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The Best Insulated Water Bottles of 2024

June 5, 2024 - Blog

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An insulated water bottle that keeps your beverages close and cold is a great way to hydrate more and reduce your single-use plastic waste. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which bottle lives up to its ice-retaining claims or has an annoying lid before you purchase. So I’ve done some side-by-side testing of the top models to help you decide which water bottle you’ll cover in stickers and carry around everywhere and which would be relegated to the back of your cabinet. 

Best Overall: Rtic Bottle

Most Versatile: CamelBak MultiBev

Best Dishwasher Safe: OtterBox Sport Water Bottle Elevation

Best Lightweight: HydroFlask Trail Series

Most Durable: Stanley Ice Flow

Best for Travel: Lifestraw GoSeries Stainless Steel

Best Filtered: Philips Go Zero Everyday Bottle

Best for Cycling: CamelBak Podium Chill Bike Bottle

How I Tested the Best Insulated Water Bottles

First, I checked how long the best insulated water bottles will keep your beverage cold. I did this by filling each with the same amount of ice. Some bottles, like the LifeStraw GoSeries and CamelBak MultiBev, couldn’t hold as much ice as the others, so, in the spirit of fairness, each received five large ice cubes. Then I filled them with cold tap water and took the internal temperature of each bottle. I continued to do this every two hours for 10 hours. Then I checked the temperatures after 26 hours.

The ice water test helps to show how effective each bottle is at retaining cold. But it isn’t exact by any means. Because the insulated water bottles I tested differ in size, the higher water to ice ratio in the larger bottles mean they didn’t hold ice as long as they could have had they been filled with ice. This test simply provides empirical data to answer the pragmatic question: How long will this insulated water bottle actually keep my ice water cold?

But the mechanics of the bottle are also important. So I drank from them all and noted their caps, handles, and locking mechanisms. Read on to find a full review of each model.

Best Insulated Water Bottles: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Rtic Bottle

See It

Key Features

Capacity: 26, 32, 36, or 40 ounces

Double-wall vacuum insulation

Dishwasher safe

Weight: 15.6 ounces (measured)

Hot/Cold: Holds ice up to 24 hours

Price: $23 (32-ounce)

Pros

No sweat exterior

No leaks

Convenient mouth opening

Cons

Doesn’t fit in cupholders

The Rtic insulated water bottle is comfortable to hold and drink from. The lid doesn’t leak and the exterior doesn’t sweat. The mouth opening is perfect to take a long swig with no spills. The handle feels sturdy and I trust its structural integrity to carry the bottle when full. You can keep beverages hot or cold, but the only claim Rtic makes is that it can hold ice for up to 24 hours. During the ice water test, the bottle stayed chilled for the duration of the 10 hour test period. After 26 hours, it was only 2.5 degrees warmer than the initial temperature. The ice, however, had melted. I attribute that to the higher water to ice ratio than the smaller bottles.

The large 32-ounce capacity is great for all-day hydration though the bottle is too large for most cupholders. At such an affordable price and excellent chilling performance, this is the best value insulated water bottle.

Most Versatile: CamelBak MultiBev

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Key Features

Capacity: 22-ounce bottle, 16-ounce cup or 17-ounce bottle, 12-ounce cup

Roll-and-fold lid

Double-wall vacuum insulation

Dishwasher safe

Measured Weight: 1 pound, 7 ounces

Hot/Cold: Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 16 hours

Price: $52 (22-ounce)

Pros

Two-in-one vessel

Sweatproof

Cons

Heavy 

The Camelbak Multibev is a tumbler and water bottle in one. Ashley Thess

The tumbler unscrews from the bottom and the lid is stored in the cap. Ashley Thess

The CamelBak MultiBev is a unique, multi-use insulated bottle. There’s a screw-off cup with a corresponding lid conveniently stored in the bottle’s cap. It can insulate hot and cold beverages. Drinks will stay cold for 24 hours and stay hot for 16. In the ice water test, the MultiBev blew other models out of the water. There was still some ice after 26 hours and it read some of the coldest temperatures throughout the testing period.

