Nalgene Wide Mouth Overview (32oz)

Nalgene 32oz Wide Mouth

Credit: Mariah Swigart

Last Updated on April 28, 2021

What started as a humble chemical container company has grown into the most prolific water bottle manufacturer in the United States.  In the 1970s, Nalgene made a jump from lab supplies to outdoor water containers, and now, more than 40 years later, their bottles are in almost every sporting goods store and trail. Other brands caught on to the exploding market, but among all the competitors, one continues to rise above the crowd to provide a durable, multi-use, lightweight, and affordable water bottle: The Nalgene 32oz Wide Mouth.  It is easy to see why this is the most popular bottle of the brand and the entire market.

What Makes The Nalgene Wide Mouth Great?


The bottle is made of the standard BPA free polycarbonate which is thick enough to retain its shape while withstanding incredibly punishing treatment.  Users have dropped (inadvertently or purposefully) it from heights, thrown it, stepped on it, and it comes out no worse than before.  The weakest point may be the cap, which is still a very solid plastic piece that seals the bottle perfectly, keeping liquid in at all times.  As far as plastic constructed bottles go, this one gets high marks for durability.


The Nalgene weighs 6.25 oz. (178 grams) when empty.   A medium weighted water bottle, but the thick plastic weight adds to its durability, a fair trade off indeed.

Testing The Nalgene Wide Mouth 32oz

Credit: Mariah Swigart


Holds 32 fluid ounces, or 1 liter.  Markings on the side of the bottle indicate how much liquid is left in it, which is useful for cooking, when exact amounts are needed.

The base diameter is 3.5 inches. The base can be considered a bit wide, but most adult users can hold it comfortably in one hand. Does not fit in most bike water bottle holders, or car cupholders for that matter.

The mouth diameter is 2.5 in. (6.3 cm). 2.5 inches is very wide mouth diameter compared to other water bottles. This causes it spill easily,  but also easy to clean out.


BPA free polycarbonate plastic.  Available in many different colors. Triten plastic inclusion means that water will not have a “plasticky” taste.


The plastic lid is leak-proof and twists on clockwise to tighten, and reverse to open.  It’s permanently attached so you can’t lose it.


No handle, but the plastic strap that attaches the lid to the bottle can be held with a few fingers or clipped onto a bag.

Size Options

Nalgene water bottles also come in wide mouth 16 oz and 48 oz. There are many versions of this bottle, but the 32-ounce version is the classic. You can purchase the water bottle a narrow mouth as well in 16 oz and 32 oz.


Nalgene provides a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. If the bottle’s body breaks, contact Nalgene to be issued a replacement.


  • Pricewise, this bottle is very reasonable. Compare it to buying disposable plastic bottles and after a few cases the Nalgene will have paid for itself.
  • This bottle is not indestructible, but darn close to it.
  • Easy to clean. The wide mouth means that it is easy to thoroughly wash instead of just rinsing
  • The bottle has a good capacity, and it is easy to calculate how much water you have with you, as 32 oz is a quarter of a gallon
  • Variety of Color. You can purchase a large number of colors for these bottles, although most people plaster theirs with stickers.
  • These bottles seal extremely well. Coming from a company that started by building bottles to contain potentially harmful chemicals, their lids do their job perfectly.


  • The wide mouth of the bottle makes it prone to spilling when drinking, especially while on the move. Using this bottle during a car ride almost guarantees a spill.  Although, you can purchase a piece that fits into the opening and limits water flow, reducing spills.  Usually this part retails for 5 or so dollars.
  • Many users note that the Nalgene bottle develops a slight odor after using it for a while. This is remedied by washing the bottle thoroughly and frequently, but that is not always a luxury afforded when out on the trail or traveling.
  • Does not fit into standard bicycle water bottle holders. Also, does not fit into most vehicle cupholders.

Final Verdict

Overall, the Nalgene 32oz Wide Mouth is our go-to water bottle for outdoor excursions.  The Nalgene brand has stood the test of time and created a water bottle that can also withstand the wear and tear time brings. With specific characteristics that make it perfect for outdoor use, it is no surprise the Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottles are so popular. Just make sure to customize yours with your favorite color and stickers for your next adventure.

About the author

Mariah Swigart

Mariah Swigart is often found camping, climbing, hiking, and kayaking in her home state of Arizona. She loves exploring new locations for her outdoor hobbies, and believes each trip is an opportunity to try a new piece of outdoor gear. Check out to read about her most recent adventures.

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