Whenever I think I'm over the worst in my perfectionist streaks, something pops up to correct me. The latest reminder was my quest for a decent reusable water bottle.
Yes, sounds kind of silly, I admit, but hear me out.
Reusable water bottles are cheap, and can be found everywhere. However, past that it gets complicated. Steel, aluminum, plastic, or some other material? BPA free? Insulated? How large? Large opening for ice and easy cleaning? What kind of lid? Carry straps/attachments/pouches? The list goes on. A friend of mine obtained a really neat one for her trip to Japan, and this caused me to wake up to the fact that not all water bottles were created equal; there really is room for innovation in something that simple.
What I present below are not the ultimate products or ones that necessarily fit every need. They are, however, the bottles I've found to be sufficiently superior to warrant seeking them out amongst the sea of bottles being offered.
Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle. A fairly basic plastic bottle, made of some BPA free substance. Comes in a few colors. I don't see any use for the "intake meter" which is just a ring you can spin around, and I'm not too fond of the weird shape of the bottle. However, the lid has nice silicone seals and is completely waterproof, so you can toss it into your bag and not worry about it leaking. It has a chug-style spout which makes drinking really easy; even if you're working out or in otherwise bumpy conditions. The cover can be locked in place with a metal clasp; when that clasp is open, the basic lock still feels plenty reliable, but one button press pops the cover open. There's a little rubber spring that causes the cover to open all the way, so the bottle is a joy to use if you only have one hand free, for example when biking or kayaking. It also has an integral ring that you can use to strap it to a carabiner or such. Nalgene makes a somewhat similar bottle with a chug spout, but it doesn't have the seals or a solid enough closure mechanism for me to risk putting it in a bag.
Thermos Stainless Steel Bottle. The superior design of the previous bottle has made it to this one as well. However, the material is stainless steel, and it's an actual insulated double-wall bottle. It is also of a smaller capacity than the plastic version.
And there you have it. My recommendations for staying hydrated, when reusing an old juice bottle just won't do, and the lid of the free one you got at a trade show finally drove you batty. Amazon carries these, but Target does as well, for the same price. I've seen the plastic one at Walgreen's once, but otherwise they're not too common.