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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bottles > Nalgene 32 oz Wide Mouth bottle > Test Report by Greg McDonald

NALGENE 32 OZ. WIDE MOUTH BOTTLE
TEST SERIES BY GREG MCDONALD
LONG-TERM REPORT
February 13, 2009

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Greg McDonald
EMAIL: gdm320 AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 21
LOCATION: Boynton Beach, Florida
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
WEIGHT: 225 lb (102.00 kg)

I have been camping for 15 years, 11 of them have been spent hiking in the backcountry. My hikes are almost exclusively in Florida and generally range between one and three nights. My all-time favorite hike was a 10 day expedition in the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. I consider myself a lightweight but comfortably equipped hiker, with a pack averaging between 25 and 30 lb (11 and 14 kg).


NALGENE Outdoor

INITIAL REPORT

Product Information and Specifications


Photo courtesy of NALGENEManufacturer: NALGENE Outdoor
Model: 32oz Wide Mouth "Everyday"
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.nalgene-outdoor.com
MSRP: US $11.50
Materials: Eastman Tritan Copolyester
Color Tested: Red
Colors Available: Spring Green and Blue
Approved Temperature Range: -40 F to 212 F (-40 C to 100 C)
Measured Total Weight: 6.2 oz (176 g)
Measured Bottle Weight: 5.6 oz (158 g)
Measured Cap Weight: 0.6 oz (18 g)
Measured Length: 8.5 in (23.6 cm)
Measured Diameter (Base): 3.5 in (8.9 cm)
Measured Mouth Diameter: 2.25 in (5.7 cm)
Manufactured in the USA

Product Description

The short version is: it's a water bottle.

But hold on, there's a longer version. The Nalgene 32 oz. Wide Mouth Bottle is a bottle in Nalgene's "Everyday" line. It is essentially the same design that Nalgene has been famous for over the years. I've used Nalgene bottles on my outdoor adventures for about 10 years and aesthetically very little has changed in that time. While you won't find this anywhere in the official product name, I have found that this is more commonly referred to on the trail as a "1 Liter Nalgene".

I would describe the bottle as more or less translucent - I can see into and through it although it is not clear. The particular model I am testing is a cool candy apple red with a black cap and is made of Eastman Tritan copolyester which is 100% BPA free (more on that in a minute). On one side of the bottle I find the "Nalgene" and "Everyday" logos. On the other side there are printed graduations ranging from 8 to 32 oz (in 4 oz increments). A cool thing about the bottle is that it also has metric graduations from 300 to 1000 mL (in 100 mL increments). The graduations are easy to read and to interpret.

As for the feel, the bottle is a comfortable diameter and length for my hand. The bottle itself is light in-hand but still feels very sturdy and is certainly not flexible in any sense. The edges at the top and bottom are smooth.

The cap is Nalgene's standard screw-top design and is made of polypropylene. The cap connects to the bottle by way of a 4 in (10 cm) connecting strap, which is handy for hikers like me who tend to "misplace" things. The cap has ridges running around the diameter for grip.

What is BPA?

Does anyone understand this stuff?
Molecular Diagram of Bisphenol A

This particular bottle is part of Nalgene's new BPA-free line of bottles - designed in response to consumer speculation and newfound controversy over BPA's possible negative health effects. BPA stands for Bisphenol A (molecular formula C15H16O2). It is an organic compound that is commonly found in the production of plastics and has been used for many years as a key component in polycarbonate bottles (including water bottles and baby bottles).

Since 1930 there have been questions about possible health issues that could arise from exposure to BPA. The debate has picked up a bit more over the past decade or so, but most of the real action has taken place in the last year. The concern with BPA is the possible increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer (among other things). This debate is not without controversy and disagreement of its own so I will merely present the facts, as I understand them.

In April of 2008, Health Canada released an assessment that recommended that BPA be classified as a toxic substance to both humans and the environment and that it posed a significant risk to infants, although it is important to note that the report did say that average BPA levels did not seem to pose the same risks to adults. Immediately following the release of the assessment, the Canadian Health Minister called for the ban of BPA baby products in Canada. Meanwhile in the United States the Health Canada assessment fueled the fire of the BPA debate. In the end, the Food and Drug Administration assured the public that they had determined BPA is safe.

Nalgene itself has opted to begin to phase out their BPA-polycarbonate bottles in "response to consumer demand" and they deny that the move has anything to do with concerns over the safety of BPA. There is a considerable BPA FAQ section on the Nalgene website that answers common questions on BPA and where visitors can find more information. Ultimately, Nalgene asserts that their BPA products are safe and healthy for human use. Nalgene cites the conclusions of the Food and Drug Administration (United States), the Environmental Protection Agency (United States), the European Commission Scientific Committee on Food (European Union), the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Germany), and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (Japan) as evidence to support their position.

Needless to say, the debate rages on…

What Lies Ahead

A water bottle like this is pretty straight forward. The wide mouth has the advantages of being easy to clean and fill no matter what I'm putting into it. Thus far, I like how easy it was to hand clean the bottle before its first use (although this can also be done in the dishwasher). I also very much like that it is easy to fill with ice then with water (or Gatorade or whatever) which is very important for use here in Florida.

