My crew and I happily picked up some of these at shotshow 2008. The concept appears to be a clear response to Nalgene's monopoly on the durable / re-usable bottle market. While I'm here I'd like to share my feelings on typical disposable container bottled water. This is the dumbest shit I have seen in a while. People are willing to pay $1+ for 16 FL oz. when you could get a whole 2 liter of soda for the same amount. I can understand bottled water for emergency preparation packages and similar needs, but masses of people guzzle it down in their cozy offices daily. Not only are you getting reamed price wise, but typically the water is less clean bacteria / poison wise, and then you are making a bunch of trash with the throw-away bottle. If you drink a lot of water and don't like the taste of your area tap water, for god sakes find a filter solution, because that is all bottle water is.
Getting back on track, The Better Bottle series is a great way to hold any of your favorite liquids. Buy your drinks in bulk and then when you need to be more compact and mobile, distribute to your Better Bottle. The Better Bottle is made of rugged materials with the core being Lexan® polycarbonate construction, eager to take on physical abuse while still being able to perform in extreme hot and cold environments. These features allow the system to be dish washer safe with top rack placement recommendation. Also note the materials are BPA free; BPA (Bisphenol-A) being a substance used in the production of some polycarbonate plastics that has has been shown in animal tests to cause a host of health problems.
When it comes to functionality, the main business area is the rotating bite valve. To use, simply rotate the bit valve up and gently bite to cause the hole to open up and liquid to flow through. This is quite a bit faster process than having to unscrew off a cap. I have dropped, tossed, and shaken my Better Bottle and was surprised to see no leakage as long as the bit valve is in the down position. A nice long straw is included for the inside of the bottle which is optional. When taken off, the bottle becomes more standard glass like in which you must tilt the liquids to the top. This is recommended for carbonated drinks so you don't get sprayed in the face once you turn the bite valve. I found it nice that the straw connection allows for some directional control in which you can have it go straight down to the middle or to a side of the bottom depending on your preference.
Along with the snazzy bite valve, the proportions of the Better Bottle definitely set it apart from the others on the market. Camelbak went with more of a tall design which allows for an easy hand grip. The top also has a beefy connection point allowing easy attachment to carabineers and more. From the MIL-Gear point of view the height is a bit of a problem in which all of the Nalgene size pouches will not be able to properly hold the Better Bottle. Manufacturers will be forced to choose to make new pouches or not and for the time being, there are very few MIL-Spec pouches that hold the Better Bottle efficiently. Adding to this problem is the attachment point that extends up and away from the core of the better bottle. I feel this could have been done in a more compact way without losing functionality. That all said, I feel these features were more of a civilian approach and were the right choices for that market.
The Better Bottle is available in many colors and can have designs printed on them as seen in my photos. Current sizes available include: .5L (16 fl oz) , .75L (25 fl oz), and 1L (32 fl oz). Sizes for these are roughly: 3.25" x 8.75", 3" x 10" and, 3.5" x 11.25".
Other Better Bottle variants include:
Better Bottle with Classic cap - Classic screw-on cap with lower profile connection point.
Podium Bottle - Squeezable, Non-flip self sealing valve with slim center area for cycling style.
Performance Bottle - Squeezable with slim center area for cycling style.
For the final words, I find the Better Bottle to overall be a great design. For my specific needs I may end up cutting off the attachment point to go more compact, however I must note my milspec friends have been using it plenty attaching to grimlocks and small carabineers.
Check out the shotshow vids for more media:
<CAMELBAK VIDEO 2> Camelbak's "Better Bottle"
<CAMELBAK VIDEO 3> I go over some additional designer questions.