Green Tuesday: Metal or Plastic?

I picked up a stainless steel water bottle from a store while I was in Ojai. I’d been reading about BPA in plastic bottles, and frankly, I’m tired of that nasty plasticky taste that some water bottles give.

This stainless steel bottle is from EnviroProductsInc, I’ve been using it on my last rides and I can really taste the difference. The only two drawbacks about my stainless steel bottle is the price; I got mine for $8.99 and mine didn’t come with a pop top, so I have to wait until I stop at a red light so I can unscrew the top and sip some water.

My wife made me aware that Marshall’s sell Aluminum water bottles at a cheaper price. I picked up this OGGI bottle for $5.99, it also came with a screw top. Now, not all metal water bottles are made the same, some come with some type of plastic liner defeating the purpose of avoiding BPA. I really dig my metal bottles so far, but I will be ordering some sport tops from Klean Kanteen, unscrewing those tops can be a pain in the rear.


  1. chris

    just so you know, the Sigg brand aluminum bottles have a plastic liner. i have a kleen kanteen and i think its great.

  2. Ghost Rider

    I have both Sigg and Klean Kanteen bottles…both with “sport tops”. The Sigg one is OK, I suppose, but the Klean Kanteen pop top only lets out a tiny trickle of water. You really have to suck on it to get a drink, and since you can’t squeeze the bottle to force more water through the spout, you’re stuck like that. I’m a gulper, so that amount just isn’t enough for me.

  3. 2whls3spds

    Well….considering that my normal ride of choice is a 36 year old Raleigh Superbe and it doesn’t have water bottle racks on it….

    I use the Kleen Kanteens and carry them in my saddle bag. At the speeds I normally ride, I get a drink every time I stop and that is sufficient.

    I have a few of the old plastic water bottles, but they do get funky after a while and add to the trash stream, as well as having to be made from virgin plastic.


  4. FlatGreg

    Where did you buy your enviroproducts bottle? That price is a lot more attractive than the SIGG bottles.

    Re: Sigg bottle liner – they claim the plastic liner is BPA free, however due to their licensing agreement they can’t disclose full details on the liner. They’re looking for a different liner supplier that well let them fully disclose the makeup of the liner.

  5. Ghost Rider

    Here’s a PDF about the Sigg bottle liners:

  6. Ghost Rider
  7. Palm Beach Bike Tours

    I’m a big fan of the insulated Polar Water Bottles. Uninsulated bottles reach air temperature (90 degrees) within half an hour in my neighborhood even when they start out partially frozen.

    As for Bisphenol A (BPA), I’m not worried.

    I have used the stainless steel unscrew-style bottles reviewed here for camping and they never and never taste funky. For camping, they work. On a bike, however, I’m too uncoordinated and forever dropping the top.


  8. Paul Rivers

    From my understanding of polycarbonate,

    1. One of the reasons it was so popular is because it doesn’t add taste to your water. If your water bottle was changing the taste of your water, it wasn’t polycarbonate (though I’d still get rid of it because that creeps me out :-)).

    2. I thought it was only used in the solid, hard-sided bottles, like Nalgenes. I could be wrong on this though.
    3. BPA is used as a liner in every disposable metal can you get. So if you’re drinking pop or warming up soup from a can, BPA was used as a component to line the can.
    4. It’s unclear if your aluminum water bottle is more safe or less safe. There’s been some controversy over whether aluminum in deodorant causes health problems:

    So you might imagine that drinking out of aluminum container might also cause issues no ones studied yet…

  9. Moe (Post author)
  10. MarkR

    This is one of those issues I classify under: if we look hard enough we’ll find that everything we do or touch could kill us. So pick your poison and carpe diem!
    besides I can’t squeeze an alum. btl to shoot water in my mouth or over my head without rendering it useless.

  11. Ghost Rider

    I’m with Mark about the “squeezability” of bottles. VERY important for me!

    You’re right…if we look hard enough, nearly everything can kill us. Still, I’d rather err on the side of caution (without excessive paranoia).

    And, as a small consolation…traditional plastic water bottles are almost always made from the “safe” plastics (according to the code on the base of them). Camelbak has new plastic bottles out, too, but I haven’t heard too much good stuff about them.

  12. Palm Beach Bike Tours

    Ghost, I recently tried the new Camelbak bottle. The bite nipple works great and I like it much better than the pullout/slap shut top on standard water bottles. Still, I’m sold on insulated water bottles and don’t see myself going back to uninsulated bottles. If Camelbak made an insulated bottle with the new nipple, I’d certainly give it a try.


  13. Evan

    I just bought one of the Polar insulated bottles last week. I rode with it a few times and I think I’m going to stick with it.

    It isn’t especially squeezable, but besides that everything else is a positive. It really does keep my water cold (or at least more so than the traditional plastic bottles), and it holds a full 24oz. It doesn’t make my water taste like plastic and it had a sticker on the packaging that says it’s BPA-free.

    I like the water bottles with the traditional pop-top. I saw those metal bottles at the grocery store and thought about it, but the screw cap was a deal breaker for me.

  14. Russ Roca

    I just got a trio of Kleen Kanteens and so far I like them…Some things I’ve learned…

    -You can control how fast the water comes out by how tight the top is screwed…super tight and you’ll have to suck the water to get it to flow…ease it off just a bit and it will come pouring out…

    -One of my main reasons for getting a Kleen Kanteen is that whenever I put juice or anything else other than water in a water bottle, it turns green….my hope is that I can carry other liquids without the thing molding up…

    -They look damn classy…

  15. Ghost Rider

    I’m going to have to try that trick on my Klean Kanteen…as it is now, I look like a really hungry (and ugly) baby desperately trying to nurse from a clogged nipple.

  16. Marrock

    I have one of the Siggs with what they call the Active top and I wouldn’t use anything else.

    I really like how you can take it apart to clean it, doesn’t leave me wondering what else I’m drinking with my water.

  17. Adriel

    I use a polycarbonate bottle on my bike, it fits great, and has no taste at all. I have a different lid than the picture that I found at my local water supply.

    These are the bottles I use, I think they have them at sun harvest.

    I have always despised the nasty tasting water bottles that most cyclists use, and I refuse to use them).

    The great thing about these are they are about $6 so if you lose one, it is not the end of the world. I thought about stainless, but the price turned me off.

  18. Adriel

    I found the lid I used, it is by the same people.

    It is a learning curve to use while riding, but I have it down now.

  19. Ghost Rider

    Adriel, check your polycarbonate bottle’s bottom for the plastic code. If it says “7”, those can be (but not necessarily) the ones that leach bisphenol A into your water. Newer polycarbonate bottles like the Camelbaks have a new polycarbonate formula that eliminates BPA.

  20. Raiyn

    This came up in the featured topic slider. Since this was posted Kleen Kanteen came out with what it calls the Sport Top 2.0 and let me tell ya there’s NO problem with water flow with that puppy. If you already have a Kleen Kanteen I’d order the new top – it’s worth it.

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