First, let me start this rant by mentioning the fact that all these ‘best bottled water’ articles when you do a Google search are pretty BS and full of crap.
Look at this one I found:
Here are some exerpts:
“It’s certainly not the cheapest water in the world, but the price is fair considering the high quality of the product.” – the price should NEVER be fair for bottled water. Bottled water takes almost nothing to make and has amongst the highest profit margins in the world.
“As a spokesperson for Pepsi Co (Aquafina’s parent company) was keen to point out: it’s not tap water.” – It IS Tap water. It comes from PWS which means public water supply – the same article even mentions this at the bottom of the page!
“It’s even endorsed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and that kind of Rock-filtration is exclusive only to this brand.” – Nobody should be buying bottled water based on a celebrity endorsement thats so idiotic.
“Plus, the company pays a premium for the privilege of using this natural spring, paying 6x the municipal rate for use of the spring.” – What does this have to do with the quality of the water??
“Aside from being fresh and pure, Perrier’s carbonated water is particularly revered due to its zero-calorie and zero-sweetener nature.” – EVERY water is zero calories and zero sweeteners, unless they are one of those flavored ones.
“The only information that the company gives away is that it’s surrounded by pine trees and hidden in the woods of Maine. And you can’t get more natural than that.” – Instead of being suspicious of the source of the water, they praise it for being mysterious. WTF?
“There are no harmful minerals, silica, or heavy metals, and no bacteria either.” – There shouldn’t be these things in ANY bottled water. If there is then they should recall it immediately.
So yeah these are the kind of things you find online said about bottled water brands, believe it or not.
For my opinion, I think first of all if you aren’t in an emergency situation or traveling then you should be drinking tap water instead there’s nothing wrong with tap water and it’s a lot more environmentally friendly and you’re not giving any of your money to greedy corporations.
secondly, if you do need portable water, try a boxed brand like Just Water or Boxed Water
These are a lot more environmentally friendly than typical bottled plastic waters.
Ok, now I have had the opportunity to try lots of bottled waters when I was traveling and due to my experimental nature I like to try different brands every time to see if there really is a difference.
Non sparkling brands I’ve tried: Dasani, Aquafina, Nestle Pure Life, Real Canadian (Canadian), BLK, Essentia, SmartWater, Mountain Valley, Icelandic Glacial, VOSS, Fiji, Evian, Acqua Panna, Whistler (Canadian), Samdasu (Korean), DMZ (Korean), Paekdu (Korean)
Out of these brands, I’d say the best budget one is just Nestle Pure Life or Real Canadian (if in Canada) because they are affordable and taste good enough and unlike Dasani/Aquafina they come from an actual spring or well.
For a ‘premium’ brand, the smoothest tasting for me so far has been Mountain Valley
This is hard to find outside of the USA, but if you’re in America this is the one I’d go for as it had the smoothest taste for me.
Coming very close to Mountain Valley are Icelandic Glacial and Acqua Panna
These two taste almost as smooth as Mountain Valley and are perhaps more readily available to buy outside of America. I would avoid Evian, Fiji and VOSS as they were just ok and I think their prices were even more inflated than these other waters due to the marketing. BLK, Essentia and SmartWater all tout some of kind of health benefit, but I didn’t find anything special about their water either.
In Canada, I think Whistler water is affordable and tastes pretty good
When I was living in Korea, I think the best premium brand was Samdasu from the island of Jeju, and it had a better taste to me than the other two (DMZ and Paekdu)
Sparkling brands I’ve tried: Perrier, San Pellegrino, Gerolsteiner, Montellier (Canadian), La Croix, Bubly,
The smoothest tasting out of these is San Pellegrino
This is very easy to find and widely available, and out of all the sparkling waters, had the smoothest taste.
However, if you really want to have the water with the most ‘mineral’ taste to it, then it has to be Gerolsteiner
There is noticeably more dissolved mineral content in this water compared to others, and you can definitely taste it. It’s not the smoothest water but if you’re looking for a water with lots of mineral content, this is it.
I’ve also been looking to try Topo Chico but it’s very difficult to find in Canada it seems.
So yeah, in general I try to avoid bottled water but because I travel often, I do have the chance to try a lot of these and these are what I found I liked the most.