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For the Whole Family: BPA-Free Bottles

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?


Our year-round favorites for BPA-free water on-the-go are the stainless bottles from Camelbak.  These 12 oz. cuties are available in 6 styles for little hands.  The spill-proof design is easy on moms.  Yet, cleaning is a snap when the bite valve, and straw separate and can be used in the dishwasher.  The taste-free stainless means you can add a wedge of lemon to the water, and you won’t be sucking down metallic-tasting water three hours later.  That’s design genius for you! 

My son is in LOVE with the pirate design.  It is HIS cup…favorite by far.  My husband likes the insulated stainless (available in 0.50L) that keeps his cool water cool even after a full day of working outdoors.  I like the stainless bottle in the 0.75 L capacity–great for a busy day at the office.  The stainless better bottle is available in 5 styles.

Here’s a few other giveaways on the web that are just perfect for Valentine’s Day:

*I received product samples of Camelbak for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
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Tuesday Travels: Get Hydrated

traveWelcome to Tuesday Travels, a weekly series at Traveling with Baby.  This season, my son and I are excited about sharing some local day trips and field trip ideas for families with little ones.  This weekly series will also feature travel tips for families with kids-in-tow and related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

Drink Water

So, how much water do you really need?  The very general formula that I share with my patients is this:

Take your weight in pounds and divide it in half.  That’s the amount of fluid ounces you should drink in water throughout the day.

For example, a 100 pound person should drink 50 fluid ounces of water per day.  Since there are 8 fluid ounces in 1 cup, that means a 100-pound person should drink about 6 1/4 cups of water per day.  That’s equivalent to about 2 of the .75 Liter (or 24 oz.) capacity Camelbak Better Bottles per day.

However, a pregnant or breastfeeding mom, someone living at high altitudes, in extreme climates, someone who exercises several times a week…these are all factors for how much water you should drink.

So, check out the Hydration Calculator on About.com.  Nine quick questions will tell you how much water you should drink.  But, the answer will probably run pretty close to half of your body weight in fluid ounces.

Take a sip of water every 15 minutes throughout the day, and you’ll easily get there.  It’s that simple!

Nay for BPA

The information available about BPA in plastics is so in-your-face that you’ve probably heard about it.  In fact, you don’t have to turn to mom blogs and PBS to hear about it, the BPA news has gone mainstream.  There was an article about the dangers of BPA in plastics in Time magazine, and more recently, the Washington Post.

Instead of worrying about whether or not a product is BPA-free, I’d prefer to stick to companies that have a long track record of producing safe, BPA-free, pthalate-free containers for food or beverage consumption.  Camelbak is one of those companies that maintains a high level of integrity and quality in their products–those are traits that make sense to me as a doctor mom.

camelbak-corporate-logoLast fall, I reviewed Camelbak’s Better Bottle.  For the record, I still take that purple bottle with me EVERYWHERE.  It has endured numerous road trips, bounces on tile, and a toddler who’s perfecting his spiral pass.  I love it.

New and Improved

This year, Camelbak released new products that are appropriate for small children and they beefed up their bottle line for big kids and adults: stainless and insulated stainless.  No more slightly strange water taste if it’s been sitting in there for, oh–say camelbak-stainless-steel-bottlea couple days in the car under the blazing sun.  Also, cool water stays quite cool with the insulated stainless bottle.

So, if you drop it on your bare toes, you might feel a little regret.  But, if you’re not clumsy with your water bottle, then you’ll probably love it more than any water bottle you’ve ever had.  EVER.  Not only is it uber-practical, but you can get one for everyone in the family and not get them mixed up since there’s really run and rad designs available.  Try to pick just one–not easy!

The Camelbak 0.5 Liter Insulated Stainless Steel Better Bottle is available for $26 – $30 on Amazon.

For the Kids

Camelbak 12 oz. Kids Bottles

For the little ones, you get spill-proof design with the incredible bite valve that comes apart for easy cleaning and re-assembly.  But, you don’t have to worry about choking hazards since the parts are kid-friendly.  Did I mention that the style options are super cute, too?

Camelbak sent us the kids’ stainless in butterflies, and the kids’ plastic Fire Pirate bottle.  It holds 12 ounces of water (0.4L), and for a boost in vitamin C, I’ll throw in a wedge of lemon.

Instead of snagging MY Better Bottle, my son is totally content to have his own.  I’m content to have a cleaner, and spill-proof drinking solution that travels well in the car.

IMG_7636Camelbak Stainless Better Bottle I love the safe and hazard-free Big Bite Valve on the kids bottle.  The bite valve is slightly different on the 0.5 liter insulated stainless.  All parts are easy to disassemble and clean by hand or dishwasher.

