Nalgene OTF Water Bottles Review

26 Jul

Nalgene OTF

Product Description:

In addition to its more popular line of Wide Mouth bottles (previously reviewed here), Nalgene produces a number of other water bottles designed to suit different needs, such as the Nalgene OTF (short for On-The-Fly).

Unlike the fat-bottomed Wide Mouth, the OTF has a narrow 24-oz capacity bottle designed to fit in cup holders and bike cages. The OTF also features a loop-top and a handy push-button, spring-loaded cap for one-handed operation while biking.

The OTF bottle is also made of Eastman’s Tritan Copolyester, providing the same optical clarity, durability, and BPA-free construction as the Nalgene Wide Mouth.

American Alternative Review:

The OTF’s cap is the bottle’s primary differentiator, giving it some uses that other bottles don’t have. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive part to manufacture and assemble.

Unlike the simple PP cap on the Nalgene Wide Mouth bottles the OTF cap has three fairly complex molded plastic parts including a co-molded loop-top. That loop-top alone requires a comparatively costly mold tool with a process that just isn’t often done in the US. Then, these plastic pieces also have to be manually assembled with a couple of other components, such as the steel locking ring.

To keep the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) around the Wide Mouth bottle’s price and competitive with the prices of other water bottles, the OTF caps are molded and assembled in China, while the simple Tritan bottles are still molded in the US.

This practice of off-shoring only the most costly parts while keeping simpler parts in the US is fairly common. It also reminds me of a story about a particular bag company who determined that all bags with one pocket were simple enough to make in the US, while anything with two pockets needed to be off-shored to be cost-effective (I don’t know how true this is or if they still do it, but we will fully research this company and their products some time in the future).

Ultimately, the OTF is a pretty good alternative to products that are completely made off-shore, and if you need a slightly more complex bottle than the Wide Mouth, the OTF will do just fine until consumers are willing to pay a little more of an extra premium for fully-American-made things.

(2.5/5 stars)

They come in a number of different color combinations:

Nalgene On The Fly Water Bottle

You can also check out how American-made all the water bottles we reviewed are at our reusable water bottle category recap.  There you’ll find bottles like the entirely Made in the USA Nalgene Every Day Tritan Wide Mouth bottles and Liberty Bottle Works bottles.

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