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Children

Babies, Children, Families, Teenagers, Whole Family

Best Kids Water Bottles – Tried and Tested

Let me save you from the thirsty work of finding the best kids water bottles. My kids and I have tried and tested different water bottles over the years, and here are our leakproof favourites. These include the best plastic-free bottles.

The benefits of using reusable water bottles over single-use water bottles are well known. However, finding a kid’s reusable water bottle fit for purpose is a whole quest on its own.

The other day I was browsing Instagram and stumbled upon this illustration from the artist Grace Farris. It made me laugh in recognition. In the quest to find the best kids water bottle, I think all parents have ended up with a Mr Mildew, or a Lil’ Leaky. Certainly, in my ten years of being a parent, this has been the case for us.

There are definitely a load of dud water bottles out there. From ones that leak, to the tricky to clean ones that harbour mildew. From ones where the paint scratches off them if you even so much as look at them. To ones that go cloudy after two washes. However, there are some really great kids water bottles out there that are fit for purpose, and that do last a really long time.

The Best Kids Water Bottles

Image of a girl playing outdoors with a blue text box that says the best kids water bottles - tried and tested.

Over the last ten years, we have put many a kids water bottle through their paces. From school days to days out, to sports activities, camping, and more. You name, our water bottles have been through it. So here are our favourite kids water bottles that really go the distance. From plastic-free water bottles to easy cleaning bottles, to the most durable bottles. And sustainability doesn’t have to come at a high price. These start from a budget-friendly £5.

Some schools require kids to take a clear plastic water bottle with them, to make sure there is only water in the bottle. Therefore, I have included an option for this. However, if your kid’s school doesn’t have this rule, then I’ve included plastic-free water bottles made from metal.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links.

Camelbak

Camelbak Eddy Kids Water Bottles

Capacity: 400 ml

Best for: kids aged 3 – 9, or if your school requires a clear water bottle

We have been using Camelbak plastic kids water bottles for about six years now, and I have to say their Eddy+® bottles* are my all-time favourite kids water bottles. I bought my kids one of these water bottles each, and it’s been our best water bottle investment.

Camelbak says that these water bottles are spill-proof when open and leak-proof when closed. I can attest to this. These do not leak. My kids have been using these water bottles for school and for leisure purposes, and they are the only ones I trust inside their schoolbag. Any other water bottle goes in the outside pocket!

What I also love is that there are no fiddly sports caps or screw tops for little fingers to struggle with. Kids can simply flip up the chunky silicone straw and they are good to go. There are no shouts of “mum, can you open this for me”.

Durability and Sustainability

The plastic bottles are lightweight and incredibly durable and can withstand being dropped. The bottles are also dishwasher safe and stand up to repeated dishwasher cycles. The paint does not fade or flake off. We are still using the original bottle I bought my eldest six years ago, and it’s still in great condition. This is despite having gone through the dishwasher what must be hundreds of times now.

What I also like is that each individual component comes apart for easy cleaning. There are no areas for mould or mildew to grow.

In sustainability terms, the plastic bottles are BPS-free, BPF-free, BPA-free, and they contain recycled materials. However, if you would prefer a plastic-free water bottle, then Camelbak now offers a stainless steel version. The metal bottles are insulated, so will keep your kids drinks hot or cold.

And what I especially love about Camelbak is that all of the individual components can be purchased separately. So if the spout needs replacing, you can buy that without having to replace the whole bottle. Sustainability at its best. For extra peace of mind, the bottle is also covered with Camelbak’s lifetime guarantee.

Buy Camelbak kids bottles from Alpinetrek* for £14.95.


Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen collection

Capacity: 355 ml to 532 ml

Best for: kids needing an insulated bottle

If you are specifically looking for plastic-free kids water bottles, then Klean Kanteen makes for a great choice. These stainless steel bottles are durable and long-lasting. We’ve had ours for four years, and they are still looking as good as new. And as they are insulated, they keep drinks hot or cold for hours.

For little kids, you can get small-sized bottles*, that fit nicely into small hands. These have a leak-proof sippy cap, which is easy to drink from and isn’t bulky or heavy for little ones to tote around. For older kids, you can buy bigger bottles, with a variety of different caps – from screw top to sports cap – to fit their preference.

My gripes are that the painted versions are not dishwasher safe – they do have to be hand-washed. If you are a busy parent, this isn’t always practical. And if dropped, the paintwork can get scratched. Ours have faired well, and aren’t particularly scratched. However, do opt for the unpainted version if either of these points will be an issue for you.

My other gripe is that the sippy cap seal can be a little fiddly to fit. It comes apart for easy cleaning, however, if you don’t get the seal in the slot just right then it can leak. We’ve had no such issues with the screw top bottle though.

Despite a couple of issues, I’ve found Klean Kanteen to be a great flexible choice. They’re great at keeping kids water cold on a hot day (just add some ice cubes). And in cold weather when we’re out on long walks, they keep hot chocolate toasty warm.

Find the small bottles on &Keep*, and the larger bottles on Amazon*


Blafre Water Bottles

Capacity: 300 750 ml

Best for: if you are looking for a water bottle made out of sustainable materials

The Blafre water bottle* is a relatively new favourite of mine and my kids.

It’s made from recycled stainless steel for easy cleaning. There’s no paintwork on the bottle, so it can’t scratch or flake off. The lid is made from BPA-free and Phthalate-free materials. And, it can go in the dishwasher. The holy grail of water bottles!

