** Please note! Since this was originally posted in 2016, some of the products I recommended are no longer available. I will update at some point, but in the meantime, I have taken down a couple pages in this section detailing lunchboxes and cold lunch packaging. **
We’ve run the gamut with water bottles, and have mostly gravitated toward Thermos products, again. We’ve owned these products for many years, now, so you know they last.
Similar to their jar counterparts, Foogo products are really great for younger kids for several reasons. Their design is easier for smaller hands to use, the capacity of the bottles is more appropriate to smaller children, and the construction of the straw’s silicone disk in the lid is such that it does not offer any small choking hazards. The lid does have the potential for over-tightening (though most water bottles do, at some point), which creates misalignment of the silicone seal and the straw’s orifice – plenty of room for water to leak out and ruin a backpack filled with library books a-plenty. The company is aware, however, of the fact that the thermos is less durable than some of its other lines, and they readily replace both the bottom halves of the straws and the silicone seals for free.
Thermos Funtainer 12-oz or 16-oz bottle – Lower-tech than the Foogo bottles (smaller pieces to the lid, traditional threading to close it), but much sturdier, we’ve had our Funtainers for years. That metallic-looking one in my picture with the pink top? Years ago, it had all sorts of flowers and twirlies printed all over it, and years later, it’s still very much in the rotation. Our kids are older now, and our preference is definitely the 16-oz bottle for their size, but overtwisting (and, therefore, leaks!) is much less of a problem here than with our Foogo containers – so our local librarian appreciates them, as well.
Of note, we do not own a Planetbox water bottle, because our Funtainers work beautifully with our Planetbox drink pouch. However, I’ve heard excellent things regarding their water bottle, so if you’re going the Planetbox route, you do get a discount when you purchase their bottle, and it may really be worth it from a financial and practical standpoint.