SIGG It To Me, Baby!

The first thing you need to know is that I’ve always been a Nalgene kind of girl. And no, that’s not as rude as it sounds. You know, those big fat clear-plastic reusable water bottles that were all the rage a few years ago? I carry one just about everywhere.

See, it really bugs me to be out somewhere and have to buy a bottle of water at a ridiculously inflated price — and then what do you do with the disposable bottle? Drag it around empty until you can find a recycling bin — or drag it back home? I’d love to know how many of those things end up in the garbage every day… or perhaps it’s better not to know…

SIGG Summer BirdSo, anyway, reusable water bottles are my thing. At first I was just reusing a disposable, but that’s a fine way to get very wet: they leak if you look at them, trust me. Then my sister gave me this Nalgene bottle, a few years back, so that’s what I’ve used ever since. Two of them, actually — gotta carry water for my dogs, too!

But one reusable water bottle is much the same as another, right? Uh, maybe not…
See, last week I got a visit from the cute FedEx guy, who brought me a sample of some new water bottles to try out so I could write a review. Made in Switzerland, these are just now becoming available in North America — but I do have a vague memory of the brand name, SIGG, from my last great adventure in Spain… elegant slim water bottles, carried through the palm-lined streets of Almeria by an endless parade of gorgeous olive-skinned men in light linen suits…

SIGG pouchBut I digress.

And please do bear with me — this is a bit of a long story just to tell you what I think about a flippin’ water bottle, but at least it’s probably got as much of a plot as the average TV sitcom!

As we know, I love things that are unique and beautiful to look at — but my stuff must also be useful and tough and long-lasting. Frankly, my dear, I’ve got no time for shoddy goods, not even in the name of fashion — it’s that essential frugality, I guess. A true bargain is something that’s built to last.

These SIGG bottles are supposed to be “virtually indestructible” and they’ve got good ratings from some of the outdoorsy magazines, but hey — if I’m going to lay hands on sample product to test out, I’m darned well going to test it out first-hand!

SIGG - Harmony designAfter the pretty colors (and the really interesting “summer bird” design, all dragons and bathing beauties and who-knows-what-all in shades of pink and white!), the first thing I noticed was how lightweight these bottles are — lighter even than the old Nalgene plastic, even though the SIGGs are aluminum. (They must extruded in one piece, because there’s no seam — lovely and smooth in the hand.)

The second thing I noticed was that I am too feeble to figure out the diagrams for dismantling the caps for periodic cleaning without sitting down and having another cup of coffee. It turns out that the instructions were perfectly straightforward and accurate, and I was just being too gentle in turning the cap — but yeah, I guess these things are tough!

Anyway, for a true test of durability, I shared the SIGG swag with my buddy Sheila, who is notoriously hard on… well, every object that she’s ever laid hands on, really. I love her dearly, but…

SIGG glow in the dark Skull bottleThis is the girl who can’t walk down a perfectly dry sidewalk in suede boots without finding and splashing into the only mud puddle in a four-mile radius. She doesn’t have a single blouse that still has all its original buttons. Every third time we’re yakking on the phone, I hear the sound of breaking glass in the background.


This girl was born for product testing!

SIGG - Logic design bottleSo I gave her a SIGG in the “logic” style (bright green with a bold circle pattern and a bright orange top) on the theory that perhaps she might at least not misplace the bottle on the first day, and she’s managed to hold onto it for the full week she’s had it! So, there’s a good tip for the parents of teens: go for a bright one! (There’s even a glow-in-the-dark cap option, which I think is a truly fabulous idea for camping and sleep-overs.)

Back to the question of how a SIGG stands up to abuse…

On the first day, Sheila treated her new water bottle like it was made of crystal instead of aluminum. She carried it inside her backpack, at first, when we went for a hike with the dogs — but as the hike went on and the day warmed, up she decided to carry it in her hand so as to swig her water at will.

About ten minutes later, she dropped it down a gully. We clambered down after it, and inspected it carefully. One sizeable ding in the side, where it had bounced of a rock, but the paint on the outside was intact and there was no sign of leakage. The rounded exterior cap had protected the drinking spout from dirt or damage, too.

The next day, Day Two, she took her SIGG to the barn with her. (Have I mentioned that Sheila has horses?)

One of them, a rather feisty Morgan colt stallion named Indigo Charley, had been out in the pasture and needed grooming before the vet came to check his teeth. So what did Sheila do? She set her SIGG down “where it would be safe and out of the way” — on top of a bale of hay, directly behind the horse.

I think you can see where this story is going…

Charley-horse, objecting to the removal of a burdock that was badly tangled in his mane, lashed out with his hind legs. He slam-kicked the SIGG bottle, it went flying, and there was an almighty metallic crash as it hit a wall of the tack room — liberally decorated with an arrangement of old iron horse shoes.

