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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bottles > Nalgene Wide-Mouth Cantene > Owner Review by Chad G Poindexter

By: Chad Poindexter

October 17, 2010


NAME: Chad Poindexter
EMAIL: stick1377 (AT) gmail (DOT) com
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I love backpacking! However, with only 1 years under my belt so far, I would still consider myself a little green to it all, so to say Initially, I started out with heavy gear but since then I have gone lighter, although I still use a little of it all. I have gone from tent to tarp, canister stove to alcohol stove, sleeping bag to quilt and quite happily from synthetic to down. All of my hiking so far has been in the South East United States, and up to this point has been with friends or family.


Courtesy Of Nalgene
Manufacturer: Thermo Fisher Scientific
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: (US) $9.80
Listed Weight: N / A
Measured Weight: 2.1 oz (60 g)
Listed Capacity Reviewed: 32 fl oz (1 L)
Other Sizes Available: 48 & 96 fl oz (1.4, & 2.8 L)
Other Features:
~Wide Mouth (Compatible with most filters / purifiers.)
~Loop-Top Cap (Top stays attached so I never lose / forget the top.)
~Sturdy / Reliable (Multi-layer film offers strength.)
~Collapsible / Flexible
~Dishwasher Safe (Top Rack Only)
~Withstands temperatures from -29C (-20F) to 104C (220F)
~Gusseted bottom allows canteen to stand upright freely.
~Made in the USA.


The Nalgene Wide-Mouth Cantene (hereafter referred to as the "canteen" or the Nalgene") is sold as an alternative to the bulky hard-sided bottles in which to store or collect water in. The canteen shines in the fact that it is lighter-weight and packs down much smaller than some of the other options currently available. The wide-mouth makes water collection a simple task while allowing most water filters to be attached to the top, or to allow other methods of water purification to be easily preformed. The only down side to this water container is that extreme care must be taken while near sharp objects.

The canteen is a simple design, which is what makes it nice. The body of the bottle is made of what Nalgene calls a "multi-layer film" which allows the body to be rigid, but yet still remain flexible. The bottom of the canteen is gusseted so that when the canteen is filled with water the bottom will open up allowing the canteen to stand up on its own. Printed on one side of the canteen body is the Nalgene logo along with "Made in the USA and the word "Cantene." Just above this is a printed line and "32 oz. (approx.)"

The top of the canteen actually resembles that of a traditional Nalgene bottle. There is a piece of white hard plastic with threads on one end so that the blue loop-top cap can be screw closed. The other end of the hard plastic is molded into the shape of an eye, which is where the body of the multi-layer film body is attached.


I have used this canteen a total of 9 days on multiple trips to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) since I have purchased it. Over the course of these 9 days, I used the canteen multiple times each day.

The first trip was a two-day backpacking trip in August of this year. We hiked up the Alum Cave trail to the summit of Mt. LeConte (6,593 ft ~ 2,010 m) and then down the next day. The temperatures were around 65 F (18.3 C) in the mornings and reached as high as 88 F (31.1 C) during the day. We had some rain during the trip, which actually made the trip rather humid. On this trip I was going for small and light, so I carried the canteen empty and rolled up inside my 14 lb (6.4 kg) pack. Once at the top I used the canteen to collect my water for cooking. For the trip back down, I again emptied the bladder and rolled it up and then shoved it (safely) inside my pack.

The next trip I carried the canteen on was on a four mile round-trip day hike to Chimney Tops (4,800 ft ~ 1463 m) in GSMNP. We left around noon and returned around 4:00 in the afternoon. Temperatures were around 75 F (24 C) all afternoon. The day was sunny with a few clouds but never any rain. It was a beautiful day. On this trip I carried the canteen filled and stuffed inside the bladder pocket inside my pack (to simply hold it in place). By the time we finished up, the canteen was nearly empty.

