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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bottles > Nalgene loop-top bottle > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

August 29, 2007


NAME: Kathleen Waters
AGE: 56
LOCATION: White Lake, Michigan USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

I started hiking in 1998 after an eye-opening climb up Hahn's Peak in Colorado. Hooked, I return to Colorado often. I've hiked/snowshoed glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in domestic and exotic locations, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. At home, I plan for 2-3 hikes of 6-8 mi (10-13 km) weekly and one weekend hike monthly. Weekday hikes take place in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, a mixture of heavily-wooded moderate hills and flat terrain. Weekend hike locations vary. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) including food and water


Manufacturer: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$9.00
Listed Weight: .33 lb (.15 kg)
Measured Weight: 6 oz (170 g)
Other details: (from manufacturer's website)

Made with Polycarbonate
Extremely durable
Resistant to staining
Resistant to retaining odors
Recommended for "extreme" adventures
Dishwasher Safe (top rack only)
Withstands temperatures from -135 C (-211 F) to 135 C (275 F)
Nalgene 32 oz PC Loop-Top Water Bottle
Nalgen 32 oz PC Loop-Top Water Bottle


The Nalgene 32 oz (1 L) PC loop-top water bottle is cylindrical in shape and comes in both a wide-mouth and narrow-mouth version. I am reviewing the narrow-mouth version. The polycarbonate material which comprises the body of the bottle has the look and feel of hard plastic. The circumference of the bottle is 12 in (31 cm) and my index fingers just barely meet when I grasp the bottle with both hands.

The Nalgene 32 oz (1 L) PC loop-top water bottles come in various colors. My two bottles are red so as to distinguish them from my husband's two blue bottles. On the front of the bottle is a black, white and blue "nalgene" logo and "Made in USA". The back of the bottle has a graduated approximate volume graphic in white. The measurements run from 4 oz (100 mL) to 32 oz (1000 mL) in 4 oz and 100 mL increments.

The screw on cap is black with a flexible thin strap which is connected to the cap and ends in a loop that is securely fastened around the neck of the bottle opening. This strap/cap/loop is completely movable around the the bottle neck, but does not - without breaking - remove from either the cap or the bottle neck loop.

The mouth of my bottle is 1 in (3 cm) across.

The bottom of the bottle is flat with a slightly concave center and an embossed same-colored "Nalgene" on it.


I have had my two Nalgene 32 oz (1 L) PC loop-top water bottles for over 5 years now. They were the very first "serious" water bottles that I bought having previously used a random bunch of mostly promotional sports-type squeeze bottles with the typical push-pull lids. I spent some time - way more than was probably warranted for a $9 purchase - checking out the various options before finally settling on Nalgene. I read all the various controversies regarding the possible ill-health effects of polycarbonate, but was ultimately convinced the dangers were virtually nil.

In these past 5 years, I have used my bottles in all kinds of locations, climates, weather conditions and terrain. They traveled with me to Puerto Rico where I spent several days in the Manuel Antonio National Park. Numerous trips to the Colorado Rocky Mountains, both summer and winter in locations such as Vail, Estes Park, Breckinridge and Steamboat Springs, found my bottles tucked into my backpack. In 2004-2005, I spent 7 months in southern Florida, where I depended on my bottles to keep me hydrated on beach treks as well as hikes through the Everglades National Park. I also used my bottles several times a week throughout this time in Michigan from the southeast corner up throughout the state to the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula. Lots of additional use came in the way of daily training hikes in local parks and recreation areas.

With such a variety of locations, my Nalgene bottles were exposed to heat, cold, rain, snow, sun and clouds. I can safely say that I subjected my bottles to a range of temperatures from 30 F (1 C) to over 105 F (41 C) . Weather conditions included mostly lovely sunny to mildly cloudy days but I had my fair share of mist to rain and flurries to white-outs.

Terrain covered sea-level beaches filled with soft sand to rocky, icy-covered mountain trails as high as 13,000' + (3962 m).


