Water was the only thing I would put in my Nalgene water bottle when I first purchased it. That eventually got boring on long backpacking trips, so I decided to start experimenting with other drinks. I really missed drinking coffee throughout the day, but would it damage the bottle? Can hot coffee go in a Nalgene Water Bottle?
Yes you can put hot coffee in a Nalgene Water Bottle. They can handle boiling water so there won’t be any problem with hot coffee. Just remember that plastic doesn’t provide insulation so you’ll need to use an insulated sleeve to keep it warm. The only downside is you will have to regularly clean out the water bottle with cleaning tablets to get rid of the coffee aftertaste.
It should be safe to put hot coffee in a Nalgene water bottle, but you should only use newish bottles that were made after the 2008 BPA recall. Older bottles will hold up, but dangerous chemicals may leach into the coffee if those bottles are heated up(I’ll explain this in detail later). Keep reading to learn a few tips for keeping your coffee warm and cleaning out the bottle to get rid of the coffee aftertaste.
Can You Put Hot Liquids In a Nalgene Water Bottle?
You shouldn’t have any problem putting hot liquids into a New Nalgene Water Bottle (notice that I said NEW). The sturdy cap will keep the liquid from spilling and it can easily hold up to boiling temperatures. Plus the sturdy lid means nothing will spill out on difficult hikes.
You probably remember several years back when people were concerned with BPA and other chemicals leaking out of their plastic water bottles. Researchers found that hot water and UV rays sped up the degradation process meaning more of those chemicals got into your water. Those chemicals cause cancer and hormone imbalances so it was a serious problem.
Nalgene was quick to do a product recall and their bottles no longer contain dangerous chemicals (that we know of). Older Nalgene bottles still have those chemicals, but I’ll get into that later.
Storing hot liquid in Nalgene’s is actually really common among backpackers. They fill up their Nalgene Bottle with hot water and place it in their sleeping bag for extra heat on cold nights. This also prevents your water bottle from freezing in the winter so you always have starting seed water to melt snow.
Can Nalgene Water Bottles Hold Hot Coffee?
Nalgene water bottles use sturdy heat resistant plastic so you shouldn’t have any problem putting hot coffee in them. Just remember that the coffee will cool down fast since plastic’s terrible at retaining heat. Pickup an insulated sleeve on amazon if you want to keep your coffee hot. Cold brew is another option if you don’t have an insulated sleeve.
I regularly put hot coffee in my Nalgene at work. Traveling a lot for work means it’s difficult to carry a regular coffee cup and those metal coffee cups tend to spill. My Nalgene is the perfect alternative since it has a sturdy lid and I won’t end up with coffee stains on my dress shirts.
Will There Be An Aftertaste?
The only downside is your water bottle will probably taste like coffee until you clean it out. I like to drop a water bottle cleaning tablet in my bottle whenever I use it for coffee, tea, gatorade, etc. to get rid of the aftertaste. It also makes the cleaning process easier since you drop in a tablet wait a few minutes and dump it out. There’s no more scrubbing and the citric acid solution is environmentally safe.
Cleaning a Nalgene water bottle on the trail is really easy. You can either use biodegradable soap (campsuds) to clean it like any other dirty dish/pan, or fill it up with filtered water and drop in a water bottle cleaning tablet. I prefer using bottle cleaning tablets (these ones) since it simplifies the process.
Just fill up the bottle with filtered water, drop in a cleaning tablet, shake it up a few times and the bottles clean in seconds. It’s ready to be refilled with water and there won’t be a funky coffee aftertaste.
Carry a Nalgene For Coffee And Flavored Drinks
I like to carry a hydration pack for my filtered water and Nalgene bottle as a backup. This is mostly because I’ve had accidental punctures in my hydration bladder and drinking out of bowls/pots got old fast. Carrying an extra sturdy Nalgene water bottle was a cheap and easy solution to that problem.
This also allows me to use the water bottle for coffee and flavored drinks that I wouldn’t want to put in my regular hydration bladder. Putting anything other than water in a hydration bladder can cause mold and flavor issues fast.
Hot Liquids Shouldn’t Go In Older Nalgenes (Before The BPA Recall)
It probably won’t kill you, but hot liquids shouldn’t go into the old school Nalgene’s that came out before the 2008 BPA Recall. Those bottles contain BPA, BPS, BPF and Phthalates which are known to cause cancer and hormone imbalances.
The chemicals slowly release into whatever you’re drinking and heat speeds up the process. BPA, BPS, BPF and Phthalates are in almost every plastic product so you’re probably absorbing them on a daily basis anyway, but it’s not worth speeding up the absorption rate.