The Nalgene is a mixed bag of not awesomeness. It is a hard to drink from plastic bottle that is not insulated. It ranked 3rd from the bottom and other than its relatively smaller price tag (compared to the competition) it doesn't have many redeeming qualities to brag about. It does however manage to avoid all leaks and scored well in that test, but that came with a no leak valve that is also terribly difficult to drink from. This resulted in a bottle that is hard to suck on, is not eco-healthy, and can't hold liquids that need to be kept cold. All of this makes the Nalgene a bottle we do not recommend.
Nalgene Grip-n-Gulp Review
Pros: Lightweight, budget friendly
Cons: Made of plastic, very difficult to drink from, not eco-healthy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The NALGENE Grip 'n Gulp™ is tough, leak-proof, and odor resistant. The bottle is indented on the sides for easy gripping, and it has a rubberized lid and plastic mouthpiece designed to prevent spills. The bottle body is made of Tritan TM copolyester manufactured with no BPA. The lid has a removable sipper valve, and all the parts are top rack dishwasher safe. It has a lid loop that can be clipped to a backpack or stroller. The bottle holds 12 ounces and comes in a few different colors and patterns.
The Nalgene Grip N Gulp is a lightweight bottle that has a contoured design that is fairly easy for children to hold. The lid has a nice loop for attaching the bottle to backpacks and strollers. The bottle is see thru which is nice for quick check ins on how much children have had to drink or how long before they will need a refill. The bright colors of the plastic are eye catching and attractive to kids.For the most part this bottle doesn't leak. It scored a 8 of 10 overall in our leak tests, losing a couple of points for the upside down test, where it leaked a little. In general, the amount of leaking either upside down or sideways was not a deal breaker, and the test results for this metric are not reasons why we dislike this bottle.
We also didn't like that this bottle is made almost entirely of plastic. Given that stainless steel is an inert material that does not leach chemicals into its contents, and most plastics have not been proven to be the same, we prefer bottles made of steel just to be cautious. This bottle also seemed to impart a "plastic" flavor to the water if the contents sat in the bottle overnight or for long periods of time. This made us even more leery of the plastic and what might be happening to the liquid inside as it simply sat there.While children do not need to touch the mouthpiece in order to use this bottle (a plus for germs sake), it also doesn't come with any kind of lid or debris cap so the spout is exposed to whatever the environment wants to throw at it. This can get a little gross over time, especially if the bottle is dropped on the ground or pushed to the bottom of a dirty diaper bag.
The Nalgene looks like a good buy on the surface. It is cheaper than many of the other bottles in this review, is see thru for quick monitoring, and is lightweight and easy to hold. The bottle is nicely made, relatively leak-proof, and appears to be of good quality. Even if we overlook the fact that it is made of plastic, or if that is not a concern to you, it is still nearly impossible to drink from and most of our little testers stopped trying altogether and refused to use the bottle over time. It doesn't matter how cheap a bottle is or how much a parent might like it, if children can't get water to come out of the spout when they suck on it, it won't get used, simple as that. We do not recommend this bottle.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz