When you’re working out at the gym or hitting the trail, it’s always important to stay hydrated. Since you don’t want to add to landfills by using disposable water bottles, it’s better to get a sturdy, permanent bottle that you can reuse and refill as much as you want.
However, when it comes to finding the right bottle, it can be tricky. There are so many different options out there that it can feel a bit overwhelming to find one that will meet all of your needs. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top water bottles you can find so that you can start getting hydrated as soon as possible.
No matter what size or material you prefer, you are sure to find it here. We’ve also checked to make sure that these models will not only keep you hydrated but won’t leak all over your bag or your chin when drinking.
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As you were looking through this list, you probably noticed a few features that stood out to you. However, to get a better idea of which bottle is right for you, it’s important to pick out the right characteristics that will make your drinking experience more enjoyable. With that in mind, here are the top four factors that you should be looking at when choosing a bottle.
Most of these units have variable sizes available, which means that you can pick the best one to suit your needs. If you’re out all day on the trail, then you need something that is large enough to keep you hydrated for the whole trip, assuming that you won’t be able to fill up on the way. We would recommend at least forty ounces in this case.
For those who want a reliable water bottle to take to the gym, it’s important that you find a size that will fit in the water bottle holders on the equipment. Also, because you’re hydrating in less time, you don’t need something as large. Twenty-four ounces or so should do the trick in this case.
The other thing about the size that you should look at is the width of the opening. If you like to use ice water, then it’s important that you get a wide mouth bottle so that you can pour ice cube into your beverage without hinderance.
When looking at water bottles, there are three primary materials from which you can choose. The first is stainless steel, then plastic, and finally glass. Let’s take a look and see which one is best for you.
Stainless Steel: the benefit of using this material is that your bottle will hold up much better overall. Drops and dings happen from time to time, and having steel means that they shouldn’t affect the bottle too much. Also, most steel models don’t leave any kind of taste in your mouth, which is important. The only downside is that metal has a hard time keeping the right temperature as it’s such a good conductor.
Plastic: whenever you get a plastic bottle, it’s imperative that you choose one that is BPA-free. Assuming that you use it all the time, you don’t want chemicals or bits of plastic leaching into your water. The benefit of this material is that it’s more lightweight and easier to carry. Also, plastic can be a bit more flexible, meaning that it shouldn’t break or crack if dropped.
Glass: if you want to ensure that you don’t get any kind of aftertaste with your water or beverage, then glass is the way to go. Even some high-end steel or plastic bottles can leave a bad taste in your mouth, but not so with glass. The only significant problem is that you have to make sure that you don’t drop it; otherwise, cracks and breaks can happen.
While the bottle itself is hugely important, the lid is what you will be using the most, so don’t skip out on this crucial feature. Most bottles come with a proprietary lid, but thankfully in some cases, you can swap out new caps if old ones break or start to leak.
Leaking is by far the most common problem with reusable water bottles, so make sure that you get a lid that will prevent it as much as possible. For the most part, screw-on caps are better about keeping liquid contained, but some locking mechanisms do the same job just as well.
Speaking of locking lids, they can be much more convenient as they allow you to drink from the bottle with just one hand. For exercise enthusiasts, having one-handed operation is a huge plus as it allows you to stay hydrated without having to pause what you’re doing.
The other important thing to remember about lids is that you want to make sure that they are easy to clean. Some of them come with straw openings which can be hard to scrub out, so keep that in mind.
For most of us, we use our water bottles as a way to keep cold water at arm’s reach. However, some people prefer to get a model that also allows for hot liquids to be stored at the proper temperature. If that is the case, then you will have to get a water bottle that is well insulated.
The best method of insulation is to have a double-wall vacuum design. Having two layers means that the interior traps the heat (or cold) while the outer layer prevents transference from taking effect. Having it be vacuum sealed also prevents outside air from affecting the internal temperature.
What makes this bottle stand out is that it comes with ThermalShield technology to keep hot and cold liquids at temperature. Using double walled insulation, you can store your beverages at the right level, meaning that your coffee will stay warm for hours, as will your ice water.
What we like about the Hydro Flask is that there are multiple lid options available for you so that you can pick the one that works best. There is a flex straw top which makes it easier to drink on the go, a hydro flip lid for one-handed operation, and a wide mouth version so that you can get hydrated even faster.
The outside of this bottle is powder coated, which gives it a nice matte coloring and provides a smoother grip so that you don’t drop it while you drink.
As far as steel bottles go, Classic Stainless Steel Bottle from Klean Kanteen is about as standard as you can get. In fact, when most people think of a steel water bottle they probably picture this design.
What makes the Klean Kanteen so great is that it is designed for portability. A loop on the lid makes it easy to strap it to your pack or belt so that you can access it easily.
The lid also has a sport designed cap to give you a better flow so that you don’t experience “chirping,” which is when the water bubbles out unevenly. Overall, this is a great travel water bottle.
Next, we have a plastic bottle that is widely known by the brand name. Nalgene has been around for years and is a top choice for athletes and hikers all over the world.
