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Best Bottled Spring Water for the Money

Jan 3, 2010 (Updated Nov 17, 2013)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:fresh and clean taste with no after taste

Cons:having to pay a deposit on bottles, 35-pack can be heavy for some

The Bottom Line: Crystal Geyser really is the most cost-effective natural spring bottled water being only second to Fiji in taste.

The concept of bottled water really began in the 1940s when Sparkletts was selling it in 1/2 gallon glass bottles for home delivery.  I actually have three of those very rare glass bottles.  I mention this because an executive at Sparkletts offered me $1,000 per bottle ten years ago.  Years later, 5 gallon bottles for home and office use was all the rage so new water companies sprouted up.  But the concept of hand-held water bottles for people on-the-go really didn't take root until the late 1970s and into the 1980s.  My earliest recollection of this was by a company called Evian.  I remember we made fun of people who drank Evian because we thought they were crazy for paying money to drink water from a bottle.

I can remember the days when cold tap water was good enough to drink right from the hose.  Most of us laughed at the notion of paying to drink water from a bottle - joking that some guy was just using good tap water, bottling it and the joke was on us.  Well, bottled water is more of an accepted and desired method of our water intake in today's world.  It's actually a huge booming business with "water stores" popping up all over the globe.

Types of Water:

According to the International Bottled Water Association the following are the different types of water...

Artesian Water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands higher than the top of the aquifer.

Spring Water from an underground source from which water flows naturally to the surface of the Earth - with no additives or chemicals.

Purified Water has been created by de-ionization, distillation, reverse osmosis or other similar process.  Some purified waters have additives or chemicals that greatly affect the taste.

Distilled Water has been vaporized into steam then cooled to re-configure it back into H20.  Natural minerals are left behind leaving only pure-tasting steam-distilled water.

Mineral Water contains no less than 250 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved solids (TDS).

Sterilized Water meets the requirements under Sterility Tests, in the United States Pharmacopeia.

NOTE: Carbonated water products such as soda water, seltzer water, sparkling water and tonic water are considered soft drinks and are not regulated as bottled water.

My Wife the "Water Snob" and how she got me to be one too

My wife is a self-professed "water snob."  She says that Arrowhead water gives her headaches so she will only drink two bottled spring water brands - Fiji and Crystal Geyser.  Fiji is a once in a while purchase because it's ridiculously expensive.  Over the last few years, my wife has gotten me to consume a lot more water instead of soda, I do actually see that my skin looks healthier.  I was at a Health Expo recently and a very old woman who ran a skin care booth told me that I have very healthy skin.  I guess hydration is key.  I mean, they do say that we should be drinking six to eight glasses of water each day.  At this point, my wife has almost completely weened me off of soda.  There's really nothing like a cold bottle of water on a hot day, after a workout or after eating a protein bar.

Crystal Geyser is available in single bottles of various sizes including 8oz., 500mL, 750mL, 1 liter, 1.5 liter and one gallon.  The multi-packs include 8-pack 8oz, 6-pack 500mL, 6-pack 750mL, 6-pack liter, 12-pack 500mL, 15-pack 500mL, 24-pack 500mL, 28-pack 500mL, 35-pack 500mL, 24-pack 750mL, 12-pack 1.5 liter box and 6-pack gallon box.  Bottles are available in regular screw cap and pop-up sports tops.  It should be noted that the 500mL size is equivalent to 16.9 ounces.  The pop-up sports caps are great for working out or sharing a bottle when squeezing the bottle sends a stream into someone's mouth without having to share germs.

We usually stock our mini-fridge with the 35-pack because it's less expensive per bottle.  Thirty-five 16.9 ounce bottles usually cost us between $4.99 and $5.99 yet sometimes the super-markets mark it up to $6.99 in the Summer months - those price-gouging bastages. Once in a while, places like Smart & Final sell the 35-pack for $4.00 and that's when we usually stock up. They've even had sales when you buy two 35-packs, the third one is free.  That's an even better  deal! The 24-pack usually runs about $4.99 and every once in a while they're on sale for $3.99.  On film shoots, we get the tiny 8 ounce bottles because most people don't drink the entire 16.9 ounces of water and that creates a lot of waste.