This bottle is great for camping because of its versatility. Start with coffee in the morning, switch to water for the day, and wind down with some wine without lugging a hazardous glass bottle into the backcountry. It’s actually 3 ounces short of a full wine bottle, but leaving half a glass behind isn’t the end of the world. Plus, it’s ideal for sharing. Give a friend the cup and enjoy the rest of your beverage from the bottle.

The matte exterior is sweatproof. Ashley Thess

The outside features a matte finish that doesn’t sweat or slip and the silicone base makes it hard to tip over. All parts of the bottle are dishwasher safe. At $52, it might seem expensive for a water bottle, but when you take into account that you’re getting a 16-ounce tumbler ($22) and 22-ounce water bottle ($32) together in a convenient package, the price makes sense.

I’m happy to carry this 1 pound, 7 ounce bottle on a day hike in exchange for a convenient and chilled beverage. If you use this as your daily water bottle, you always have a reusable cup handy for coffee runs. One issue is that the bottom of the bottle narrows to accommodate the screwed-on cup which limits the space for ice if you use large cubes. 

Best Lightweight: HydroFlask Trail Series

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Key Features

Double-wall vacuum insulation

Capacity: 21, 24, 32, or 40 ounces

Weight: 12.2 ounces (32-ounce bottle)

Measured Weight: 12.3 ounces

Hot/Cold: 24 hours cold, 12 hours hot

Price: $50 (32-ounce)

Pros

Keeps water cold for 24 hours

Lightweight for a stainless steel bottle

Cons

Scratches easily

Not dishwasher safe

Typically, the weight of my water bottle means a lot to me. I don’t want to lug something heavy along on a hike for a small luxury like chilled water. I was surprised at how light the empty HydroFlask Trail was. HydroFlask claims your water will stay chilled for 24 hours and hot beverages will stay warm for 12 hours. During the ice water test, the 32-ounce Trail Series was comparable to the best value winner, Rtic. At the 26 hour mark, the Trail Series was only 3.4 degrees warmer than the starting temperature. The Rtic marginally beat HydroFlask for cold retention. The Trail Series is a few ounces lighter and skinnier for the same capacity as the Rtic, though double the price. The Trail Series is 3.2 inches in diameter which is slightly too large for standard cupholders.

The HydroFlask scratches easily; mine already has a few dings and blemishes. Ashley Thess

I brought this bottle car camping for the weekend and it has already sustained a few scratches and dings. While I’m far from precious with my water bottles, be prepared for some added character in the form of silver stainless steel peeking through your chosen color. Hydroflask does offer a trade-in program where you can send in your old water bottle for proper recycling and receive a $5 credit for your next one. Overall, this bottle has great insulation properties with a reduced weight. The carry handle is convenient to loop or clip to your bag, and the wide open mouth is great for people uninterested in bothering with straws, spouts, or locks. 

Stanley Ice Flow

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Key Features

Capacity: 16 to 96 ounces

Double-wall vacuum insulation

Dishwasher safe

Weight: 1 pound, 5 ounces

Hot/Cold: Keeps drinks cold for 15 hours

Price: $45 (36-ounce)

Pros

Easy flow

Lots of colors

Reliable handle

Cons

Only 16- and 24-ounce models fit cup holders

Over 13 inches tall

The Stanley Ice Flow is a simple and durable water bottle. Its handle is reliable and strong so you don’t have to baby it or worry about it snapping off and bracing for the heart-stopping clank of a large metal bottle hitting the floor. You can even stow your cap by lodging it into the handle. It is sizable at over a foot tall, but it still fits in most backpacks. After a few months of hard use, there aren’t any significant dents.

