Water is unarguably a basic necessity, essentially for our bodies and general health. Staying hydrated is another issue in itself, with only very few having access to clean water. Being a global issue, the majority of the population have opted for a different method of keeping refreshed. This being said, best water bottles have hit the market with a storm and are currently in high demand everywhere.
They come in all types of designs, with a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes indubitably based on your tastes and selection. Theirs is a simple task, to simply store and transport water. Be that as it may, personal regard and individual usage are some of the elements that play a key role in the designing of water bottles. Based on this, manufacturers are now able to create new and unique incessant designs for clientele all over the world.
Finding a perfect bottle can prove to be a difficult task, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Some of the things you should keep in mind are the quality, leaks, portability, washing and drinking capacity. Since particular people have diverse priorities, our top picks have been selected over a far-reaching scope of textile and custom in conjunction with plastic, steel, glass, insulated and even collapsible bottles. Here are our top picks for the best water bottles.
Why buy a water bottle?
Hydration is important, regardless of the sport. So why get a reusable water bottle rather than a prepackaged, store-bought water bottle every time you’re going for a run? We’re not saying the latter option is any less effective than the former, but in our opinion, based on research published in the Environmental Research Letters, bottled water production requires over 30 million barrels of oil every year. And that’s in the US alone. That’s not to mention the environmental impact of non-recyclable and non-recycled water bottles. Add this to the fact that tapped water is somewhere around a thousand times cheaper than bottled water to the gallon, it starts to become harder to justify store-bought bottles.
On top of this is the fact that most well-made water bottles are utility products. Such that they weren’t simply made to serve one purpose. A water bottle can be used to carry around coffee or tea if you prefer, unlike store bottles that you use once and get it over with. Hydration is important regardless of whether you’re a star athlete or an office worker. Having a bottle on you at every possible time is simply an indicator of you loving your body.
How to pick a water bottle
If you’re like most people, you likely aren’t going to give much thought about what water bottle you pick. Hopefully, you are a little bit more than that, because there’s a big difference between what is and what’s not a good quality water bottle. These will vary the consequences of choosing one over the other in terms of your health, how long the bottle will last and how well it will serve you. Some of the factors you’re going to have to consider are outlined below.
The material the bottle is made from directly influences all other factors in one way or another. However, the most notable thing in this regard is toxicity. Ever since it was discovered that BPA (bisphenol A), a resin compound used to manufacture some plastics, can seep into food and beverages and mess with the brain, there has been a mad rush to avoid it. BPA has adverse effects on the brain, especially on children and teenagers. It affects the behavior of children, development of fetuses and increases estrogen concentration in the body, especially notable in males.
In correlation with the material is the durability the bottle offers. Steel water bottles are generally more durable than plastic bottles for obvious reasons. However, they also tend to be bulkier than plastics. If you’re a long distance runner or a hiker, you’ll have to weigh the benefits of durability and portability then pick one.
Along the same lines as material, the bottle you choose likely will have different properties as a result. Steel bottles are generally better insulators since most of them feature a vacuum wall on the insides. If you’re going to be working in a hot environment and wish to keep your drink cold, or vice versa, this will have a huge influence over what you select.
Due to conflicts of interests and the lack of viable criteria to compare steel and plastic water bottles, we selected one of each in our countdown.
Best Water Bottles of 2018: Our Top Picks
The best steel water bottle: Klean Kanteen Classic
The Klean Kanteen Classic has justified the top position in this criteria, beating all its competitors by a huge gap. Steel bottles have become a favorite to many, owing to the fact that they have fewer weight problems in comparison to glass and metal bottles. You can comfortably carry drinkables in steel bottles without worrying about transparency. Like most other steel bottles, our champion also coincides with enameled, polished interiors that act as insulation and prevent the bottles from absorbing smells of the drinks put in them (and in reverse).
The inimitable lineament associated with this 27 uncia steel bottle is its supreme proportions. The Klean Kanteen’s base is 2.75 inches in diameter, offering excellent, firm support and stability to the bottle. It is also wide enough to accommodate a basic capacity cup without toppling over. It has a correspondingly 1.75-inch mouth, wide enough to nearly fit whichever sizeable ice cube. Its width also allows you to sip water without fussing about spillage, which is one of the biggest summonses to other bottles. Furthermore, the ideal opening size of the Klean Kanteen bottle permits the air ventilation and flowage of air while drinking. Such a design enhances the flow of water, making a durable surge of water with no bothersome cessations and onsets to the runs.
