By July 28, 2008

Laken HIT .75L aluminum bottle review

With all the hubbub about the possible leaching of toxic chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in Lexan plastic bottles, I started looking for alternatives to my trusty Nalgene water bottle. A co-worker had a Sigg-brand aluminum bottle at work, but I didn’t like that there was a screw-on top and that the brass (or brass-like) liner scratched the plastic threads of the top. My co-worker only had the bottle for two weeks and said he was already having problems with the cap seating properly due to a mis-thread.

The good news is that the aluminum bottle market is pretty straight-forward. The bad news is that this is because there isn’t a lot to choose from. There are three major aluminum bottle companies selling in the US right now: Oggi, Laken, and Sigg. Oggi is the least expensive, with some bottles running as low as $10 on the Internet, to Sigg, whose bottles can run you up to $40+. There are also bottles sold by camping goods manufacturer Coleman for as low as $4.99 on their Web site, but I am uncertain if these are private label bottles made by someone else or made directly by Coleman.

Being the cheap bastard that I am, I went to Sierra Trading Post and typed in “aluminum bottle.” I only had one choice: the Laken HIT .75L bottle.

My bottle is orange, but you get the idea from this picture. The bottle is very light (hurf durf, aluminum, go figure). The black plastic cap screws down onto aluminum threads, but I have not had the cross-threading issue my co-worker has had with his Sigg bottle. The cap flips up and has a mouth piece that you would find on a sports bottle. I was originally skeptical of this setup until I tried it. The retention is weak, and the cap frequently popped open in my messenger bag. Luckily the HIT mouth piece rotates to shut off any water from leaking out of the bottle.

The Laken HIT bottle has a plastic liner of some kind. I am not sure what this liner is, which does make me nervous. I thought the Lexan used in Nalgene bottles would be safe, and now I have to worry about growing boobs and shit. Even without knowing the exact composition of the Laken bottle, I prefer a lined bottle to an unlined one. One of the knocks on the pure aluminum Oggi bottles is that there is a potential for aluminum to be leached into your drink. With aluminum ingestion possibly linked to Alzheimer’s disease, I’d rather dance with the devil and drink from a lined bottle.

I’ve owned my Laken HIT aluminum bottle for over two weeks now and have loved it. My only regret is not buying a second bottle. I paid $13 before shipping Sierra Trading Post. I’ve searched the Web for similar deals and the best I can come up with is $19, and most places are out of stock. Dick’s Sporting Goods had the Sigg bottles for $30.

With word of potential BPA exposure spreading, I expect there to be a temporary availability shortage of aluminum bottles. Eventually market demand may increase product selection and lower prices. I hope that other Laken models become more available, as I really want this Power Puff Girl bottle:

The Laken HIT .75L bottle is highly recommended.

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