As I mentioned previously, after lots of searching, I finally found a small Canadian company selling a reusable water bottle whose shape made sense to me. That company is FOF Bottles, a family run business out of Vancouver.
I got my new water bottles today, and so far, so good.
Customer Service: Grant (who is co-owner with his wife, Lynn) handles the majority of all their correspondence personally and is extremely helpful with questions.
Packing: Each bottle came in its own recyclable box, wrapped in a recyclable and biodegradable plastic bag. Inserts and bottle tags are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. My package of 8 bottles was then put together not in another heavy box, but in sturdy brown paper, with no space wasted. They used the minimum amount of materials possible, yet my merchandise was still protected. Score: Excellent
Information: Inside each bottle is a bookmark-sized piece of recycled cardboard, which provides a wealth of information. One side lists facts on the bottle’s use, care and features. The flip side offers a wealth of important information on why stainless steel bottles are a better alternative to plastic-bottled water from the grocery store. The website is also fairly informative.
Bottle Design: The shape is much like regular plastic-bottled water, with a gentle curve in the middle for easy gripping. It is also nearly as light as the plastic version, which is a definite plus. The 3 finishes I received are all quite attractive. The wide mouth looks large enough to accommodate a small dish brush easily, and will certainly receive ice cubes with no problem.
Score: Looks: Excellent
Ease of use: Excellent
Size: Good Fits in some cup holders, but not in all.
Taste: No Score Not scoring this as it seems to depend on the person. I noticed no metallic taste whatsoever after my water sat overnight, but mom says the water tastes “off” if left that long.
Lids: I received hook/loop lids which can be attached to a clip (not included) for easy carrying, a sports lid with an attached spout cover, and an adaptor lid for attaching flip-top spouts (not included). These seem to be the standard caps most reusable bottles are featuring these days. The primary issue I have with any of these lids (not just FOF’s) is that they are so large, it can be quite awkward to untwist it while driving, so for driving, I recommend a sports cap. The insert says not to use the lids in the dishwasher because they can take on water, but I somehow managed to do it while hand washing. The cover for the sport cap is a little too tight at the moment, but will hopefully loosen up over time with use. On the plus side, FOF lids have a smooth twisting action, a comfortable grip, are non-leaching and contain no BPA (Bisphenol A, a toxic chemical found in many plastics). Score: Good
Durability: To Be Determined