The Best Water Bottles to Stay Hydrated Everywhere You Go
Phone, wallet, keys, water bottle.
You'll never catch me anywhere without a water bottle on hand. Whether working in the office or working from home, I need a vessel that's insulated, easily washable, and holds plenty of water. From double-walled Hydro Flasks and trendy S'well bottles to classic Nalgene screw tops and the Camelbak Eddy, I've tried just about every bottle brand out there and loved plenty of them, especially the latest iterations. If you don't yet have a favorite water bottle, you will after trying one of these.
Related: 14 Best Glass Water Bottles for 2021
What makes a water bottle great? Insulation, sure. Ideal weight, definitely. Actually fitting in a bike and car cup holder, surprisingly tricky. The weight, the feel, and most importantly the cap needs to be a perfect fit for your needs and for the bottle itself. These water bottles (with proper use) won't leak, are easy to clean, and will keep drinks cold for hours, some even all day. Although technically using a reusable water bottle is an act of conservation in avoiding disposable versions, the materials and practices behind them matter too. These bottles are the best in class for every purpose.
The Best Water Bottles for 2021:
Best overall: Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask is the water bottle industry’s valedictorian, and for all the influencer clout and larger investment required to own one, it stands as the best for a reason. I acquired a few Hydro Flask bottles five years ago, and each one works like the day I got it. They’ve been lugged to the beach (kept iced drinks cold in 95-degree heat all day, no sweat), toted around several gyms (accidentally dropped on the edge of a Woodway without a scratch), and tossed into backpacks and luggage for traveling (never a leak with the cap screwed on correctly). Oh, and the entire line is dishwasher-safe.
Hydro Flask’s Tempshield double-walled insulation is painted with their signature powder coating colors, and the bottles can also include a non-slip rubber sleeve for the base (though it will never sweat on surfaces either way). The caps range from sealed twist-on, to the straw lid, or the sports cap, and the bottles come in every size from 18-ounce standard mouth to 64-ounce wide-mouth. My recommendation: the 32-ounce wide-mouth straw lid bottle. It has the volume for hours of sipping, an easy opening to fill with ice cubes, and works as well as a sports cap for those keeping active on a daily basis.
Best insulated bottle: Yeti
You can’t have a conversation about insulated tools without mentioning Yeti. The premium brand offers unparalleled reliability, from their coolers to their koozies. The Rambler Bottle is no exception and checks all the boxes of shatter-resistant construction and never-fading color. The Chug cap makes it easy to take a sip and is perfect for people who are averse to the taste of stainless steel and prefer the small mouth style (it does screw off for proper cleaning). The Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated material is BPA-free and dishwasher safe as well. The cap is 100% leakproof, so it’s ready for every type of adventure.
Best lightweight bottle: Nalgene
Nalgene’s tools were initially intended for laboratory work—a lightweight and shatter-resistant alternative to glass. As we know, those traits lend themselves perfectly to water bottle purposes, and the brand soon became "the original water bottle.” The most popular size today, the 32-ounce wide mouth bottle, is made of Tritan (BPA-, BPS-, and phthalate-free) and is leak-proof and famously indestructible (the company will replace it for free if you somehow break it). The standardized opening also fits most filtration systems, so adventurers can sip clean water on the go. You can also buy a wide-mouth accessory pack if you’d rather a different style of sipping.
To buy: $12 at nalgene.com or amazon.com
Best stainless steel bottle: S’well
One of the sleekest options when it comes to drinking containers, the S’well has held its status as one of the most popular bottles. Its size range offers just the right petite option perfect for keeping in a smaller bag (not everyone wants or needs to carry around half a gallon of liquid at a time). The bottles are tripled-layered food-grade stainless steel, keeping beverages cold for 48 hours or hot for 24 with no condensation for any of the patterned or colorful exteriors. The brand is also a certified B-corp, so its mission is aligned with sustainable practices and transparency across the board.
Pictured: 9 oz. Neptune
To buy: $25 at amazon.com
Best easy-open lid: Contigo
My Contigo Autoseal is admittedly another constant companion. It has the usual double-walled insulation to keep water cold for up to 24 hours. It’s lightweight and fits in standard cup holders (in cars, road bikes, and spin bikes), and has an autoseal button for avoiding spills between sips. The small flip-top element covers the mouthpiece for extra leak protection, so the lid doesn’t bump up against your dirty running shoes in your gym bag. The lid is also top-rack safe for the dishwasher for occasional deep cleans, and the body is quick for the usual handwash in the sink.
