! Drop us a line in the comment section below if you have anything to add or any questions we didn’t manage to answer for you.
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We take an in-depth look at all of the BPA free bottles on the market to find the best plastic water bottles.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.