Drink to This
Sports bottles aren't just for athletes, runners and gym-goers anymore. They've become an important sidekick for the health-conscious person. We're all thirsty, but with water becoming the drink of choice, and those consuming it not wanting to dispose of dozens of single-use water bottles a week, end-users are seeking a reusable and reliable sports bottle. With a few fills, we easily can reach the recommended 64 ounces of water a day. Besides quenching thirst, here are some of the top demands end-users have for a sports bottle.
Make It Insulated
The same insulation that keeps your coffee warm in your tumbler keeps your water chilled in your sports bottle. For the user tired of drinking lukewarm water while on the go, insulation is your answer. Adam Kovar, vice president of operations for ETS Express Inc., Oxnard, Calif., has noticed end-buyers are going for higher price points, as they understand the more expensive models' insulating capabilities. "There's a huge difference from a single-wall to a double-wall bottle, but they're willing to pay more when they actually understand how it affects their experience. Which is they put cold water in it and three to four hours later it's still cold versus they put cold water in it, and it's a single-wall bottle, and then it condensates and sweats all over the desk or whatever paper they may leave it on—which vacuum doesn't do," he said.
Double-wall insulation reduces the amount of energy that is released from the bottle, retaining the internal temperature for a longer duration and eliminating that condensation. Vacuum is the most effective insulation, followed by foam and air, respectively. If your clients aren't sure which works for them, let them see them in action. "Send a foam piece. Send a vacuum piece to your clients and let them try it," Kovar said. "They almost always get hooked to the vacuum one unless they're just overwhelmed with the style of the foam one."
On-the-go lifestyles, combined with environmentally friendly and healthy mindsets, has made this an important feature, Kovar said. "The cool thing about drinkware—it's really kind of a lifestyle, so it kind of goes from home, in the car, to work, back in the car, to home or to the gym or anywhere in between," he said. "And so people filling their bottles with cold water, of course they want it to stay cold longer while they're on that commute. … That's why the vacuum insulation is important. They make it [that temperature and] they want it to stay that temperature for [the time it takes to get] wherever they're going with that bottle."
Make It Strong, Yet Light
When users want a bottle that doesn't weigh them down, but is durable enough to hold up to their everyday routines, single-wall Tritan plastic is the key. "Bottles made of Tritan plastic are some of the most durable, long-lasting bottles on the market, and tend to be good sellers for that reason," Matt Hodges, marketing director for Gold Bond Inc., Hixson, Tenn., said.
But for the extremely active user, like a runner or biker, the bulk that the insulation adds may not be ideal, making the single-wall a better option. "If you're going running, I would not necessarily recommend a vacuum bottle only because of weight," Kovar added. "Because any vacuum piece would be double-wall steel, I'd recommend a single-wall bottle."
Make It Convenient
And the users who don't want to put extra effort into keeping hydrated or make accommodations to carry their bottles around? They've got multiple options. "For those who are active, being able to access their water or sports drink quickly is a necessity, so bottles with a squeeze-to-drink function, like our 24 oz. Super Sipper, are incredibly useful," Hodges said.
Having a bottle in hand at all times limits multi-tasking abilities, so straps and carabiners give the ability to have a bag or belt loop do all the work. "If a bottle is a hassle to use or transport, it will only get used once," Hodges said. "Features like handles and straps make carrying a bottle simple."
A wide mouth also has become a trend for cleaning purposes. "We've noticed a big trend in people liking wide mouths, so when they take off the lid, it's very easy to clean and get a brush down in there," Kovar said.
Regardless of what components your client seeks, there are a few things that that holds true for all sports bottles. "Sports bottles can be used by all ages, they have large imprint areas to clearly present a message, and they're often reused regularly," Hodges said. "What more could you ask for from a promotional product?"