Best Nathan Water Bottles Rated & Compared

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We’ve mentioned on our site more than 1000 times how important it is to stay hydrated. Water or any other liquids help to boost the work of many organs and cells in our body so it’s essential for people who enjoy demanding sports like running. However, the bottles of water may not be enough and it’s also usually made of cheap plastic. So why not try using the professional hydration bottle?

Today we will have a look at the products from Nathan. It’s well known brand with many excellent products and they have water bottles in their offer. All their products are BPA-free. There are many different sizes of the bottles so everyone can find something. Some bottles are packed with many features like cell phone cases or insulation, other are more minimalistic. Let’s see the best products from Nathan.

Last Updated: October 15, 2018
By Kelly Lowis:

In this update we upgraded to a new layout that makes looking at our top 10 best Nathan water bottles so much easier. You can now compare the criteria of each water bottle to see which one has what you are looking for. We also updated some of the information about the criteria we used in finding the best water bottles. Don't forget to check out our Frequently Asked Question for more information.

Nathan Big Shot Narrow Mouth
  • Nathan Big Shot Narrow Mouth
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Slip Friendly Narrow Spout
  • Price: See Here
Nathan Little Shot
  • Nathan Little Shot
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Removable Silicone Nozzle
  • Price: See Here
Nathan Tru-Flex 22oz
  • Nathan Tru-Flex 22oz
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Soft & Easy Squeeze Body
  • Price: See Here

They’re all good at what they do and they’ll all keep you hydrated. Take a read and take your pick!

12 Best Nathan Water Bottles

1. Nathan Big Shot Narrow Mouth

1. Nathan Big Shot Narrow Mouth
This is a great big bottle, with a 34oz (one liter) capacity. If you drink big and heavy, this is an option for you. It has a wide opening for easy cleaning and filling. The screwing mechanism prevents leakages and spillages. It has a good flow to make drinking easy while exercising.
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Quality/Durability
A very small amount of people have found that the cap breaks easily, though this seems to be very uncommon. It’s otherwise of very good quality and does everything it promises. It comes in nine different colors, so you have plenty to choose from.

Effectiveness
The flow is fantastic, it’s good for big drinkers and it’s easy to clean and use. It’s worth noting that this is too big to fit into a typical sized cup holder, which may be of importance to some. The spout is tethered to the bottle which is always good.

Cost
For a Nathan bottle with good capacity, it has a decent price point. There are cheaper options on the market, but not with this much quality.
Pros
  • Very big for ultra hydration
  • Durable and good quality
  • Lots of designs to choose from
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Great flow
Cons
  • A small amount of users have found durability options, but this is rare.
  • Doesn’t fit into typical cup holders

2. Nathan Little Shot

2. Nathan Little Shot
This has a volume of 26oz (750ml), so it’s another decent option if you’re a big drinker or if you’re keen on staying hydrated. There are five colors to choose from. The lid stays tethered to the bottle. It’s easy to clean and has a narrow drinking spout.
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Quality/Durability
This is overall of great quality and the durability is particularly good. A small amount of users have reported leakage, which may be of note if you won’t always be keeping it vertical. It’s very easy to clean and it typically avoids breakage when you drop it, which is useful.

Effectiveness
The spout is a little too small for a small amount of users, but most love the shape and effectiveness of this. The tethered lid is great. It is good for drinking on the go but doesn’t fit into a typical car drinks holder.

Cost
This is a good low-cost option if you want something simple but top-quality.
Pros
  • Great durability
  • Good amount of colors to choose from
  • Large size for plenty of hydration
  • Easy to clean, use and drink from
Cons
  • A small amount of users have reported leakages.
  • Doesn’t fit into typical cup holders
  • Some don’t like the size of the drinking hole

3. Nathan Super Shot

3. Nathan Super Shot
This is a mega 50oz, which translates as 1.5 liters. If size is your priority, you’re not going to find anything better than this. Again, this comes with a tethered lid. It has a narrow spout and a soft rubber mouthpiece.
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Quality/Durability
A couple of users have reported leakages, but it’s otherwise very durable and of high quality, so it will last you a while. The mouthpiece largely avoids any bad odors.

