How to choose the right water bottle

What water bottle should you choose for hiking and trekking?

The water bottle has become a fashion accessory but remains an essential to take with you hiking, trekking or for a sports session. You still need to know how to choose well. To do this, there’s only one thing to do: Follow the guide!

Whether it's a day hike, a long trek or a simple sports session, it's essential to be well hydrated before, after and throughout your activity. Forget the plastic bottle and its devastating effects on the environment and opt for the reusable water bottle! A trendy, design accessory but above all, more ecological, economical and practical than a disposable bottle.

To help you choose the water bottle best suited to your needs, we will guide you through 3 criteria: choice of material, opening mechanism and volume of the water bottle!

how to choose a water bottle or water pouch for camping or hiking?

Water bottles, water pouches and isothermal flasks: very different products

Choosing the water bottle to take on your hike, trek or sports session requires some research. As a long-term purchase, each type of water bottle has its advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before buying.

Water bottles come in a variety of styles, designs, materials, systems and volumes (or capacities). There is one for everything. As well as water bottles, other accessories are available to keep you hydrated when active: water pouch and isothermal flask.
Let us give you just a few words to point out the difference.

Water pouches: they slide into your backpack and come with a straw. You can drink directly from the straw without stopping. Their capacity varies from 1 to 3 litres.

Isothermal bottles can be used to keep liquids hot, such as coffee and tea, or to keep other liquids cold.

Now you know the difference, you have all the guidance needed to choose the water bottle best suited to your activity!

1/ Choice of material

The first criteria to determine your choice of water bottle is its material. We offer water bottles in tritan plastic, aluminium and stainless steel. So why choose one material instead of another? Over time, the water bottle has become a fashion accessory for its style and form. But above all because each material has its own advantages to meet the needs of the great majority of athletes.

  • Tritan water bottle


    A new kind of plastic, tritan is extremely light (therefore practical and easy to carry) and unbreakable. You can stand with your feet together on a tritan water bottle without breaking it (even though we don't recommend it, it's not what a water bottle is for and you may injure yourself...).

    They also have the advantage of being transparent which is practical for kids so you can check on their water level in a glance. Extremely durable and very affordable, our tritan water bottles have one last feature: they are made in Europe, more specifically in Portugal!

    Did you know? All our tritan bottles are BPA-free

    As with all our products, these water bottles don’t contain Bisphenol A in compliance with current regulations.

  • Aluminium water bottle


    Plastic-free water bottle: aluminium or stainless steel?

    If you’re deciding between aluminium or stainless steel, you’ll have to decide whether the weight of your bottle or the ability to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold is more important to you. There are also other criteria that we will discuss!

    If you're reluctant to go for a plastic water bottle for environmental reasons, you can turn to the aluminium water bottle. Aluminium is traditionally the most used material in the manufacture of our water bottles, the main advantage of an aluminium water bottle is its ultra light weight (from 114 g to 192 g for the largest water bottle (1.5 L) in our aluminium range).

    Aluminium water bottles are extremely durable and have a significant advantage: they are recyclable. They are also made in Europe, in our factories in Spain.

    On the other hand, unlike stainless steel, an aluminium bottle can’t be isothermal.

    One last important point for sensitive palates: aluminium does not leave an after-taste in the mouth!

  • Stainless steel water bottle


    Finally, we offer a complete range of 18/8 stainless steel water bottles (the standard benchmark in food-safe stainless steel, generally speaking it's what you find in your frying pans or saucepans). From a health and environmental perspective, stainless steel has many advantages. Firstly, crude stainless steel water bottles don't contain any chemical products so there is no risk of consuming any residue from questionable substances.

    Moreover, it's a slightly heavier material with the advantage of being ultra-resistant, durable and recyclable! As is the case with our tritan or aluminium water bottles, these single wall stainless steel water bottles are not isothermal. If you want to keep your hot or cold drinks for longer, you will have to use isothermal bottles or put an isothermal cover on your water bottle!

What are the best isothermal water bottles?

The best isothermal water bottles are those that will stay warm and cold for as long as possible. But how do they achieve this?

At Quechua, our isothermal water bottles stay warm or cold for longer thanks to a double-walled stainless steel technology with air vacuum. To put it simply, as there is really nothing between the two walls (no atoms, nothing, just a vacuum), the heat exchange that usually takes place by conduction or convection does not take place. Basically, there is no "physical support" for heat or cold to pass from the inside to the outside, or for the outside temperature to influence the inside temperature of the water bottle. And to optimise all this and block heat radiation exchange (hang on, physics class is almost over), we have coated the outside of the inner wall with a thin layer of copper.

The best isothermal water bottles use this double-wall technology with quality materials, and with a cap (the bottle's weak link) that is also of good quality so as not to let all the heat from your hot drink sink in.

At Quechua, our isothermal water bottles let you keep a liquid initially at 95° to 74 or 80°C (depending on the model) after 6 hours. 

