View Full Version : Anyone using Nalgene bottles??

June 17, 2004, 23:31
Anyone using them. I thought about buying some. how durable are they. I like the large opening on them. Just curious how they hold up

June 17, 2004, 23:54
I'd stay away from the polycarbonate ones. They appear to leach estrogen mimics. Unless thats what you are going for.

762 shooter
June 18, 2004, 00:15
Nalgene bottles are bomb proof. I've got a few and they have been everywhere from rock climbing cliff faces to 110 degree, 12 hour days, to freezing over night, no problem. I've seen one run over with a TOYota truck and survive to be used again.

June 18, 2004, 01:51
I use Nalgene bottles everyday at work for liquid sampling. Get the HDPE - High density polyethalyne (sp?) they are pretty near bomb proof. I have also used them for backpacking/travel with no issues.


Brian in MN
June 18, 2004, 07:46
I actually broke one once by compressing it when it was full of water. I walked around with a wet backside for the rest of the day. It was in the back pocket of a Brit DPM jacket when I fell on it. They are otherwise indestructable. The water purification pumps out there are all (or at least mostly all) set up to use them as well. I have been using several for years and have never had one leak.

June 18, 2004, 08:15
I bought one at a Missionfuge camp my wife and I attended as chaparones 2 years ago. Everyday they crew would show a short film clip of the abuse the nalgenes would take- they had a bunch to sell to support the camp. The guys set one on fire with lighter fluid, dropped it off a 2 story bldg, line drived and pop up'd it with a aluminum baseball bat, threw it down onto a concrete parking lot. It was scratched and scuffed but never broke. They even staged a toss at a "light saber" (toy) and it was of course unscathed. I hope they sent that film to Nalgene cause it sure was funny. However, having one full of water or liquid and dropping it off a 3 story balcony will in fact, blow it apart like a melon. Ask me how I know..............................

June 18, 2004, 08:33
I'm drinking out of one right now.

gear that is well worth the $6 or so you'lll spend on it.

Also Campmor has these inserts thst fit in the widemouth part to make it easier to drink out of w/o spillage. It really works!! REI has them too.



June 19, 2004, 05:40
Dijon and I have several and love them. My only problem with them is finding a decent pouch that will intigrate with my Arktis webbing and a metal mug that will work with it like the old GI canteen cup. When I gotta have a brew I like to have everything right there in one pouch to brew up with.

June 19, 2004, 07:26
Oh, I'd say that I have about 20-25 of them. While I broke one before, I has only been one and it served me well for about 5 years before I finally noticed a crack on it. It went through much the same treatment as LAFAL described but not on purpose.

ratas calientes
June 19, 2004, 08:50
I have about six of them, wide mouth only. Like was mentioned before, most water filters fit the opening. Never had one leak or break. But I did lose one on the top of the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque. If anyone finds it - drop me a line. :shades:

June 29, 2004, 11:44
Wide mouth rules, they are industry standard among those who work in the outdoors in a non governmental role. I have beaten the living hell out of dozens of those bottles, large and small over the years and wouldn't buy another brand. One caveat...I have HEARD not seen that the lexan ones can shatter if given proper motivation.

P.S. Wrap duct tape around them...you never know when it'll come in handy

CATM Larry
June 30, 2004, 09:05
I have had a one quart model bouncing around in my A bag for the last three months. It gets slammed around the back of whatever HMMWV or pick up we are riding in for those particular 12 to 14 hours and has yet to leak on me or my other gear. Very tough and very reasonably priced.
As for a carrier, the zipper utility pouch from Tactical Tailor (see link below) holds a 1quart bottle and still has room for other items, plus a small pouch on the front as well. I can attest to the amount of things you can cram into them, I was using these for my IV kits, holding a 1000 ml IV bag, 2 - 3 cath's, an IV starter set, drip kit, roll of tape and a GI first aid packet. Plus 3 pair of latex gloves in the outer pouch. I do recomend cutting off the metal zipper pulls and replacing them with the silent zipper pulls. HTH,


Edited to add the link I forgot (duh):


June 30, 2004, 09:42
We use them in our lab. If they can stand up to 20L of noxious organic solvent wastes for two years they must be pretty damn tough. Water should be no problem.

June 30, 2004, 10:11
www.garyscustomguns.com has them and some other intresting items. Prices include shipping and they take CC's through YowCow.

July 14, 2004, 21:41
Originally posted by ratas calientes
I have about six of them, wide mouth only. Like was mentioned before, most water filters fit the opening. Never had one leak or break. But I did lose one on the top of the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque. If anyone finds it - drop me a line. :shades:
Found one there about 1997, half full of "Cusanno Rojo" and the worm was still moving- damn fine bottles.


