Emily GrahamBASE’s Publishing Director is a Cumbrian-based mother of 3 boys who hunts out hills to hike, woodland to explore and water to paddle on. Also has a serious penchant for being unwashed and camping.
Leak-proof, droppable and made to last, even in the hands of the little wild ones…
Doesn’t leak (A kids’ water bottle that doesn’t soak everything in my rucksack!)
Actually keeps the water cold, so no whining at the top of the hill
Tough – can easily survive being thrown around like a hacky sack by three boys
Quite big – only just fits into my rucksack side pockets
Straw sometimes falls off inside
What I’m Looking For
I’m looking for bottles for my boys (aged between one and five) that I can easily carry in my rucksack and that DO. NOT. LEAK. I have spent hours mopping up the aftermath of bottle leakage. Not cool.
It’s great if it keeps water cold all day, is easy to drink out of on the go, and grab-able for little hands. Easy cleaning is a must, drop-proof is of course essential when dealing with mini adventurers, and I guess it’s nice for them to have something that actually looks quite badass for a bottle.
drop-proof is of course essential when dealing with mini adventurers
The boys were really chuffed with their YETI Ramblers. We all immediately loved the bold, bright colour (yellow in our case) and the whole YETI vibe is awesome and the kids loved putting the sticker on it too!
On first impressions, I thought these small-but-mighty bottles looked way more durable and much less likely to leak than other bottles the boys have had before, so I was excited to put them to the test. YETI also states that they are for ‘wild ones’, so I felt like we were shopping in the right place.
We have been using the bottles non-stop over the summer, they’ve seen us through heatwaves and holidays, as well as being great just around the house. It’s much easier getting children to drink the right amount of water when they have something exciting to drink from.
The bottles have been on bike rides, lake trips, hiking and toddling and kept the kids cool on long car journeys. They have been shoved in rucksacks, car boots, and prams. They have been unceremoniously dropped, thrown and kicked around like footballs. Not quite as extreme as some YETI product tests (grizzly bear anyone?) but pretty thorough.
A slight issue that kept recurring was that the straw would fall off inside the bottle meaning we would have to reopen it to re-attach it. Not a huge deal, and it’s good that the straw is detachable as you can clean it separately and thoroughly, but it can be a bit of a pain.
You can trust these two to really put things to the test…
Who is this bottle for?
The Rambler JR water bottle is recommended for ages 3+. The chunky grab handle meant that even my littlest one could manage it, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll encourage them to carry their own kit a little bit more (a girl can dream). If you find yourself getting bottle-envy, you’ll be pleased to know that YETI make the Rambler in grown-up sizes too, right up to 1.9L, and in all the cool colour options you’d expect from YETI.
It’s perfect for rough-and-tumble outdoor kids like mine, hiking and biking, den-building or just chilling at home. I’m hoping they will have them for a long time.
If you find yourself getting bottle-envy, you’ll be pleased to know that YETI make the Rambler in grown-up sizes too
What stands out?
No, seriously. In the whole time we tested these, there were no leaks. Happy kids, dry rucksack for mum.
The Rambler JR is certainly bash-proof, even my savages couldn’t put a dent in these bottles! And the handle makes it super easy to hold on to.
You can forgive the chunkiness and size of these bottles because of their durability and ability to keep things cool, but if you’re looking for something small and compact this might not be for you.
The double-wall design kept the kids’ water cold right up to the top of the hills, great and potentially day-saving on several of those hot moments we had this summer.
I really like the YETI style, and the kids loved the bright, sunny colour. And of course, what kid doesn’t love a sticker to customise their kit?
Value for money
At £25 the Rambler JR is quite a bit more expensive than other water bottles for kids. In comparison to the other similar stainless steel bottles I have bought. However, it stood up to the test of the wild ones far better AND on top of that, it doesn’t leak (have I said that already?).
The cost is what you’d expect from a quality outdoor brand like YETI, so it’s really a matter of weighing up whether the longevity and design of the product is worth the price tag for you. Personally, I am confident the kids will get plenty of use out of them, which makes the price tag super acceptable.
The Rambler JR really feels like it could last for years. Let’s just hope they don’t grow out of them too fast!
BASE Bottom Line
I (and the boys) would certainly recommend this water bottle for small people looking for something durable for the trail. Kids can go through bottles alarmingly quickly so it’s great to know there is something I can confidently say will last the duration. Having used them in some of this (sometimes crazy hot) summer’s warmest weather and across most terrains the Lakes can throw at us, they are still in great condition. So you can’t ask for more than that. Whether or not they will still be the favoured bottle of my kids a little further down the line when their whims and favourite items change (or maybe the wind just changes direction), remains to be seen. But for now they are very much one of their objects of desire.
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