N.B.: there are also Quechua double-walled vacuum cups, which prevent you from burning your hands or lips when drinking the hot coffee or tea just out of your isothermal water bottle.

2/ Hiking and trekking water bottle opening mechanisms

The second element that may inform your choice of water bottle or water pouch is the type of cap or opening mechanism. There are 5 types of cap depending on your design awards and practical preferences: screw top, quick-opening cap, instant-opening cap, straw cap and water pouch straw.

How to choose a hiking water bottle?
Screw top water bottle

Screw top

The standard cap par excellence, the screw cap is a trendy and reliable top. It is distinguished by its ease of opening and closing. A little extra: it's practical to attach your water bottle to your bag to grab it easily.

Quick-opening water bottle (two hands)

Quick opening top with two hands

This type of cap opens and closes easily and quickly using 2 hands without unscrewing the cap. Perfect for everyday.

Water bottle with instant-opening cap

Instant top: can be opened one-handed

No need to pull it with your teeth or unscrew it to drink. One hand is enough to open and close the top by pushing the button. This type of cap is ideal for sports activities.

Water bottle with straw cap

Straw top

Simple and easy to handle, the straw top is particularly suitable for kids. No need to tip the water bottle to drink, a simple suck on the straw is enough. It's a bit like a built-in straw, but even more practical!

Water pouch straw

Water pouch straw

Straws are compact and very practical for hiking or trekking. They offer an easy way to stay hydrated with necessarily having to stop.

The opening mechanism you choose for your bottle or water pouch depends mainly on your use. Whether you drink faster or slower depending on your activity, and also on your aesthetic preference. To address ecological concerns and in the interest of environmental protection, our tops are now available separately. So now there's no need to buy a new bottle or water pouch if you've inadvertently lost or broken the opening mechanism!

The size of your hiking water bottle

3/ Volume: from 0.5 to 2 litres

To choose the right water bottle, think about the capacity needed for your sport and whether you’ll have access to a drinking water point to refill your bottle or not. It’s actually the capacity that will guide you in your choice, especially for isothermal water bottles which lose performance if they are not filled. All volumes are available from a half litre to two litres.

Some people have two sizes depending on their sporting activity. For example, a small capacity water bottle, often 0.5 litre, for short outings or sports sessions with access to drinking water, or an isothermal one for carrying tea or coffee. Others will need to carry all the water they need for their sport for the whole day, and will opt for large capacity bottles, from 1.5 to 2 litres.

We can’t help you more with this third criteria, simply go for the one best suited to your needs in terms of volume and your personal taste.

Forclaz filtered water bottle

Filtered water bottle, a lightweight, practical solution

This water bottle makes water safe to drink by filtering clear surface water, removing bacteria and protozoa.
Small added advantage: this water bottle is collapsible and lightweight (180g).

How do you know if a water bottle is really waterproof or leakproof for school?

A kid runs around and has their own way of storing belongings in their backpack. So that your kid can hydrate throughout the day without risking flooding their notebooks because they stuffed their water bottle upside down in their backpack (it happens, even to the most careful kids), opt for a truly leakproof system. Check that there is a seal on the cap, which will make the bottle watertight and avoid gaps between the body and the cap that would let water through.

What size water bottle for school or school trips?

Buying a water bottle for school trips can be useful: you will consume less plastic, and your kid can personalise it with stickers or choose a colour or pattern that they like and will want to use. This lets them differentiate their water bottle from those of other kids and avoid mixing or forgetting!

Depending on their age, a kid needs to drink between 0.9 and 1.5 litres of water per day. However, it’s out of the question to inflict the 1.5 kg of water in a huge bottle, to be carried all day. For the size of their water bottle, opt instead for a half-litre one, to be refilled with tap water once or twice during the day.

If your kid doesn't like tap water, and they are good at fine motor skills, you should know that at Quechua we have made water bottles with a lockable cap and a small built-in filter. This filter prevents pieces of fruit infusing into the water to give a pleasant taste and replace syrups (which are far too sweet!).

Why take a water bottle to work?

If you aim to drink more water, a water bottle is a good alternative to a plastic or glass bottle. Even though the glass bottle has a much lower environmental impact than the plastic bottle, it is heavy and cumbersome. A water bottle will be light, easy to look after and can follow you from your meetings to your hikes (so you avoid having two separate objects). Also, in case of impact or clumsiness, your glass bottle will not last long, unlike a water bottle.

How to choose a hiking water bottle?

BONUS: Filtered water bottle, a lightweight, practical solution

This reusable filtering bottle from Forclaz makes water drinkable by filtering clear surface water to remove bacteria and protozoa (to be really precise, it filters 99.9999% of bacteria (E. coli, etc.) and 99.9% of protozoa).

Small added advantage: this water bottle is compressible and lightweight (180 g).

Get rid of plastic bottles during your sports activity and move to a reusable water bottle. There’s now one available for all budgets and all uses. As more and more of you support a more ecological approach, we are working on local supply, depending on the geographical market. Using materials that have less and less environmental impact and are more and more recyclable!

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