Water bottles are a necessity for endurance athletes. They help us hydrate under all kinds of conditions. But if you own a large collection of water bottles as most of us do, there is a big issue all of us must face. The caps are not universal. There is no clear standard. They don’t fit from one bottle to another.
It seems like they should. But then you consider all the variables at work in water bottle construction and it makes sense that they don’t match up. There are both hard plastic and soft plastic bottles. That means the hard plastic caps will not screw properly onto soft plastic bottles. The threads are different widths and hardness. There is no tight seal.
Or…sometimes…the width of a cap does not exactly match with the width of the bottle top. So you try on cap after cap on bottle after bottle. That process is frustrating, and it’s often done during a time crunch. Typically filling water bottles is one of the last things we do before heading out the door. Yes, the problems are almost infinite in terms of trying to match bottle tops to the appropriate bottle.
I know: an organized person doesn’t have this problem. Putting the bottle caps on top of the bottles as they come out of the washing machine would be the smart thing to do. But again, time is a killer and we have to make priorities. So the bottles and caps wind up in the same cupboard, but not matched up.
That’s because the process of getting caps onto the proper bottles is worse than matching up couples in a dating scenario between a nerd fraternity and sorority. None of them seem to really fit.
That means we sometimes get out on the road and take the first swig of hydration only to find a spray flaring out the brim of the cap. We’re soaked.
Maybe it’s time to change all that. Probably the best philosophy is to recycle water bottles after every season and start fresh. Find a responsible way to push them back into the plastic regeneration stream or make something creative out of them. Then choose a new set each year from one of these awesome bottles. Then clean them well, and make them last forever.
As for those water bottle orphans you already own, and we all have some, you would do well to sift through the pile some Sunday afternoon. Lay out the caps. Set up the bottles. Then systematically go through the lot of them and put caps on the corresponding bottles they fit.
Then plan to wash them in an organized fashion from now on. It’s far too frustrating and silly to go through the water bottle shuffle every time we reach into the cabinet.
Unless you like that sort of thing. The challenge of it. For you, all of life’s a Rubik’s Cube?
You can have it. I’m going to get serious about water bottle matchups.