You may notice that our site does not have many ads and all of our content is free. Instead, if you make purchases through certain links that we provide, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). We appreciate your support. You can learn more here.If you make purchases through certain links that we provide, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). We appreciate your support. Learn more here.
Everybody needs a water bottle. Whether you spend your days on the trails, in the gym, or in the car, really doesn’t matter – you need to stay hydrated. There are tons of different reusable water bottles out there, so we chose our favorites in a few categories. In this post, we’ll give you our top picks and a short breakdown of the pros and cons that come with each.
CamelBak Eddy Insulated .6L Bottle
CamelBak makes their bottles with BPA- and BPS-free plastic. This one is lightweight, which is nice for casual, daily use, and is insulated, unlike a lot of other plastic water bottles. It also has a bite-and-sip straw, so you don’t have to tip the bottle or unscrew the cap to drink – very car friendly. The double-wall doesn’t totally eliminate condensation, but it does reduce it significantly. And this is a pretty durable water bottle. If you drop it, it’s not likely to break, but it might get a bit scratched up. It’s a $20 bottle and CamelBak actually offers a lifetime guarantee. The insulated Eddy is dishwasher safe, which I’d call a plus, but it does have a straw and cleaning a straw is never a pro. You’ll probably want to replace the straw a few times a year.
I think glass bottles are an attractive option, especially for those who are pretty environmentally conscious. Takeya’s classic bottle is really nice looking and the glass eliminates toxic leaching that plastic can cause. It has a silicone sleeve for grip and protection. That being said, while the bottle can handle a drop, it is glass and can still break. Also, the sleeve attracts dust and dirt, so if that bothers you, don’t get the black one because it’s fairly noticeable. Thankfully, it’s dishwasher safe, because you can’t get your hand through the opening to wash it. A bottle brush would work fine, though.
This isn’t an insulated bottle, so it doesn’t have the temperature retention of most of the others on this list, but that’s sort of just something you trade for a glass bottle. You can get the Takeya Classic for about $17-20 and it comes in a few colors [check price on Amazon].
Now, if you want a lightweight water bottle that can handle a hike and that you won’t feel like you need to be careful with, you gotta go Nalgene. The Tritan 32oz wide mouth bottle is a classic. It’s a staple item that I guarantee every hiker, climber, and Pacific Northwest resident has owned at some point in their life. You can get these bottles for $10 and often less (although certain special colors/designs will cost more) [check price on Amazon] and they come in a huge range of colors. They’re made with Eastman Tritan BPA-free copolyester, which makes them resistant to stains and odors. They don’t dent, but they do get really scratched up and it’s nearly impossible to keep dirt and chalk from building up in the grooves around the lid. They are durable, though, and that’s kind of the point of a Nalgene – you don’t care if it gets trashed.
The wide mouth accommodates ice cubes, lemon slices, etc., and makes hand washing easy. The lid strap never seems to last as long as the bottle, however, so you’ll either have to replace that or get creative. My buddy says a scrap of rope and some duct tape works well.
The Ozark Trail is basically an affordable version of a Hydro Flask. However, you can tell it’s cheaper, you know? It’s made with stainless steel, it’s still vacuum insulated and double-walled, but it just feels cheaper. It’ll keep your drinks hot or cold, but not for quite as long as a pricier bottle. It’s actually a little bit heavier than a Hydro Flask, too. It’s easy to hand wash if you have small hands or one of those bottle brushes.
You can get them in different colors and finishes and they’re only about $18. One of our gripes with the Ozark Trail, though, is that it makes a screechy sound whenever you screw or unscrew the lid. If you get one, you’ll know what we’re talking about. We see decent deals for Ozark Trail bottles on Amazon, but Walmart seems to usually have the best prices.
There’s a reason Hydro Flask water bottles are so popular. They’re double-walled, vacuum insulated bottles, made with stainless steel. The whole point of an insulated bottle is keeping drinks cold or hot, which the Hydro Flask does well. It can keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to six hours. You can put it in the dishwasher, but the wide mouth also allows for easy hand washing in a rush or smashing in a bunch of ice. The materials used are odor resistant and don’t give your water a metallic taste that some stainless steel bottles do. They come in a wide array of colors and have a nice powder-coated matte finish for slip resistance (actually does make a difference since you’re dealing with liquids). Plus, Hydro Flask makes a bunch of different lid options, so you can switch the standard lid out for something that suits your needs. Although, the lid it comes with is pretty nice. It’s a twist-off lid with a bucket-style handle for easy carrying.
The downside to these water bottles is their price. They’re just expensive at around $40 [check current prices on Amazon] and there’s no way around that. However, they’re also super durable, so you can think of it as a long term investment. I would also note that they’re kind of heavy when full. I’ve been using a Hydro Flask for so long that mine has the old plastic loop lid. It’s taken some hard knocks, but if you don’t mind the dings, it’ll last you a good long time.