It looks like we are finally into the hot, sunny days of summer. The days where you can easily rush about for hours out in the sun, only to realize at lunchtime that you are thirstier than you have been in a long time, because you didn't take a break to get a glass of water. Oops! And if you're like me, by this time, you probably have a headache from the dehydration, and a baby wanting to nurse (how are you supposed to make milk if you don't have enough liquid in your body to hydrate yourself??)
I have taken to using my Contigo water bottle to make sure that I always have something to drink with me, wherever I go. The water bottle holds about 24 fl oz or 750 mL of liquid, and has a waterproof top that screws on for a tight seal. The top has a nifty mechanism built in that allows the liquid inside to come out only when you are ready - it has a button you push with your fingers that opens up the hole near your mouth when you drink. The top also has a carabiner style clip on it that lets you clip the bottle onto your purse, backpack, stroller, even to the belt loop on your jeans if you're really desperate for a place to put it. The Contigo water bottle is made of sturdy BPA-free plastic (remember the indestructible Nalgene bottles? It's like that. I've actually left mine on the roof of my car and driven away, had the bottle fly to the pavement, and it barely had a scratch on it.
These reusable water bottles are much more environmentally sound than continuously buying single-use water bottles, and much cleaner & better for you than reusing single-use bottles. I find them to be a lot easier to keep clean than the narrow-neck aluminum or stainless steel bottles, and they don't dent when you accidentally drop them. (Or am I the only one with a cupboard full of reusable metal water bottles that won't stand up because the bottoms are awkwardly dented?) They can go in your dishwasher, mine have even survived the bottom rack, but we don't use the heat-dry option, so do that at your own risk. The tops are dishwasher safe but you can be more thorough with the cleaning if you do it by hand with a mini bottle brush type thing.
Now I do have one peeve about these bottles, though it hasn't stopped me from using them. That is the top has a vent to let the air in when the water comes out. Nothing wrong with that, except this vent has a plastic cap with a couple small gaps/holes when it's installed, which not only allow the air to get in, but also allow gunk from your dishwater/dishwasher in, and worst case, it could let small insects inside as well (say, if you're gardening and putting your bottle on the grass beside you...). Let me tell you the story of the earwig...well it's not much of a story, except that it took me a LONG time to figure out what that "funny smell" was every time I took a drink... turns out it was an earwig that had crawled into the air vent space (once I forgot my bottle outside overnight...) and it died in there...and I imagine every run through the dishwasher disintegrated it a bit more... Well I ended up prying the vent lid off, and found the earwig, I washed it out about a thousand times, threw up a little in my mouth, and debated whether to keep the bottle or to throw it away. Well it turns out that my love for the Contigo bottle exceeded the yuck factor, so I kept it. But from that day forward I made sure to pull up the air vent cover on all my Contigo bottles before running them through the dishwasher, to make sure that nothing gross got stuck in the air vent space.
Well, now that I've thoroughly grossed you out, I'll tell you that you can get these bottles at Costco for under $20 for a set of three, or follow the embedded purchase links to get them from Amazon. You may possibly also be able to buy them elsewhere. And when you get them, I have two tips. One: don't leave them outdoors in the grass overnight and Two: if they smell funky at some point in the future, try prying off the air vent cap and clean it out thoroughly.
You can read more at Contigo's website: http://www.gocontigo.com/water-bottles.html.
What's your favourite way to stay hydrated on the go?