Single Use BottlesWith bottled water widely available, many walkers reuse the bottles. These bottles are more difficult to clean between uses because they don't have the wider mouths that refillable water bottles do. If you choose to reuse them, be sure to wash them with hot soapy water and dry them thoroughly to prevent bacterial and fungal growth.
Refillable Water BottlesThese are available at all sports stores and outdoors stores. They come in a variety of materials, including squeezable plastic, rigid plastic, stainless steel and aluminum. Look for a design that is easiest for you to carry, drink from, and refill. You may want to look for BPA-free bottles if you are concerned about that chemical leaching into your water. Wash your bottle after each use with hot water and soap to kill any germs. Test your bottle to make sure that it is not going to drip or spill when carried, even when going up and down in altitude.
Hydration Bladder Packs - Camelbak - PlatypusRather than bottles, these are flexible water bladders you can carry and use. Platypus water bottles are flat when empty and fill up like a tick. They may fit better into a pack and are easily stored. Compare Prices.
Hydration water bladder packs, such as Camelbak, are carried in a pack on your back or waistband and you sip your water through a flexible tube. Compare Prices.
Water CarriersOnce you have selected you bottle, how do you carry it? Carrying it in the hand puts too much strain on wrist and elbow. A hip pack with a bottle holder is a good way to carry it at your center of mass, which is the best place to add weight to not strain your legs. Many backpacks also have special pockets for carrying water bottles without having to dig to the bottom of the pack to find it when you want it. Look for the carrier that suits you best at a sports or outdoors store.
Top Picks for Single-Bottle Water Carriers and Packs
Top Picks for Higher Capacity Water Carriers and Packs