Colorful bottles are the latest craze for keeping college students hydrated

A new trend is sweeping the University and college campuses nationwide – water bottles.

Once used primarily by campers and rock climbers, Nalgene water bottles have captivated students with their flamboyant colors and durable, polypropylene features.

“I only own one bottle, but I know a few people who own different sizes and colors for different occasions,” said Kyle Potter, a second-year political science student who decorated his bottle with stickers and decals. “I bought mine because I saw it everywhere, and it was heavy-duty and long-lasting.”

Fernando Galiana, a Nalgene product director, said many universities introduced Nalgene bottles on campus five or six years ago. The water bottles did not appeal to college students until the introduction of colored bottles in 2000, a move resulting in skyrocketed sales, Galiana said.

“Bottle sales have substantially doubled every year in the past three years,” Galiana said. “(Students) are a lot more conscious about hydration, drinking and where they get their water from.”

From “firefly yellow” to the new “ruby red,” Nalgene bottles come in different colors, shapes and sizes to suit individual preferences.

The Coffman Union bookstore carries more than nine styles, two sizes and four or five colors, bookstore clothing and gift manager Dean Wendlend said.

“Since opening the (Coffman bookstore) in March, we’ve sold over 1,000 bottles,” Wendlend said. “The most popular colors are the school colors – maroon and gold.”

University Nalgene enthusiasts pay $14.99 for customized University 32-ounce bottles at the bookstore.

Nalgene bottles have become permanent appendages for some University students who brandish them on backpack hooks with carabineers or in sleeves as they go to class.

Potter said he never leaves home without his bottle.

“Let’s just say my backpack feels empty without it,” he said.

Bob Xiong is a freelance writer. The freelance editor welcomes comments at [email protected]