SIGG flask with stainless steel cup
SIGG kidz grip
SIGG active touch water bottle

This reminds me of those very old television ads, where a Timex watch was subjected to all manner of extreme abuse, then lifted to the camera to show the second hand still moving around the dial. “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking” was the slogan…

Yes, the water bottle is fine. No sign of leakage. No sign of damage to the baked-on interior coating. It’s not exactly the same shape as it was when I pulled it out of the mailing envelope, mind you, but it’s still doing exactly what a water bottle is intended to do.

And frankly, I’m impressed.

My own SIGGs have a much easier time of it. The “summer bird” bottle, the one with a simple screwtop, does get bashed about a bit because I like to hang it off my belt or backpack with a carabiner through the handy hole in the top. But I’m keep the stripey “harmony” design bottle for more civilized occasions, like when I have to sit through a long meeting and know I’m going to get powerfully thirsty before all the talking winds down…

I was looking through the SIGG catalogue that came with my sample bottles, and I’m inclined to think these guys are right when they claim there’s a SIGG for every individual.

There are 105 different bottle designs from plain to metallic to funky fashion patterns, in sizes from baby 0.3 litre to a full 1.5 litres, to mix and match with 17 different caps of various styles and colors, all interchangeable from bottle to bottle.

SIGG - Pirate Frog bottle for kidsThere are bottles for babies and kids, and bottles for hardcore athletes, and bottles for the traveler, the urban fashionista, the corporate type… One sleek black oval flask even comes with its own stainless steel cup. “Hello Kitty” shows up on a cute kiddie bottle — though I’m more into the Frog Pirate design, myself. And a matte finish on the classic bike bottle in bold primary colors…

There are the thermal styles, bottles and mugs, that are said to keep hot beverages hot for 6 hours or keep cold one cold for twice that length of time….

SIGG nordic walking belt with bottleAnd there are carrying straps… nylon or neoprene pouches… little two-handled grips so tiny tots can hold their own tiny bottle to take a drink… What really tempts a serious dog-walker like yours truly, of course, is the “nordic walking belt” which holds a SIGG of any size and also has compartments for keys and cell phone…

Oh, and I also liked the look of the “city bag” — it’s in the messenger bag style, a little more tailored in style than most canvas bags, with a Velcro-closing exterior pocket to tote your SIGG bottle. The city bag seems to be a new product line, because I haven’t spotted it anywhere but in the catalogue yet, but no doubt it’s coming along soon or else I’ve just not looked in the right places for it.

You can find a list of U.S. retailers (such as my beloved L.L. Bean) on www.sigg.com, and lots of SIGG items online at ReUsableBags or Amazon.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. domestika

    pink_gurl, Sigg is just about everywhere these days, with all the bad press on plastic bottles lately! I listed a few links to check out at the end of the post, but here they are again:

    You can find a list of U.S. retailers (such as my beloved L.L. Bean) on http://www.sigg.com, and lots of SIGG items online at ReUsableBags or Amazon.

  2. domestika

    Hi Marina, what a coincidence! I wrote about the SIGG Bottle Design Contest a couple of weeks ago — and yesterday my post got a mention on GlamLive in a round-up of fashion-related contests, very cool!

    Thanks for making sure we did get the 411, Marina — SIGG has become essential gear for me, and I think I’ll enter this contest myself, just for fun!

  3. Marina

    I saw your mention of SIGG and thought your readers might be interested in a new design contest we are running with SIGG, called SIGGART Design Contest, which aims to find the next great Eco-Friendly design for their one-of-a-kind reusable and recyclable customized bottles.

    Entry is free, and the contest asks you to design a concept based on your personal “Eco-Style,” to design a SIGG bottle that represents your eco-outlook on life.

    The winner’s bottle will be produced by SIGG in time for this year’s holiday season and sold exclusively at Patagonia and on http://www.MySIGG.com. The winner will also receive 100 bottles with his or her design to share with friends and colleagues.

    I hope you can share this opportunity with your friends and your readers, and invite anyone interested to participate in the contest.

    The contest will run through June 1st and is hosted at http://www.MySIGG.com/SIGGART.

    If you have any questions, just email us at siggart(@)sigg.com and we’ll be happy to help.

    Thank you,

  4. domestika

    …and they’re just so pretty, BloggingWriter! I wish I could show you the catalog, haven’t seen anywhere online that shows the full range of designs available. The variety of baby SIGGs alone – I don’t know how anyone could choose!

  5. Anonymous

    Ok, I want one but I might have to wait till my next trip to North America to get one. Nice review.

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