Effectiveness
Because it’s so big, it can be a little hard to grip this, which might be of note if you have small hands. The big lid means it’s easy to fill and you can quickly get refreshed. However, it won’t fit into a typical car drinks holder.

Cost
Another decent price. Again, you can find cheaper alternatives, but not with this quality.
Pros
  • Huge size if you’re keen to stay hydrated or if you’re trying to drink more water
  • Very durable
  • Tethered lid
  • Soft rubber mouthpiece
  • Easy to fill and drink from
Cons
  • A small amount of users have reported leakages.
  • Some feel that the mouthpiece is too small.
  • Won’t fit into typical car drinks holders

4. Nathan Tru-Flex 22oz

4. Nathan Tru-Flex 22oz
This 22oz (625ml) bottle has a soft grip cap, and the material makes it easy to handle even with sweaty hands. It has an opaque silver design and soft sides. It closes tightly and is very lightweight.
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Quality/Durability
It’s really durable and will last you a long time. The the material is very soft and it has a tight-fitting cap. The downside of this is that you can’t open it with your teeth while on the go, but it does prevent leakages.

Effectivity
The tight-fitting cap means that it can be a little difficult to wash, but it’s worth it. As noted, this is great for avoiding leaks. You won’t find many bottles that hold water better than this.

Cost
This is a very good bargain option, and runs at a great price for a Nathan product.
Pros
  • Fantastic leak avoidance
  • Soft grip and soft cap
  • Very durable
  • The design looks good.
  • Good low-cost option
Cons
  • Can’t be opened with the teeth
  • A little difficult to wash
  • Only comes in one design

5. Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask

5. Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask
This unique bottle is insulated to keep your drinks cool, and the zippered pocket allows you to keep things with you without the need for pockets. It has reflective fabric for dark conditions and has a capacity of 18oz (535ml). The hand strap gives greater grip when grasping the bottle.
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Quality/Durability
The durable, quality-made strap allows you to grab your bottle without it feeling heavy or getting slippy. The pouch is also of good quality. That said, it does leak according to a small amount of users, which is unfortunate.

Effectivity
The main downside here is some leakages, but otherwise this is very effective. The mouthpiece allows pretty good flow, so you can get a big gulp as you run. The insulation is good, the grip is good and its very comfy. It does have a slightly odd taste according to some users, but this seems quite rare.

Cost
This Nathan product is pretty pricey, but considering the top quality it's worth the investment. It's not a bargain option but it's a good one.
Pros
  • Good insulation
  • Nice zippered section, which is great for carrying stuff
  • Good grip on the hand strap
  • Good durability
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Decent amount of colors to choose from with nice designs
Cons
  • A small amount of leakages have been reported
  • Gives a slightly odd taste on occasion
  • A little pricey

6. Nathan QuickShot

6. Nathan QuickShot
This has a capacity of 10oz (300ml), has a small zippered pocket and comes with a hand strap for holding the bottle while you run. It has a small reflective detail and comes in eight different designs.
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Quality/Durability
A lot of users have unfortunately discovered that this leaks quite a lot, and the durability isn’t great. Otherwise, the quality of this is very good, and the pocket is a handy addition if you want to carry something small, such as a set of keys or a couple of small gels.

Effectivity
This is very lightweight and easy to carry, which is of course great. If you’re only looking for a small amount of hydration, then this will do the trick. The straps are a very good fit for most people, which makes your run comfortable and without distraction.

Cost
This isn't too expensive, but for the capacity it's certainly not a bargain.
Pros
  • Has small pocket for carrying small items
  • Great if you’re looking to drink only a small amount
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Eight different designs with reflective detail
Cons
  • Not as durable as some people might like.
  • Much smaller capacity than other options
  • A little pricey for what it is

7. Nathan FlexShot

7. Nathan FlexShot
The Nathan FlexShot 750mL (24oz) water bottle is a one of Nathan's collapsible water bottles. The FlexShot is perfect for hikes, trail runs, and long-distance running--it's collapsible feature allows for no-nuisance carrying for all types of outdoor activities.
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Quality/Durability
The Flexshot is a silicone water bottle. It is dishwasher safe, and comes equipped with odorless and tasteless technology--which allows you to use, and re-use, this bottle as much as you'd like!

