Liberty Bottles: An American Made Metal Bottle with a Simple Twist-Off Cap - ITS Tactical
 

Liberty Bottles: An American Made Metal Bottle with a Simple Twist-Off Cap

By Bryan Black

I first heard about Liberty Bottles by chance a few months back and had been searching for a good metal bottle to see how they compared to the Nalgenes I’ve been using for over 10 years now.

I’d been through the changeover when the BPA debacle happened and have been using the BPA Free Nalgenes for a few years now. However, Nalgenes have always left me desiring more. I’d always looked at the various metal bottles on the market, but never found one that I liked more than a Nalgene.

When I found out that Liberty Bottles were the only American made metal bottle on the market, I decided to order the 32 oz. and 24oz. sizes and give them a try. I’ve really been trying to buy American lately in not only my personal purchases, but also with what we carry in the store at ITS Tactical as well.

Nalgene Bottles, Metal Bottles and Liberty Bottles

I’d like to compare and contrast what I feel are the current options out on the market for drinking bottles and what features set Liberty Bottles apart from the others, even my coveted Nalgenes that I’ve been attached to for so long.

Other than Nalgene, I’ll be discussing SIGG and Klean Kanteen, both of which I own as well.

Nalgene

Let’s start with the pros and cons of Nalgenes. Like I said, I’ve been using Nalgenes for as long as I can remember. I’ve got more spare caps and drinking inserts than I care to count and they’ve always been ultra-dependable.

They handle boiling hot liquid without melting and you can even hold them above a flame to boil water directly in them. I’ve done both, however the lid has to be removed, as it will melt quickly. Ask me how I know that… I’ve dropped Nalgenes from great heights and even had a good friend think he was Ethan Hunt rappelling down a 60 ft. cliff and wound up inverted on the rock. As I quickly reached out to try to do what I could to correct his stupidity, I watched the two Nalgenes he had in his backpack hit the ground without breaking.

They’re strong, no doubt, but I finally saw one cracked at a Boy Scout Summer Camp I attended with my son a few months back. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I was walking out of the pool when I saw the cracked Nalgene lying broken near the bathroom. If you need something broken, definitely give it to a group of Scouts. I really wish I could have seen what happened, but I digress.

A few things I dislike about Nalgenes are the plastic lids, screw-off feature on the lids, wide mouth and the fact they can be awkward to hold at times. I’ve had a plastic lid break on me before, but mainly because I carry Nalgenes by the loop created in the lid. Despite one breaking on me in the 10 + years I’ve owned them, I’d say that makes them pretty tough.

I’ve also hooked them onto carabiners with that lid loop and never had a problem, but it’s always concerned me, considering it’s just plastic holding it on there. As far as the wide mouth, I’ve always used a Guyot Designs Splashguard insert which makes it easier to drink from on the move. Nalgenes are also made in the USA.

SIGG and Klean Kanteen

While I’ve lumped these two bottles together, I feel like their are definitely things that set them apart. Klean Kanteens are nice and I like the fact that they’re made from stainless steel, which is naturally BPA free and also free of any metal taste. I’m just not a big fan of the screw-off lids, despite them now offering a sports bottle type lid. I just see those as being prone to an ND (negligent discharge) and they’re made in China. Like I said, I’ve really been trying to buy American, but it’s been extremely hard.

The Swiss made SIGG bottles are probably my least favorite of all the bottles mentioned here. They’re made from aluminum and now feature a BPA-free epoxy lining inside called EcoCare. I had one of the BPA lined bottles that I threw away after SIGG had been denying BPA was in their liner for the longest time. When they finally came out with the news that it did in fact have BPA, I appreciated the fact they came up with an exchange program, something Nalgene never did when it was revealed that they contained BPA.

The other thing that I never liked about the screw-off lid on the SIGGs was the fact that it was easy to cross-thread and happened to me too many times. I haven’t experienced any cross threading with Klean Kanteen.

Liberty Bottles

First off let me say that it took me a long time to even start searching for a metal bottle and had been through many when I stumbled across Liberty Bottles two months back. What immediately caught my eye was that they were the only American made metal bottle on the market, produced by American workers in Yakima, Washington.

That was great, but as I started reading more about them, I grew to like them more and more. The feature that I really like is the  simple 1/4 turn on, 1/4 turn off way that the cap attaches. No turning and turning like with the Nalgene, Klean Kanteen and SIGG. They’re also BPA Free, non-toxic, non-leaching and made from recycled aluminum; while they say they have a wide mouth design, it’s just wide enough to be able to put ice in it and not wide enough to slosh all over you while you take a drink on the move.