The next trip was a four-day hike in the GSMNP. Temperatures ranged from 40 F (4 C) in the mornings to around 75 F (24 C) in the afternoons. We encountered some rain, but were lucky enough to be inside the shelters when it came. However, the rain did bring a cold front through, making it feel cooler in the morning. Elevations on this trip ranged between 2,200 to 6,300 ft (671 to 1,920 m). On this trip I slid the empty unrolled canteen inside a pocket on the side of my pack. Once at camp I would carry the cantene to the water source to collect water for my meals. At night before bed I would fill the canteen so that I would already have my water available for breakfast the next morning, so the canteen sat filled overnight.

Filling the canteen at Cosby Knob Shelter, GSMNP

The last trip that I carried the canteen on was another overnight trip, this time to Max Patch bald (4,629 ft ~ 1,411 m) in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. The temperatures on this trip were slightly cooler than on my previous trips. The temperatures were around 60 F (15.5 C) during the afternoon on our hike up and dropped down to about 34 F (1 C) in the early morning. It was also very windy on top of the bald, making the temperatures feel much cooler than they actually were. Yet again, we had beautiful skies with big puffy clouds that never dropped any rain, and a beautiful starry night with nary a cloud in sight. On this trip I filled the canteen full and stuffed it (again, carefully) inside one of the side pockets on my pack. The canteen was empty the next day as I left the bald and headed back to the car.


I must say that I initially bought the canteen to use as a pee bottle for use in cold temperatures, however, after receiving the canteen I quickly decided against it. The canteen rolled down much smaller than the Gatorade bottles I had been using on my previous trips, and even though the canteen weighed slightly more, it was still less than an ounce difference.
The multi-layer film that the bottle is made of is much more rigid than I expected when I ordered the canteen. I was expecting something similar to that of the Camelbak bladders, however it is much different. It is actually a hard plastic, which is indeed flexible. Very flexible. I can roll the canteen up very tiny, however due to the wide-mouth and the top rim, it doesn't completely roll down to nothing. Still though, the canteen claims much less space inside my pack than the bulky Gatorade bottles I used to carry.

So far, I have been very happy with the performance of the canteen on all of the trips I have carried it on. I decided to purchase the canteen in the 32 fl oz (1L) size, but once I received the canteen I realized that the capacity is actually more. The fill line which marks the 32 fl oz (1L) capacity is well below the top of the canteen, allowing closer to 40 fl oz (1.2 L) to actually fit inside the canteen. However, if I were to expect the water to freeze, I would then only fill the canteen to the recommended fill line. Also, since up to this point I have only used the canteen to collect my daily water, I have not put any hot water in the canteen, however I feel like the thick plastic would do fine to contain even boiling water. Although, the canteen would probably be difficult to hold with water this hot inside it.

I have found that the wide-mouth is in fact simple to use to collect water in, although, I have yet to collect my water from a shallow puddle with the canteen. Also, the wide-mouth is plenty large enough for me to use either my filter or my Aqua Mira drops successfully with. At this point, I must say that one of my favorite features of the canteen is the gusseted bottom. This allows the canteen to stand on it's own when filled with water which is nice when my hands are full and I cannot replace the cap on the canteen immediately. At this point I can simply set the canteen down just like I am setting a cup down, without worry of it falling over and spilling out its contents. I am also pleased that the canteen is clear so that I can see how much (and even the quality) of the water inside the canteen.

At this point the only concern I have is of course accidentally puncturing the canteen on something sharp. However, just as with any other piece of gear I carry backpacking, I am sure that if I take the proper precautions, the canteen will be ok. As far as the actual canteen, I have some concern about the rim / lid area of the canteen. The lid is attached to a hard piece of plastic that comes to points. The multi-layer film body is attached to this hard plastic. I am afraid that if proper care is not taken, especially while rolling the canteen up, the body could actually tear apart, or puncture, at the rim. In my opinion, I feel like if this were more of a rounded and smooth rim it would actually be a better design, and safer for the body of the canteen.


1. Small size.
2. Light-weight.
3. Wide-mouth.
4. Clear plastic body.
5. Gusseted bottom.
6. Good price.
7. Loop-top lid.
8. Durable.


1. I am concerned that the canteen can be easily punctured.
2. I also have concerns that the hard, sharp rim could cause a rip or puncture to the canteen body.


Chad Poindexter

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