When adding Wyler's drink mix or Crystal Light drink mix to flavor water, the 16.9oz. bottle makes a single serving easy.  Just pour it into the bottle, replace the cap and shake.

One day I challenged my wife to a taste test to see if she could actually decipher the difference between several water brands and types.  I lined up several plastic cups and labelled each one with a letter that corresponded to the brand or source of the water.  I should mention that all of the water samples were chilled to the same temperature.

The list included water from our refrigerator's filtered tap, the PUR filter on the kitchen faucet, Fiji spring water, Crystal Geyser spring water, Arrowhead, Sparkletts, tap water, Nestle, Dysani, Aquafina and Dannon.

I'll be darned that she picked almost every single one and could actually taste the fluoride in the Sparkletts water.  The two she mixed up were the Pur filtered water and the filtered water from the refrigerator but that's to be expected since they're very similar.

Both my wife and I agree that Crystal Geyser is a crisp and clean pure water without any chemical aftertaste or smell of any additives.  We go through about five to seven Crystal Geyser bottles each and every day.  But I have to say, sometimes I do refill my Crystal Geyser bottles with the water from our Pur filter system and (to me) it tastes almost as good - especially when chilled.  It goes without saying that my wife refuses to drink the Pur water even if we happen to be out of Crystal Geyser.


I agree with my wife that Fiji is the best tasting bottled water but the price makes it not so cost effective for every day consumption.  Fiji water is great for a once in a while drink, but Crystal Geyser is the best tasting bottled spring water for every day use - especially in larger families.  According to the Crystal Geyser website, their water has a shelf life of "several years" when stored in a cool dark place.  And according to their website, their water is filtered through a 0.1 micron absolute filter - a filter ten times smaller than the industry standard.

Sometime in 2008, the Crystal Geyser bottles got a new design.  I noticed that they cut back on manufacturing costs by making the caps smaller, the neck shorter and the thickness of the plastic material a thinner-walled mil.  Also it should be mentioned that all of the plastic bottles are BPA-free recycled material.

Because we were curious, we wanted to see what our dogs would prefer so we tried another taste test for them.  I poured a bottle of Crystal Geyser in one bowl, tap water in another and water filtered by the Pur filter in the third bowl.  Oddly enough, all three of our German Shepherds went for the cold tap water.  Good thing too, because I didn't really want to get them in the habit of only drinking bottled water because that could get really expensive.

One last thing:  I'm really so sick of being forced to pay a deposit for bottles and cans that I'll never get back.  We pay a deposit knowing that if we took those same containers to a recycling center - we would NOT get the same "deposit" amount back for them.  Isn't the concept of a deposit so that when you return something, you get the same deposit money back?  Most people just toss them in the recycling trash can so their city gets that recycling revenue too.  So why are we paying deposits?  Let's face it, they're not deposits.  They should just call them what they really are - exorbitant fees.

Now go drink some Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water and become a fan like we are.  Crystal Geyser is bottled at five sources all across the United States.  Mt. Shasta and Olancha Peak in California, The Cherokee National Forest of Tennessee, in Moultonborough, New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains in South, Carolina.  Crystal Geyser is bottled by CG Roxanne.

Visit them at  According to their website, Crystal Geyser is the first U.S. spring water to be officially permitted in the European Union.

Crystal Geyser - There is a difference.

9/2013 UPDATE:
 Since our local Stater Brothers markets stopped carrying the 24 or 35 packs of Crystal Geyser, we tried Stater Brothers' mountain spring water. She told me that it's "ok" and that it's her new "third choice."

Recommend this product? Yes

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