Why SmartWater Bottles?

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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Why SmartWater Bottles?

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 28 total)
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    Virginia L


    So, I’ve seen a ton of gear lists that specify the SmartWater brand vs any other disposable water bottles. Though I’ve never picked one up (other brands are cheaper, my trips aren’t too long, and I can easily find other 1L bottles), the prevalence of these bottles on the forum makes me curious. Why are they so popular?

    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Changes Often

    It’s because of the shape, long and tall with a small diameter. They can be secured to a pack strap and ride better than other bottles. I personally like the 20 oz Gatorade bottles for pack straps because the mouth is larger and that allows for easier refilling and drying.

    The SmartWater bottles are also quite durable and the opening on the caps tend to not leak, therefore you don’t have to unscrew the cap in order to drink like with a Gatorade bottle. The narrow shape can fit down into a pack better too.

    George F
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wasatch

    I like the shape of the bottles for storing, on my REI Flash 65 I could easily fit two in each side and even get two more in the front pocket for long water carries. I also like the texture. When drinking I can squeeze the bottle to get more faster, that doesn’t work with every bottle.

    matthew k


    • Durability is good.
    • Smooth exterior goes in/out of pack easily.
    • Good thread compatibility with Sawyer filters.
    • 750ml Sport Top works for backflushing Sawyer filters.
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    While I have long used Gatoraide bottles with Aqumira, I have thought about trying a Sawyer filter so that has made me look at narrow mouth bottles.

    I have have noticed the Smartwater bottles have a very nice lid, which is something that is becoming harder and harder to find these days on disposable bottles.


    Jim C
    BPL Member


    Locale: Georgia, USA

    For me, it’s all about the flip top. The flip cap is easy to pop up, keeps the spout clean if you drop your bottle, and prevents the water from leaking.

    Propel Fitness Water has a similar cap; I’ve used and like both. As a small bonus, Propel bottles are slightly larger: 750ml vs 700ml.

    If you’ve got a narrow mouth bottle you like better (because of size or whatever), it’s likely the flip cap from a Smartwater or Propel bottle will fit. The caps also fit a Platypus bag, though I haven’t tested to see how leak proof this setup is.

    Finally, it’s probably a good idea to bring a spare cap or two, just in case you lose your cap while refilling. That’s true whether you use flip caps or regular screw on lids.

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Maybe Smart water bottles compensate for the owners?

    Ducks for flaming…



    windsor ak
    BPL Member


    Locale: MN

    The tall narrow shape and smooth sides makes it perfect for getting the bottle  out of and back into the side stretch pocket of my Mariposa Plus without taking the pack off or doing contortions to reach.

    Compitable with a Sawyer Mini.

    Have not had one spring a leak after repeated drops.

    Carrying the bottle raises my IQ by 1 point and makes me more smrt.


    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I just re-use any convenient bottle, but Smartwater are a good choice.  Some bottles are too heavy or aren’t durable enough or don’t have the thread size for Sawyer filters.

    There’s the “virality” of it – people use them because they’ve heard a lot of other people do.

    The price isn’t important if you re-use for a while.  $1 (or whatever) amortized over a period of time is unimportant.

    Valerie E
    BPL Member


    Locale: Grand Canyon State

    Smartwater bottles also have completely smooth sides/bottoms, which make them easier to keep clean (avoid bacteria).

    Personally, I prefer shorter, wider 1L bottles for water (usually the ones from flavoured fizzy water) and a Gatorade 1L bottle for coffee/flavoured drinks (easier to fill; easier to pour in coffee crystals).  Both of these weigh slightly less than the Smartwater bottles, and seem to be very durable (the most I’ve used one for is 500 continuous miles).

    Good point about exchanging the caps — I’ve done that before.  Just test your setup at home to be 100% sure the newly-paired bottles/caps don’t leak, even when left on their sides, or shaken vigorously.

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    +1 on bringing an extra cap.  So little weight, so valuable if you need it.

    Plumbing doesn’t have to stop when you leave home, so I have a variety of water-bottle caps adapting to be shower heads, or adapted to tubing for more pressure through a water filter.  Some of which can double as an emergency replacement cap.

    Also, from Water Bottles 101: if you wish your water bottle was a little less slippery or didn’t flex quite so much; you need a place to store your one to two feet of Lueko tape, duct tape, etc, and wrapped around your water bottle is one good place that takes up no extra room and is readily accessible.  It also identifies your water bottle as yours.

    from Water Bottles 101, second semester: tie a sturdy loop of string around the neck of the bottle, securing it with glue or tape if needed.  Sometimes the footing down to the creek is tricky, but if clipped to your trekking pole, your water bottle can be dunked in the creek, remotely while you stay on the footbridge or well ashore.  This can be really handy while snow camping because the little trickles of flowing water always seem out of reach or a meter of thin ice away.

