I'm trying to find a leak-proof reusable water bottle and have had a lot of difficulty with this task. So far, the best I've been able to do as far as strictly the leak-proof issue is a Nalgeen water bottle with a screw on cap.

However, I've been starting to wonder about the negative long term effects on my health of using a plastic water bottle for a long period of time. Which has me back to using my old Kleen Kanteen, which does leak occasionally. Thus, I'm back to the issue of trying to find a good water bottle that won't leak on me occasionally.

Also, if anyone knows of any caps bottle caps that I could buy for my current Kleen Kanteen which would eliminate the leaking issue, I'd love to just buy a new bottle cap for my existing bottle rather than an entirely new water bottle.

Update: StackExchange just told me that this post is getting a lot of views so I wanted to update with what I ultimately ended up doing that worked for me. The accepted solution is a great one for people who don't have a water bottle yet. But if you're in the situation I was in and happen to have a Kleen Kanteen that leaks through the cap's poor seal, I found this: https://www.kleankanteen.com/products/stainless-loop-cap. I replaced the original cap with this one and it never leaked again. I'm just annoyed that Kleen Kanteen didn't send this out standard with the water bottle because it has a much better seal than their standard water bottle cap. I bought the cap on Amazon years ago but they don't appear to sell it at the moment, though it's still available on Kleen Kanteen's website.

  • I've been using 2 types of bottles both for several years now without any problems; a 1 liter Sigg bottle (aluminium, served me well while hiking in the mountains) and a 0.5 liter Dopper (plastic but guaranteed BPA and toxin free). BTW, officially we don't allow shopping recommendations here (see more about this here), but since it sometimes is a fine line if something is a shopping question or not, I'll wait and see if other users vote to close.
    – THelper
    Sep 19, 2014 at 18:58
  • THelper, have you dropped your Sigg bottle much while hiking? It looks pretty well made from their website, but I've had issues with both plastic and aluminum bottles breaking on me.
    – Evan Lynch
    Sep 19, 2014 at 19:06
  • I dropped it a few times, but never very hard. It does have a few dents but other than that is still in great shape.
    – THelper
    Sep 19, 2014 at 19:07
  • Oh, I'm not concerned about dents here. I had one bottle have the bottom metal part come apart which obviously rendered the water bottle useless. Multiple other brands have had parts of the caps break in ways that make them harder to use. I don't mind dents, just that kind of damage.
    – Evan Lynch
    Sep 19, 2014 at 19:09
  • I had a hyperactive classmate in high school, who was using a Sigg bottle. While everyone was trying to avoid dents on their Sigg bottle, he made a point of beating up his bottle as much as he could. He stayed down a year after I had seen him beat his bottle for a full three years. Unfortunately, I don't know what became of him or his Sigg bottle...
    – Earthliŋ
    Sep 20, 2014 at 23:04

6 Answers 6


I've been using a Nalgene bottle, which is leak-proof. The material is BPA-free (BPA is by now well-known to have adverse health effects). Unfortunately, we don't know if the other components in the plastic have similar effects.

As for naming a particular brand, Sigg (https://www.sigg.com/) has been making water bottles for over a hundred years. Their traditional model uses aluminium with a protective, elastic layer on the inside. Unfortunately, I don't know what this layer is made of (which is most likely a trade secret).

Another option would be a thermos flask (they keep water cool as well!). Most thermos flasks are made from stainless steel with a very small seal with minimal contact with the contents. In high-end thermos flasks, this seal is often made from silicone. High-end thermos flasks may also be made from glass, although usually for keeping office coffee warm and not for travelling.

As far as I know, all these options are leak-proof. I have never bought a water bottle/drink container that was not leak-proof...

  • Huh, I didn't even think about getting a thermos, that looks like it'd be a great solution to this issue I've been having. I'll look into one of those Sigg bottles, I know their reputation and that they make good products, just wasn't aware that they had been around for that long. As far as the Nalgene - even aside from the potential health issues that we aren't yet aware of, the water in it tastes pretty bad whenever the bottle gets warm, so I'm starting to like the bottle less for that reason alone, anyway.
    – Evan Lynch
    Sep 19, 2014 at 18:22

I tend to buy an ordinary bottle of bottled water, and reuse the bottle for weeks or months (with some washing!) Most of them are pretty strong and leak-proof, and they are ultimately recyclable in most areas too. I'm not sure whether there are any issues of contamination from the bottle in the long term.

