Look, I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for products that feature my fandoms. I have, however, become more discerning as the “geek-out all the things” market became oversaturated, so the thing upon which said representations are placed has to be more compelling than cereal or crunchy, cheesy crackers. While want is still an essential component, need has entered the picture as I pretend to adult in order to set a good, if somewhat exaggerated portrait of fiscal responsibility for my children.
One thing I’m always on the lookout for (and frequently need because I swear there are trolls who collect them in my house, my car, my office, the work parking shuttle, and random bookshops around the city of Pittsburgh)? Decent water bottles. Those that will hold up to rough treatment by myself and the kids, those that will seal so as not to soak everything in my bag and the boy’s backpack, and those that can be run through the dishwasher because, ew, do you have any idea where those things go during the day and how many times you touch it without washing your hands?
I’ve tried various types over the years, including other Nalgene models and, while I’ve found some others I like, I tend to go back to the 32 oz. Nalgene water bottles because I drink a lot of water (migraines if I don’t hydrate well enough, dry mouth from medications, etc) and not many companies have available models in liter size that last for any length of time and fit the dishwasher criteria as well (you could do several Dali recreations with the number I’ve melted over the years). I have, however, sacrificed function for design on more than one occasion because, again, sucker (Star Wars merch is my other weak spot. Just putting it out there. Easily lured by anything X-Wing, Black Squadron, or Leia/Rey/Jyn-centric).
Nalgene now has my full attention because their Marvel Collection is gorgeous and has all of the features that make the brand my favorite. Form and function. Oh, the squee.
For the sake of full disclosure, the company did send me samples to try: 32 oz. Spiderman and Daredevil bottles and Captain America and Iron Man On the Fly (OTF) 12 oz. models for review purposes. How the rep knew which ones I would like most I have no idea but, clearly, he is psychic (hubs made noise about maybe deigning to use the Daredevil one, but he’s a DC apologist and I decided he doesn’t deserve it). 4-year-old daughter lunged for Iron Man and 7-year-old son found himself quite satisfied with Cap. We’ve been using them all week and we’re pretty darn thrilled.
- Did I mention all of the bottles in the Marvel Collection are dishwasher safe? I’m mentioning it again. ESSENTIAL in my home because, also aforementioned, ew, and also, things that aren’t tend to sit by the side of the sink for days because we’re too lazy… I mean busy… I mean… no, I meant lazy, to wash them by hand. Make sure you remove the protective plastic from around the outside of the bottle before you dishwasher, however; a certain DC apologist failed to do so and Spidey is now missing part of an eyeball. This is by no means in any way Nalgene’s fault, but I wanted to put it out there so no one else’s web-slinger suffers the same fate.
- Nalgene bottles are tough. You can pretty much throw them off a building and while I’ve had knockoffs crack, I’ve never lost one of these to damage. And I drop stuff. A lot. Usually at the worst possible time. The graphics are pretty hardy as well, barring sabotage from the opposing camp.
- The Marvel Collection features the wide-mouth opening, which I prefer; it’s easier to drink out of and I tend to spill less liquid on myself. What can I say? I’m skilled. The kids’ bottles have a smaller opening moulded into a spout, which means less water/chocolate milk/juice stains end up on the clothes and the floor and the chair and the cats. Which means less for me to clean up beyond the entirely credible messes I make on my own.
- The 32 oz. Marvel Collection bottles sport the thinner, more flexible cap tether, another bonus as I tend to leave my water bottle open on my desk at work (what, it’s not my computer) for ease of sipping, and I’ve found that, with the more rigid tethers, the bottle is additionally prone to tipping. When one is, like myself, already a frequent victim of escape liquids, this becomes even more problematic. I mean, sure, I could close the bottle every time, but where’s the fun in that? The flexible tether allows the cap to rest flat against the side of the bottle, which both improves the balance of the open bottle and makes it less likely someone’s cuff or ring or finger will catch on the cap.
- The seal on the cap is excellent. I sometimes hang my water bottle from a carabiner attached to my bag but that puts stress on the bag’s strap (and I happen to adore my current everyday bag), makes the carry uneven, and creates situations in which your carabiner fails and your favorite water bottle will falls into a toilet in a bathroom at O’Hare (for example). I wouldn’t go into a toilet at O’Hare for my wedding ring, so, as you can imagine, that bottle enjoyed a burial at sea, and I have, for the most part, been carrying my water bottle in my bag since my battle with the O’Hare toilet monster. I also carry my analog planner, my writing notebook, and sometimes my iPad, all things I would prefer not get wet. As you can imagine, that makes a quality seal integral to my water bottle choice.
- The locking mechanism on the OTF kids models are fantastic. Every water bottle we’ve sent to school with my son this year has leaked in his backpack with the exception of this one. I know it’s still early in the relationship, but we’re off to a good start. Since the swing arm both clicks into closed position and is, additionally, secured with a metal ring, you can be pretty close to absolutely sure the thing is locked down tight before you toss it in with homework and science projects. And whatever that weird Star Trek card that lives at the bottom of his bag is.
- Nalgene chose to use more classic incarnations of the character designs as decorative graphics, which add a fun, retro twist to a modern product. The volume meter on the opposing side of each bottle has been tailored to the character (Spidey hanging from his web, Daredevil using his billy club), which is cute and fun and made me smile and really, what else can you ask out of an already reputable, highly functional product? As a writer, I appreciate the attention to detail and as a comics geek, I appreciate the attention to detail. You can see where I’m going with this.
- The only one we’ve found so far is that, while my daughter can close the OTF Kid’s bottle on her own, she has difficulty getting it open by herself because the metal ring is thin and the process takes a tad more coordination than she has with one hand–and Thor forbid she put the thing down on a solid, flat surface so she can use both hands. If your kids are younger, this might actually slide up into the “pro” category because it will mean supervision during use which also means less water on clothes, the chair, the floor, and the cats.
I definitely plan to replace other water bottles with the Nalgene Marvel Collection as they wear out and might even consider one of the 40 oz. monsters for road trips or my desk at work. I’m definitely planning to purchase more of the OTFs for school and camp and etcetera.
Nineteen Nalgene Marvel Collection are available now with additional designs to come during 2017. Prices range from $11.99 to $14.99 and bottles can be purchased online or at various retailers.