Nalgene Bottle

The wide-mouthed version. (Tim Tomkinson)

A durable, wide-mouthed vessel originally designed to hold chemicals. In the mid-1970s, scientists at Nalgene, a Rochester, New York, maker of plastic laboratory equipment, including petri dishes and hard polyethylene containers, began sneaking bottles out of headquarters for camping trips. Shortly after, the company’s president, Marsh Hyman, gave some to his son to use on Boy Scout outings. Soon Hyman directed Nalgene to start promoting them to the outdoor community. More recently, metal and glass bottles have made incursions into the market, in response to concerns over chemical leaching. Nalgene switched to BPA-free plastic in 2008, but we salute the original 32-ounce bottle—the one you layered with duct tape, clipped to your belt loop, and, if you were dumb enough to believe the myth, drove a car over.

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