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Rambler On - The Best Insulated Water Bottles for Boating

Should you invest in a quality stainless water bottle for boating, or is it just an expensive drink holder?

A popular health warning today, is that people don’t drink enough water. So what is enough? The Mayo Clinic, using their famous research approach, suggests that men require 15.5 cups, or 3.7 liters of water every day. Women’s needs are slightly less at 11.5 cups, or 2.7 liters per day. The Mayo also notes that this figure will vary with differences in a person’s health, exercise and environment. One activity where we know people can easily become dehydrated, is boating. Fresh air, warm sun and active times will increase your need for good old H2O.

To meet this need, a host of water bottle manufacturers currently provide a wide choice of quality water bottles. Which brings me to my first question: Are high quality water bottles worth the higher price?

Do you remember the expression, “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”? Well, that definitely applies to the water bottles available today. Such quality bottles are made with double walled stainless steel and vacuum insulation. The vacuum sleeve and double steel walls keep outside temperatures from entering the container and hold the temperature of the liquid inside. Most of these stainless steel water bottles advertise that they will keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks for 6 hours. They do recommend that you should wash your bottle thoroughly. Remember, if cared for, these quality bottles will last for several years.

The next question for boaters like us is, with all the quality water drinking devices on the market, which brand should I purchase? If you Google “insulated water bottles” you will find so many brand names that just reading the long list can dehydrate you. Cooling claims vary from a few hours to a few days and prices vary from $25 to $102 per vessel. While temperature maintenance is critical, most quality brands are actually relatively equal in achieving the numbers described above and most can be easily cleaned and are dishwasher safe. So to narrow down my choice, I decided to base my selection on four simple factors: a company’s history, choice of bottle types, colors offered, and price. It’s assuring to buy from a company that has been around for awhile, can supply your favorite shade (or the color of your boat), and at the same time is reasonably priced.

Researching bottles in the $35 to $50 range, we found Yeti and Stanley brands to be a solid choice. Both offer a variety of types and colors that are close to the same price point (although Stanley has been around for over one hundred years, compared to Yeti’s eighteen). We've made great use of the Yeti Rambler 1.89L bottle which is sturdy and well built. The lid is a helpful feature on bumpy days, although the unit itself is large. The Stanley 'Ice Flow Tumbler' 30oz bottle is another favorite on our boat- the lid is easier to open and the narrower dimensions allow it to fit in most cupholders.

Very importantly, both Stanley and Yeti use food grade 304 stainless steel that will not harbor particles, bacteria, or other viruses that can be transmitted between foods.

For boaters, whether to buy a stainless steel vacuum water tumbler is a no brainer. Stainless steel is much better than a plastic bottle, both for health reasons temperature retention and the environment. And with the long life of the product, a stainless water bottle is extremely cost efficient.

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