To buy: $16 (originally $23) at amazon.com
Best glass bottle: Purifyou
This sturdy line of borosilicate glass bottles comes with a protective silicone surround complete with markers for water intake goals (if that’s of interest.) Though clearly a glass bottle isn’t ideal for travel, I find it great for home and keeping bedside at night. The glow-in-the-dark option means I’m not reaching in the dark for a precarious water glass while half-asleep, and when out at the movies (one day we will return) I can find the bottle in my bag without turning on the glaring phone light. Cleaning is simple with the usual hand wash or bottle tablets.
To buy: From $18 at amazon.com
Best sealed bottle: Zojirushi
Zojirushi, of rice cooker fame, created vacuum-sealed bottles lined with glass back in 1918. The modern-day bottle (great for cold drinks and hot beverages alike) is as sleek as it is useful, with a nonstick interior. The air vent on the mouthpiece allows drinks to flow out smoothly without overflowing. The stopper disassembles for easy cleaning, and a safety lock prevents the lid from opening accidentally. Zojirushi’s insulation features a copper or aluminum layer wrapped between the vacuum insulated stainless steel layers, which means even more heat and cold retention.
To buy: $32 at amazon.com
Best filtered bottle: Brita
For hydrating without readily accessible clean water, a filter bottle is a great resource. Brita, basically ubiquitous in the water filter world, has its own 26-ounce and 36-ounce bottles with filters right inside. The flip-top lid reveals a sipping spout, and the filters work for 40 gallons worth of water (about 2 months of use). Pop in on the top rack of the dishwasher for easy cleaning, and take it on the go with its leak-proof lid and cup holder diameter.
To buy: From $20 at amazon.com
Best oversized bottle: Under Armour
If you’re hitting the beach, going camping, or out on a lake all day long, an oversized insulated water bottle is an underrated tool to have around. Serious athletes will also appreciate this oversized 64-ounce bottle, with a carrying handle and integrated fence hooks for spending all day on the field or at long tournaments in the sun.
Thousands of shoppers love the bottle’s durability, as one notes, “Purchased this in March 2017 and since then it’s taken a beating. Been slammed around in the car, dropped many times at the gym, dropped it multiple times at home and at work. It’s been with me to hikes and just about everywhere else I go for that matter!”
To buy: $28 at amazon.com
Best sport bottle: Takeya
Takeya has excellent durable bottles in both insulated stainless steel and lightweight Tritan plastic, both great options for active kids and adults. The signature spout lid is perfect for tossing in a sports bag. Their leak-proof lid and optional straw cap is great for every beverage with no flavor transfer, and a removable rubber bumper on the bottom will prevent scuffs or slips. Choose between 12, 16, 22, 32, 40, or even 60-ounce bottles.
To buy: From $10 at amazon.com
Best hiking bottle: Camelbak
The Camelbak Eddy+ is a natural winner for hiking, with an ultra-lightweight construction and either a flip straw or screw top for easy sipping. I carried two versions of the Eddy around for a few years and retired one only when I lost the straw top (pro tip: order replacement straws, caps, and lids from the source since many imitation brands will not fit correctly). Even better, now the Eddy is made with Tritan Renew plastic, a 50% recycled material.
Entirely new to the lineup is the MultiBev, the ultimate gift for campers, hikers, and commuters alike. A second insulated cup and flexible lid stores away by screwing right onto the base and into the lid itself. So you can port your hot coffee in the 16-ounce cup and water in the full-size bottle, and then consolidate as soon as your coffee is done.
Best twist-cap bottle: Klean Kanteen
The TKWide bottle from Klean Kanteen is a water bottle, sport bottle, and even ice coffee container thanks to the leakproof Twist Cap and built-in reusable steel straw. The bottle’s Climate Lock insulation features keep things cold up to 59 hours while remaining BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. The slim profile fits easily in cup holders and the 18/8 food-grade stainless steel is lightweight and perfectly portable. Klean Kanteen also has six styles of interchangeable lids, so one bottle can function in several ways depending on where you need to take it.
To buy: $32 at kleankanteen.com