Waterbottle exposé – our sorry story

This is just a sample of the many waterbottles that have come and gone from our lives.

We have gone through so many that I decided a post on our experience with each was in order. To recollect the good, the bad, and the ugly. And so that folks get reviews on what was good and what was not so good, which might guide buying decisions and save some folks some money.

One of our earliest was the Munchkin flip grip. This was good for little hands to grasp. But it was hard to replace the straw after cleaning – and the inside of the flip top got dirty and was even harder to clean.

Then I ordered a Foogo one, all the way from Amazon.com.  I loved the look, and whilst it leaked a bit, I thought it’d last.  Nope.  There was some straw trouble (think it was very hard to clean and replace) and we had to stop using it as well. But it was very cute and compact.

Popular cartoon decorations

 We had this with a Sesame Street design… Lasted quite a while. Eventually retired cos the straw got mouldy.

This is what happened to our latest flip top (a few years later, I bought another) – the straw was progressively chewed torn (then I cut it straight, but it got chewed torn again, and I cut it again, till….).

Then I bought a no-brand pasar malam type (where you press a white square button near cap and cap pops out).  The cap spring mechanism spoilt after less than 3 months.

K needed a water bottle with a strap for a school excursion, so I got a small plastic one with my favourite Little Twin Stars design.  And the straw, which was by far the flimsiest, was soon chewed torn beyond repair too.

Subsequently, I decided to try The First Years. With a huge flat broad straw which would be easier to clean.

The first years
This didn’t work for very long either. 
The next brand I tried was the Playtex Click and Seal. It shuts tight with a click, so it was one of the better leak-proof ones. But the straw got grimy and they did not sell replacements… and it finally succumbed to chewing (I do tell them NOT to, but it’s really hard to police).

Then I got the tommy tippee insulated type, and as you can see below, the straw barely lasted 2 months.

For B I thought the Avent one would be cute. The lid rotates shut with a satisfying click. It wasn’t easy for a kid to figure out how to get to the straw – a tighter grip whilst rotating unscrews the lid.  So the amount of pressure used was important, and I recall the straw getting stuck a couple of times when the lid was rotated the wrong way.  I can’t quite remember why but it fell out of use within 5 months too.

This humble Tollijoy version lasted far longer than expected. Its straw was hardier. But eventually its flip cap simple refused to close. So tata to Tolli. 

Skip Hop

Right now B is using this cute Skip Hop that I had bought with the intention of only using next year. But it got deployed 8 months early. Sigh. 

Add caption

This was a free gift that came in a commercial goody bag. It doesn’t have a straw, so it’d be more suitable for those above 3 I reckon. So far, so good.  K enjoys sipping from it.

I also bought this Nalgene Grip-and-Gulp water bottle, but realised that I’d have to put it in a bag, cos it’s not completely leak proof, and there is no cover for the spout.  Not ideal from the start, but I have a weakness for the brand, and for the design, so.

The other one that I’ve been eyeing is the NUK bottle below – once the existing ones give up their ghosts.

NUK – yet to try

After sharing my woes with some friends, I realised I haven’t explored the universe of stainless steel metal water bottles, like Thermos Funtainers, or La Gourmet. They are heavier to bring out, but likely to be hardier.  I can only hope that the girls grow out of chewing straws soon!

Have you had similar experiences? Do you have a great bottle to recommend? Let me know!

  15 comments for “Waterbottle exposé – our sorry story

  1. June 25, 2013 at 7:08 am

    OMG, I was just sharing with a friend the other day on the amount of money spent on waterbottles for the kids!

    Like you, we tried the munchkin one first, had a lot of hope that one until the monster teeth came out and day in and day out, it got chewed on. Changing straws every two weeks was costly. and we went from playtex to avent to The First years, and nothing worked.

    Now we are using SMASH with a hard straw, nothing they can chew off, and it works okay, only the sucking takes a little big more hard work for the boys. But beats replacing straws of bottles because of straws. Lol.

    Love this post, makes me feel im not the only one who goes crazy over bottles.

    • June 25, 2013 at 8:34 am

      I think I’ve heard of SMASH…

      Yes, you are not alone!

