You asked for reviews, so now you’re gettin’ ’em! Let’s see how a weekly Fit Gear Review goes, shall we?
Once upon a time, I wrote this post, and said the following:
The one most wasteful, most useless, most pointless source of trash in the United States… is bottled water.
I can hear you now…
“But… [insert excuse]..”
As we focus this week on increasing our water intake, think about it – are you using bottled water to get by? Are you wasting your money (and, at the same time, complaining about the cost of living healthily?) Well, don’t. This is one expense that you could stand to avoid. If you’re in an area that really and truly has horrible water (which, believe it or not, isn’t as common as you’d think), buy the giant gallon jugs and recycle them. Research the brand you’re buying, and make sure that they’re not serving you the same tap water you think you’re escaping.. but those little bottles are wasteful and unnecessary.. seriously.
…which was met with the following:
I’m sorry, but I just can’t get behind the anti-bottled water campaign. You said comparing bottled water to soda wasn’t accurate. But that’s just the choice I have to make. When I go to classes I have to drink something, so I stop by the convenient store or the soda machine in school. There’s bottled sodas, waters, teas, juices. And almost all of them are in… plastic containers!!!How can you be pro-health and anti-bottled water?! You post stories against people drinking soda but then also tell them they shoudln’t drink bottled water.
….and then, the following question was asked:
What are we supposed to do?
Realistically, someone would’ve had to just take the L. Buy larger bottles so that, hopefully, you’d buy fewer bottles. Or just get acquainted with your local tap. (Considering the brand of bottled water you’re buying, you very well may have been getting acquainted with your tap already.)
Alas, I have a suggestion. Remember the Fitness Magazine event I attended in May? Well, inside the swag bag I received, were Camelbak Groove Filtration Bottles, one insulated and the other one standard. The Mister instantly pounced on the standard bottle, and I went ahead and kept the other for myself.
It’s been a little over a month that I’ve been using it and, I’ve got to tell you, it’s flown seamlessly into my daily routine. I love this thing. Like, I love it. I use it so much that I’m unwilling to dismantle my bottle to take pictures of the pieces for y’all. I’m using it, and dang it, I’m thirsty.
The Groove, both insulated and standard, is a BPA-free 20oz bottle that comes with a plant-based carbon filter (more on that later) located in the middle of the straw. The bottle comes with a replaceable “bite valve” that can only be activated if it is flipped up, and it takes actual effort to open it. (This is great for people like me, who routinely throw their bottle in their purse of gym bag without thinking.) The “bite valve” opening requires – yep, you guessed it – the user to bite down on it before beginning to suck the water through the straw. As water travels through the straw, it meets the filter which will treat it for excess chlorine as well as any other weird tastes. I’ve used the bottle in three different states now, and every time the water has tasted the same. Because of the size and length of the straw, you don’t have to tip the bottle back in order to drink it all, and the straw works perfectly fine without the filter.
The bottles both share a few similarities. Both the standard and the insulated kinds have these weird painted stripes on the side which are kinda cute, but I suspect they may help a bit with gripping the bottle. The top of the bottles also have these relatively large loops at the top which could connect to a bag using a carabiner or a regular clamp. Really, the only difference between the two is the fact that the insulated bottle has an outer layer – it looks like the original bottle is rapped in an “outer bottle” with about a half-inch worth of space – which will keep the condensation from your water from dripping.
I love this bottle for a few reasons:
1) I don’t have to tilt my head to drink out of it. I have this innate fear of lifting my head when I’m on my bike or my treadmill, and flying right off of it because I’m not paying attention. I refuse to be one of the greatest treadmill falls of all time, and I’m certainly not about embarrass myself in my own neighborhood… or any neighborhood. Shoot.
2) The filters last quite a while. 48 gallons, to be exact. You gallon-a-dayers will be happy to know that the filters go pretty cheaply, in comparison to how many gallons that $10 would get you in bottled water… not to mention the amount of waste involved. Yuck. For a filter – not a purifier – it’s pretty good.
3) The bite valve is durable, yes, but it is also replaceable. So, when my precious little angel chews on my bite valve like it’s a piece of sugar cane while she’s drinking, I can know that she won’t be ruining my entire bottle, just my bite valve.
And 4) having this on hand means that, no matter where I go, the water will always taste the same. Traveling to a new place with different water can absolutely be jarring. And, to help save yourself from the added frustration (light, though it may be), having this on hand is a huge help.
I wish I could find something I disliked about the bottle, but I don’t. Both The Mister and I lost our bottles in our rental car from Philly (insert epic sad faces here) and we went right around the corner and bought replacements. The bottle rocks. If your tap water is tragic and you’d like to avoid bottled water… this can absolutely be your answer.
The average price in stores is somewhere around $25 for the standard bottle and $30 for the insulated one, but of course Amazon has better prices than that. The standard bottle currently sells for around $15-$19, with the insulated going for $26. Bite valves are available there as well for cheaper, as is extra filters. Just in case you wanted to stock up. (And if you’ve got precious little angels, you’ll probably want to make sure you do just that.)