In case you want to change its performance or appearance, there are a variety of lids that accessorize the Klean Kanteen on its website including a sports cap and a sip cap for kids. Whichever you choose, your cap choice will decidedly influence your experience with the Klean Kanteen. Based on our tests, we found some difficulty in opening the standard loop cap when turning it from one heave to another after consistent use.
The Bamboo cap is more expensive and fancier but proves to be worth the price. Not only is it simpler to open but it also has a metal hook that offers a solid grip to users than the basic lid or sports cap. Most people would rather the sports cap than the basic lid. Alike to the bamboo lid, these two caps completely seal water in such a manner that you can keep it together with your books in the backpack and bags without bothering to check for leakage.
The pair has loops that allow one to attach the bottle to snap rings and lines in order to make them stay put. Although the circular shape of the standard cap is a typical feature, it enhances the easier use of the Klean Kanteen considering there won’t be any jangling that most square-shaped caps have. The sports cap has a fairly narrow water stream that pulls in, thereby allowing smooth drinking.
Moreover, the Klean Kanteen is featherweight, which is a definite top off to its reputation. With the standard lid, the Klean Kanteen weighs just 7.5 unciae. With such capacity, this bottle supposedly carries just enough water to relieve thirst. It also comes with varying capacities such as the 40 and 18-ounce bottles.
When it comes to the drop analysis, the Klean Kanteen was by far the most stable of all bottles whether laden or empty. Its polished exterior endured some dislocation after falling on the floor dissimilar to the other tested bottles. It withstood dents and therefore should be able to hang tough on the occasional abuse by most people through the course of the day.
The Best Plastic Water Bottle
The winner: Thermos Intak 24-Ounce Hydration Bottle
Plastic bottles tend to be a tad more inexpensive as compared to glass and steel bottles. If you prefer plastic to other materials, then the Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle is the best option for you. It provides an agreeable way of sipping through, is leak-proof and very easy to clean. The Intak is made from Tritian BPA-free plastic, which means it’s durable enough to handle a few drops on concrete and survive relatively casual abuse.
It weighs just 6 ounces and is hardly noticeable when in your backpack. However, what sets it apart the most is in terms of usability. This bottle’s outer frame is textured, which makes it easy to hold, and it’s mouth is wide – meaning it’s easy to drop in ice cubes or even clean it.
This is one of the most likeable bottles on the list when it comes to user experience. Most of these have to do with the lid. The lid is intricately designed, as if the engineers really took their time to ensure it’s the best leak-proof product in the market. You could leave it on your bed or even in your bag, upside down or horizontal, just to purposefully let water seep out and come back woefully disappointed. Not a single drop of water will escape, thanks to what’s currently the best locking mechanism we have ever witnessed.
The Intak bottle diverts from the trend of two-step systems currently overloading the market. It instead has an overlid that works much the same way as a hood – it clamps down firmly on the bottle until you loosen it when you’re ready to drink. Perhaps it takes one or two design cues from the Nalgene on the Fly, a similarly modelled stainless steel water bottle. The most notable feature that differs even more widely from the rest is the hinge that connects the flip top to the lid, which is better reinforced than the one on the Nalgene. At the same time, it has far fewer components and is thus much easier to clean.
On top of the lid is a cap that features a sealed silicone canister that’s connected to the lid in such a way that nothing can get underneath it. This facilitates easy hand cleaning. All you need is a mild detergent and a bottle brush and you’re done. The last little bit that you’ll find enjoyable is the metered dial on top of the lid. You can use this to track how many refills you’ve done in a day. A bit playful and experimental on their part, but in the end, perfectly implemented.
Runner up: CamelBak Chute
The first place the CamelBak noticeably stands out is variety. The Intak is a great bottle, but it only comes in a 24 ounce size or smaller. The CamelBak Chute has a wide opening making it easy to fill with ice cubes or supplementary protein powder. This bottle also come with a small, compact spout that’s both comfortable to drink from without the added risk of spilling thanks to its well-designed locking mechanism.
The same locking mechanism features a twist-off cap that keeps the spout hygienic, but may tend to be difficult to open from time to time. This is also in contrast to the Intak, which is much easier to open – all you need is the push of a button. You’ll require two hands to open it, so if you’re out for a jog, you’ll likely need to stop by the roadside if you want to drink from it.