As I stated above, the Nalgene 32 oz PC loop-top water bottle was my first real hiking bottle. I used it exclusively for the first couple of years before I invested in a water bladder. Now, depending on the weather and conditions, I mostly use a water bladder. My Nalgene bottles have pretty much been relegated to hikes that don't require a backpack, for hiking with my dog, for any liquid that is sweet or sticky (don't like sticky in my bladder tubes!) or as supplemental water on long hikes.

Anyway, my Nalgene bottles fit perfectly in the exterior mesh water bottle pouches on the sides of both of my usual backpacks, a Burton Women's pack and the Granite Gear Nimbus Ki pack. Filling them both up balances the load and gives me plenty of liquid throughout the day for all but the most strenuous, hot treks.

I chose the narrow-mouth version of the bottles specifically so as to minimize dripping while slurping on the trails. I'm not the neatest person in the world and I stay drier with the narrow-mouth. However, filling the narrow-mouth means being very careful or using a funnel when filling the bottle up with whatever liquid I'm using. This is not too big a deal when I'm home and just starting out, but it's kind of sloppy on the trail. I particularly need to be careful when toting anything sweet. Spills make a sticky mess on the outside of the bottle. Even though, I still feel the narrow-mouth is best for me, though.

I've filled the Nalgene bottles with various liquids; water (most often), fruit juices, iced teas and even once hot tea which quickly turned to cold but was enjoyed anyway. At no time did I notice an objectionable taste or odor which I can't say was true for my old "squeeze" water bottles. Even after years of use, various kinds of drinks, cleaning with dishwashing soap and bleach, water still tastes like water when I sip from the Nalgene bottles.

Most often, I put one bottle of water in the freezer for several hours and another in the fridge before a planned excursion. This gives me a cold bottle for the start of the hike with the semi-frozen one on the slushy side. By the time I'm ready to start on the second bottle, it is totally melted and still somewhat cold, depending on the air temperature. So far, I have not ever had my bottles ever freeze through, though while snowshoeing at Strawberry Park in Beaver Creek, Colorado at Christmas time, they came real close!

The loop-top on these bottles is great! I'm sure I would have lost one or both by now it they weren't attached so securely. The straps show no signs of cracking or breaking off and the loops around the neck of the bottles remains tightly fastened even after years of twisting.

The fact that I have had my two bottles for over 5 years says a lot to me as to the durability of the bottles. I have dropped them, both empty and full on everything from the kitchen stainless steel sink, to hardwood floors, grass, dirt trails, sand and gravel. Even once I had one bottle "bounce" over some boulders. It was empty at the time which I think may have saved it. While my bottles have some small scratches, they are in remarkably good shape.

The wide-mouth bottles most likely are much easier to clean than my narrow-mouth version, but still, I just stick mine in the dishwasher on the normal dish cleaning cycle for all regular cleaning. Periodically, I let the bottles soak in some liquid dishwashing soap and a little household bleach. And that's about all the care I give them. After I let them thoroughly air dry, I put them back into the gear closet until I'm ready to haul them out again for another hike in the great outdoors!


1. Durability - if I haven't broken it in 5 years, the bottle has to be tough!
2. No plastic or metallic taste or smell in my water.
3. Can put in freezer with liquid so as to have cold water for longer periods.
4. Easily cleaned in dishwasher.


1. This is a real stretch to find something to complain about, but I do wish the bottle were a little slimmer. The width of the bottle is such that I don't get a good grip on it. If the bottle were a bit taller and less width, that would be great for my hands..


So, I really like my Nalgene 32 oz PC loop-top water bottles! They are simple and do the job they were designed for with no fuss or muss. The bottles are rugged and have stood up to my clumsiness as well as the natural wear and tear of outdoor use. I'm sure I will continue to use the bottles for a long time in the future and I will definitely purchase another when necessary.

Kathy Waters

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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