It’s just a water bottle, right?
Yes and no. I thought this too until Splendour in the Grass 2019. I bought a new bottle, took it with me… and ended up with water down my front all. the. time! This problem for me was to do with the width of the opening, but it made me realise a water bottle isn’t just a water bottle!
There are heaps of things to consider for your festival water bottle: material, capacity, insulation, portability and as I’ve discovered; how you drink from it.
Disclaimer: These opinions are my own and I don’t get any benefit from sharing them, apart from maybe saving you from spilling your drink all over yourself and buying a bottle that’s no good for what you need it for.
In the reusable water bottle world there are usually 4 materials they’re made out of : Plastic, Glass, Aluminium and Stainless Steel.
Glass: We don’t recommend glass water bottles for festivals. Glass isn’t usually allowed on any festival site and glass can shatter if you put cool or warm liquids in them.
Plastic: If you’re going to choose plastic, make sure you research what kind of plastic is being used to produce your bottle (BPA Free is best, these are usually hard plastic, sometimes called “tritan”). Hard plastic can crack and plastic really isn’t as recyclable as we think. Plastic is a cheap option for a reusable water bottle though, so if this is all your budget allows, or you’ve got an old promotional one in the back of your cupboard, then thanks for doing your lil’ bit for the environment!
Aluminium: As a water bottle material is fine, I have been using an aluminium bottle as my primary bottle for 5 years. Aluminium is often lighter and cheaper than Stainless Steel, but does tend to get bashed up a lot easier.
Aluminium has been rumoured to cause Alzheimers disease, but this has been labelled a myth by the Alzheimers Association. In the case of Aluminium water bottles though, they’re usually coated with epoxy resin so you don’t have to worry about aluminium touching the beverage inside. Just as an FYI, all the aluminium bottles on our site are coated with BPA-Free epoxy resin.
Stainless Steel is my favourite reusable water bottle material. I’ve only recently made the switch to Stainless Steel, and I’m a big fan. SS gets banged up less, is easy to find insulated, easy to clean and really should last a lifetime.
Capacity is usually a pretty easy one to work out, it’s just how much liquid your bottle is going to hold. The final weight of the bottle is also determined by the capacity.
If you’re someone who likes to clip everything to a festival belt so you can walk around and boogie hands(and bag)-free, then something with less capacity might be best. My aluminium bottle is around 850ml, it swings around a bit, but not enough to bother me, but I think this is the largest size I would be comfortable clipping to my belt.
Capacity is also relevant to how often you will keep having to fill your bottle up. Our smallest size bottle is 500ml. Most large tumblers are 500ml, so this size bottle might only be equivalent to a large glass of water – just something to keep in mind.
If you’re going to festivals that allow you to take your own alcohol, 750ml and above is the best size. It holds a whole bottle of wine!
Some Stainless Steel bottles are available with double-walled vacuum insulation. What this essentially means is that the wall of the bottle touching your beverage, and the air between that wall and the outer wall help create a nice lil cocoon to help your beverage stay the temperature you put it in there at. This is super cool (pun definitely intended), but also means the outside wall that your hands touch is not the same temperature as the liquid inside, so be mindful of that.
The insulated bottles we sell are rated to keep cold beverages cold for 24 hrs and hot beverages hot for 6hrs. My scorched-off taste buds can vouch for heat retention after 4 hours, so much so that I’d actually recommend putting your warm bev in the bottle at almost-drinking temperature.
Portability is usually a pretty important consideration if you’re going to be bringing your water bottle to festivals. For me, I’ve got to be able to attach a carabiner to it so I can clip it to my belt. If you’ve already got a water bottle holder or a bag that you can fit it into, this might not be too much hassle. Since I’ve started using our Cheeki bottles, I’ve found myself just holding the bottle by the handle and boogying with it in my hand. If you’re someone who prefers to hold their bottle this would be an awesome option. The handle has a rubber coating so doesn’t dig into your hand (or rattle when you have a carabiner attached)
How you drink from it
A funny title, but sounded better than “mouth width”.
The width of the opening you drink from is important, I’ll post a picture of the 3 different types I have so you get an idea.
If the bottle you have chosen has a sippy top, this probably won’t apply to you. I will recommend against the sippy tops that have the straw that goes to the bottom though, the straw is just an extra piece of plastic (and never stays where it needs to be), the sippers never sip properly and these are really prone to leaking.
My Current Water Bottles
Left: Aluminium bottle I bought for maybe $10, I’ve had it for about 5 years, it’s been with me everywhere and is quite dented.
Middle: Stainless Steel insulated bottle I bought from Target for $12 before Splendour 2019. I found the cap leaked if I didn’t screw it on hard enough (cue red wine dribble stains). And I found the opening way too big for me, but more on that later.
Right: Cheeki Stainless Steel 750ml. A newbie for me, really because I thought I should try out my own products. It’s actually my new favourite and I’m starting to use it more frequently than my old aluminium one.
... "Mouth Width"
As you can see, the three bottles I own have a varied range of opening sizes.
Top: Aluminium bottle. I’ve had no problem with the size of this opening, it’s about the same as a regular single-use water bottle. Can’t fit ice in it though, which might be a downfall
Left: Stainless Steel 750ml Cheeki. A little larger than the top one, which means I can fit ice in it.
Bottom: Stainless Steel insulated Target bottle. It’s huge. Well.. not huge, it’s about the same size as a regular glass, but I had an awful time drinking out of this while I was walking. I had to stop, drink carefully, then run to catch up with my friends, it was more frustrating than anything major.