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Laken Water Bottles - 4 stars
It's funny how my kids are growing up in a world where their water bottle is a constant companion. School, by their bed, travel, car. Everywhee we go, they have their water bottle. They want it full, they are aware when it's missing and they pretty much just drink water all day. I did not grow up in that world.
So it's not a surprise that I'm pretty much constrantly checking out different bottles and assessing them on a few key features.
Quality / Feel / Design
Drinkability (cap vs straw)
Design / Usability
The last time I wrote about water bottles I was telling you about S'Well bottles. By now you have seen S'Well bottles at stores like Starbucks, Storables and licensed in a number of stores like sports games and such. There are also plenty of cheap knock offs everywhere that copy their signature look.
While I still like our S'Well bottles they have not worked out so well for our kids. And I've found that they are a bit tall and narrow making them a bit wobbly in most cup holders. The final straw was when our daughter's S'Well slid out of her carry on bag, down the jetway, and onto the tarmac never to be seen again. What happened next was some crying. It was sad.
So, like I do thousands of times a year, I fired up Amazon and spent some time checking out what was out there. My criteria for a good water bottles are first and foremost stainless steel or glass. No coating, no aluminum, no plastic of any kind. I'm sure the BPA free plastic Tritan bottles out there have some kind of problem with them. Here is the thing, I'm fairly certain glass and stainless still will never.
Once I narrow the materials down, then it's a matter of features I call out above.
I discovered bottles made by a company called Laken. They make a variety of bottles that are insulated, stainless steel, with a silicon spout. Bottles are made in Spain.
They are leak proof, come in 3 sizes and have fun kid designs.
For Christmas Santa got each kid a colored 12oz bottle with a neoprene sling.
I got a 17oz and 27 oz Black bottle. It has a nice powder coating and isn't slippery. The bottle has a button on it that deploys the silicon straw. I keep the 27oz in my car at all times. The nice thing about insulated stainless steel is that on a hot summer day, your cold or room temperature water stays cool.
If you read the review at Amazon, some folks complain that it leaks. It does not. It only leaks if you don't ensure a tight seal when you put the cap on. Also if it is in a bag and something triggers the spout to deploy, it could leak that way.
So, why 4 stars. One reason. When you are flying the pressure in the bottle builds up and if you press the button to deploy the spout, a nice thick stream of water shoots out and lands a few seats in front if you. It's a bit like a water fountain only you made it and no one else was expecting it. I witnessed this first hand last month flying to New York. So now that I've done that (and has every one of my kids) I take the cap off to de-pressurize the bottle and all is good.
I'm very happy with the Laken insulated bottles. They make for great kid bottles and I like the two that I have.
★★★★☆ Great. Worth purchasing.
PS - I've started writing in a new section on my website called Omar's Finds. It's a 2-3x a week short post on interesting tidbits about my research or other news I come across. It has a Newsletter and Twitter account.