Whether it’s for taste, aesthetic reasons, or environmental and health concerns, many people are switching from plastic to stainless steel water bottles. A trip to your local outdoor store will confirm this. As recently as one year ago, plastic bottles made up a large majority of the drinking bottles at REI, but now it’s flopped the other way and stainless and coated aluminum outnumber plastic by a wide margin.
I’m seeing more and more stainless bottles on bicycles as well. I’m also receiving quite a few e-mails asking what kind of bottle/cage combination I’m using. I’ve only tried out a tiny fraction of what’s available on the market, but I’m happy to pass along what has worked for me.
On our recumbent tandem we’re using Specialized brand injection-molded bottle cages with Klean Kanteen stainless bottles. The Specialized cages are nothing “special”; they’re nearly identical to all the other plastic/nylon cages on the market in the $10-$15 price range. These cages comfortably hold either the 18 oz. or 27 oz. Klean Kanteens. Klean Kanteen sells their own version of this cage.
If you have an aversion to plastic bottle cages (they’re pretty ugly), the fillet-brazed Nitto Hourglass Cage from Rivendell is a more aesthetically pleasing alternative. The Nitto cage is beautifully hand-made in Japan and it should last a lifetime; this is a good thing considering its price tag of $48. Like the injection-molded cages, the Hourglass holds either the 18 oz. or 27 oz. Klean Kanteens. The 27 oz. is a great fit and doesn’t rattle at all, but the 18 oz. will rattle unless you modify the cage or bottle (this is not an issue with plastic cages). I prefer the 27 oz. bottle since I’m not concerned about weight and I like having the larger bottle with me at work.
I’m sure there are many other cage/stainless bottle combinations that work well. If you have one you’d like to share, please post the information in the comment section below this post.