Post updated May 2019 - originally posted July 2015
Back in 2015, two of the bestselling kids water bottles in our range were the two photographed above, the Camelbak Eddy Kids and the Thermos Funtainer. Fast forward to 2019 and only the Camelbak Eddy remains in our range, and today, it's not the top choice for most people either due to the movement towards plastic free. They are still certainly an option in our store for those who don't mind bpa free plastic, because their spillproof lid is amazing and a really great choice for travelling in the back seat of a car.
I believe the Thermos Funtainer is still being made, and places like K-mart also produced a home brand version at a fraction of the price. In 2015, the funtainer had one major flaw, the hinge on the lid was plastic and it was far too easy to break for a childs bottle. Replacement lids were expensive. They may have fixed this issue, but it's worth checking if you decide to buy one from elsewhere.
For now, I will leave you with the details of our original comparison and then show you the kids bottles people are choosing in 2019 in their place.
- Camelbak | 400ml
- Thermos | 355ml
Both of these bottles are at the entry level of volume capacity in both ranges, meaning, they're the smallest size available. Larger versions of both of these drink bottles are available if these aren't large enough. The Camelbak bottle is the larger of the two.
- Camelbak | BPA Free Plastic
- Thermos | Stainless Steel
These bottles are both poles apart. While both bottles have a silicone mouthpiece straw, and bpa free lids, the materials for the actual bottles are different. The Camelbak bottle is made from BPA Free Tritan Eastman copolyester plastic. This plastic is hard and cannot be squeezed. The Thermos bottle is made from food grade stainless steel, and again, completely solid.
- Camelbak | no
- Thermos | yes - up to 12 hours for cold liquid only
The best insulation, whether it's on a water bottle, a thermos flask or a lunch box is by fair double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel. Anything that's two layers of plastic with foam in the middle will provide very minimal insulation. Stainless steel vacuum insulation is far superior and the length of insulation is always different, so check the specs on anything you purchase. The Thermos Funtainer range is rated to keep drinks cold up to 12 hours. They are not suitable for hot drinks. You will need a thermos flask or insulated water bottle rated for hot liquids for that.
- Camelbak | spillproof bite valve
- Thermos | standard straw
The drinking mechanism on both these bottles is significantly different, and it's the main reason we're doing a comparison on these two bottles.
Any Camelbak Water Bottle with a bite valve (the Eddy range) uses the same bite valve mechanism that the hydration packs do. In the open position, the lid is spillproof, which means if you tip it over, water won't come pouring out. To get water out of the bottle, keep it upright, bite on the colourful silicone bite valve and suck. When you stop biting, the water flow stops. If you're an adult and you think this is kinda cool, Camelbak make this bottle in a 600ml, 750ml and 1 litre capacity too. In the closed position, one side of the straw is still exposed, which some parents don't like.
The Thermos bottle just has a silicone straw. When the lid is closed, it pinches the straw shut so water doesn't leak out. When it's open, you just suck on the straw. There is a straw inside the bottle too, so this bottle stays upright for drinking as well. The straw is very thin and really only suitable for water.
Replacement bite valves for the Camelbak bottle are available in packs of 4 in the Camelbak category of our store. Thermos spare parts are only available directly from Thermos Australia.
What's on trend in 2019?
The focus on kids water bottles has very much shifted to sports lids, sippy caps and stainless steel bottles both single wall and also vacuum insulated. There are plenty of water bottle companies on the market. Very few of them have invested the money in creating decent lids for their bottles. The two companies that are leading the charge on this are both brands that we have had in store since our first year of trading in 2009, Cheeki and Klean Kanteen. Over the years, their lid innovation has set them ahead of the pack.
Klean Kanteen - have a sports cap with an excellent water flow and a sippy cap to restrict flow for little ones. They both fit on the Classic series bottles and lids are always available to upgrade the bottle as your kids grow. The sports lid gets this flow from a silicone valve, so it's not 100% leakproof for transport, but you can always put one of the Classic screw lids on the bottle for travel and then switch caps when your child is ready to drink.
Cheeki - have a Tri-Tech Sports Lid that you flip the cap on, choose your flow and then pour the water in to your mouth. It's not a traditional 'wrap your mouth around it' type lid. There's also a LOCK position on this lid to make it completely leakproof for transport.