We’ve not had any leaks. However, for little kids, my top tip is to switch the screw cap out for the non-spill drinking spout. This can be purchased separately for £7.50 and comes in a variety of colours. This spout makes it easier for little kids to drink from and makes it easier for them to open the bottle. It also greatly decreases the risk of leaks.

It’s not insulated, so won’t keep your drinks particularly hot or cold, however, if you are looking for a super sustainable plastic-free water bottle made from recycled materials then this is the one.

Buy the 300ml Blafre water bottles from Kidly* for £16 or find the larger sizes on Amazon*.


IKEA Kids Water Bottles

Ikea enkelsparig water bottle

Capacity: 500 ml

Best for: kids aged 8+, or for a plastic-free water bottle on a budget

IKEA’s budget-friendly Enkelsparig metal water bottles come in at just £5. There are four different colourways, meaning no one gets confused over whose bottle is whose.

These bottles have a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, young kids might struggle with the screwtop. We’ve had a couple of leaks when my littlest didn’t quite manage to screw the lid back on properly. This means this one lives in the side pocket of her backpack. As such, I recommend this bottle for older kids, who are more able to deal with a screwtop.

The only other drawback is that this is a popular bottle. Other kids in my youngest daughter’s class also have these bottles. As such, we often end up with other kids bottles in my daughter’s backpack at the end of the school day!

However, for the price, this is a great budget water bottle that’s practical and long-lasting. There’s no paint that can get scratched off. It’s also completely dishwasher safe, meaning it doesn’t sit beside the sink for ages waiting to be hand washed. There are also only two component parts – the bottle and the lid – so there is no place for mildew to grow.

Buy direct from IKEA for £5.


Your Recommendations?

I’ll keep updating this post, as I find more great kids water bottles. If you have any recommendations, do let me know! And if you are looking for more eco-friendly kids school supplies, then do check out my guide to eco-friendly school supplies for more ideas – from lunchboxes to schoolbags and more.

Children, Families

How to Take Care of School Shoes So They Last Longer

Have you just forked out a small fortune on school shoes? Me too. The good thing is I have a few tricks up my sleeve to take care of your kid’s school shoes, so they last longer.

It’s back-to-school season. You’ve got the school uniform, the school supplies, and then you’ve spent an eye-watering amount of money on school shoes. Whilst kids are not known for their respect for footwear, the good news is that with a little bit of love and care, you can make your kid’s school shoes last as long as they fit in them.

How To Take Care of School Shoes So They Last Longer

Picture of school shoes on desk with stationery, and a blue text box that says how to take care of school shoes so they last longer.

Here are six tips I use to prolong the life of my kids’ shoes:

Label Them

Kids are notorious for losing stuff. When it comes to PE time, it’s easy for shoes to get lost or mixed up with others. Add a name label to the inside of each shoe, or simply write their name using a permanent marker on the inside. When this starts to fade, make sure to re-write their name. This is the first step in this guide because you can’t care for your school shoes and make them last longer if they are lost!

Use A Waterproof Spray To Make Them Last Longer

Waterproofing your school shoes is essential to help keep the elements out, and to keep them looking their best for longer. Water causes leather to shrink and it may dry the leather out over time, so it really pays to waterproof them.

Before you reach for any old waterproofing spray, bear in mind that some waterproof shoe sprays are better than others. Look for a PFC-free and fluorine-free waterproof shoe spray.

PFC stands for per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals, that are used to weatherproof clothing and shoes. This sounds innocuous, however, these chemicals accumulate in the environment. In fact, for some PFCs there is evidence that they cause harm to both the hormonal and reproductive systems in both humans and animals, as well as being carcinogenic. They’re often referred to as forever chemicals, because of how persistent they are in the environment. Greenpeace has written more on the issues of PFCs if you wish to find out more.

I’ve been using this PFC-free spray from Wildling Shoes. In the interests of full disclosure, this was gifted to me as part of a previous campaign I worked with them on but was under no obligation to include them in this post. I reapply this spray on a regular basis for best results: it’s not something you can spray on once.

If They Do Get Wet, Dry Them Properly

Kids’ shoes get wet, these things happen. When their shoes do get wet, don’t dry them on a radiator or other heat source, or in a tumble dryer. Instead, the best way to care for your kid’s school shoes is to crumple up sheets of newspaper into balls, and pop them into the shoes. Then allow the shoes to dry naturally. The newspaper will absorb the water, and won’t cause the leather to crack or dry out.

Care for Your School Shoes with Polish

School shoes get scuffed. It’s a fact of life. The easiest way to care for them is to buy a scuff cover. These products quickly and easily cover scuff marks, and help restores colour and shine, to help keep your shoes looking smarter for longer. I don’t have any specific recommendations yet – I’m trying out a few different ones. However, I will update in due course which ones I feel work the best. If you have any recommendations then I’m all ears!

Tackle Nasty Niffs Naturally

If your kid’s shoes start to develop an unpleasant odour, then fear not. You can tackle these bad smells naturally with bicarbonate of soda. Simply sprinkle in a little bit of bicarbonate of soda (enough to cover the insole). The next morning, empty out the bicarbonate of soda. The odour should be gone.

Keep Them Clean

To care for your kid’s school shoes, don’t let dirt and mud settle on them. Giving them a good wipe, with a soft damp cloth, at least once a week (or more) helps the dirt from becoming ingrained. Occasionally you may want to bust out the leather cleaner. I’m working on a homemade leather cleaner as we speak. In the meantime, shop-bought leather cleaners can easily be picked up. I like to use a soft brush and cloth, in conjunction with the wax to really get them clean and keep them conditioned.

Any further tips on taking care of kid’s school shoes? Do pop them in the comments below!