Best Water Bottles for Kids
Water bottles have been on my mind. It happens every year when spring is on the horizon and warm, sunny days become the norm. It also happens to be the beginning of in person school for us and bringing a personal water bottle is mandatory as part of our school’s safe return guidelines.
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect kids’ water bottle for a long time. An important feature of this water bottle is versatility so my kids can take it to school, hiking and soccer practice.
Keeping kids hydrated is crucial, especially as we head into warmer months. This chart has some great guidelines on how much water kids should be drinking by age.
In addition, the water bottle needs to be effortless to clean (is anyone else guilty of filling their kid’s water bottle with a substance other than water and leaving it under the seat in the car for a week?) and it must be able to stand up well if dropped or thrown.
Other important features of this dream water bottle are that it’s easy for my child to carry around and use without assistance. A bonus feature of this water bottle is that it is economical (because I don’t love to buy luxury items for kids who are prone to lose things).
In purchasing and trying out lots of different brands I haven’t come to the conclusion that there is one perfect water bottle on the market. However, I have come across some awesome water bottles that my kids love too.
With the help of the mountain mama team we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite water bottles and why! So for anyone wondering what kids’ water bottles come highly recommended by our team check out the list below.
Best water bottle for older kids (8+): The traditional Nalgene
As it turns out the classic, traditional Nalgene is still a fan favorite!
The original Nalgene is a 32 oz bottle made of tritan. It is BPA/BPS free.
It has a wide mouth and a leak proof guarantee. It weighs 6.25 oz.
Website price is listed at $12.00 for the standard Nalgene and typically you can find these for as low as $10. It’s safe in the dishwasher (although I have melted the piece that attaches the lid to the bottle when it’s been on the bottom rack so use caution with how you place it).
Why We Love Nalgene bottles:
- Great for older kids who drink lots of water.
- Awesome for being able to track your kids water consumption (sometimes the marking wears off after lots of heavy use), but I love the ability to see my kids’ consumption.
- Super durable, we’ve had our nalgene bottles for over a decade and they are still holding up well.
- Lighter weight than other brands.
- Kids and adults enjoy personalizing it with stickers.
- Wide mouth makes it easy to clean and add ice.
- Great to take on hiking and backpacking adventures because it holds lots of water without the bottle itself adding too much additional weight
- Younger kids are more prone to spilling and cannot easily open the bottle by themselves.
- Not insulated so it doesn’t keep water cold or hot.
- Doesn’t fit well in bike cages or in most water bottle pockets on kids’ backpacks.
Where to get Nalgene bottles:
- REI has some fun outdoor designs
- Wal-Mart has tons of different sizes (including narrow mouth and small kid size options)
- Amazon has a huge variety of styles at great prices too
Best Water Botle for for Younger Kids (2+): Camelbak Eddy
The Camelbak Eddy was definitely the most loved water bottle of the team and most team members reported loving it because of how well it works for their younger kids.
The Camelbak Eddy is a 14 oz water bottle that is made of BPA free polypropylene.
It weighs 4.6oz and is top rack dishwasher safe.
Website price lists this bottle at $13.00 but it’s not hard to find older prints for fifty percent off.
Why We Love It:
One of the reasons the Camelbak Eddy was so loved was all the different ways parents have been able to adapt it. Several team members report loving the chute mag cap as opposed to the soft bite valve. Team members also report liking the stainless steel version of the Camelbak Eddy and the insulated stainless steel version for when they want to keep drinks cold.
- Awesome for young kids because it is so light weight.
- Wide mouth makes it easy for adding ice.
- Comes in a wide variety of prints and designs.
- Great water bottle to take hiking, to the park and on car rides.
- It’s odor and stain resistant and is leak proof when the lid is closed.
- Has a nice, easy carry handle.
- Soft bite valve where you only need to flip, bite and sip from spout.
- Lots of different accessories (e.g. chute mag cap and carry cap) that allow you to make this a bottle that best fits your child’s needs.
- Straw doesn’t stay attached. While this is nice for cleaning, it also makes the straw easier to lose.
- Original cambelbak eddy is not insulated.
- Some kids are prone to bite the soft bite valve and this results in leaking. If your little one is a biter than we recommend the chute mag cap.
Best water bottle for school: Takeya
The Takeya was a water bottle I came across on a whim, but it has become our girls’ favorite water bottle for taking to school because they love having ice cold water all day long and they love the slim design that fits easily in their backpack water bottle holders.
The Takeya comes in both a 14oz and 16oz size for kids and is made of stainless steel.
The website lists the the bottle at $26.99 for the 16oz size and $24.99 for the 14oz size but I was able to purchase mine for $9.00 at a time when I found them on sale.
They’re made with an insulated double walled design to keep water cold all day long and weigh approximately 13oz.
It’s recommended that the stainless steel bottle is only handwashed but the lid is top rack dishwasher safe.
Why We Love It:
- Wide looped handle makes it easy to to carry or hook with a carabiner.
