The first Nalgene bottles were born in a lab in upstate New York, back in 1949. Which already sounds like the origin story of a Marvel superhero, but actually, the truth is a little more mundane: they were just plastic pipette jars. Still, they proved to be pretty tough. Made from a material that was virtually unbreakable and highly temperature resistant, they were ideal for the lab – but also well-suited to life in the wilderness. Over time, they were co-opted by US hikers, backpackers and boy scouts, who loved the bottles because they were shatterproof, leak-proof and lightweight.
The brand capitalised on this widespread popularity, creating a dedicated line of tough, adventure-ready water bottles designed for life on the trail. Fast forward a few decades and Nalgene has become one of the best-loved outdoor brands in the USA. Their bottles have found their way into the packs of weekend warriors, long-distance thru-hikers and elite climbers alike.
Of course, plastic isn’t without its problems, particularly when it comes to product sustainability. That’s why the brand’s Sustain programme is turning flimsy, single-use plastic water bottles into reusable, recyclable Nalgenes, rescuing waste plastic destined for landfill and recycling it into a safe and sustainable high-performance resin. Today, all Nalgene Sustain bottles contain 50% recycled plastic – the equivalent of 8 discarded plastic water bottles.