Is It Safe To Refrigerate Camelbak Bottles?

My kids love their CamelBak bottles, especially on hot days at school or on the trail. They are great for keeping us all hydrated.

But, if you're anything like me, you probably hate lukewarm or warm water and want to drink your water cold. Can you put CamelBak bottles in the fridge to keep them cold or should you leave them out of the fridge?

It is safe to refrigerate Camelbak bottles, whether you have a stainless steel or plastic model. Plastic Camelbak bottles are BPA, BPF, and BPS-free, and won’t leach harmful chemicals into the water.

Stainless steel Camelbak bottles are vacuum insulated and double walled, and room temperature water takes at least 24 hours to get cold in the fridge. It's better to fill them with cold water, and then refrigerate them to keep them cold.

Avoid freezing your Camelbak bottle, as ice expands and the bottle could get damaged or the vacuum insulation could be compromized. 

There are various ways to keep water cold in your CamelBak bottle, including filling them with ice cubes, filling them with ice cold water, or refrigerating them. 

I personally like to keep them in the fridge and I encourage my kids to do the same with their bottles the night before school so they can have cool water the next day.

Can You Put Camelbak Bottles in the Fridge?

You can put Camelbak bottles in the fridge. Refrigerating a plastic Camelbak bottle is an excellent way to have cold water and the Tritan plastic it's made out of can easily handle the cold temperatures of the fridge without issue. 

The vacuum insulating properties of a stainless steel Camelbak bottle mean the water inside will take longer to get cold when compared to non-insulated bottles.

In the past, experts advised against refrigerating plastic water bottles for an extended period because of the BPA (bisphenol A) content. As the plastic ages or if it’s damaged, it gradually releases BPA molecules into the water, which may increase your risk for contracting the following: 

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Reproductive problems
  • Heart issues

Like Nalgene bottles, plastic Camelbak bottles are BPA, BPF and BPS free, so there’s little risk of nasty chemicals getting into your water.

This makes them safe to refrigerate, and to store water in. However, I only ever store water in my plastic CamelBak bottles overnight if I need the water the next day. Otherwise I keep water in glass bottles in the fridge so ensure there is absolutely no leaching.

Despite the fact that CamelBak bottles are safe to drink from the less time your water spends in the plastic before you drink it the better.

With the stainless steel CamelBak bottles I'm happy to leave them in the fridge for as long as I need to. Though again I try to drink the water within a day otherwise it can sometimes get a taste from the stainless steel. 

The only downside to this highly-insulating feature is that it takes ages to cool the water in the bottle when you place it in the fridge. That’s why I always fill mine with cold water from the glass bottle I keep in the fridge. 

As with refrigerating a Thermos flask, one of the benefits of a stainless steel Camelbak bottle is that there’s no annoying condensation (or “sweating”) when you take a cold bottle out of the fridge. This is due to its double walled and vacuum insulating features. 

My top tip for always having cold water available on a hot day is to use a stainless steel Camelbak bottle because it can keep the water cold for several hours.

I recommend filling it with ice cold water (and perhaps add a few ice cubes or frozen fruit cubes) to keep it cooler for longer. Keep it in the fridge, and then grab it when you’re ready to go. 

Can You Freeze Camelbak Bottles?

A great way to keep water cold for longer in your CamelBak bottle is to actually freeze the bottle. This gives you a large chunk of ice which will melt slower than smaller ice cubes and it's convenient to just add some water to your bottle and head on your way.

But can you freeze CamelBak bottles or is there a risk of damaging them?

You can freeze water in plastic CamelBak bottles, but make sure not to fill them all the way or the expanding water can cause them to crack. I recommend filling them about 1/2 or 2/3 full and putting it on a slight angle when freezing to make it easy to fill.

You shouldn’t freeze Camelbak stainless steel bottles because as the water freezes, it expands. This expansion may break the vacuum seal and then the insulation of the bottle is ruined and there is no way to fix this.

The CamelBak lifetime warranty only covers damage due to manufacturing defects and doesn't cover damage caused by yourself – including damage by freezing.

But whether or not CamelBak could tell that the damage was from freezing I'm not sure.

Nalgene does replace broken bottles even if you broke them yourself. However, even Nalgene doesn't offer a warranty for damage caused by freezing.

I know it’s tempting to place your Camelbak bottle in the freezer to get cold water fast but avoid it if you can. If you have no choice, only fill it half to two thirds of the way, and lay it on its side to prevent an explosion.

Once the water’s frozen, remove it from the freezer, and top it up with water. You’ll love the slush as the ice melts!