The Best Bottled Waters: Tasting Guide & Our Favorites

Become a bottled water connoisseur with our reviews of the best bottled waters

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If you’ve been spending more time outside since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, you’ve probably been going through more bottled water than usual, too. Before the pandemic, many of us would just grab the nearest bottle of water to stay hydrated on the trail. We probably didn’t think much about the differences between them. But with increased consumption, you might notice subtle differences between bottled water brands. The best bottled water for you might not be your hiking buddy’s favorite.

To help you find your new fave, we’ve rounded up our top 5 best bottles of water for your drinking pleasure. Pick up a few before your next bike ride, hike, or camping trip to find your bottled water soulmate. And don’t forget to recycle the bottle after!


A bottle of Smartwater

We’re just going to come out and say it: Smartwater might be one of the best bottled waters of all time. Smartwater is infused with electrolytes, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, which give it a pure taste. Although the electrolytes don’t have a nutritional impact, they are incredibly tasty. Smartwater jokes that it won’t make you smarter, but we think getting it is a smart decision.

Pure Life

A bottle of Pure Life water

Pure Life is one of the best-selling bottled waters in the world. Fans can thank Nestlé’s 12-step quality process for the taste they love. The water is first sourced from a well or municipal supply, then filtered, demineralized, mineralized with Pure Life’s own blend of minerals and filtered again. Before the water even hits your lips, it’s been on a journey of self-improvement. That makes it a great companion for your next big adventure.


A bottle of Essentia water

Essentia is bottled water with a conscience. The company draws from local U.S. water supplies with the aim of making its bottles locally sourced. It’s also a member of the Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit that works across the United States to improve recycling processes. The water itself is ionized through a 3-step process that removes bitter notes and gives Essentia its famously clean taste.

Ice Mountain

A bottle of Ice Mountain water

Ice Mountain comes from honest-to-goodness springs. That makes it a favorite among spring-water enthusiasts. And the company is selective about the springs where it sources its water. Most of Ice Mountain comes from three springs in Michigan, though there are a few other springs in the mix. If you want to go natural, Ice Mountain is a delicious choice.


A bottle of Core water

Core boasts an ergonomic bottle design perfect for your next workout. Its refreshing taste is also known for winning over bottled-water skeptics. One of Core’s unique features is that it has a pH of 7.4. That makes it designed to complement and delight your body’s natural pH.

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