Liberty states that the  flexible food grade coatings they use ensure no chips or flakes end up in your water and unlike uncoated metal bottles, their coating insures no heavy metal leaching or porous surface for bacteria build up. I forgot to mention this earlier, but plastic Nalgenes harbor bacteria (even after washing) and the Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel is naturally bacteria resistant. SIGG states that “due to the finish of the liner, there is much less chance for bacteria build-up with a SIGG as opposed to plastic containers.”

Thoughts

The 1/4 turn design makes it a snap to still leave your bottle carabinered onto your pack and simply twist it to take a drink. This leaves the cap attached to your carabiner and leaves you without the worry of losing it.

You’d either have to take the bottle off the pack with the other three bottles, or unscrew the bottle itself while holding the lid. This can be challenging while on the move and especially challenging to get the bottle screwed back in when you’re done taking a drink. I also really like the fact that these things are strong! I’ve been tossing mine around everywhere and all it’s gotten are scratches.

I’ve also grown quite fond of the 32 oz. size of my Nalgenes and was glad to learn that Liberty Bottles had a 32 oz. as well. It makes an easy measurement to down a gallon of water a day by knowing I just have to drink a 32 oz. sized bottle four times.

I’d like to invite you to hear my further thoughts on Liberty Bottles by watching the video below, there’s also a sneak peak at the ITS Tactical Liberty Bottle hitting the store soon! I think you’re going to like it!

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Discussion

63 comments
cabot
cabot

Its great that the Liberty bottle is produced in the US, good to see we have some manufacturing left. Still cant usderstand why they dont produce a stainless steel bottle instead of an aluminium one which would do away with the liner. I see sigg now has started with stainless steel bottles so its changing away from the aluminium. Still prefer my KK but got some punc bottles www.puncbottles.com when stationed in the UK last year and like thoes also.

Steven
Steven

Are they dishwasher safe? Will they stand the heat of the dishwasher? Thanks!

Y,S
Y,S

Didn't see this article till it was too late and y'all are out of stock. Any ETA on a re-stock? Also did you ever test out how the bottle holds up when trying to boil water?

Bryan Black
Bryan Black

Very soon! Thanks for holding out, you're going to like them :)

anungunrama
anungunrama

Any eta for when you guys will have these for sale? Saw some of these in REI today and was really tempted to pick one up but wanted to hold out for an ITS one

Avadakadevra
Avadakadevra

I see you're worried about using the cap for the nalgene to hang it on your gear. There are these really nifty nylon straps called bottle belts. they go around the bottle with a loop on one end to put carabiners on it. Just go to http://www.boulderbaseddesigns.com/products_belt.asp for more information.

TC
TC

Vargo makes a titanium bottle that is ultralight, and is more corrosion resistant (and better tasting) than stainless. It's pricey, but indestructible. I found mine on EBay, but have seen a few Vargo dealers list them in their catalogs recently - it's a fairly new item.

Besides - if it's not titanium, it's not "tactical."

TC
TC

Vargo makes a titanium bottle that is ultralight, and is more corrosion resistant (and better tasting) than stainless. It's pricey, but indestructible. I found mine on EBay, but have seen a few Vargo dealers list them in their catalogs recently - it's a fairly new item. Besides - if it's not titanium, it's not "tactical."

David.L
David.L

Found a 26 minute long video about Liberty Bottleworks - the founder talks about the company and then they walk through the production process:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekDG3GWtcW0

I would be totally down for an ITS Liberty bottle, but I don't like the ITS logo over the flag. I would love an ITS Liberty bottle with the flag and then ITS logos elsewhere, however : )

David.L
David.L

Found a 26 minute long video about Liberty Bottleworks - the founder talks about the company and then they walk through the production process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekDG3GWtcW0 I would be totally down for an ITS Liberty bottle, but I don't like the ITS logo over the flag. I would love an ITS Liberty bottle with the flag and then ITS logos elsewhere, however : )

Matthew
Matthew

How are these new bottles in comparison to a nalgene height wise. My nalgenes fit perfectly in the pouches on my camelback mother load backpack. Would hate to get ones that are to tall to fit.

Matthew

USAF EOD

Matthew
Matthew

How are these new bottles in comparison to a nalgene height wise. My nalgenes fit perfectly in the pouches on my camelback mother load backpack. Would hate to get ones that are to tall to fit. Matthew USAF EOD

EthanT
EthanT

I'm down for one with the logo. I looked on their website the other day, they have digital camo ones and some other cool "Pro" models.