Effectivity
The FlexShot is perfect for hikers and long-distance athletes. It rolls up with a rubber band, allowing it to be efficiently stored when it is emptied. It also comes equipped with a sip-friendly narrow spout, eliminating the use of straws and avoiding spillage. You can drink from this bottle while on the move, without having to worry about bulky storage or handling once it is emptied.

Cost
At $20.00, this water bottle is an excellent, long-lasting investment
Pros
  • Collapsible, for easy storage
  • 17oz option also available
  • Odorless and tasteless technology
  • Low-cost 
Cons
  • Some users report a odd taste when purchased

8. Nathan Fire and Ice Flask

8. Nathan Fire and Ice Flask
Previously the Fire and Ice bottle held this position, but we have replaced it with the Fire and Ice flask. Like the Fire and Ice bottle, these flasks are designed for very cold and very warm conditions. These flasks are sold in packs of 2, and hold 8 ounces of water.
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Quality/Durability
These are high quality flasks, designed to maintain your drinks hot or cold. Its' unique double-wall construction, or insulation, will keep your drink cold or hot for 20% longer than other insulated bottles available. The flask also comes equipped with reflective fabric, so you can see--and be seen--when out at night.

Effectivity
May users like to use these flasks with the Nathan Trail Mix belt or the quick shot insulated handheld, bit mist prefer to use them on long hikes or runs. Their reflective fabric allow you to remain visible, and their insulation keep your drink at the ideal temperature--especially on those long hikes!

Cost
Very affordable price, and well-worth the investment!
Pros
  • Great insulation
  • Double-wall insulated
  • Very reflective, great for running at night
  • Race Cap
  • Low cost
Cons
  • Some users report spillage during long runs 

Nathan SpeedMax Plus

Nathan SpeedMax Plus
Has anyone said speed? Yes, this bottle will be your good friend during the very race. It has an ergonomic design that provides a better grip and it’s much more comfortable to carry it. It can carry a big amount of liquid as it can carry 22 oz. It makes it one of the biggest bottles on our list.
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Quality/ Durability
Some runners aren’t fans of push-pull blast valve cap as they tend to leak sometimes. However, in this case, runners were satisfied with the design and quality.

Effectiveness
The cap opening is very large and the reason is to put some ice-cubes inside. It was excellent for runners running in very hot temperatures. There’s also a hand strap, it can be fully adjustable to your needs. It’s soft and there’s no chaffing. Some runner also was really surprised that this product fits iPhone6. There’s a zippered pocket for small essentials.

Cost
This is the bottle for those who want to have a nice quality but they don’t want to spend so much money as well. This is a perfect balance as this bottle costs around 30 dollars.
Pros

It has storage for nutrition, key or phone

Great for running on trail

Available in many colors

Cons

For some runners, it wasn’t easy to get the water easily

Nathan Grip Running

Nathan Grip Running
Nathan keeps in mind that hydration bottles are very useful for runners. Carrying a normal bottle could be a trouble so high-quality hydration bottle is a perfect option. This bottle was designed especially for runners who need to stay hydrated during the longer or shorter runs. It carries 18 oz so it will be great for longer runs. Check it out!
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Quality/ Durability
The bite valve prevents and water leakage. The bottle comes with a very durable neoprene sleeve. It prevents the sweat.

Effectivity
The hand strap allows you to carry the bottle without gripping it. When you grip a bottle for a long time, your thumb hurts so hand strap will provide the relief. However, if you don’t like the strap and you prefer to keep bottles in the vest pockets, you can easily remove it.
Cost
This is one of the most pricey of Nathan’s products on our list. For 18 oz, you will need to pay around 50 dollars. Considering the fact that it has many features that will work out perfect for runners so it’s a good investment.
Pros

Perfect grip thanks to the hand strap

High quality materials

The leakages arena a problem

Cons

This is expensive product

So here we’ve shown a great variety of Nathan water bottles.  While some are fancy and others are more standard, they’ll all keep you hydrated and add an extra positive dimension to your running experience. Sip away!

