Choosing a water bottle can be as simple as picking one off the shelf. But it can quickly turn into a decidedly more time-consuming process if you're intent on finding exactly the right one to suit your needs. There are water bottles of all shapes and sizes (and prices), and some that aren't even "bottles" at all.
But these bottles do much more than just hold some liquid.
This travel tumbler from Pelican is available in 22 and 32-ounce sizes, but the bottle will still fit in most cup holders. It's got the standard double-walled vacuum insulation plus a powder coated exterior which provides great grip. The lid features a spill resistant lip but it's not water tight so you'll need to keep the bottle upright to prevent any leaks. Pelican's lifetime guarantee ensures your bottle will withstand the toughest environments, and if it doesn't they'll replace it.
One of the more unique bottles for runners or hikers, Salomon's Hydro Handset is a glove-like contraption that wraps around your hand and has a 17 ounce flask that you just squeeze to drink from. It also has a small external pocket that can hold a few essentials. However, the soft flask won't keep your water as cool as an insulated bottle.
This one is a for being easy to hold while still offering enough storage in the handstrap for your keys and smartphone. The bottle itself is also a decent size, at 18 ounces, and is fully insulated to keep your water or drinks cool. It's also packed in some safety features, including reflective material for some added visibility when you're running at night.
Camelbak's Quick Grip Chill is a more traditional-style water bottle, and fairly large at 21 ounces. The previous version was , and a new model is now available with a slightly redesigned zippered pocket that promises to fit "most phones." The bottle is also reflective and, as the name suggests, it's insulated to help keep liquids cold.
If you only need a bit of hydration to keep you going on a run, you can always opt for something like the ultra-portable 10 ounce FuelBelt Helium Sprint. There's no pocket for your keys or cellphone and no insulation, but it'll stay on your hand with the adjustable hand strap and it's light enough to almost make you forget that it's there.
For a simple, all-purpose water bottle, the Klean Kanteen Classic has long been a popular choice. It's stainless steel, so it's durable, lightweight, and easy to clean, and it had the best design. The 27 ounce size is the most popular, but other sizes are also available, as are a range of different styles of caps.
It's not the lightest water bottle around, but that (and the price) were about the only faults found with Hydro Flask's Wide-Mouth Insulated bottle. They were especially impressed with its durability and ability to keep liquids hot or cold for long periods of time, as well its wide opening that makes it both easy to fill and easier to clean than many other water bottles.
If you just want a simple, inexpensive plastic water bottle, you won't find one with many more recommendations than Thermos' Intak 24. It's managed to retain a four-and-a-half star rating on Amazon after nearly 3,000 customer reviews. It may not keep your water as cool as other bottles, but you can't ask for much more fat just $10.
Glass water bottles are not ideal for every activity, but they have their advantages. Outdoor Gear Lab Lifefactory's glass bottle, which has a silicone casing for a bit of added durability. They weren't as much a fan of the flip cap version, which can make drinking somewhat difficult, but it's also available with classic or straw caps.
If you can't take all the water you need with you on your hike, you'll likely want something that can purify any freshwater sources you come across. The Grayl Ultralight is one of the more simple and versatile options on the market, and received an enthusiastic recommendation from the Snarky Nomad blog, which has a . The bottle's $60 price tag includes one purifying filter, with extras running $25 apiece. Simple tap water filters are also available for $15 each.
It won't filter your water, but YETI's Rambler Vacuum Bottle will keep your beverages hot or cold for hours on end, and you definitely won't have to worry about it springing a leak. At $26 for the 18 ounce or $44 for the 36 ounce, YETI is far from the cheapest option available, but that they're worth the investment if you're looking for a bottle that'll last the long haul.
This is more of a water pouch than water bottle, but Sawyer's Squeeze Water Filter System will quickly purify water as you squeeze it through the filter and is one of the most packable options available. noted some obvious drawbacks—it's not the easiest to drink from and isn't great for sharing water with a group—but found those were easily outweighed by the benefits, especially its relatively low cost.
Another popular option for maximum portability (assuming filtration isn't a concern) is Platypus' collapsible Meta, which comes with a .75-liter bottle. Cleaning and durability are major bonuses over its SoftBottle design and is dishwasher save. The top half of the bottle is impact resistant and the bottom half is unbreakable, perfect if you're going somewhere less than hospitable.
A favorite in the outdoor community for its ruggedness, lifetime guarantee, and light weight (6.25 ounces). It's hard to beat the classic Nalgene's value. Dishwasher safe. However: Without insulation, you're not using this for any drink you don't want at room temperature. Hopefully that drink is water, because the plastic holds the taste of everything else.
After every liquid we threw in it, the Mizu smelled like it had just been unwrapped. Its insulation was the best for hot liquids—dropping only to 133 degrees (from 180) after four hours—and one of the best for cold, gaining only 3 degrees after four hours and 20 after a full day. It's good-looking, too.
Lots of great graphic options. The bottle's insulation was great for both hot and cold liquids, and S'well even donates some of the money it makes to help provide kids with clean drinking water. However, the small mouth and tall height make it hard to clean even with a water-bottle brush. Possibly because of this, the S'well performed the worst in the retained-smell test.
Everything today is somehow connected to your smartphone, and your water bottle can be, too. This 24 0z. bottle connects to iOS and Android devices—including Apple Watches—to help you keep track of your water intake. It even has a glowing light of shame that reminds you when you need to drink some water. It's a strange option for most, but if you're someone who lives day-by-day through reminders, it could be a good, hydrating option.
Coming in a 32 oz. bottle and much loved on Amazon, the Hydracy is a water bottle for people who need a flavorful incentive for staying hydrated. This water infuser will pack in vitamins and nutrients so you don't just stay hydrated, you also detox and maybe even help shed a few pounds. Recipes also come included so you can get the most out of your bottle.