Bryan Black
Bryan Black

I'm going to try the holding it over a fire to boil technique you can do with a Nalgene and see what happens. I'm leery of the liner material leeching into the bottle, but then was also that way about the plastic leaching into the water in a Nalgene by preforming that same technique with a Nalgene.

Bryan Black
Bryan Black

Thanks for the correction brother, that's what I get for not spell checking a quote pulled from another site!

Bryan Black
Bryan Black

So far I haven't tested boiling in them yet, but I really have no doubt that they'll hold up well to extreme heat and cold.

Andrew McCoy
Andrew McCoy

You mentioned wondering how it is possible to break a Nalgene bottle. Like you, the young'ns in my local Boy Scout troop managed to break one whilst I was camping nearby them the other week. Apparently from the information passed onto me by one of their leaders, the bottom has two seams. I assume theses are the two small indents on the bottom of my Nalgene. Supposedly when you put enough pressure on one or both of these seams, the bottle's bottoms will pop off. I can only think of one or two accidental instances where you could break a Nalgene this way. The kid who broke his bottle said he purposely put a screwdriver on the seam and whacked it with a heavy mallet. The kid also won thirty dollars on a bet to see if he could break it... jeez... kids these days...

Anyways,

Great review, it almost makes me want to convert to a metal bottle user, but just not quite enough. I like my Nalgene+ splashguard+fireflye cap light combo too much.

Andrew McCoy
Andrew McCoy

You mentioned wondering how it is possible to break a Nalgene bottle. Like you, the young'ns in my local Boy Scout troop managed to break one whilst I was camping nearby them the other week. Apparently from the information passed onto me by one of their leaders, the bottom has two seams. I assume theses are the two small indents on the bottom of my Nalgene. Supposedly when you put enough pressure on one or both of these seams, the bottle's bottoms will pop off. I can only think of one or two accidental instances where you could break a Nalgene this way. The kid who broke his bottle said he purposely put a screwdriver on the seam and whacked it with a heavy mallet. The kid also won thirty dollars on a bet to see if he could break it... jeez... kids these days... Anyways, Great review, it almost makes me want to convert to a metal bottle user, but just not quite enough. I like my Nalgene+ splashguard+fireflye cap light combo too much.

Mike Fegely
Mike Fegely

Great article and excellent idea Bryan.

I've been looking for some new bottles and the Made in the USA seals the deal for me.

Mike Fegely
Mike Fegely

Great article and excellent idea Bryan. I've been looking for some new bottles and the Made in the USA seals the deal for me.

MCGunny2004
MCGunny2004

Love the 32oz bottle with the logo in the video the best! Even the round logo on your shirt would be a nice logo to have on it. This would be a great product to sell.

gunner74
gunner74

Are the lids the same size on the 24 and 32oz bottles? They appear to be in the video.

Jason Dillard
Jason Dillard

Im glad to see a review on products made in the US. Very nice.

The Captain
The Captain

In a survival situation, how do they hold up to boiling water and deffernt enviorments like extreme cold or heat?

Love the look of the ITS bottles and if they are as good as you point out in the review, I'll have to buy a few!

The Captain
The Captain

In a survival situation, how do they hold up to boiling water and deffernt enviorments like extreme cold or heat? Love the look of the ITS bottles and if they are as good as you point out in the review, I'll have to buy a few!

Quinn
Quinn

Should try to get them to make a model w/o the lining, so that way you can heat the bottle in a fire to purify water during extended backwoods outings or during a survival situation.

5Solas
5Solas

Nice review. I've always been leary of the metal bottles for whatever reason (probably since I've used Nalgene my whole outdoor "career") but this might move me in that direction. Plus, American made simply seals the deal.

Oh, and it's "ensure", not "insure"; the former is for making sure something happens while the latter is protecting against monetary loss. ;)

5Solas
5Solas

Nice review. I've always been leary of the metal bottles for whatever reason (probably since I've used Nalgene my whole outdoor "career") but this might move me in that direction. Plus, American made simply seals the deal. Oh, and it's "ensure", not "insure"; the former is for making sure something happens while the latter is protecting against monetary loss. ;)

Aielo J
Aielo J

I've used Camelbak bottles, and like others have said, their hinges break too easily. I went through about 3 bottles in 4 or 5 months and decided to give it the old heave-ho. I still use two Nalgene 1000mL bottles which I like, and won't ever use one without one of those splashguard spouts either.

