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Choosing a water bottle is not the simple task that it used to be. Enter any store and you’ll easily be overwhelmed at the huge number of choices and options available.
Lest you become completely overwhelmed, we’re here to help you choose the best water bottle for your kids. Initially, I thought that there would be one “best” bottle but boy was I wrong. As my kids have grown and changed, I’ve learned that there is a best water bottle for each kid. The water bottle that is perfect for our son isn’t perfect for our daughter. Since they will probably be using this bottle EVERY DAY (especially in summer), make sure you get one that works well for them.
Here are some important factors to think about when choosing a water bottle for your kids:
1. Leakproof. This one is a must. Kids are constantly dropping their bottles, leaving them random places or throwing them into packs. Seldom (if ever) are these bottles upright. If your bottle isn’t leakproof, it’s just bad news.
2. Flow. Some kids can never seem to hold still and drink as fast as they can while others like to take their time and drink slow. Make sure that your bottle has a good flow for your kids. For us, I’ve found that slower flows work best for smaller kids, while faster flows work better for bigger ones.
3. Ease of use. Remember that these water bottles are for your kids. Make sure that they are easy to open and close tightly. It’s a good idea to have your child give the bottle a few test open/closes before you buy it.
(Make sure to read to the bottom for our overall top picks!)
Leakproof: 1-leaks always, 5 never leaks
Flow: 1-slow, 5-fast
Overall: 1-poor 5-amazing
Flow:2/5 (pretty slow)
This was the first water bottle that we got for Mason when he was a baby. We were thrilled to get it because we are HUGE Nalgene fans. Sadly, we quickly learned that this bottle leaked every time. We were crushed I tell you. We tried new lids and valves, but nothing helped. Amazingly, when Chloe was born, we were given another one and hers never leaked. Weird. Nonetheless, we still love the design, indestructible plastic, and easy carry loop. Just wish that it wouldn’t leak… This water bottle is a good fit for kids ages 1-3.
We absolutely LOVE this bottle (as you can tell here and here). It is easily Mason’s favorite bottle and has been put through the ringer and survived like a champ! The insulated design has worked great for everything from hot chocolate and cider to ice water. This comes is really handy and nice on days where it’s really hot or cold. We also really love the flip-top straw design and the rubbery spout is really nice for the kids to drink from. Truly, we’ve never had a problem with this bottle and don’t expect to. The flow is a little faster on this one, so this is a great bottle for ages 3 and up.
This has been our go-to water bottle for baby Jimmy for the last 7 months and has done great. It comes with a removable cap (which I am scared to lose so we don’t use it much), and a simple sippy spout. It’s perfect for putting milk in since I don’t have to worry about it getting gross in half and hour too! I also love the handles since it makes it so he can totally do it on his own, because with 3 kids, I just can’t do everything for everyone. The only downside is that it’s kind of heavy. The insulation adds some weight that can make it tricky for babies to easily manage it on their own. This is a good bottle for ages 6 months to age 3.
When we saw this at REI last summer, Chloe instantly fell in love with the cute design. Yes, the girl has good taste. It is simple to open and close so it works great for little kids too. I was pretty smitten with it as well. That is until we took it with us to Canyonlands last fall and it would not stop leaking. The cap has an air release valve that is removable for washing and it wouldn’t stop leaking out of there. We tried and tried, but from that point on, the water bottle was super hit or miss. BAD NEWS! After several puddles on the floor mats of the car, this bottle stopped going on trips with us. This bottle is a good fit for ages 2-5.
This was the hidden gem of this water bottle test. I have been nothing but impressed with this bottle. My favorite feature is the covered drinking spout that stays nice and clean (even when dropped in the dirt). Simply push the button (which even my 1-year-old can do) and the spout pops right up. It is really awesome. It has a big straw, so the flow is pretty fast, making it a great fit for kids who want to drink FAST so they can play more! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This bottle is perfect for ages 3 and up (or younger kids who like a fast flow).
Flow: 4 to 5/5 (depending on the lid you choose)
The first thing that I noticed when looking at kids bottles from Liberty is their awesome designs. They have the best selection of kids designs that I have seen ANYWHERE. Don’t worry – the quality is just as amazing. Made of recycled aluminum (how cool is that?), these bottles have a simple 1/4 turn screw on lid that clicks when it’s in place. This makes it easy to know that the lid is on tight so it doesn’t leak. Another thing that I liked about their bottles is the different lids that they offer. They have a traditional screw off top or a sport top with a spout and straw. This is a great option for making sure that your kids bottle will grow with them (since this will last for years). The sport lid is also SUPER easy to pop up, buy just pulling back the hook. The sport top is great for ages 3 and up and the traditional bottle is great for ages 5 and up.
We bought one of these last summer and were so disappointed. It leaked almost every time that we used it. The stem simply didn’t stay in well. After a few weeks of a soaked car seat, wet clothes, and puddles on the floor this went back to the store (thanks to REI for their awesome return policy). Also, although I really liked the design of the bite-valve spout, it has a learning curve to it that makes it tricky for littler kids. This bottle is best for ages 3+, but based on our leaking issues, I would choose another one.
The Vapur Quencher was quite a surprise for me. I was excepting something that fell apart quickly and that would puncture easily, but these bottles are much tougher than they look! For starters, the kids LOVED getting to personalize them with all their cute stickers. I was impressed because they’ve stayed put for a couple of months with no issues so far. My favorite part of these is that they squish down as they empty. I feel like my purse is constantly full of water bottles, so this is a lifesaver for me. It’s SO EASY to take this with us on the go. The bad part of the compact design though is the capri-sun effect. Anyone know what I’m talking about? You know when your kid gets a Capri-sun and is so excited that they squeeze it and soak themselves? This bottle is like that, except a LOT of water can come out because of the bigger lid. Each time I give this to Chloe and Mason, I honestly tell them about 5 times to NOT SQUEEZE it (ummm, we had a few “accidents”…). Another thing that I don’t love is the lid. It’s kind of hard to close all the way so I always have to double check them. All that being said, I’m still constantly reaching for these for the simple reason that they are compact and I don’t like hauling around 5 water bottles everywhere I go. This is a great compliment to another bottle for times when you just don’t have room for it all. This is a good bottle for ages 5+.
As we’ve already talked about, here, we really like SIGG water bottles. They are cute, don’t leak and are durable. I also really love that they have an attached mouthpiece cover so that they stay nice and clean even when they are a little abused by kiddos! The twist lid is a great idea, but can sometimes be a little tricky for little fingers to open on their own – especially when they are really thirsty and need water NOW! Unlike a lot of the other bottles we tested, the SIGG bottles have a slower flow. This means that it would work for everyone from our one year old to myself (not that I’d want to share with him, especially while he’s eating…yuck). A great fit for kids who like to sip on their bottle ALL. DAY. LONG. Because, we all know someone like that 🙂 This is a good bottle for ages 1 and up!
Our top picks overall:
Liberty Bottleworks Sport top
EcoVessel Insulated Straw Bottle
Thanks to SIGG, AVEX, Liberty, and Vapur for providing bottles for this review. As always, these are our honest opinions and are in no way influenced by any outside compensation.