The double-wall vacuum seal keeps drinks cold for 15 hours. Stanley also claims ice can last for three days, but I think you’d have to fill the entire bottle with ice to achieve that longevity. In my testing, 15 hours was more accurate. The Ice Flow comes in a wide range of sizes, from two cups to the better part of a gallon. There are also quite a few colorways. The entire top unscrews for easy cleaning and adding ice, but the smaller opening on top allows for quick sips without spilling water everywhere.

Best Dishwasher Safe: OtterBox Sport Water Bottle Elevation

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Key Features

Capacity: 28 ounces

Insulated with a copper lining

Dishwasher safe

Weight: 15 ounces

Hot/Cold: No claims

Price: $35

Pros

Sweat resistant

Works with straw or spout

Cons

Semi-annoying lid

While OtterBox doesn’t make any explicit claims as to how long your drink will stay cold, it does feature a copper lining designed to keep your drink at the “perfect temperature.” OtterBox told me that the copper’s conductive properties stabilize the thermal loss, ultimately maintaining your drink’s temperature whether it’s hot or cold. During the ice water test, all of the stainless steel models dropped in temperature over the first six hours while the ice chilled the water around it. The Sport water bottle dropped the most in temperature at 5.6 degrees cooler than the initial temp. By the next day, it was only 4.1 degrees warmer.

You can drink out of the Sport with a straw or spout, just remove the straw and O-ring insert. However, when tipping the water back for drinking out of the spout, water can escape through the air hole. The short and fat spout makes an odd mouth piece for sucking out of the straw. The cap that covers the spout is connected to the water bottle. This is great for not losing parts, but it does make opening and closing more annoying. And you can’t fully remove the lid from the bottle without first opening the cap.

Best for Travel: LifeStraw GoSeries Stainless Steel

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Key Features

Double wall vacuum insulation

Filters out bacteria, parasites, microplastics, silt, sand, cloudines, chlorine, and organic chemical matter

Capacity: 18 ounces, 24 ounces, or 1 liter

Weight: 16.5 ounces

Hot/Cold: Keeps your water cool all day. Not intended to keep liquids hot

Price: $50 (18-ounce)

Pros

Carbon filter improves taste

Microfilter protects against bacteria

Cons

Annoying to drink from

This insulated water bottle includes a dual filter system inside. The carbon filter reduces chlorine, odors, and organic chemical matter for improved taste. This filter lasts up to 26 gallons or about two months. Further, the membrane microfilter protects against bacteria (including E.coli and salmonella), parasites, microplastics, sand, dirt, and cloudiness. The membrane microfilter lasts up to 1,000 gallons, about five years of daily use. LifeStraw says this system is good for contaminated water sources or simply providing a better taste, making it great for travel.

In the ice water test, the GoSeries was 12.4 degrees warmer after 26 hours. This was the worst performance of the stainless steel models. But, after 10 hours it was only 3.3 degrees warmer. So just bank on this one lasting for a work day. While LifeStraw’s fresh and clean water is tempting, the nozzle creates an odd drinking experience. You have to suck on the small spout to get water out, but the mouthpiece feels too short and square for a comfortable drinking experience. I’m sure you could get over this for a vacation, but maybe not for everyday use.

Best Filtered: Philips Go Zero Everyday Bottle

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Key Features

Capacity: 32 ounces

Filters out chlorine

Filter Type: Activated carbon fiber

Pros

Filters out large particles and chlorine

Pop lid is satisfying to use

Produces great tasting water

Cons

Somewhat more difficult to drink out of than more expensive options

While I wasn’t able to put the Philips Go Zero through the ice water test, staff writer Laura Lancaster named it the best insulated bottle in her test of the best filtered water bottles. She says, “If your primary reason for wanting a filtered water bottle is to have great tasting water, the Philips Go Zero is a smart choice. Not only does it remove chlorine and particulates from water, ensuring it will taste great, but it’s also insulated, so your cold water will stay cold longer. Just keep in mind that this filter is not the right choice if you are concerned about the safety of your water, as it doesn’t remove bacteria, protozoa, viruses, lead, PFAS, or other dangerous chemicals.”

