Most people don’t care much about the bottles from which they drink water, if they use one in the first place. Until they have kids, that is. Yes, then, you’ll be careful to choose BPA free, non-leaking, shatterproof bottles that are easy to clean. Plus, the bottle needs to look pretty.
There are many bottles in the market after the easy money parents so willingly shell out for their kids. We have gone through no less than 5 different bottles over the course of time, so i am qualified in a way to say something about choosing the right bottle.
There are generally two types of bottles – sippy cup and straw. I prefer the straw because it allows drinking water without having to lift the bottle, which seems easier for a kid.
So far, my favourite water bottle is the one from Miki House. It is extremely durable, doesn’t crack despite being dropped countless times. It is very light, non-leaking and easy for a kid to operate. Coming from a reputable Japanese brand, it is obviously made with high quality material. My only gripe would be that the carrying strap becomes twisted easily. The strap also breaks apart from the bottle too easily (as in permanently spoiled), although understandably this is designed as a safety feature, so that your child will not be strangled in case the strap gets caught onto something.
We bought the bottles from Japan at reasonable prices, along with replacement straws. Outside of Japan, the bottle and the replacement straw cost quite a bit more. The straw does need to be replaced every half-yearly or so, as it invariably becomes damaged and dirty from kids’ biting. The bottle can almost be used indefinitely when the straw is replaced regularly, but ultimately a child will outgrow the 340ml capacity, and i’m pretty much at this juncture now.
The slightly bigger bottle from Miki House is unfortunately not much bigger, at 400ml. It is an insulated bottle, which makes it a lot heavier, and not quite what we need. Because of this, i turn to Amazon to look for the next bottle.
There are many choices on Amazon, and i have to warn you that many of those with supposedly good review ratings originate from China, and they somehow tweaked the rating system. You can tell easily, because they all come in the same design, just with different brand/logo. You might as well buy from Taobao if you deem them to be suitable for your needs.
There are many US branded ones too, but after pouring through the reviews, i settled on Thermos bottles, mainly for longevity, both in terms of durability and hygiene (as in not becoming mouldy easily, that it cannot be cleaned for further use).
I like the Thermos 24 Ounce Eastman Tritan Hydration Bottle the best. The mechanism for drinking is a “flip up straw”, which i infer to be having the same design as the Miki House bottle. Overall the design and material (Eastman Tritan co-polyester) appeals to me. But alas, with a capacity of 24 ounce (709ml), it is too big for my 4 years old kid.
Instead, i ended up getting the Thermos Star Wars Episode VII 18 Ounce Tritan Hydration Bottle, X-Wing Starfighter (pictured at top). Somehow, this bottle is at a lower price US$6.70 (S$9.10) than the non-themed Thermos Intak 18 Ounce Hydration Bottle, which cost US$8.99 (S$12.30). I also got the Coghlans Bottle Carrier, since the Thermos bottles don’t come with an integrated carrying strap.
It is actually a little hard to flip the straw up, and the level of difficulty varies with every bottle (i know because i bought two of these), but anyway, a 4 year old can still manage it. Other than that, i am very happy with the purchase of the bottle and the carrier. The price is good for what it is.