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Can You Freeze Nalgene Bottles?

Can You Freeze Nalgene Bottles?

Nalgene bottles are perfect for one reason: their simplicity. Not only do these bottles hold up against extensive use, but they can withstand falls and all types of liquids. But can they also withstand freezing?

You can freeze Nalgene bottles. Just make sure that you only fill up the bottle two-thirds of the way. After all, water expands, and you want to give the liquid ample room to grow. If you fill the bottle all the way, you risk damaging the bottle or making a mess. Consider using ice cubes instead.

Continue reading to learn more about freezing your Nalgene bottle and what other perks these products offer.

How to Safely Freeze Nalgene Bottles

To effectively freeze your Nalgene bottle without risking damage, you’ll need to ensure the bottle is only filled two-thirds of the way beforehand.

Your Nalgene bottle comes with measurements on the side. Many Nalgene bottles hold up to 1,000 mL of liquid––or 32 ounces. When filling your bottle two-thirds of the way, refer to the measurements to get an accurate reading. So, if you have a bottle that holds 1,000 mL of liquid, two-thirds would be about 666 mL.

Matters change if you purchase a larger bottle, like the Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth Water Bottle. This cup carries 1,400 mL (or 48 ounces) of liquid. Two-thirds of 1,400 mL would be about 933 mL.

Be Mindful of What You’re Freezing

Water isn’t the only substance that expands when frozen. For instance, if you fill your Nalgene bottle with Gatorade, it will expand two-thirds, just like water does.

Other substances that expand when frozen include soda, lemonade, and certain shakes. When freezing these liquids, as noted, you’ll need to leave one-third of empty space in your Nalgene bottle.

Matters change if you’re bringing alcohol. Alcohol doesn’t freeze. Instead, it takes on a syrupy, smooth consistency. If you’re filling your Nalgene bottle to the brim with whiskey, you don’t have to leave two-thirds worth of space. Just be careful, and remember to drink responsibly.  

What Happens if Your Nalgene Bottle Isn’t Frozen Correctly?

Nalgene bottles are very sturdy. They’re impact-resistant and aren’t made with BPA or BPS––so they don’t compromise your water’s quality over time. However, if you fill your Nalgene bottle all the way, cap it, then put it in the freezer, you risk:

  • Warping the bottle’s shape. Frozen water expands no matter what. If it doesn’t have room to grow, it’ll either blow the bottle’s cap off or affect the bottle’s bottom.
  • Affecting the screw-on lid. The frozen water will likely dislodge the water bottle’s lid out of place. This could make it difficult to screw it on in the future.
  • Cracking the water bottle’s lining. Although Nalgene bottles are made of a plastic-like material, they can still crack and break just like glassware. A well-loved Nalgene bottle will likely crack and leak if water expands inside of it.
  • Causing the bottle to burst. The build-up pressure from the expanding water could cause your bottle to burse, rendering it unusable.

Use Ice Cubes Instead of Freezing Your Nalgene Bottle

If you’re freezing water in your Nalgene bottle, you won’t have immediate access. After all, it’ll be frozen.

Consider this: it takes one ice cube about an hour to thaw in a room that’s 75 degrees.If you have a frozen Nalgene bottle that carries 32 ounces, it’ll take several hours for that block of ice to turn to liquid.

Instead of putting your Nalgene bottle in the freezer, you may consider:

  • Using ice cubes. Not only will this keep your water cold, but then you could fill it more than two-thirds of the way.
  • Using re-freezable ice cubes. If you’re not putting water in your Nalgene bottle, you might worry about ice cubes “watering it down.” Not a problem. There are re-freezable ice cubes you can purchase online. You put these cubes in your freezer, then put them in your bottle. Within seconds, it’ll make your drink colder.
  • Filling as you go. If you’re going to the park, many of these facilities have on-site water bottle refill stations. Here, you wouldn’t have to fill your bottle two-thirds of the way. You can enjoy the water fresh out of the water fountain’s tap.

A Final Word

Long story short: you can freeze Nalgene bottles. When doing so, leave one-third of space at the top to allow the water to expand. If you don’t leave room, you risk damaging your product.