- Narrow design makes it easy to fit in backpack water bottle holders.
- Firm straw lid makes it so your kids are less likely to play with the water bottle lid in class.
- Sweat free so it won’t get papers and things wet if it ends up in your kids’ backpack.
- Protective bumper on bottom allows it to be set down quietly.
- Heavier weight than other bottles.
- Straw doesn’t stay attached and is thinner than the camelbak eddy straw so it is not as easy to thoroughly clean if you put something other than water in the bottle.
Best Spillproof Water Bottle for Kids: Contigo
The best outdoor products aren’t always made by outdoor brands and that’s exactly how team member Ginny feels about the Contigo water bottle. She reports that her son loves the button flip up lid that he was able to figure out when he was only 2.
The Contigo kids’ water bottle is 14oz and made of BPA free plastic.
Both the bottle and lid are top rack dishwasher safe. Typical cost for the Contigo water bottle is around $10.
Why We Love It:
- The design of the bottle keeps water from spilling even when the pop up spout is open. This is SO helpful with younger kids.
- Spout is soft for little kids but not as soft and easy to chew as the Camelbak Eddy spout
- Straw stays attached so you’re not prone to losing it. We’re missing some of our straws from our other bottles so I really love this feature about the Contigo.
- If needed, for cleaning, the straw can be disassembled.
- Sold in a variety of stores (including grocery stores) so it’s easy to buy in a pinch.
- Comes in a variety of prints for kids.
Rubber spout is more sturdy than Camelbak Eddy spout but if your kid is prone to biting the silicone spout then there are no replacement options or alternative lids to purchase.
Best Bang for your Buck: Thermoflask
The Thermoflask comes recommended by team member, Kristin, who likes having an insulated water bottle for her kids like the Hydroflask but doesn’t love the price of Hydroflask bottles.
Thermoflasks are typically sold for $24.99 as a 2 pack or $12.50/piece individually. Kristin reports you can get them even cheaper when they are being sold at Costco.
Thermoflask bottles hold 14 oz and are made of stainless steel. They weigh about 13oz and the spout can go in the top of the dishwasher. It’s recommended that the stainless steel bottle is hand washed.
What We Love:
- The price! The Costco 2 pack is by far the best deal we have found on any insulated water bottle.
- Insulated water bottles are super handy to have in cold weather climates so moms do not have to worry about water freezing.
- Keeps water cold for 24 hours.
- Easy open and close straw lid.
- Has attached loop top.
- Wide mouth for adding ice.
It doesn’t come in as many color options as other brands.
Other Awesome Hydration Products
GoSili Straws and Lid Covers
GoSili is a brand that uses all silicone in their products to help families avoid single-use, toxic plastics.
If your family has been wanting to transition towards using less plastic at home and when you’re traveling then check out the different straws and lid covers GoSili makes.
Our family has found it really handy to bring GoSili straws with us on the go because their travel straws come in handy containers and they are easy to carry around in a purse or backpack.
Additionally, I love their straw lid covers that you can put over cups for drinking.
Our family makes a ton of smoothies in the summer and the GoSili lid covers have been a game changer in helping to prevent toddler smoothie spills while also allowing my kids to drink their smoothie with a straw.
The straws also come in a lot of different widths and sizes for an affordable price. A six-pack of multi-length straws is only $7.
As an adult that still has a habit of biting plastic straws and because I also have kids that have picked up my habit I love the GoSili straw products and have found that they are super durable.
A bonus feature of all GoSili products is that they are dishwasher safe on both the top and bottom rack.
Water Filtration Bottle: Modl
If you’re looking for a good water bottle filtration system then check out the Modl water bottle.
The Modl is a water bottle that has tons of different “mods”, or attachments to use for filtering water.
Options include a Pure Mod (water filter) which you can use inside the bottle or as a gravity filter to filter into other bottles, a Flow Mod to turn it into a hydration pack, a Go Mod to make it a sports bottle, and a Rinse Mod to turn it into a shower or wash station.
All of the attachments tested work great with the exception of the flow mod because with rough handling the hose can disconnect. However, if stored upright or used kayaking this is not be a problem and the added functionality is great even with that drawback.
The best use for the Modl filtration water bottle is filtering water on hikes, as you can easily switch between using the Pure Mod in-line inside the bottle and switching it to the outside to filter for everyone else’s water bottles. It’s very fast to filter and effortless.
There you have it! The comprehensive list of our team’s favorite water bottles and some of our favorite hydration products too.
Turns out I still haven’t found one “perfect” water bottle that meets every child’s needs perfectly.
Different water bottles work best for different ages and stages and for different activities.
Knowing how much your kid will complain about the weight of the bottle, how much you want to spend on a water bottle, if the temperature of the water matters, how much water your child drinks and what kind of spout is best for your child will help you make an informed choice.
We would love to hear from you! Any water bottles you have tried that you can’t live without? Share away, we will update this list as we try other water bottles out too.
Best Water Bottles for Kids
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