Because they serve such a vital function in every outdoor person's arsenal, it's important to carefully consider which type of canteen will best fit your particular needs.
In this article, we'll look at two of the most popular types and will briefly discuss their advantages.
Nalgene bottles: Most campers and hikers are familiar with Nalgene canteens.
Although they come in a dazzling variety of colors and sizes, all Nalgene bottles have two things in common: They're extremely light, and they're almost indestructible.
Nalgene bottles are also easy to clean.
If you want to sanitize them on the trail, simply boil some water on your camp stove and immerse the bottle for a couple of minutes.
Another advantage to these water bottles is that you can find a wide range of accessories (such as filters, caps and spigots) designed specifically to fit them.
Platypus bags: These unique canteens are made of soft, pliable food-grade plastic.
Like Nalgene bottles, Platypus bags come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes (including some large enough to be used as camp showers!).
Platypus also offers a dazzling array of accessories, including hoses and sport-style caps and nozzles.
One of the primary advantages of Platypus bags is that they pack extremely compactly when empty, so you can carry several bags without adding bulk and weight to your gear.
They also fit nicely inside a backpack and dispense water through a special hose, so you can stay hydrated on the trail (or during a long bike ride) without having to stop.
Like Nalgene bottles, Platypus bags can be sanitized with boiling water.