Another thing most people will definitely appreciate is the fact that the cap is on a lanyard, a feature that makes it nearly impossible to lose. This brings the added advantage of being easy to clean, so if you’re all about hygiene, you’ll be happy with this model.
Second Runner-up: Design for Living 16-Ounce Stackable Water Bottle
When it comes to ease-of-opening, this 16-ounce bottle takes the medal. It’s even easier to open than the Intak, the self-proclaimed king of usability. The lid is threadless, which means it will work much the same way you’d pop a cork from a wine bottle. All you need is a quarter twist and it’s open or locked. This takes away the hassle of ruining the locking mechanism threads or trying to screw the cap back on and missing one. No more leaking!
At the sides of the bottle are also hand-sized and shaped grooves to help you get a better grip while out on the track and prevent spillage. These grooves will also help in your ability to carry it around. It’s perfect for long distance running since it’s just the right size, and thus the right weight and has great features for portability. The narrow mouth adds a bout of comfort in its favor, but putting ice cubes or supplements inside is a big bother.
The Best Glass Bottle
Glass water bottles aren’t something that come up in every conversation when it comes down to it; they are more expensive, more fragile and much heavier than steel, aluminum or plastic counterparts. Needless to say, these are the absolute worst choice for anything sporty. If you’re looking for a sport-applicable water bottle, try your luck with mid to high-end plastic water bottles.
Glass water bottles do have their upsides, though. They will not impart any horrid flavors to your water, are great insulators and you always know what’s in the bottle at all times. They are also easy to clean and maintain, so long as you know how to maintain them.
The Winner: Lifefactory 22-Ounce Glass Bottle with Classic Cap and Silicone Sleeve
The Lifefactory Glass Bottle is the best selling product of its category for its solid, safe construction, watertight lid and excellent drinking experience. Despite being made of glass, this bottle offers surprisingly great resilience. This is probably thanks to the silicone sheath that makes protects it from scratching and breakage, in addition to giving it an easier avenue for better grip. Casual abuse like light dropping and bumps should also be covered. However, as we mentioned before, this bottle isn’t meant for gym-related uses, at all. In fact, there are lots of fitness centres that ban the use of such products inside their facilities.
Besides being durable, at least for a glass bottle, there’s also the all-round great design to appreciate. It has a large mouth that makes it pretty easy to drink from, regardless of whether you want to drink a sip at a time or gulp the whole drink down at once. The cap is leak-proof and surprisingly easy to open and lock. It has two protrusions from the its sides that allow you to get a solid grip so you can lock it as tight as you wish.
However, the silicone sheath, one of its biggest advantages, also brings with it a few downsides. It doesn’t slip as smoothly into backpack pockets as compared to smoother bottle designs. The second issue is weight. Glass may look pretty, but it’s definitely not light. As compared to steel or plastic, a larger volume of glass is needed for it to be durable enough to withstand mild shock effects. The Lifefactory, for instance, weighs a pound when empty and about the weight of a laptop when filled. If this isn’t a problem, then you’re good to go.
The main justifiable cause to dislike this model is the material it’s made from. If not taken care of properly or dropped accidentally, it will crack or shatter. However, this is something you’d expect considering the physics, so you can’t peg the blame on Lifefactory for that. This bottle is intricately well designed, though. Getting to the breaking point will require a whole lot of carelessness on your part/
The Best Insulated Bottle
If you like your drink cold and ready to quench your thirst whatever the occasion, an insulated bottle is just the thing you need. A well-insulated bottle will prevent bottle sweating’, which is actually just condensation forming on the outside of your bottle. The best way this can be achieved is by using vacuum seals, which are almost always made from stainless steel because of its superior insulating properties.
The Winner: Hydro Flask 24-Ounce Standard Mouth with BPA Free Flex Cap
THe Hydro Flask comes in-built with an insulating vacuum layer between two layers of stainless steel to prevent external heat from influencing the temperature of the bottle’s contents. The lid has a rubber handle that makes it easy to hold and open, together with a ring in the inside that makes loosening the lid even easier. The outside frame of the Hydro Flask is also textured to give the bottle an even finer grip.
The Hydro Flask’s bottle warns your warranty will be voided if you use a dishwasher to clean it. A dishwasher will cause exterior cosmetic effects to the paint but doesn’t affect the performance of the bottle. However, this may as well happen when hand-washed and will depend on your water quality, the strength of detergent and the color of the bottle you’ve bought.