What makes Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth Water Bottle so desirable is the high-impact material and the wide mouth opening which makes drinking and refilling such a breeze.
Best of all, the lid for this bottle is so simple as well as effective. It’s a screw top model, which means that water won’t be getting through anytime soon. The only way that it will leak is if you drop and damage the lid. Fortunately, that’s quite difficult to do.
The other reason that the Tritan is so well regarded is that the thickness of the material naturally helps insulate the liquid inside. While it won’t hold up as well as some other bottles, it should allow you keep everything at a nice even temperature for a few hours.
If you’re looking for a bottle that comes with insulation, then the AVEX Brazos Autoseal Insulated Water Bottle is one of the best.
This model has double walled vacuum insulated sides, which means that you can keep your cold beverages at temperature for up to twenty hours, while your hot coffee will stay warm for up to six.
While the insulation is high-quality, what we really like about this bottle is that it has an automatic seal. That means that leaks are never a problem, even with a convenient one-handed lid on top. Best of all, the spout is made of a germ and dirt-resistant material, making cleaning a snap.
One of our favorite water bottle brands is CamelBak. Although the company made a name for itself by creating bladders that install in backpacks, they make some incredible bottles as well.
In this case, the CamelBak Chute 40oz Vacuum-Insulated Bottle is designed for anyone who loves to bring hot or cold beverages with them.
First of all, the bottle itself is high-capacity, making it ideal for the gym or the trail. Second of all, it has vacuum insulation to help keep everything at temp for longer than the competition. Finally, this bottle comes with an angled spout to make it easier for you to drink.
Another great thing about this model is that the exterior is powder coated, meaning that you get a decent grip when holding it.
Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle is completely different from everything else we’ve seen thus far. While other bottles will take up the same amount of space whether they’re full or not, this particular model is collapsible, meaning that when you’re finished drinking you can roll it up and store it neatly in your pocket.
The reason that this bottle is collapsible is that it’s made of soft silicone material.
While it is much more malleable than other bottles we’ve seen, that doesn’t mean that it will collapse on its own. In fact, it can hold its own against any other material with regards to rigidity when full.
To keep it collapsed, you have to utilize the strap system that comes with it. Otherwise, the bottle will expand to full size. Overall, if you are more concerned about storage space, then this is the model for you.
So far, we’ve seen steel and plastic bottles, but Lifefactory Unisex Glass Bottle is made almost entirely of glass. That means that it’s perfect for anyone who is worried about chemicals leaching into their water.
To help keep the glass protected from breaking, the entire thing is encased in a soft silicone shell. Best of all, the design of the cover is unique, giving the whole thing a chic retro vibe.
What we also like about the silicone cover is that it comes with a swivel handle for easy carrying. The other great thing about this bottle is the leak proof sports lid. Overall, this is a great option and will keep your water tasting fresh all day long.
Here we have another model from CamelBak, except CamelBak Eddy .75L Water Bottle is not designed for insulation. If you want a simple and effective water bottle, then the Eddy is a great choice.
The material is fantastic, meaning that it is as durable as anything else you can find. Like with the other model above, the Eddy comes with a tilted spout for easier drinking.
On top of the angle, the lid is designed to provide a smooth, even flow so that you don’t have to worry about water bubbling all over your face. The entire thing is also spill proof, meaning that you can take it anywhere without any problems. Overall, this is a very practical water bottle.
In some cases, a brand name is so synonymous with a product that people start referring to it by the name rather than by the correct label.
Kleenex, Xerox, and Velcro are some of the best examples of this, followed closely by Thermos. If you weren’t already aware that that was a brand name, well you know now.
Although the name implies that insulation is part of the bottle, the fact is that this particular model is not built with hot or cold liquids in mind. That means that if you want to keep something at a certain temperature, you will have to find a different unit.
That being said, the Nissan Intak does have one feature that sets it above the rest. A locking mechanism allows you to open and close the lid with one hand, making it more convenient than some of the other models on this list. Also, an ergonomic grip means that you can hold it better as you stay hydrated.
As far as insulated bottles go, we have to say that Swig Savvy Sports Water Bottle is the probably the best. While it uses similar double-walled technology, the result is far more consistent than some of the other models that we’ve seen.
The best way to measure the effectiveness of insulated bottles is to see how long they keep hot liquids at temp, and this can hold your coffee or hot tea for up to twelve hours without any significant drop in temperature.
The other thing we like about his bottle is that it has a twist open sports cap, which makes it more leak proof than other models and makes it easier to drink from overall. If you want more convenience, you can swap that out for a click cap which gives you the ability to drink one handed.
When trying to pick out the best water bottle, it’s almost impossible to narrow down the choices. The reason it’s so difficult is that everyone has different preference as to the material and whether or not it is insulated.
So, with that in mind, our top picks overall are the Swig Savvy and the Avex Bravos bottles. We like the performance of both of these models, and we appreciate the features that are included. On top of these two units, we have a deep fondness for CamelBak products, as they all come with a lifetime warranty.
No matter which bottle you choose, however, you’re sure to be satisfied with the results.
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A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!