The Basics

What the outdoor retailer offers is personal expertise which is something the web cannot deliver. In a world awash with product and competing claims, the informed sales person comes into his or her own. On these pages and in concert with individual sponsors we offer a series of bullet point guides to the basics of the key outdoor product categories. Our aim is to provide inexperienced sales staff a guide to what to remember and for more experienced ones a reminder of things they might have forgotten. The Basics has been produced so as to make it simple to download – in most cases each takes up no more than single sheet of paper.

The Basics of Water Bottles

Sponsored by Contigo

Get a grip:

Customers should be invited to get a feel for the bottle that suits them best. Some bottles are chunky in design and may be difficult or uncomfortable for women to hold. Security of grip is important too. Good water bottles are contoured to fit the hand snugly and others have dimpled surfaces to ensure against slippage.

Filtering the message:

A popular feature in some bottles is the inclusion of a carbon filter. These weed out impurities. This is a great idea if the water is brackish, but all  filters have to be replaced frequently if they are to be effective, so a bottle with filter should only be suggested where the conditions demand it.

Avoid spillage:

The main aim is to hydrate with as little fuss as possible, which for those on the move means that they might prefer one of the bottles with an easy to operate valve or spout. This not only makes the process easier than unscrewing and then replacing a cap, but also means that if the bottle is dropped midflow, not a drop will be lost.


All good bottle brands should be dishwasher proof and it is important to impress upon buyers the need to ensure that the bottles are given a good wash frequently. Some brands include specialised cleaning brushes as part of the package, otherwise they are available at low cost.

What’s BPA and should my customers be worried about it?

BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. In particular, BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles, and baby bottles and cups. Most reputable brands of water bottle are BPA free now.

So what are they made of?

Most commonly plastic or stainless steel although there is at least one product on the market that features bamboo fibres in its construction.

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