January 13, 2006, 09:50
I'm interested on how y'all view Nalgene in the context of the don't-use-it article at http://www.mercola.com/2004/apr/7/nalgene_water.htm

Before you answer, please consider this:
It appears that "Nalgene" is actually two things.
First, it is a form of plastic (which according to the article cited above) is bad for you.
Second it is a BRAND-NAME for a variety of water-bottle products, including products that are NOT made of the substance "Nalgene."

Is that confusing enough?

All I want is a few damn water bottles to store in my car, where they will be subjected to repeated freezing and thawing cycles. I want the water to be safe to drink (even for women who may be pregnant), and I don't want the damn bottle to leak all over my trunk.

January 13, 2006, 10:05
THanks for the heads up on the article. I hate to get the bad news however as I was really liking my Nalgene Bottles. Well I am glad I kept all my canteens.

January 13, 2006, 10:57
Nalgene bottles won't leak all over your trunk. I drank out of one this morning and I didn't die. If you are worried, get the HDPE model.

Bwana John
January 13, 2006, 13:23
Nalgene makes bottles out of two kinds of plastic, Lexan and High Density Polyethelene (HDPE). The Lexan type may "breathe" endrocrine disrupters (possibly)

The Lexan ones are hard, the HDPE are soft.

I like the small mouthes for drinking, the wide mouthes tend to dribble.

Check out Nalgene's 5 gallon jug. Its bombproof, but a little pricy ($45)

January 13, 2006, 13:39
I don't use mine often enough to be worried about the supposed health risks.

One thing I've learned is that you should never put anything in water in them, unless you like the smells that will remain. I put Gatorade in two of mine in 2001 and they still smell like the Gatorade was poured out a few minutes ago. Jim and Coke is the same story.

January 13, 2006, 14:05
I've heard that the pure Nalgene bottles are tough as hell.
Freeze 'em and abuse 'em.

How tough are the HDPE bottles, especially the ones they sell now that you can smoosh as they are emptied?

The smooshables seem to have some sort of HDPE "liner."
What kind of stuff do they use to surround the HDPE liner?
Can you freeze the smooshables, drop 'em on a hard surface (like asphalt or concrete), and still have them not leak when they thaw?

January 13, 2006, 14:45
I assume your talking about the collapsible ones. If so, I wouldn't throw them around like the Lexan ones. Freezing and then dropping it might not be a problem, but I wouldn't do it too often.

The Lexan ones make a great last-ditch self defense weapon.

January 14, 2006, 10:51
I have a couple of Nalgeene bottles I use out here. They are pretty durable. Some of the things I use them for: air tight storage of rice bought off the local economy; on cold nights I fill one with boiling water, put it in a wool sock and throw it in the toe box of my fart sack; the main thing I use them for is transporting delicate objects when I have to go on extended missions like spare glasses, lithium batteries(can't get wet), non-issued GPS, ect. They are cheap enough that you should buy at least one and see how you can use it.

January 14, 2006, 16:04
initially I gotta question the veracity, if not the viewpoint of that website. it appears to be one of those 'natural health' sites that have a negative viewpoint on almost everything.

I've got a crapload of nalgenes, from the original manufacturer to a number of manufacturer giveaways.

and of course, a couple of the famouse 'tiki' bottles!

January 16, 2006, 10:51
Originally posted by W.E.G.
All I want is a few damn water bottles to store in my car, where they will be subjected to repeated freezing and thawing cycles. I want the water to be safe to drink (even for women who may be pregnant), and I don't want the damn bottle to leak all over my trunk.


If you're looking for drinking water bottles for storage in a vehicle, just get a case of bottled water in 1/2 liter or 1 liter size. Every brand I have used have successfully weathered several freeze/thaw cycles without leaking. I believe most name-brand bottled water bottlers in the US meet a voluntary standard that covers integrity of the bottles when frozen.

As for Nalgene bottles, I have been using them for 30 years. Bought my first one at Appalachian Outfitters in Oakton, VA back in my Boy Scout days. At that time, they were HDPE lab-ware that happen to get sold in outdoor shops (as opposed to something marketed toward hikers/campers). These bottles will degrade over time, if stored dry. I've had a couple that turned brittle and could be crushed into litlle pieces with just hand pressure. I believe Camp-Mor and REI both carry stainless steel cups that can slip on the bottom of a 1 liter Nalgene bottle.