  2. June 25, 2013 at 7:16 am

    The La Gourmet lasted 2 weeks. The protective cap broke, and the sharp edges was enough to actually make C’s teacher wrap the bottle up in a piece of cloth so that he can cart it home safely.

    I wanted to buy the Nalgene as well, but the husband’s common sense prevailed – he objected due to exposure. He makes sense where I usually dont when it comes to the boy’s stuff.

    The Playtex has served us over a year, but we bring it out only on weekends, because it’s compact enough to fit the backpack and we can refill on the go. They sell replacement straws! I got ours replaced twice already. John Little and Robinsons have these, not sure where else. I grabbed 3 packs (2 in one pack) when I saw them. They’re like $2.90 per pack. So far my favourite, if not for the fact that it doesnt come in a larger size. spill proof, and easy for little hands to flip open, too!

    The NUK Flexi Cup – the clasp broke after 3 weeks. Rendered it quite useless because it leaked everywhere without the clasp.

    …and the straw chewing? I thought the boy was just being a pain! Hahaha!

    • June 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Wow – a lot of useful info there, thanks! Straw chewing seems irresistable to every kid argh!

  3. June 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Guess I am not the only who has a similar woe with bottles. There was a time when my son had 7 different designs of bottles at one go, just to encourage him to drink water. It works! I am not kidding. His favourite was the Munchkin Flip Grip till his friends asked him why he was still using this “baby” water bottle at K1 back then. So mr egocentric asked me to buy another one. Then we switched to Smash. The one with the bended straw cos he is a lazy drinker, no straw cannot kind. He still can leave bite marks on the super hard plastic straw, even the younger also leave bite marks but the straw inside the bottle tend to drop after a while. So dont pin too much hope on it either.

    • June 25, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Hee, so funny and cute! Guess they start caring about what their friends think around then.

  4. June 26, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Eh, not sure if my previous comment got through but so glad you got this post! And super relieved to know I’m not the only mother who keeps a lookout for water bottles too! Its always the straw that breaks the camel’s back ain’t it? LOL… I’ve long given up on water bottles with straws. My son is using those cap-attached-to-bottle screwed on kind, not sure if you know what I mean. Easy to clean and easy to use is what look out for now.

    • June 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Yes, previous comment came through but ended mid-sentence so I’ve published this one. :). Hahaha, yes always last straw!
      You mean like adult nalgene styles? Yeah I should transition my 4 yr old but think my 2 yr old might not be ready…

  5. June 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Haha, that’s a LOT you’ve gone through! Naomi still uses the Munchkin grip bottle. She used a flip top bottle that my mum gave her for a while but I lost it, so it’s back to the Munchkin. It’s not that difficult to clean, no? Just dismantle everything? I change the straws when they get grubby. At least the replacements are mostly readily available. Noey uses the Tyrell Katz Dinosaur bottle, the old stainless steel version. I like the hard plastic sports bottle spout. The only downside is that he sometimes forgets turn the knob to close and the water spills all over his bag…

    • June 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      What gets me are those little black spots that seem embedded in the straw and simply won’t come out. I have had too many lady Macbeth moments kekeke

  6. June 27, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I feeel your pain…

    And I hate those black spots too!!! So annoying!!! I’m going to buy strawless bottles for the kidzes from now on! Can’t wait to transit them to a proper Nalgene too.

    • June 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

      It will be soon!

  7. June 27, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Which will you recommend for 13 month old? It’s difficult to get my boy to drink water. If the straw is too narrow he chokes on it by sucking too hard. If the straw is too wide, it leaks or maybe he’s allowing the water to leak I dunno. sigh……I am looking for a bottle I can bring outdoors, but with so many out there, I can’t tell which is suitable.

    • June 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Haha from the post you can tell not many worked for me. Maybe try the foogo?

  8. May 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Hi! I stumbled upon your blog by chance, and can totally relate to your water bottle woes 🙂 Have you tried Kleen Kanteen? It’s worked the best for us (we have since given up on plastic straw ones). I just reviewed this with a special offer on my blog too — come on over and check it out if you like! Cheers, Mei

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