Americans are now drinking more bottled water than soda, which is a great thing for our health but also a major opportunity for innovative water bottle design companies to show the stuff they are made of.
From foldable titanium to 100% sugarcane bottles, new products are reflecting the competitive nature of the industry as companies wrestle to stand out in a globalized, digital-centered market that is as much dependent on influencer backing as it is on true innovation.
If you are looking for a water bottle that will turn heads at the gym (or at least spark interesting conversation), watch out for these new technologies.
Squeezable Titanium Water Bottles
Titanium is a popular product in water bottles aimed at cyclists and other athletes for whom ultra light-weight ‘everything’ is a priority.
Typical titanium grades focus on maintaining the bottle’s shape, and now this lightweight material can also include an elastic polymer core. In essence, the bottle remains 99.8% titanium, but that tiny bit of polymer enables users to squeeze the now soft bottle to pump out squirts of water.
This function makes the bottle super handy while you are running, cycling, or working out at the gym. The bottle also has little ripples along the body, which strengthens your grip while you squeeze!
Eco-Friendly Reusable Water Bottles
How many plastic water bottles are used for a couple of days then surreptitiously dumped? Too many, warn environmental scientists, and we already know that plastics are endangering sea life as we know it.
Those wishing to lead more sustainable lives while bringing a light, toxin-free bottle will love a brand new bottle by Yuhme, made from nothing else but sugarcane – a renewable source that is 100% recyclable.
The water bottle is as good for the environment as it is for your family’s health, as it is completely free of bisphenol A, phthalates, and other toxins known to pose a danger to human health.
Other brands are taking the passion for sustainability to the look of their bottles, creating gorgeous products with sustainably sourced bamboo exteriors and even giving a significant percentage of their proceeds to organizations like Plastic Oceans and the Marine Conservation Society.
Double-Up Cup and Water Bottle
Bottle design has also become more practical. Essentially, manufacturers understand that not all of us carry water in our bottles; some prefer chilled juice, energy drinks, or even Champagne!
We are beginning to see more bottles (such as the Dopper bottle) with lids that screw off to become a glass, ideal for those who prefer drinking from a wide-mouthed receptacle. This type of design is ideal for picnics and other Instagrammable events that require a more authentic feel than a typical water bottle can afford.
Water Bottles with a ‘Brain’
Trendy urbanites are all ablaze with wearable tech; we’re talking fitness trackers that look like necklaces and bear pretty leaf-shaped and other nature-inspired wear.
Bellabeat has taken things a step further into the future with a smart water bottle that actually lets you know how much you should be drinking, depending on your level of activity. The bottle doesn’t you get away with forgetfulness, sending you reminders when you need to take a sip.
All you need to do to activate this function is download the dedicated app (which will ask you for information such as your age and the type of activity you are carrying out). Give the bottle a shake to ‘wake it up’ to its smart functions.
Light Up Your Day
Another cool smart bottle is the Hidrate Spark 2. This bottle lights up to let you know when it is time to drink, letting you know when you have reached your target for the day.
It syncs up to top selling wearable tech like Fitbit and Apple Watch, and calculates your water needs based on information like your personal physiology.
If you follow popular mukbangers like Stephanie Soo on YouTube, then you probably notice that they water down the spice of ramen and kimchi delights with a bottle that is practically as large as their face – well, almost.
We’re talking The Coldest Water bottle, which measures a full gallon. Just when you think this bottle might be a bit too heavy for comfort, it surprises you with a square-shaped straw that requires very little effort to bring water to your lips. Klean Kanteen and Yeti also have large-sized bottles to complement their wide range of petite designs.
The popularity of La Croix and other brands selling fruit-infused or fruit-flavored waters have made water bottle designers sit up and take notice of the pulling power of fruit.
Companies like Infusion Pro have designed bottles with inner tubes for fruit. Tiny holes enable the water to absorb the fruity flavor though it make take hours for this process to be completed.
If you know you will be exercising the next day, a good idea is to prepare your fruit-filled bottle the night before and leave it in the fridge so you can enjoy the maximum amount of flavor from your first sip. Consider smaller, more compact fruits like blueberries, which will fill in all the gaps in the tube and therefore pack your bottle with more flavor.
You can also add a drop or two of essential oil for extra fragrance and flavor. Just make sure the oils you are using is therapeutic grade and edible. Peppermint, bergamot, and orange are good additions for those needing an energizing pick-me-up.
Companies like Hydaway Bottle are aiming to appeal to athletes and campers for whom space is key.
Their foldable water bottle contains grooves all along the body. As you drink, push down each groove until the bottle becomes almost completely flat. The bottle is PET and BPA free and is dishwasher safe, too.
Self-Filtering Water Bottles
The 321 water bottle by Half a Teaspoon bears a futuristic design that health buffs will go ga-ga over.
The transparent bottle has a cool blue central plunger filter with a carbon block that is ready to purify your tap water. Once the plunger is all the way down, you are ready to start drinking!
As with all filters, this one will need to be replaced. However, it can be used 100 times, purifying approximately 50 liters of water.
Another bottle catered at those seeking pure water is Vapur’s Microfilter Water Bottle, which filter up to 1,000 liters of water using a sophisticated micro-filtering technology made from sureaqua straws.
When Storage is Key
If the Great Outdoors is your best friend but you don’t like having to carry a bag or backpack, now that many water bottles now have storage space for items like credit cards or smartphones.
Just a couple to have a look at include the Beat Bottle and the Kangaroo Water Bottle. The latter has a flap that opens and closes, so you can store money and credit cards, while the latter has a slit you can slide your possessions into.
Practical is the Word
Companies like Closca Bottle are staying ahead of the game by upping their practical appeal. This bottle has an adjustable flap that enables you to hook it up to your bike, handbag, or knapsack with one quick flip.
It’s practical in terms of cleaning as well, since it has a screw on/off top and bottom, making it very easy to keep 100% bacteria-free. The bottle also comes with a small tea accessory that fits onto the bottom; ideal for an energizing hot, iced, or herbal tea.
Water bottles are not only smarter and lighter, but also more pleasing to the eye. A plethora of brands are utilizing effects such as wood, stone, and marble, to create unique designs that buyers can identify with.
With a cool white marble or sexy metallic bottle, you probably won’t have to worry about confusing your bottle with someone else’s at the gym. Additional cute features include wooden or cork bottle tops, half-and-half designs (e.g. glass and white ceramic looks), and seasonal designs (think loud flowery, dreamlike space, or perfume bottle-inspired designs).
From smart water bottles to those that merely look like a million dollars, there is a water bottle out there that can help inspire you to be your best. Bottles today come in a plethora of sizes and colors, and can satisfy almost any need – from ensuring you stay hydrated to folding down to nothing to make more room in your bag or knapsack.
Which type of bottle most appeals to you: one that prioritizes function, or aesthetic beauty? Nowadays, you really don’t have to decide between the two, which is great news for health and sport buffs who also like to make their mark through their clothing and accessories.
Phil McNamara is a drinking water industry expert. He has been engaged in the study of water issues since shortly after graduating from college and shares his expertise on the Water Filters FAST website. When he’s not keeping up on the latest water filters and purification systems, he likes to spend his time exploring the beautiful landscapes of Arkansas.