Ever since word got out that the ingredient BPA in plastic water bottles could possibly be harmful, there's been a spike in demand for alternatives. I reviewed the cool Sigg aluminum metal water bottle a while back and now there's a sleek new line of steel alternatives from Bilt.
The FDA says there's no real risk, but many consumers have obviously gone with the "better safe than sorry" approach. Now even if you think the BPA fears are a bunch of hooey and you come from the "that which does not kill you makes you stronger" camp, these Bilt bottles are attractive and functional enough that you would use them anyway. I've been trying out the Vite Plus one this week and really like it. It feels good in the hand (with finger indentations on the side), it's got good water flow because of a small valve on the top, and no additional tastes come through from the container. I haven't taken it mountain biking, but this model would be good for that since it has a pop-off covering for the spout that goes into your mouth.
If you do worry about the trace elements in a plastic bottle, the Bilt metal ones will ease your mind. Here's the official set of specs: "All Bilt Stainless Steel water bottles are made with a premium food-grade type 304 stainless steel containing 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This material is chosen for its consistent quality and performance characteristics of not leaching chemicals, staining, corroding or rusting. The inside of Bilt bottles are finished using an electrolyte charge and dolomitic sand blasting; unlike aluminum bottles that need an inner coating lacquer containing BPA."
These bottles don't come with the whimsical artistic variety Sigg offers and you can't just toss the whole thing in the recycling bin later like you can with those (part of this bottle is #5 plastic), but at $11 to $17, these less expensive Bilt water bottles are nice worry-free items that will last for years of heavy use and adventures. And they're easier to drink out of when you're in motion. Plus these have a wide mouth, so if you use this in your travels with a water purifier from Steripen, you won't have to fill up landfills with plastic disposable bottles.
Check the Bilt store locater
Find BPA-Free Bilt Water Bottles at REI