    Katherine .
    BPL Member


    Locale: pdx

    yep, the sports cap on the 750 ml.


    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    They’re the smart choice.

    J R
    BPL Member


    I agree with all the benefits others have pointed out, but I think the biggest driver at least for me is that they match well with the Sawyer Squeeze and Mini filters.

    First, the SW threads match the Sawyer filters. The threads on most disposable water bottles do not.

    Second, the whole way you use a Sawyer filter is to squeeze the dirty reservoir, and you’ll be doing this repeatedly over a multi-day hike so you want a dirty reservoir that isn’t too fragile that it will easily crack from being crushed and re-expanded multiple times but also isn’t too stiff that it makes squeezing difficult. The SW bottles fit a sweet spot in this durability/flexibility trade-off, easy to squeeze but durable enough not to bust with repeated use, while most other disposable water bottles are too flimsy to last through many squeezing cycles and Gatorade-type bottles are too stiff for squeezing.

    For those reasons I use a SW bottle for the dirty reservoir but not for clean — for that I use a flimsier, lighter disposable water bottle with a flip-top nozzle. That also helps keep it really clear which bottle is clean and which is dirty.

    Edward Jursek
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    1.) Shape – tall shape fits great in my outside web pockets.

    2.) Durability – strong bottle, but not too heavy.

    3.) Sawyer compatibility – love the flip top cap. I will keep a spare cap as well, and use it on my Sawyer even when I am just using one of my Evernew bags.

    Depending on the length of the trip, I will also carry a very light/fragile12oz bottle for hooch and a 1L Gatorade bottle for dirty water/pee bottle.

    Axel J
    BPL Member


    In case anyone is interested in reducing  their plastic foot print. An aluminum alternatively, similar to the smart bottle but smaller volume, 750cc, and larger mouth. It is heavier as well, weighing in at about 5 oz. smart water bottles are classified as “single use “ making repeated usage somewhat riskier, theoretically.

    Bob Kerner
    BPL Member


    All of the above and social conformity. You don’t want to be seen on the trail carrying the “wrong” water bottle.

    If you really want to go down a multi hour rabbit hole you can search here an elsewhere about the environmental implications of the Smart Water Bottle versus something more durable and reusable.  But mostly it’s light and durable for what it is.

    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    The sport caps break easily. The cap comes off. But you can tape it together with duct tape and then it works for a very long time. You can use the cap on other bottles. So if you don’t want to support whoever is behind the brand, you can just buy one with the sport cap and use it on another bottle that fits. The threads on these are similar not only to the sawyer but also to platypus.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Calculating an accurate environmental footprint is exceedingly difficult, these days; it’s hard to tell exactly which products we buy have a good, bad or indifferent path throughout the world.  I tend to go by the old “reduce, reuse, recycle” adage, and I follow them in that order.  I’ve resisted getting a SnartWater bottle just because I hate disposable plastic bottles, but swapping to two of those bottles and ditching two of my widemouth Nalgenes saves 9.6 ounces…and that’s the cheapest 9.6 ounces I can possibly lose.  I guess that if I want to feel better about myself I can wait for someone to throw one away, and hopefully poach it from them on the way to the trash.

    Cameron M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Los Angeles

    Shape and Sawyer compatibility have made it the thru-hiker reference bottle. They hold up too. A wrinkled worn-looking bottle is a badge of hard-core. Wow, 3,ooo miles, really?

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    Those Proud Source bottles have an odd sized cap which is pretty thin. I still prefer a Smartwater bottle

    Claiborne B
    BPL Member


    Thanks @axel-t

    I’ve been looking for an alternative to plastics. I’m concerned about the carcinogens and long term exposure.

    John S.
    BPL Member


    Plastic only for me.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Puget Sound

    I got mine because the internet told me too. And now that I’ve got it, i’ve got it. With 3 seasons of wear and still holding up, i”m satisfied.

    Until I read some of these other reasons, I just took it for granted the smooth, tall and light cylindrical shape that made it so easy to take in and out of my side bag pocket. As apposed to possible others

    Don’t aluminum cans have a synthetic plastic lining inside?


    BPL Member


    Locale: Puget Sound

    HA! I’ve been duped again! Dec 2015

    It’s like getting Rick Roll’d on youtube

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