January 16, 2006, 11:24
I have used Nalgene bottles quite a lot and would agree that they are pretty tough. However I now use Platypus bags for almost everything. It doesn't make sense to me to have a load of empty bottles filling up my Rucksack and the Platypus Bags roll up to nothing when they are empty. You can also get drinking tube attachment for drinking on the move. I do like to keep one rigid bottle for filling up the bags, either a Nalgene a Sigg or a British army bottle.

January 16, 2006, 13:57
i had a small off brand nalgene type bottle (Eddie bauer i think), which was made of a very hard plastic that help up wonderfully.

this summer we spent some quality time trying to destroy a nalgene with sticks, rocks, and baseball. the weak point is obviously the top. it'll crack before anything, and that's still damned hard to break. we had crushed the entire neck back into the bottle (still holding water), before we managed to get it to spring a leak (The top finally cracked)

January 17, 2006, 02:28
I think I have won the nalgene abuse test.

One of my 1/2 liter small mouth HDPE bottles was run over by a drilling rig and still holds water. Considering that it was half full at the time I can't complain about the quality of a $7.00 product.

The HDPE bottles have survived every bit of abuse that I've thrown at them and some I never intended (see above).
I picked up one of hte lexan models a while back but they're not quite right, (twitch-twitch) they aren't as "friendly" as the HDPE's so mine became a storage container for spare supplies. That was before I read about the hazards of lexan containers, now I'm sure I made a fair decision.

January 17, 2006, 03:00
Threw mine off of Half Dome; took 2 hours to find, but it was fine and had scratches.

Farmer from Hell
January 17, 2006, 21:19
Originally posted by lew
One thing I've learned is that you should never put anything in water in them, unless you like the smells that will remain. I put Gatorade in two of mine in 2001 and they still smell like the Gatorade was poured out a few minutes ago. Jim and Coke is the same story.

Thats surpising to hear. If it was an HD plastic model it shouldnt retain any taste.

I did leave some raspberry rum in one and it has a faint oder. No biggy. Plane rum no problemo.

Great for sneaking your stash on to cruise ships.

We were packing for the last venture and the wife said arent you worried about that leaking? I looked over at her and promptly slammed the one I was holding into the floor with no damage and that was the end of the discussion.:rofl:


February 01, 2006, 19:52
been using them for 14 years now. I have had two break and I have used hundreds. Both broke by dropping on the corner of the lid. used for acids, bases, sampling, radioactive acids/bases, environmental and hazmat sampling etc. They will contaminate petroleum products (even the HDPE ones).

I prefer Platypus bags also, but the Nagene bottles do last longer than the Platypus bags. Both are susceptible to sunlight. I have wrapped electrical tape around some before that had to be exposed to sunlight and it kept them from yellowing for a longer time.

I have used both in norther southern western eastern and middle USA

February 02, 2006, 12:42
i use the clear plastic "bad for you" type of nalgene bottle. and i agree, they are THE neatest thing since peanut butter!

but i have heard that the cloudy "natural" nalgene bottles will not leech chemicals, and are therefore "good for you". I figure, "you gotta die of something". if i did everything that was good for me, i'd probably still get struck by a meteorite.

campmor.com seems to have the best prices, while you are there - pick up some SmartWool socks. they kick a**, too.

here is a link to the chemical leeching problem.


March 25, 2006, 10:12
I have used them extensively in Colorado and New Mexico in Spring, Summer, and Winter. If have dropped them, had them frozen, and used one as my pee bottle. Outdoor Research (OR) makes excellent insulated carriers for winter, or summer to keep them cool. I have poured boiling hot water in them after they have been on -10 temps for hours and no problems.

Fantastic product.

The Platypus stuff is very cool but I abuse my gear. For mountain biking I like the Camel Back, but my soft Platypus and nalgene bags have all sprung leaks, so when my pack is on my back its always the Nalgene bottles. The HDPE bottles don't last as long as the Lexan. The HDPE bottles will become brittle and crack after a few years. The Lexan bottles are the best. For some reason they don't make the swishing noise when half full as the Army caneens. I have even seen NBC tops for the Nalgenes.

Get the Lexan Nalgene bottles, the smoky gray color with black top are fairly tactical.

Nice carriers Triad Tactical (http://triadtactical.com/tab1/store/category/9qqr/Pockets/Pouches.html%253Fcategory_id%253D9qqr)


April 06, 2006, 19:25
I have a 48 oz HDPE wide mouth model that is a stand alone emergency survival kit, everything packed inside plus a SS cup on the bottom stuffed in a homemade bottle bag (leg from a pair of jeans with a drawstring top and a shoulder strap that is attached at each end)

when I need it... dump everything into the bag and use a carabiner to attach the water filled bottle to the shoulder strap