The biggest drawback of the Nalgene's wide mouth is that it's pretty easy for me to end up wearing what I'm drinking. I will be closely monitoring this during the test series. Keeping the size and weight as low as possible also requires the sacrifice of any and all insulation which can be a bit of a drag in both very hot and very cold weather.

I carry a Nalgene bottle every day, to stay hydrated. This Nalgene bottle is the "Everyday" model. Coincidence? Probably, but it's not as dramatic that way. Not only will the Nalgene see use each and every mile of my expeditions and wanderings, but it will see daily use in my everyday life.


LONG-TERM REPORT

Testing Locations and Conditions

On The Florida Trail!The trail locations where I have taken the Nalgene include Jonathan Dickinson State Park, the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, the rim trail of Lake Okeechobee, and the Ocala National Forest with overnight trips in the two latter locations. Temperatures have ranged between 33 and 80 F (0 and 27 C) with only very mild precipitation, if any. Winds have been especially high in the recent weeks with a sharp cold snap, and I have been trekking through winds ranging from about 10 to 18 mph (16 and 29 kmh) which have dropped the "feels like temperatures" as low as 23 F (-5 C). I would estimate that the bottle and I have covered a bit under 40 mi (65 km) of trail together.

Additionally, over the last 3 months, I have used the Nalgene on approximately 65 occasions in my daily life. This information is relevant in this case because it has given me the opportunity to increase the wear and tear on the Nalgene to get a better idea of its long term durability if I were to use it on the trail alone.

Field Performance

The Nalgene Everday has performed superbly over the course of the testing period, consistent with every other Nalgene bottle that I have ever owned. Aside from a few cosmetic battle scars, the bottle is in excellent condition. There are no cracks, discolorations, or chewing of the threads on the neck. The bottle has been dropped, stepped on, kicked, smashed, and took a nasty tumble down a climbing wall but it still shows no signs of giving up anytime soon. The bottle has been able to handle everything I've thrown at it within the parameters of normal outdoor activities. I was curious if the new BPA free materials would fare any differently than the older plastics that Nalgene used to employ and it seems to me that the new model lives up to the standards I expect from a Nalgene.

The two gripes that I have with the bottle still stand... sort of. The lack of insulation is a bummer when I want to keep something either hot or cold and the wide mouth creates a real mess when I try and drink while moving. I've found workarounds for both though, so I don't really have a problem in practice. An old piece of a foam sleeping pad makes a nice cozy for a warm cocoa at lunch and my previously reviewed humangear capCAP keeps me from wearing most of it on my shirt.

With a little perspective, I've found that these "gripes" are necessary tradeoffs for some of the things I like most about the bottle. The lack of insulation in the bottle saves bulk and weight, so if it isn't necessary for me to keep something either hot or cold I can ditch the cozy. The wide mouth makes the bottle exponentially easier to clean than the narrow-mouthed bottles and makes it possible to easily fill the entire thing with ice. I've found only a few things that are more tedious than trying to cram ice cubes one by one into a narrow-mouth bottle… and forget trying to scrub the inside of one of those things. With that in mind, the wide-mouth is a welcome relief. The wide mouth also mates perfectly with my MSR MiniWorks water filter and my father's MSR HyperFlow filter so I don't have to juggle holding the bottle, holding the filter, and pumping.

The bottle is very easy to take care of. I wash the majority of my outdoor gear by hand since it gives me the opportunity to really inspect it for signs of wear and tear, and the Nalgene was no exception. Generally all I did was fill the bottle about a third of the way with water, pump in a little bit of foaming dish soap, close, and shake it until my dog looked at me like I'd finally lost it. Then I'd unscrew the lid, scrub the threads and mouth of the bottle thoroughly with a vegetable brush, then rinse the whole thing clean to get all the suds out. This was all I needed to do to keep the Nalgene clean and ready to go. I did run it through the dishwasher a few times since it is listed as dishwasher safe and had no problems with any warping or melting.

Over the course of the testing period I drank quite a few different things from the Nalgene. The bottle held water, Gatorade of several different flavors, several flavors of iced teas, hot cocoa, and protein shakes. I've never detected any discoloration, staining, or lingering odors from anything I've put in the bottle. I am very pleased with that since the last thing I want is a hint of protein shake in my Gatorade… or any combination really.

Final Thoughts

This bottle has lived up to all of my expectations. There are some things with my gear that I would like to keep as simple as possible and Nalgene certainly takes care of that. The Everyday is lightweight, durable, and is everything that I need out of a bottle. I wouldn't change a thing and I can't imagine any reason why I will not continue to use it for years to come. I've actually purchased an additional one so that I can phase out my older Nalgene bottles that contain BPA. I figure I'd rather be safe than sorry.

This concludes my test report on the Nalgene 32 oz (or "1 Liter") Wide Mouth Bottle. I'd like to once again thank BackpackGearTest.org and, of course, Nalgene for giving me the opportunity to test this great product.

Greg McDonald

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.


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