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Stainless Steel Sports Bottles For Runners

Most running hydration systems are made from a soft plastic composite and from most of the higher quality companies, the bottles are BPA free (this is good) as well.

Plastic is not the only sports bottle option any longer. There is a growing list of companies creating stainless steel sports bottles. If you are looking to reduce your plastic exposure for some or all of your run training and racing, these bottles may be just what you are looking for.

What makes it a sports bottle?

Most stainless steel bottles use a standard screw-top cap that requires you to completely remove the cap in order to drink the fluid inside. For any runner or athlete this is a less than desirable option. So, companies have created stainless steel bottles that include a cap that allows you to simply drink out of it without removing it. Simple enough.

Who makes them?

Here are three four companies that are big players in hydration and have created stainless steel sports bottles of various sizes and unique cap styles.

[Update 7/12/2010 – Amphipod has come out with a fully-loaded run ready stainless steel water bottle called the Amphipod PURErun Handheld (my review). A high quality running bottle.]

1. Nathan – Nathan is a significant player in the running world and included in their portfolio are a 500 ml (~17 oz) and 700 ml (~24 oz) stainless steel sports bottle.

500 ml model:

700 ml model:

Notable Features:

  • Made with 18/8 (food grade) stainless steel
  • 100% BPA free
  • Flip Straw drinking system
  • Nice QuickClip system

For a bit more insight, you can look at Nathan’s Steel Bottle FAQ.

Condensation a concern? Nathan also offers a Flip Straw Neoprene Sleeve that can slide over either model.

My family recently purchased a 500 ml model and my wife uses it for all of her neighborhood runs. She carries it in her hand and due to its tapered shape, is very comfortable for her smaller hand. She has been very happy with it. I have yet to use the bottle myself.

For trail running, I would be interested in integrating it with a handheld or waist-pack system.

Close-up of the Flip Straw and QuickClip system:



Since a straw is used for fluid uptake, there is no need to tilt up the bottle to drink. I could see forgetting that especially at first and drinking a bit of air.

The bottle comes with 2 extra straws as well.

Where to purchase?


2. klean kanteen – klean kanteen created a Sports Cap that fits on their existing stainless steel bottles.

Notable Features:

  • The 2.0 version has three times the flow rate as the old version.
  • 100% BPA free
  • Loop handle

I also own one of the Sports Caps and it seems very durable, is leak-free, and works. You simple open the valve by pulling with your teeth or hand like a more traditional sports bottle and push down to close it.

Where to purchase?


3. Camelbak – Camelbak is probably most well known for their hydration packs but they also have two stainless steel sports bottles  in their line-up which include a 750 ml and 500 ml (insulated) model.

Notable Features:

  • 100% BPA free
  • bit valve drinking system
  • Loop handle
  • The 500 ml version is insulated (double walled).
  • Both the 750 ml and 500 ml are the same size externally.
  • You can insulated the 750 ml version with their Insulated Bottle Sleeve.

I have no personal experience with these bottles but Camelbak is well known for making quality products.

Where to purchase?


4. Botl – Botl creates 16/24/32 oz wide-mouth stainless steel sports water bottles.

Notable Features:

  • Comes with both sports cap and loop handle cap.
  • 100% BPA free

Where to purchase?


My Thoughts

My initial impressions are that the 500 ml bottles could work for a handheld system and not be too bulky. The 750 ml and greater bottles just seems too big (at least for me). The 500 ml and 750 ml systems seem like they could work for waist-pack systems. I am not sure what the 32 ouncer would be like. Hmm, I think I have some testing ahead of me.

For a timed event like an 8/12/24 hour event, it would seem like any of the bottles would work. I do wonder how the bottle would respond to high heat and extended sun exposure. Would the bottle get too hot to touch? Maybe the sleeves and insulated bottles could help with that.

Have you used a stainless steel water bottle for run training or racing? Please share your experience in the comments link below.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

5 Responses to “Stainless Steel Sports Bottles For Runners”

  1. on 30 Sep 2009 at 3:37 pm Brock

    I am also very happy with the stainless steel water bottles from botl. They are newer to the block but after the whole Sigg scare we heard of their product and bought a few for the family. Great designs, colors, shapes and sizes. Something for all of our crew.
    Check em out
    We were told that they have a vacuum 24oz bottle coming out before xmas. That would be ideal for heat and cold because your hands are shielded from liquids because of the other layer.
    Thanks for the article.

  2. on 30 Sep 2009 at 7:14 pm David Hanenburg

    Thanks Brock for sharing these stainless steel bottles and the link!

    I had noticed them earlier but I could not find their primary website and was unable to see exactly what is underneath the sports cap “hat” (for lack of a better word). The website shows it without the cap so I can see that it is more of a standard sports bottle valve that can be opened or closed with your mouth or hand.

    How does the size of the valve compare versus a standard water bottle?

    These bottles also have a wide mouth version as well which is a plus for cleaning and filling. Good stuff!

  3. on 18 Oct 2009 at 1:15 pm Jessie Wintriss

    Good information – I find that having a carribeaner or clip to attach to a backpack makes it much easier for climbing and hiking.

  4. on 06 Mar 2011 at 2:06 pm Emily

    Great article. I currently use a Klean Kanteen bottle and have been very pleased with the results. Their bottles are durable and safe to drink from. Even if I accidently drop my bottle, it shows little to no damage. I highly recommend these to any and all! :).

  5. on 22 Mar 2011 at 3:16 pm David Hanenburg

    Jessie and Emily – Thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts on stainless steel bottles.