 

Our Criteria For Reviewing The Best Nathan Water Bottles

We looked at Durability, Quality, Design-style, Easy to clean, flow capacity, how much water can be carried-size, easy to fill, weight, mouth-pieces, insulation, lids, features (pockets, clips, phone cases), color range and cost.

Capacity

How much water can the bottle carry? The first point to review for each bottle was how much water can it actually carry? The amount of water needed by a runner will depend on the type of run and the weather, if a runner is entering a triathlon race, he or she will need enough water in comparison to their age and weight, the weather and the distance to be run, a smaller person needs less water during exercise.

Quality

Quality featured high in our review, a bottle made from quality materials has more durability and will stand up to the rigors of being carried by a runner, often over long runs in challenging conditions. A bottle made from a low-quality material lacks durability, it can be punctured easily and this would mean a runner losing much-needed water. Low-quality materials can eventually even impact on the taste of water as constant water contact inside the bottle can leave deposits inside the bottle which allows germs to bread, resulting in the water having an unnatural taste, if this situation continued it could even have health implications. A good quality material will not allow sunlight to easily penetrate and warm up water, many of us have experienced how warm water tastes from a bottle when the materials are low grade and do not insulate the water from outside heat. Quality materials used in the making of water bottles are thick enough to have insulation qualities and durable enough to resist being damaged.

Product Details

Design Style

Design-Style is important, the design of a bottle can tell us many things when we look at it, has the bottle been designed to be held easily while drinking from it? Which type of features are designed into the surface material to assist grip when being held by a person that might have sweaty hands due to challenging exercise? Does the design on the bottle allow for it to be stowed away in a waist belt, pocket or a running back-pack? If the bottle has insulation functions designed into it, how do these work, can the bottle hold hot and cold fluids? Does the design and style of the body allow for it being properly cleaned each time after use?

Product Details

Flow

Have you ever carefully tipped up a bottle to drink from it and received a splash in the face because the design of the bottle lets the water gush out too quickly and in a high volume? To control flow from a water bottle requires innovative design, the shape or contour of the bottle needs to be designed in a style which helps to regulate the flow of the water. The mouthpiece of the bottle must be exactly the right size in relation to the size of the bottle, too big a mouthpiece on a small bottle will result in far too much volume of water flowing out, too small a mouthpiece and the flow is not enough.

Product Details

Filling the bottle may well sound simple and easy to do but it is not that simple. As you put water into a bottle air must be able to exit the bottle at the same time, if the mouthpiece is too small you will get a knockback effect as you pour water into the bottle and this will result in spilling water. The entrance to the bottle must be at exactly the right size compared to the size of the bottle so that you can easily fill it.Product Details

Weight

Weight is a very important factor, water is not light to carry and even though you want a durable bottle made from solid materials, you do not want extra unnecessary material weight. Therefore the bottle needs to be made from the lightweight strong durable material.

Product Details

Insulation

Insulation can occur naturally through the type of material used for making a water bottle if the material is thick but still lightweight this will provide a limited degree of insulation.  Did the designers come up with any additional innovative insulation features? How did they do that, was it through providing an insulation pouch in which to carry the bottle or did they use two or even three layers of lightweight durable insulation material in the construction of the bottle?

Product Details

Features

Features are very interesting when looking at criteria, a well designed and functional water bottle is very important yet did the makers include additional features which can be useful for a runner? A very popular feature is a pouch/pocket in which the bottle can be kept and this feature will also feature an additional pouch for carrying a phone or other items. What is the material used in the construction of the pouch/pocket for carrying the phone and extra items, is the material protective and durable? if to carry a phone does it include a durable plastic view touch screen? Does the material have other qualities such as insulation or reflective tags? Another nice feature which is very useful for runners is a water bottle pouch with a clip system so that the bottle can be carried by clipping it to a belt or strap.

Product Details

Color

An interesting feature for some bottles is the introduction of a frosted surface which can lend towards insulation performance, colors on plastic bottle surfaces can either absorb or reflect light and again this can lend towards insulation performance. We even looked at whether or not the bottles were offered in artistic eye-pleasing colors? Had color lines or indicators been placed on the bottle to show how full or empty the bottle is? -in the case of colored bottles.

