Product Review – Eco Canteen Water Bottle
From time to time, Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) gets offers of sample products that people would like us to review. The products (full disclosure alert!) are complimentary, so you should know that at the outset. But there are no strings attached. No one is paying us to say nice things. And no one can dissuade us from saying a product stinks, if we believe it’s true.
If you are considering purchasing this product based on my review, please read this: The first time I tried to contact customer service, I was extremely disappointed — and especially dismayed by reports from dissatisfied readers. The good news is, the president of the company reports having added to their customer service staff in the past week (end of July). He adds, “Our goal is to be able to respond to everyone’s questions or concerns in a prompt and efficient manner.” And as far as I can tell, that’s exactly how each complaint by our readers has been handled. I applaud the company’s efforts to improve, and I continue to support the quality of their product. — Julia Wasson, Publisher
12/30/09 — Since this review was published, we have received dozens of complaints about Eco Canteen, though they have subsided over the past couple of months. If you purchased an Eco Canteen as a result of reading this review and then were dissatisfied with your purchase, please let us know. We’ll do our best to help you get satisfaction. We’ve also received some rave reviews. If you are a happy EcoCanteen customer, please let others know by posting your comments here.
The Eco Canteen is a 26-oz. stainless steel water bottle that I’ve been carting around with me for weeks. This is the perfect antidote to plastic water bottles, as any of you metal-bottle-toting water lovers already know. It sits next to my computer in the daytime, on my nightstand while I sleep, and in my car when I travel.
The bottle has a wide mouth that’s perfect for dropping in ice cubes, for taking big gulps, and for washing. (It’s also supposed to be dishwasher safe, though I’ve washed mine by hand.) I’ve found the wide mouth a little risky for taking quick drinks, though, as water sometimes dribbles a little down my chin when I’m in a hurry. What I really appreciate is that the lid screws on tightly between sips. I’m not the most graceful person in the world, and I’ve knocked over a glass or two in my day. The screw-on lid makes this water bottle safe near electronics and impossible to spill if I knock it over it while reaching for the lamp on my nightstand in the darkness of my bedroom.
Last fall, my daughter, Lindsay, a university student, purchased a smaller metal water bottle from a local sporting goods store for just under $20. Her bottle has a pull top that was hard to pull up for the first few months and, now that pulling the tip up is easy, it no longer seals well. The small opening also requires her to suck hard to get any liquid out, as there’s only a tiny air intake to compensate for the water that flows out of the bottle into her mouth.
For her birthday in February, she asked for a new, stainless steel water bottle with a screw-on top. No problem! We had just received two Eco Canteens. Lindsay got her own stainless steel bottle to review, complete with a zippered, insulated tote. She loves the wide mouth, which prevents her from making embarrassing sucking noises when she takes a drink of water in class.
The EcoCanteen also comes with a carabinier clasp to secure it to a student’s backpack or, in my case, a laptop bag. That may sound odd — to hook a water bottle to a laptop bag. It’s pretty much counter intuitive to attach something that holds liquid to something that runs on electricity — and contains nearly your entire brain. But the secure, screw-top lid is a huge safety feature that I can count on (as long as I remember to screw it on tightly). And this bottle will never crack or break.
We’re all trying to get away from plastic in our drink containers, but this has a plastic lid. I wondered, is there BHA in this plastic? So I checked with Trish, my contact at Eco Canteen. Here’s what she said, “We use # 5 PP plastic in our lids, which has been found to be the most innate of all plastics with no known leaching characteristics. No BPA.” Great news!
On my way to the Kirkwood Community College Earth Day event recently, I tightly screwed on the lid, clipped my Eco Canteen to my laptop bag (which is like an overgrown purse with a flat bottom, so it stands up) and secured the bottle upright. That gave me even greater security that no water would leak.
Once, when I had several things to carry downstairs, I clipped it to my belt loop. (Do hikers really do that?) That was convenient for a short-term solution, but I wouldn’t recommend traveling that way, as it bounced and thumped against my side.
At only $9.99 plus $5.95 shipping and handling (within the US, I assume), this bottle is a super deal for the money. As a rough estimate, if I calculate $1 per plastic bottle of water and consider that I have consumed at least 1 bottle a day for the past two months (this is a really conservative estimate), then I would have spent at least $60 for bottled water in that time. If I’d paid the retail price for the Eco Canteen, the bottle would have paid for itself with what I’d saved in 15 days. And every day that I use it instead of buying bottled water (which I won’t do anyway), I continue to save money.
There’s an optional, free, insulated tote you can get for your water bottle from the website. Lindsay uses hers on occasion to keep water cool during class. I haven’t used mine yet, but will definitely use it during the summer to keep the bottle from sweating. Be aware, though, that the “free” tote costs an extra $4.95 for shipping and handling. You can also choose to purchase a “kids size bottle” — which looks like it might fit in a child’s lunchbox — at $8.95 plus shipping. It also has a zippered tote available, for the additional shipping charge.
While my exposure to metal water bottles is admittedly limited (this is the only one I have used), the Eco Canteen is a great bargain for the cost. I’ve used mine day and night for more than two months, and I’ll keep using it for years to come. It’s another small step in the direction of sustainability and green living. Do I recommend the Eco Canteen? You bet.
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