Nalgene Stainless vs Sigg Water Bottle Comparison | Review and opinion

There are a lot of metal water bottles on the market right now which seemed to have mushroomed up after the announcement of BPA leeching into food and drink from plastic containers. Metal water bottles are an environmentally friendly alternative to plastics in that they are non-reactive to water. In addition, and unlike their plastic counterparts, they are not susceptible to leeching. But how do you know which is the best one for you? As you may have noticed, metal water bottles are not cheap. They range anywhere from $20 to $40 in price.

The following is a comparison of the new Nalgene stainless water bottle and the very popular Sigg water bottle. Both water bottles were tested over a month of bike commuting back and forth from work, about 3 miles each way. In the rotation I kept one bottle at work and the other at home. Every day I would bike one bottle home and then to work the next day, then switch. I figure this was a fairly equal rotation and would get me a good idea of normal wear and tear under typical conditions.

Nalgene Stainless Water Bottle Specifications:

Material: Surgical Stainless Steel Price: $24.99 Weight: 12.3 oz Volume: 32 oz

Look and Feel:

The construction feels solid and sturdy. Mouth is wide enough to pour without kluging and the retention cord that keeps the cap close is a nice feature. While the bottle is not as pretty, dare I say trendy, it does have a minimalist appeal to it.

Pros:

Tough, tough, tough. The thing is built to last. The Nalgene Stainless is a bit more insulated than the Sigg bottle.

Cons:

When filled with ice water it does tend to sweat a little. The weight is a bit heaver than the Sigg which I guess is the trade off for insulation.

Sigg Water Bottle Specifications:

Material: Aluminum with Plastic Liner Price: $27.99 Weight: 8 oz Volume: 33 oz

Look and Feel:

Smooth and cool looking. I opted for the bottle with a Swiss Army symbol on a silver bottle.

Pros:

The Sigg is very light weight and carried extremely well. Less weight is a big plus for backpackers as they are always looking to trim a little extra weight.

Cons:

Insulation on the Sigg was terrible. If there was one thing that really bugged me about the Sigg it was that aluminum is such a great conductor of heat that the liquid turned warm within a few minutes of having it in the water bottle. If you tried to put ice in it, from the tube trays that I also purchased, the bottle would sweat furiously! I was not really wild about the lack of a retention strap on the bottle top. It is so small compared to the Nalgene Stainless, and I found it to be easily lost.

Nalgene Stainless water bottle vs. Sigg water bottle final conclusion:

The last point that I was to mention was the durability. Now both the Sigg and the Nalgene Stainless would serve the weary traveler well in all terrains, and most likely last a lifetime. The Sigg did however have another minor drawback. The paint on the outside of the Sigg is not durable at all. You pay a little more for a very cool looking bottle, and out of the box my vote goes to the undeniable beauty of the Sigg, but over the corse of the month you find that the painted on coating chips and scratches very easily and the Nalgene Stainless seems to look better with age!

As far at the condensation issue goes, that might just be something that we have to get used to using metal water bottles. It was a bit worse with the Sigg but definitely present in the Nalgene Stainless as well.

So, after rigorous backyard testing of both the Sigg screw top water bottle and the new Nalgene Stainless water bottle my vote goes to the Nalgene Stainless, unless you're a backpacker. If you're willing to take on a few extra ounces you might want to really consider saving a couple bucks and staying BPA free in style!