Product Details

Lids

These are a very important feature because without them you will lose all your water during a run. we looked to see how secure the lid systems can perform, how easy they are to close and open and are the lids durable and easy to use? We looked to see if any of the lids allowed for a straw system to be included into the design of the lid.

Product Details

Cost

The cost factor is important to all consumers, if you want extra features you need to pay more and if you want a basic functional water bottle the price comes down. Materials and innovative design have an impact on how much you will pay for a water bottle. Generally, after our review, we felt that all the different water bottle models were fairly priced in terms of what the buyer gets.

 

Some More Things Worth Knowing

Water

All runners know how important water is but what exactly is water and what ways have we used during our history to carry it, what did we use before our modern day water bottles for runners?

The oldest water which we have found and has been proven to be 2.6-billion years old was in Canada, near Ontario at the very bottom of a mine which is two miles deep.

Would you like to taste that water?

A famous quote  “Water, Water, everywhere and not a drop to drink” fortunately for us this statement was made by a sailor lost on a small boat in the middle of the rolling ocean waves and not a runner on a lonely trail. In reality, drinking water is in abundance everywhere on land, even the Libyan desert has an ocean of pure drinking water, millions of years old, deep beneath the sands.

You may well ask “what is water”? It is known as H2O a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, however, water has big differences which result from what minerals are in it and where on land it is found because many things will dissolve into water. This means that the taste of water can vary from country to country along with what is actually in the water.

There are three ways in which we can see water.

In either of these you will need a runner click review for best running gear in wet weather.

1. Solid: in the form of snow, ice, frost and hail.

2. Vapour: seen in steam, mist and clouds.      

3. Liquid: sea, lakes, rivers, streams and rain.

Elk River Falls in Winter

Look at water as a very powerful force, it can erode mountains and reshape continents, ships made of thousands of tons of steel can float on it, we can swim in it.

Volcanoes can erupt, storms can blow down trees and pull roofs of houses, meteors can strike the Earth, they can cause a lot of damage but water is the element that binds the entire planet giving life to everything and also with the capability to be incredibly destructive.

The history of this planet has seen tsunamis which were big enough to swamp a volcano, wash over continents, water is a serious force, we need to for life but it can be incredibly destructive and we are powerless to stop it.

Wherever you find a major river on this planet, people settle nearby and build cities, towns and villages, wherever you find an abundance of water you will find an equal abundance of life.

For us people, in terms of water, the most common forms we meet and prefer to drink:

1. Tap water which has been piped to our homes from a nearby reservoir.

2. Spring Water and mineral water, this is water which makes its way up through the ground up to the surface to form springs and lakes.

3. Ground water, run off from rain which then forms lakes, reservoirs.

We can transport large quantities of water through pipes and canals and at a more personal level we can carry water with us for when we want immediate access to it.

Let’s take a look at some of the many methods we have used so that we can carry water with us.

In pre historic times life was very tough and having access to water would mean life or death, when death, it could come very quickly.

Cave dwellers and other historical people did not have the technology to make even clay pots to carry water. Instead they had to create other innovative ways to carry water, the bladders of dead creatures was very effective for carrying water, the bigger the dead animal, the bigger the bladder and the more water which could be carried.

Coconuts were and still are perfect for carrying a good amount of drinking water while walking out in the wilds, the coconut can carry a large volume of water, it has a durable shell and insulation qualities. Even large sea shells and the horns of animals are known to have been used for carrying drinking water.

When ancient people learned to weave baskets from wicker, they also figured out that smearing the wicker with wet clay, allowing the clay to dry would mean that they could carry water.

With the arrival of pottery and the ability to treat the pottery with heat/fire around 5000 BC, people started to make urns and vessels to store large amounts of water for convenience

Over a time of about three millennia people advanced and created stronger, larger pottery and the Egyptians depict scenes from ancient times showing huge urns in which water was transported and stored.

By 2000 years BC glass had made an appearance and around 1500 very basic glass bottles were being made through forming a coat of molten glass over sand and shaping it to be a container.