  • Recent trends among bottled water manufacturers have been to reduce the amount of plastic used (ostensibly reducing pollution), meaning less-durable bottles. Aside from increased chances of a rupture/leak, I'd also be concerned that the lighter weight plastic would more easily start leaching into the bottle.
    – LShaver
    Feb 10, 2018 at 17:26

I've had a few KOR water bottles since they started and they're BPA free but I've switched over to the CamelBak eddy insulated stainless steel water bottle - dropped it so many times and still going while backpacking and out and about in the world. Keeps drinks cool for hours, best thing ever. Just make sure to keep the bite valve clean and inner straw.

UPDATE: Looks like the Eddy model is no longer available - other CamelBak stainless steel water bottles are available in insulated versions.

  • Thanks, that's a good suggestion. Somehow, I don't know how, I seem to have a reverse Midas touch on water bottles, most of the ones I've bought or been given have broken one way or another. My CamelBak is, alas, no exception to this, it still technically works, but the grip part of the bite valve that is used for opening it snapped off a while ago, making it pretty hard to use, unless I want to keep it in the open position all the time.
    – Evan Lynch
    Sep 28, 2014 at 16:53
  • (Was running out of space with my last comment) Right now, I'm thinking of just buying a new cap for my Kleen Kanteen. I have one with a cap similar to the one here: www.amazon.com/Klean-Kanteen-Stainless-Brushed-18-Ounce/dp/B0093IQT5A/ - and I am pretty sure that the part that I drink out of is the only part that leaks, not the seal between the bottle and the cap, so buying a new cap should in theory fix the problem. Plus, I hate buying whole new bottles at this point, I've gone through enough that it's starting to feel wasteful.
    – Evan Lynch
    Sep 28, 2014 at 16:56

I prefer to use bottles that had soda pop in them. They are somewhat heavier, and tolerate abuse. When backpacking I carry 2 two liter (two quart) bottles to fill at the base of dry passes. I've yet to have problems with leakage.

In winter I fill one up with hot sweet, milky coffee, and pull a heavy sock over the outside. This goes in my daypack surrounded by my spare fleece. It doesn't keep it as hot as a thermos does, but it doesn't have the weight penalty of a thermos, and even at the end of a long day at -20 it's still luke warm.


Recycle a liter plastic bottle originally used fro carbonated beverage. They are much more durable than a recycle bottled mineral water bottle.

  • This is a repeat of Sherwoods answer from Oct 2014. Please do not repeat answers on SE sites.
    – user2451
    Jun 3, 2019 at 7:41

Leak-proof against what?

I'm currently wrestling with this question after seeing leakage and a permanently compromised seal in my previous thermos bottle because I used it to carry carbonated beverages. Carbonation makes a huge difference.

And for me an additional constraint is for the materials to be not only recyclable but also safe for health. In this respect, I see "BPA-free" as misleading advertising whereby the plastic industry is yet again trying to lull us into a false sense of security and into continuing to buy more and more plastic containers (and caps) without thinking about the microplastic pollution/intoxication that comes with repeated twisting and rubbing of plastic threads against other materials. BPA-free (leaching-resistant) or not is beside the point when you're going to be routinely ingesting microparticles of the plastic itself with all its chemical components.

So with these criteria in mind, my tentative conclusions are:

  • If you just need the container for non-carbonated beverages, a simple circular area of contact of solid-against-flexible material is sufficient. So look for steel bottles that come with steel-threaded caps (no plastic threads!) and with a silicone O-ring or flat seal where the bottle's mouth will press against the inside of the cap after it's fully screwed on. This should be sufficient for any 'flat' liquids to pretty much never leak.

  • If you need to prevent leaks of carbonated beverages, unfortunately nothing seems to work that doesn't involve a multi-rotation threaded seal where at least one of the two threaded sides is plastic. So for a steel bottle it will have to be a cap with plastic threads. This is far from ideal, as it will generate micro- and nanoplastic through abrasion every time you twist it on and off. I really hope someone can correct me on this, but I haven't seen any other solution that doesn't leak once you put carbonated beverages in and have the bottle lightly shaken during transport in a shoulder bag or backpack (of course if you keep it completely still even a steel-threaded cap can appear to hold but that's not what happens in real-world usage).

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