The Hydro Flask is relatively tall. Therefore, cleaning it will require a bottle brush to clean if you don’t want to put it in a dishwasher. The lip of the bottle isn’t as well insulated, though, meaning you could easily burn to scald yourself when drinking hot coffee. The Hydro Flask is a great bottle, but it falls behind the likes of the Klean Kanteen since it doesn’t have as many cap options. This is only a minor usability drawback, so it shouldn’t chase you off.
The best collapsible bottle
Collapsible water bottles aren’t meant to be used like conventional water bottles. They were primarily meant to fill the gap that exists when it comes to boarding planes. If you’ve ever tried to get onboard with a normal water bottle, you know how much of a hassle it is. A collapsible water bottle is completely legal to bring along, so long as it’s empty.
The winner: Platypus Meta Bottle
The Meta bottle is a great fit for the average user, being leak-proof, shatterproof and can hold a considerable amount of water. As compared to most other bottles, this provides the closest one to home. It weighs just 5 ounces and can be squished into a size small enough to be carried around in the palm of your hand. The bottle itself can screw apart in its midsection. This allows you to turn it into two vessels – the container and a cup.
If you’re really optimistic you can even use it as a bowl for your cereal. These two part, when open, have a sufficiently wide opening for adding ice cubes, filters or a purifying pen. This diameter is also large enough to stick an average-sized hand inside. If you prefer not to do everything by hand, it’s dishwasher-safe, so you’re covered.
One concern with collapsible water bottles is that they get floppy as you drain them. The Platypus addresses this with a rigid midsection that keeps the bottle’s structure together as you hold it in your hand. Whether you’re drinking from it or pouring out its contents, it should remain in shape. However, the midsection is a double-edged sword. Because despite the added rigidity, it doesn’t collapse as easily as the second pick on this list.
The other nitpick we have with the have with this bottle is that due to its many components, it’s quite easy to unscrew the wrong one without knowing it. For instance, you could easily unscrew the mouthpiece when you actually intended to unscrew the mug portion.
Runner-up: Platypus DuoLock Soft Bottle
If you are ever in need of a bottle that folds down more and is much easier to handle, the Platypus DuoLock is here to rescue you. It’s not as comfortable to use as the Meta Bottle. Thus, drinking may feel a bit awkward at first, but it’s designed with minimalism in mind. It provides lots of insurance to keep itself watertight, and due to the fact that it’s ultra-light, you’ll hardly notice you’re carrying it. When empty, it’s enough to roll up and slip into your pant pockets.
The screw-on cap is watertight and unlike most other bottles you’ll come across, it doesn’t leak at the seams, regardless of how careless you are with it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t handle it with care, but if the lid wants to come out on its own, there’s a metal lock fallback on the mouthpiece to keep it in place. On top of that, it has a built-in carabiner for attaching to a backpack and its lid is attached to a lanyard, which means there are far less chances of it getting lost.
This bottle does have its own set of downsides, though. For one, fitting ice cubes into the spout is going to need a little bit of more skill as compared to the Meta Bottle. The metal lock on this bottle is also a bit hard to work with. Unless you have long fingernails or are very dexterous with your hands, getting the metal lock off will require a bit of work. Also, unlike the Meta Bottle, which is pretty rigid and easy to drink from, the Duolock has no structure: it will flop around quite a bit as you drink from it. This mollusc-like property will lead to you spilling water all over yourself if you’re not careful. The only real alternative is to use two hands when drinking – one for stabilization and the other for guiding the bottle.
Best Water Bottles: The competition
Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth
Klean Kanteen makes some of the finest bottles in the market, right up there next to Intak. The Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth and the Klean Kanteen Standard are both excellent bottles with one annoying drawback: when kept on their side for an extended period of time, they leak.
They are also much harder to open. Because their outer frame is completely smooth and the lid is made of stainless steel. However, they still take the crown for being the lightest insulated bottles. Plus, the best at doing the job, considering their price range.
SIGG WMB Sports Touch Water Bottle
At first glance, the SIGG Touch Water Bottle looks like it’s made of plastic, however, this is an aluminum-finish water bottle with a BPA-free plastic liner. Despite the metal components, it’s not very resilient and tends to dent easily upon dropping. To make things worse, the paint also comes off easily, smoothening the bottle’s grip and ruining the aesthetic.