Our first plastic bottle and one we runners would have found useful was produced in 1947, the cost of making a plastic bottle at that time outweighed any chances of mass production until a denser polyethylene was invented in the 1960″s. This was when we see the start of the mass production of water bottles for all types of purposes and all different sizes.

Now we have square, round, long, short, fancy shaped plastic water bottles in which we can carry standards drinking water and fancy minerals waters which cost a higher price.

We have plastic bottles for the military and these bottles are incredibly durable, for long distance running competitions we have plastic bottles in different shapes and sizes with all sorts of innovative features such as carrying a phone, holding a compass, keeping water free from stagnation,cold or hot.

The humble plastics bottle has made a long journey and was preceded by water transported in bladders from dead animals, shells, coco-nuts, animal horns, clay and mud lined wicker baskets, urns made from fired clay, glass bottles.

FAQ

 

Q:  Can plastic bottles used by runners keep water untainted and safe to drink?

A: Soldiers have reported drinking water which had sat in plastic army canteen bottles for around 3 months, they did not suffer any ill effects. Hunters will often stash a 10 liter plastic container in the forest and keep coming back to it over several weeks and the water is still safe. Think about where you store water in any bottle long term be it glass or plastic. If you store it in sunlight, the heat and sunlight can warm up the water to a level in which bacteria “could” grow.

However, when a bottle is properly sealed and does not let air in and it’s stored out of the sunlight, it should be safe to drink for the minimum of a week.  it really does depend on other variables. It has been reported that water held for very long periods in plastic containers which are a more robust plastic than in bottles is drinkable but has an odd taste to it.

Q: How much water should I carry for a 12 mile run?

A: This depends on the weather, the type of clothing your wearing and the terrain in which you are running and if you have access to a water source after running the 12 miles? In the UK military soldiers run ten miles in full battle kit with just a canteen of water which is perhaps around 3/4 quarters of a liter. If your running in light sports clothing in moderate weather you might not need any water, but on a hot day you should carry some water for sipping. if you enter a Triathlon race you should carry water with you to sip and stay hydrated.

Q: Is it okay to put carbonated mineral water in my runners water bottle and drink it or sip it while I run?

A: Sure it’s ok but its debatable if the bubble effect will last throughout your run. Each time you open the bottle and take a sip it will depressurize the carbonated water till eventually its just like still water. Having said that it will still be safe to drink, just a bit disappointing if you like fizzy water.

Q:  My water runners bottle has a built in straw system, I flip it up and sip while I run, is this better than the standard screw tap system with regards to the water staying fresh?

A: The amount of water being carried by you for a run will stay fresh whether you use a screw cap top or a straw system. If the weather is warm you might notice the water is warmer but it’s still safe to drink. The only thing you might want to think about is that a straw has your own saliva deposited on it each time you use it so for hygiene and safety, sterilize or thoroughly wash the straw system after each run.

Q: The water bottle I use gives the water an odd taste after about half an hour of being in the bottle, is this usual?

A:  it could be that you have purchased a very cheap version of a plastic water bottle for runners and the plastic used in making it might be very low grade, it’s probably a good idea to upgrade to a better quality bottle. People have often reported that water left in low grade plastic containers tends to have an odd taste to it, I am not aware of any scientific research to back this up and no reports of people being made sick but to be on the safe side it’s worth investing a little extra money in a better quality bottle.

Q: Are there any alternative ways for a runner to carry water without using a plastic bottle?

A: Yes other options do exist, leather water bottles/flasks or even an animal bladder, along the lines of that which people used for carrying water before the arrival of glass and plastic. to carry water this way is known to be efficient though I have no idea how long the water stays fresh in a leather made water container. If the water is clean and the interior of the leather bottle or the bladder are clean the water should stay fresh for a reasonable period of time. You can also consider investing in a quality stainless steel water bottle, the reviews for these seem pretty good.


 

Here are some great sources to check out:

Sources

  1. bushcraftuk.com, How long does water stay 'fresh' in the bottle?, Outdoor publication,
  2. unesdoc.unesco.org, Water history for our times,
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