If you’ve been following our journey from the beginning, you’ve probably perused our packing lists. However, that was at the beginning, and the contents of our bags have changed somewhat. We’ve replace things, realized we misjudged our needs on some things and started to appreciate some items that we took for granted at the beginning. Also, we were recently featured on iExplore, which made us think about which items were most valuable to us.
One of the items that has been great for me has been my Xtreme Canteen water bottle. A water bottle may not be the most exciting thing to shop for and it’s probably not the first thing at the top of the packing list, but the right one can make a big difference.
At 32 ounces (946 mL), the Xtreme Canteen is larger than Kelly’s water bottle, but that heft definitely helps when we’re in a country where we have to use our Steripen for every sip of water we drink. It also helps when you’re on a longer hike or even just going through a city for the day. Less fill ups and more water on hand make it easier to stay hydrated.
When I first got my Xtreme Canteen, I was skeptical of the straw that folds up from the top. I’ve had straws on previous water bottles and they rarely stand the test of time, but this one has been great. Not only is the mouth piece sturdy, but both the inside and outside portion of the straw can be easily removed to clean. One of my greatest fears was putting hot tea in this insulated bottle and doing damage to the straw, but that’s been a complete non-issue.
The Xtreme Canteen really does help keep stuff hot or cold. I’ve heard claims that ice can stay solid in one of these for over 24 hours, and while I haven’t tried it since hitting the road, it definitely keeps my water cold all day – even when I’m outside in 90-plus degree heat. Plus, the coating on the outside keeps the bottle from sweating even a little bit. No matter how cold or hot the water inside is, I can never feel it from touch and I never feel like the bottle is going to slip out of my hand.
While this is much more of a pro than a con, it is worth noting that you may struggle to fit the Xtreme Canteen in the side of a daypack or a cupholder, depending on the brand. I’ve been having this problem since day 1, and sticking it inside your pack will take up a good amount of space. I’m actually switching out my daypack in a couple of days (for reasons other than this water bottle), but using a carabiner to hang it off my bag has proven to work really well thanks to a sturdy loop on the bottle top.
Carrying on planes
This is one that I didn’t see coming, but has actually caused some problems. Since the Xtreme Canteen straw folds down, the water bottle never completely seals. This means that when cabin pressure naturally drops after take off, the water expands and can shoot out of the straw. This is a much bigger problem when you actually flip up the straw during flight, but also caused some panic with a leak on my MacBook Pro (don’t worry – the computer survived, damage-free). The simple fix is to unscrew the lid just a tad right after takeoff to release the pressure.
The model I have is the Royal Blue with the straw lid, which goes for $32. It’s also available in an even larger 40oz size in select colors. You can get an Xtreme Canteen from the company’s website.