Don’t leak now: four water bottles put to the test

It’s almost back-to-school time – which of these four vessels will last the distance?

Minions Water Bottle €3.99
We love Minions and were immediately drawn to this bright yellow bottle, which we found for sale in Argos. It is made of aluminium, which is a mixed blessing: it keeps water colder for longer but makes an awful racket when dropped on kitchen tiles. It is also very sturdy and will almost certainly outlast the affinity the owners are likely to have for the bright yellow characters. Its longevity is of little concern to us; we are more concerned about the mechanics of getting the water out of the bottle. It does not flow as freely as we would like and we would be worried that little hands might struggle to open the blue cap. We were less than happy when the bottle leaked all over our bag.
Verdict: Dear and leaky.
Star rating: ★★

Frozen Sports Bottle €3.99
Are we not over Frozen yet? Apparently not – the merchandising continues apace. As water bottles go, this is fine. It is easy to open and easy to drink from and its lurid pinkness and the prominence of Anna and Elsa on the sides will appeal to a certain cohort. We can't help wondering how much extra we are paying to have the beloved Disney characters' images on our water bottle. We reckon that if they were removed, the price would fall significantly.
Verdict: Let it go.
Star rating: ★★★

Mega Value Super Grip €1.14
This is exactly the kind of water bottle that parents should be looking to buy for their kids as they get them ready to go back to school – although their offspring may not necessarily agree. It completely eschews unnecessary merchandising and bright colours in favour of a fairly drab appearance. This bottle carries water with little fuss. It is almost four times cheaper than the most expensive water bottle we found and does pretty much the same thing. We're not entirely sure we'll get a full school year out of the bottle, but time will tell.
Verdict: Wonderfully cheap.
Star rating: ★★★★

Sistema Twist 'n' Sip €2.99
This water bottle works. It will not let you down. It is easy for small children to open and – crucially – to close. It is also very easy to drink from. There is no need for a lid, which will either get lost or break off, and because the spout disappears into the body of the bottle lid when not in use it will last longer than any of its rivals. Pricewatch knows of some children of school-going age who have been using the same Sistema bottle for the best part of two years now, and it still hasn't let them down. It is unlikely to leak, either.
Verdict: Not to be beaten.
Star rating: ★★★★★