Plastic bottles are toxic, especially when heated!
Plastic bike bottles are disgusting. Your water gets cooked into a chemical soup out in the sun, and those sprinkles on top are bits of road grime that collected on the nipple. Gritty teeth and a toxic hydration regimen are not ideal for athletes, kids, or even recreational bicycle riders. Everyone deserves toxin-free bike bottles.
What about insulated BPA-free bike bottles?
Insulated bottles help with the warmth, and may slow the chemicals from leaching into your water. (Heated plastic leaches chemicals into water faster than cold). BPA-free plastic has one less toxin, but there are plenty left (phthalates) and usually some new ones added in (BPS). BPA-free bottles are not toxin-free.
Also, the nipple is still going to accumulate road grime. Grit wears on your teeth over time. (I learned this from watching a BBC nature show. The dolphins who fish in the shallows have to sift sand out of their catch. They turn their heads and only use the right side of their mouths, to limit the wear to half of their teeth, keeping the left-side teeth sharp for other fishing methods. The older dolphins can’t fish the shallows once their teeth are too worn. )
Stainless is the way to go!
Stainless steel containers are the best form of toxin-free bike bottle. They are food grade, non-reactive, and come in double-walled varieties to keep your drinks cool. The only trouble is the lid. Almost all manufacturers of stainless bottles still put plastic in the lids. Certainly, this is an improvement, as less plastic overall means less contact of your water with toxic substances. Unfortunately, on a bike, your bottle is probably tilted so your water will be in contact with the lid until it’s about half-empty. Even BPA-free lids have toxins, just different ones. I wanted completely toxin-free bike bottles.
What kind of lid has no plastic? Silicone, you silly . . .
I searched high and low, read every label on every hydration bottle at every outdoor store. Still I found nothing. Bottles with BPA-free lids were the best I could do. That didn’t seem sufficient once I learned about the BPS and phthalates still in these bottles. (I will refer you to the AAP for the details on these, no need for an amateur to rehash them here.)
Finally, bless the internet, I discovered Pura stainless bottles with (medical-grade) silicone spouts. These are completely toxin-free bike bottles, with food grade stainless and medical grade silicone. They seem to mostly market their products for babies and children, with nipples and sippy lids. After much searching, I discovered they had just come out with an adult-sized sport bottle with a covered spout. Now they make several sizes and lid types.
My life and my bike rides were forever changed! My drinks are toxin-free and taste like they should: clear-cold water, cinnamon iced tea, lemonade. Even better, the covered spout keeps the road grime away from my lips and my beverage. No grit! Good teeth! Great tasting toxin-free hydration!
What about hot or carbonated beverages?
We use the double-walled Pura stainless bottle (22oz) for hot beverages with no problem. On cold rides, we can warm ourselves with a hot coconut chai. Pure bliss when you are chilly.
We enjoy carbonated water with lime during hot weather, but we have to be careful with these bottles when we fill them with fizzy drinks. The carbonation pops the lid off of our bottles. This is fine when we can use an upright bottle cage. We dump/wear the fizzy water if we put a bottle in a cage that is leaned at an angle. We only own one type of lid, so maybe Pura has come up with one that would work better.
This is not a sponsored post, I am just a true believer in this product. However, I do include affiliate links below and will make a small commission if you decide to detox your ride.
People, Earth, Ocean, and National Park Friendly
Do yourself a favor and try one. I doubt you will go back to plastic. We now own six, and gift them to our outdoorsy friends at every opportunity. Please buy them for any junior bicycle rider you know. Hydrating from these bottles is healthier for people. An added bonus for everyone is that these are earth-friendly (fewer plastic bottles produced), ocean-friendly (less plastic in the ocean), and green (re-usable and very sturdy). Refill them at a hydration station in your favorite National Park! Which is yours?
These bottles go on all our bike rides, see our photos of toxin-free bike bottles in action on tandem bicycles.