Those are definite no-nos for a bottle in this price range. It’s pretty easy to find something that lasts longer and performs much better altogether rather than this. Lastly, even the insulation properties it’s supposed to boast are woefully lacking. It will lose as much as thirteen degrees in eight hours. Whereas other models can maintain an average constant temperature for as much as 24 hours.
Laken Tritan Sports Bottle With Jannu Straw Cap
The Laken Tritan Sports features a design similar to one of CamelBak’s bottle, but sadly, it doesn’t reach the same performance standards. Its spout, which features a push-to-open mechanism, doesn’t have an in-build method of locking.
This way, you’re prone to surprise wettening of your books or documents if the cap pops open accidentally. This is the biggest drawback we’ve come across, and thus it’s not the best. If you can compromise, though. Go ahead.
Glasstic Glass Water Bottle
Unlike the previous entry, this glass water bottle comes with a great locking flip lid to keep the container closed when not in use. Sadly enough, though, the lid is made of plastic, a property that makes it more susceptible to scuffing over long-term use.
It’s not very durable either. This is since the body is similarly easy to scratch up, and well, it’s made of glass, so there’s that. Considering the price of the 16-ounce version is almost as high as our overall best glass pick, we’re skeptical about how satisfactory this will be.
Hydrapak Stash Water Bottle
The Stash Water bottle is a very durable model, both leak proof and capable of surviving a couple of hard twists and tumbles. However, the material the bladder is made of is an area of concern. It feels flimsy when compared to other folding bottles like the Platypus models.
What’s more, the top and the bottom of the water bottle are designed in such a way that they snap together when not in use. This might sound pretty awesome at first. But in practice, getting them apart is hard, and putting them back together is even harder. It’s a novel concept, but it was poorly executed.
Thermos Vacuum Insulated Hydration Bottle
The 18-ounce version of the Thermos Vacuum does a great job of keeping water cool, even in a warm environment. Much better than the Klean Kanteen Insulated, for that matter. However, it offers an awkward drinking experience. It’s not so comfortable to use and you may end up drenching yourself in water.
The 24-ounce version does a much better job at user experience: it has a screw-off top which makes filling it with water a breeze. However, removing the spout, for instance, if you want to clean it, is nothing if not a nightmare.
The Miir Bottle isn’t particularly bad. In fact, depending on your preferences, you might actually enjoy using it. Our biggest peeve with it though, is that it costs more than the Klean Kanteen Classic but has a lower capacity. You can get it in larger sizes. However, all of them are still more expensive than our pick from Klean Kanteen. It also lags behind when it comes to how easy it is to use. As it has a smaller opening than the former pick. It’s relatively comfortable to drink from, but if you enjoy drinking your water cold, you’ll have a pretty
hard time trying to fit water bottles inside.
Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle
The Polar Bottle has pretty disappointing insulation properties when pitted against rivals like the Intak. Funnily enough, the non-insulated version of the Intak performs at par with the Polar Bottle, which is supposed to be insulated.
Additionally, when the time comes to drink the water, forget tipping it and letting gravity to the rest for you. You have to squeeze it for the water to come out. This is fine if you’re biking or running and want the water to ooze out so you don’t choke. However, if you’re in the office, yikes.
BPA-free KOR Delta Water Bottle
If you’ve never heard, seen or experienced the consequences of over-engineering, the BPA-free KOR is a perfect example of the concept. It has heavy plastic reinforced sidewalls, made from Tritan plastic, something that makes it a tough cookie, sure, but extremely overdone for a casual water bottle.
Opening the bottle is also pretty troubling. The locking mechanism is pretty flimsy and hard to use. It doesn’t spring open quite as easily as other water bottles with similar designs do.
The Autoseal has a lot going for it when it comes to the overall design and thoughtfulness that was put into the manufacturing process. It’s lid allows water to escape from the bottle only when you tilt your head back and press a button. As you might have guessed, this mechanism is pretty difficult to clean, since you can’t deconstruct it.
This presents a bunch of problems like a buildup of mold and bacteria, which gets even worse. Especially if you plan on using the bottle for coffee or any similar beverage. If you do plan on using it for coffee, don’t. It’s insulation properties are pretty horrid, though it is pretty cheap. If you’re willing to sacrifice quality for pricing, this bottle will be a somewhat okay fit.