If you want to be active and healthy, you need to stay hydrated. And the most eco-friendly and practical way to do so is by carrying the right insulated water bottle.
Americans reportedly toss more than 2.5 million plastic bottles an hour (that’s about 700 a second) — a plastic Everest, or several, that could take more than five centuries to decompose. So switching to insulated water bottles is a small decision with a huge positive impact.
Stainless-steel water bottles can last for years, are 100 percent recyclable, and, of course, BPA-free. Investing in one can also save you money: By some estimates, foregoing disposable plastic bottles can save you about $3,000 a year.
You want your insulated water bottles to be durable, easy to clean, and leak-proof. Because a soaked backpack can put a damper on a day of hiking. Also key is finding an insulated water bottle that doesn’t retain flavors. Coffee-flavored water just doesn’t sound all that appetizing. Or refreshing.
“You should get something in the 20 to 24 ounce range,” says outdoors expert Bryan Rogala. “Stainless-steel is best because it doesn’t get funky if you throw in a hydration-mix tablet, and for me it holds up longer than aluminum bottles. You also don’t get any off flavors in your water.”
The best-quality insulated bottles don’t sweat, meaning there’s no condensation on the outside of the bottle or a small puddle of liquid underneath it. And the true winners won’t leak a single drop, but we should also point out that often, leaks are the result of user error.
Some bottles are trickier than others to clean, so make sure you always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. And speaking of recommendations, these are our picks, based on personal experience, Amazon’s top sellers and user reviews.
If you want a truly leakproof water bottle (and who doesn't?), you need to get this Contigo. It has a unique button that seals the lid between sips to stop spills and leaks.
Pros: One Fatherly editor has three of these water bottles. They are magical. They don’t leak, period. And they keep water cold for up to 28 hours. They’re great for kids and adults, and are very easy to open and close.
Cons: Some report that bottles get dented, but that’s not been our experience.
This bottle is truly a wonder. It features a triple-haul cap for easy carrying. It's 100 percent leakproof. It's got double-wall vacuum insulation, meaning it keeps stuff hot and cold. And the bottle doesn't sweat, which is handy in cold temps.
Pros: This is a monster of a water bottle, in the best sense. It keeps your chai latte hot, your water ice cold, and thanks to its 18/8 stainless-steel construction, we defy you to break it. You can swap out various caps, depending on whether you prefer to sip your drinks or chug them.
Cons: It’s not cheap, for starters.
This water bottle has double-wall insulation to keep the exterior sweat-free, and keep your drinks hot for up to 12 hours.
Pros: This insulated water bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours, and comes with three different lids for every sipping style.
Cons: It’s hand-wash only.
It keeps your libations cold for 24 hours, and hot for up to 12 hours, thanks to its double-wall insulation. It doesn't sweat, and it comes with a very cool spout lid that lets you drink one-handed.
Pros: This water bottle does not leak. It can go through hell, and it looks a good as new. Twenty-four hours after a refill, the water is still as frigid as you’d want.
Cons: One caveat to the no leaks promise … if you don’t screw to spout cap on tight, yes, it can leak.
A beloved water bottle for a solid price, the Hydro Flask has a wide mouth for faster water flow, TempShield insulation that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, and a super-cool slip-free powder coating that makes it easy to hold and use.
Pros: It’s an all-around great water bottle that has interchangeable lids (some more leakproof than others) and comes in a slew of bright shades.
Cons: Keeps your coffee hot for up to six hours, which may not be long enough for you.
This handy, handsome monolith holds 64 ounces — about half a gallon.
Pros: It’s cheaper than the competition, and it comes with an extra handle lid for easy toting.
Cons: Those who attempted to drink straight from this big bottle tended to get drenched — the more user-friendly “chug” lid must be ordered separately.
This beloved insulated water bottle comes from the originators — Klean Kanteen was the first company to release a full stainless-steel bottle, in 2004.
Pros: A classic designed for durability, this insulated edition can keep drinks cold for days — some say up to 100 hours.
Cons: Despite Klean Kanteen’s hyped new chip-resistant paint, several reviewers complained that the paint scratched or chipped too easily.
While Mira's sleekly designed bottles come in a range of sizes, this 17-ouncer works just about everywhere, from morning subway commutes to Alpine crags.
Pros: Affordable, durable, and really good-looking, Mira bottles offer designer insulation at half the price of competitors.
Cons: While some reviewers loved the additional metal cap, others complained it gave water a metallic taste.
You get 40 ounces of water, that stays cold for up to 34, yes 34, hours. It has an insanely cool auto seal button-operated lid that automatically seals it up between drinks, hence no leaks. And there's a bolt lock to prevent it from accidentally opening and drenching your phone.
Pros: We especially love the protective spout cover on this water bottle to keep out dirt and grime. It’s got a carry handle and a nice, fast flow rate.
Cons: Reviewers say it’s not as well insulated as its competitors. Meaning, drinks don’t stay as cold as you’d expect.
You honestly can't go amiss with this classic S'well water bottle, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours.
Pros: They don’t leak. They keep drinks cold, for 24 hours. They come in great colors. And they’re easy for kids to use. Plus, they’re sleek enough to fit into any bag.
Cons: Because of their curved design, they’re challenging to really get clean.
This genius bottle filters water as you drink it, resulting in H20 that tastes delicious, always. It fits in a car cup holder, the bottle stays cold for 24 hours, and it's made from insulated stainless-steel.
Pros: It has a built-in carrying loop, a one-handed push button lid, and enclosed straw.
Cons: You need to replace the filter every two months or after every 40 gallons of water consumed.
Speaking from experience, this Stanley water bottle is fully insulated, keeps your hot drinks piping hot, and has an insulated lid that doubles as a cup.
Pros: This insulated water bottle has vacuum insulation that keeps drinks hot or cold for 32 hours or iced for 160 hours. That’s a whole lot of iced coffee or hot tea.
Cons: The bottle can sometimes leak when left sideways.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.