The BPA-free, made-in-the-USA, carbon-filtering Bobble water bottle is made of recycled plastic and fights the good green-lifestyle fight by saving you from buying bottled water and tossing the empties.
Gadget name: Bobble
Price: $8.99 to $12.99 (it’s available in three sizes: 13-oz., 18.5-oz., and 34-oz.)
It looks like: The Bobble has a slim waist that’s easy to grab without slipping, and it’s eye-catching: a simple, crystal-clear bottle that displays the neon-hued plastic filter holder and sports cap.
How it’s supposed to work: The Bottle has a built-in carbon filter designed to remove chlorine and “organic contaminants” from drinkable water (it can’t do anything about making non-potable water safe, however). Simple translation: It’s supposed to take the yucky taste out of tap water.
How it actually works: Well, it does make tap water taste neutral, even after sitting out overnight.
Drawbacks: We like the idea, and the basic concept of removing unpleasant flavors seems to work, but there are a few negatives that must be mentioned. First, the bottle itself is thin and feels flimsy; after just a few days, one tester found hers creased by the impression of her fingers. Tiny floating black flakes of the carbon filter can turn up in your water, and while they’re not harmful, they’re unappealing. And because the water must be drawn through the filter, it’s not easy to get a good flow of water to drink without effort. Finally, the slightly too-fat base doesn’t fit well in some car cup holders—our Bobble topples when we take a sharp turn.
Good to know: Filters (replacements are $6.99) must be changed about every two months. (If you buy them from Bobble’s website, they’ll send reminders.)
Best for: Those with bad-tasting tap water and the willingness to keep replacing filters.
Overall: Mixed feelings.
What’s important to you in a reusable water bottle?