Get your BPA-Free Camelbak 0.4 liter Kids Bottle for $12-$14, or the 0.4 liter Kids Stainless Steel Bottle for $18.50 – $23 on Amazon.  If you live in Virginia, you can also find them at your local Blue Ridge Mountain Sports.

bottles n bagsThe next time I’m on a trip to a museum or park with my son, I think I might want to stowe my Camelbak bottles in this cool Bottles ‘n Bags Stroller Organizer by J.L. Childress–among other baby gear designed for travel, you can find it at BabySafeTravel.com.

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Camelbak Leads the Pack

I’ve been a fan of Camelbak since I was in the military and used a Sabre hydration pack on flying missions and physical fitness workouts when stationed in the desert overseas.  While in Chiropractic College, I was an avid runner, and I got a lot of use out of my runner’s hydration pack (Flashflo).  Since I’m a mom, my hydration needs are different.  I don’t want to carry a pack on my back or on my waist since toting Calvin around (sling or no sling) is enough.  But, I still need my H2O, and Camelbak answers the call for clear, pretty, plastic, BPA-Free bottles for moms and kids with an exclamation point in the Better Bottle.

These jewel-toned bottles come in 0.5L (perfect for kiddos), 0.75L (perfect to carry in your hand), and 1L (great for a LONG hike or road trip), either with the classic cap or the bite valve.  The bite valve doesn’t spill when turned upside-down and shaken.  It’s a feature unique to Camelbak products that I find positively brilliant.  You don’t have to tilt your head back to take a sip . . . perfect for staying hydrated in the middle of the night for nursing mommies!  This 0.75L Better Bottle by Camelbak is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE drinking bottle . . . at 3 AM, I don’t even have to sit up in bed to get a drink, and I don’t have to worry about spilling water all over me when I’m half groggy anyway.

Camelbak Better Bottle Features

  • Made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, the bottle is completely BPA-free and is dishwasher safe
  • Tritan™ copolyester provides excellent impact resistance and is suitable for both warm and cold beverages
  • Bypass the potential hazards of drinking from wide openings—CamelBak’s Big Bite valve eliminates awkward drips and spills
  • Just bite and sip and the beverage flows through the valve—you don’t even need to tip the bottle to drink
  • But if lifting and tipping is your preferred method, no problem; just remove the straw inside
  • Big Bite valve has an articulating stem, so when not in use it folds down next to the bottle and stays clean
  • Carry the integrated handle in the crook of a finger, or connect it to a pack or waistbelt with a small carabiner
  • Simply unscrew the cap to uncover bottle’s wide-mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning; standard cap size fits many other wide-mouth bottles
  • Specially shaped bottle fits nicely in your hand and accommodates most automobile cup holders
  • All components are dishwasher safe (top rack only); do not microwave
  • CamelBak does not recommend the use of carbonated beverages with the straw configuration; remove straw and drink by tipping and sipping

Once Calvin can figure out how to use the bite valve, I think this is going to make a GREAT sippy cup in the 0.5L size.  For now, he finds my .75L bottle his most favorite chew toy.  My husband is eager to try the 1L bottle while he works in tree canopies as an arborist.  I like that it’s slim enough to fit in the bottle pockets of most diaper bags and stroller cup holders.  Best of all (besides the smart design) is that it’s BPA-FREE and dishwasher safe.  Camelbak products have ALWAYS been BPA-Free.  FYI, these nifty bottles are designed for ages 5 and older since the bite valve is removable for cleaning (grip with all your might, twist, and pull)–it may be a choking hazard.  Links to retailers are available on Camelbak’s site.  I’ve seen these bottles priced anywhere from $10 to $13 online, and they’re worth every smart penny.  There are several color options available: black, grey, green, pine, pink, red, ocean, orange, light blue, purple, and brown.

Wow!  Thanks, Camelbak.  You anticipated the desires of the consumers and you provided a fabulous product.

**WIN IT**

One reader will win a .75L (24 oz.) BPA-Free Better Bottle by Camelbak retail value $13).  Color depends upon availability.  To enter, visit Camelbak’s site and browse all their cool hydration options.  Then, come back to this post and leave a comment.  Any comment will do, but it must be relevant to this post.  Tell me what Camelbak product you’d like to try.  Tell me what you like best about the Better Bottle.  Be creative, visit Camelbak’s site, and have fun.  The contest ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, July 8th. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 9th.

Only one entry per person each contest week. Multiple entries will be deleted. The winner and 2 alternates will be selected on Random.org and announced on this post and on Prizey. If you provide your e-mail address, I will contact you. The winner has 72 hours to claim the prize, otherwise, the prize goes to the first alternate to contact me with a shipping address.


Congratulations to the winner! Amy, on July 3rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm Said:

I’ve been wanting to try one – and something SPILL PROOF would be great for this prego… and how pretty is the berry color?

–By Dr. Dolly