Best for Cycling: CamelBak Podium Chill Bike Bottle

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Key Features

Capacity: 21 or 24 ounces

Double-wall insulation

Weight: 4 ounces

Hot/Cold: No claims

Price: $18 (24-ounce)

Pros

Lightweight

Easy to drink from

Narrow design fits well in bottle cages, bags, and cup holders

Cons

Doesn’t keep water as cold as stainless steel models

The CamelBak Podium isn’t stainless steel, but it’s still an insulated water bottle. The double-wall construction lined with a thin polyethylene foam sheet is designed to keep your water cold twice as long as a non-insulated bottle. In my ice water test, the Podium was the first to lose all its ice in four hours. After six hours it was 15 degrees warmer than its initial temp. But, your uninsulated cup of ice water would likely melt in two hours so I believe CamelBak’s claims.

This bottle is lightweight, easy to drink from, and doesn’t spill when the cap is locked. It’s designed to fit inside various bottle cages, but the size is perfect for fitting into the best hiking fanny packs such as the CamelBak M.U.L.E. 5 Waist Pack that won best for hydration. It fits into most cupholders, too. There’s no handle, but the ergonomic shape makes it easy to grab and go, whether you’re cycling, hiking, or hanging around town.

The Rest of the Field

The IronFlask is a popular water bottle; I see it everywhere. Unfortunately, the IronFlask’s cons outweigh its pros in my opinion. It isn’t dishwasher safe. It also isn’t especially durable. I dropped it in my kitchen and the flip on the flip lid broke off. I was able to pop it back on and it still works. There are also a few dents on the top and bottom. The lower dents make the bottle slightly wobble now when set on a flat surface. 

I also tested out the Brumate Rotera. So called because you rotate a ring at the top of the water bottle to raise or lower the straw so you don’t have to touch it. Alas, the rotating feature broke so now I have to manually coax the straw up.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Insulated Water Bottle

Cold Retention

If you’re purchasing an insulated water bottle, you likely want your water to stay, well, insulated. In my ice water test, I put these bottles to the test. Pay attention to the leaders if you want to enjoy chilled water all day long.

Drinking

There are different caps with different drinking features for all of the best insulated water bottles. If this is your everyday water bottle, you’ll be using it all the time so it’s best to pick one you enjoy drinking out of. If it’s too much of a pain to use or unscrew, it might become a paper weight on your desk instead.

Durability

The no-name water bottles you find on Amazon typically suffer heaviest in one category: durability. All of the insulated water bottles on this list are from reputable brands and were tested for leaks. 

Read Next: The Best Water Bottles

FAQs

Q: Can I put boiling water in an insulated bottle?

Some insulated water bottles can also keep beverages hot. However, some do not recommend it due to materials, pressure, or the outside becoming hot to the touch. Verify your individual bottle accepts hot liquids before trying it. 

Q: Can you put ice in an insulated water bottle?

Yes, you can put ice in an insulated water bottle. It’s a great way to keep your water colder for longer.

Q: What is the best material for an insulated water bottle?

Most of the insulated water bottles on this list are made from stainless steel because it’s durable and food safe. It can also help eliminate condensation.

Final Thoughts

Insulated water bottles are a great way to motivate yourself to drink more water and reduce single-use plastics. All of the stainless steel options on this list kept ice water at least chilled for an entire day. The CamelBak MultiBev even kept ice for this long. Find the best insulated water bottle with the features you like below.

Best Overall: Rtic Bottle

Most Versatile: CamelBak MultiBev

Best Dishwasher Safe: OtterBox Sport Water Bottle Elevation

Best Lightweight: HydroFlask Trail Series

Most Durable: Stanley Ice Flow

Best for Travel: Lifestraw GoSeries Stainless Steel

Best Filtered: Philips Go Zero Everyday Bottle

Best for Cycling: CamelBak Podium Chill Bike Bottle

The post The Best Insulated Water Bottles of 2024 appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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