Another bottle that I have been using lately is a stainless steel water bottle from Thermos. I've been using it for quite some time, something like 3 or 4 months and can't be happier with it. There's an 18 ounce and 24 ounce bottle at Target for $20/$25. As much as I like SIGG bottles, steel bottles just don't mix well with the sun, so knowing that I can have ice cold water at any given moment in a stainless steel container is pretty awesome.

As far as where it's made and whether or not it contains BPA; I don't know, though I'm sure it would be written on the original packaging. I'm personally not concerned with either of those issues.

Aielo J
Aielo J

I've used Camelbak bottles, and like others have said, their hinges break too easily. I went through about 3 bottles in 4 or 5 months and decided to give it the old heave-ho. I still use two Nalgene 1000mL bottles which I like, and won't ever use one without one of those splashguard spouts either. Another bottle that I have been using lately is a stainless steel water bottle from Thermos. I've been using it for quite some time, something like 3 or 4 months and can't be happier with it. There's an 18 ounce and 24 ounce bottle at Target for $20/$25. As much as I like SIGG bottles, steel bottles just don't mix well with the sun, so knowing that I can have ice cold water at any given moment in a stainless steel container is pretty awesome. As far as where it's made and whether or not it contains BPA; I don't know, though I'm sure it would be written on the original packaging. I'm personally not concerned with either of those issues.

Madnet
Madnet

My only question is how do they hold up to the rigors and abuse of field operations??

Pig Monkey
Pig Monkey

I'd never heard of these before! Interesting. I might have to check one out (if I can justify having 5 different metal bottles).

John Galt
John Galt

What about camelbak bottles? I currently use a black camelbak 32oz. bottle (with your sticker on it) and that design has been working well for me, nalgene bottle with a sport lid style top. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=camelbak+water+bottle&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3807150745891647220&sa=X&ei=za9STuzqIqrQiALFo4zECw&ved=0CJ0BEPICMAc

--Apparently they make a stainless version now too.

I am glad you guys chose a more interesting design than just your straight up logo for the bottles.

John Galt
John Galt

What about camelbak bottles? I currently use a black camelbak 32oz. bottle (with your sticker on it) and that design has been working well for me, nalgene bottle with a sport lid style top. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=camelbak+water+bottle&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3807150745891647220&sa=X&ei=za9STuzqIqrQiALFo4zECw&ved=0CJ0BEPICMAc --Apparently they make a stainless version now too. I am glad you guys chose a more interesting design than just your straight up logo for the bottles.

David.L
David.L

My problem with the camelbak bottles is that the hinge that the bite valve rotates on breaks easily; our family has gone through at least five bottles this way. They still work fine for just leaving on a desk and drinking from them, but for carry in a backpack they leak after the hinge breaks. I'm actively looking for a replacement, maybe Liberty Bottles is it. Thanks for the article!

MadCap1One
MadCap1One

Sign me up for a few when they become available in your store!

Gregg
Gregg

I have a Stainless Steel Nalgene from Guyot Designs. It's the same size as a regular nalgene, fits the same lids, etc, but it's made of heavy gauge stainless steel. I love it.

I'd like to see how it compares to these, too.

Gregg
Gregg

I have a Stainless Steel Nalgene from Guyot Designs. It's the same size as a regular nalgene, fits the same lids, etc, but it's made of heavy gauge stainless steel. I love it. I'd like to see how it compares to these, too.

brendan murphy
brendan murphy

I grew up in Yakima and had the pleasure of hearing how this company started. He was actually looking for 100% American made bottles and couldn't find any. So He decided that he should be the one to do it and quickly stacked orders through the roof. (1 million from from a major corp I think) I remember him explaining the manufacturing process and it is amazing - using some of the same machinery that they use make missile casings.

Thanks for the Great review!

brendan murphy
brendan murphy

I grew up in Yakima and had the pleasure of hearing how this company started. He was actually looking for 100% American made bottles and couldn't find any. So He decided that he should be the one to do it and quickly stacked orders through the roof. (1 million from from a major corp I think) I remember him explaining the manufacturing process and it is amazing - using some of the same machinery that they use make missile casings. Thanks for the Great review!

David Partovi
David Partovi

Good review. What I like about metal bottles v. plastic Nalgenes is that you can boil water right in the same bottle you drink out of. Toward that end, I like stainless bottles and I tend to avoid the colored anodized ones. Currently, I'm using a 40 oz Klean Kanteen BUT they're $30. Thoughts?

Sheep.Dog
Sheep.Dog

Great review. The video itself was nice. Seems somebody is getting better at editing and effects!

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