Updated May 2017
Warmer weather is approaching, and we updated our review as of May 2017 to include all the information you need to purchase a new bottle for summer. We added comparison charts and graphs to the individual product reviews, and we also reviewed accessories that can be added to each model. Plus, we reanalyzed the market, ensuring that our Editors' Choice winner is still the king of the hill.
Best Overall Water Bottle and Top Pick for Stainless Steel
Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Insulated
Many color options
Keeps beverages hot or cold for long periods of time
Doesn't retain flavors
Easy to clean
Hydro Flask is known for its bright, sleek, and simple bottle design. After a review of the 2017 market, the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth
checks all of the boxes needed to earn it out Editors' Choice award. No other models tout the ease-of-use and cleaning that the Hydro Flask boasts, and its durability and overall appeal won over our testers. Throughout long backcountry hikes, forays to the climbing gym, and jaunts around town, it carried everything from hot tea to ice water. For most excursions, it was by far our testers' favorite bottle. The wide mouth makes it is easy to drink from, fill up, and clean. Plus, a rounded rim isn't harsh on your lips and doesn't get hot when the bottle is filled with hot liquid. The soft, rubber carrying handle is simple and comfortable to hold. Hydro Flask also offers a variety of lid options, so you can fully customize your setup.
Read full review: Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth
Best Bang for the Buck
Wide mouth for easy filling
Diameter too big for cup holders
Wide mouth difficult to drink from when moving
The Nalgene Wide-Mouth
is our pick for the Best Value Award, as well as our top pick for plastic bottles. The simplicity of this bottle is unparalleled. It has been a longtime iconic staple in the world of water bottles and as a result, many bottle accessories (from water filters to backpack bottle sleeves) have been designed to fit with its distinctive mouth and shape. The Nalgene is also quite durable and easy to clean, and we loved the graduations on the bottle when cooking in the backcountry. Furthermore, the Nalgene's body doesn't impart strong flavors on its contents, nor significantly retain flavors from other liquids. Our Best Buy winner certainly deserves its popularity. With a variety of other sizes and shapes available, you can customize your choice to fit your needs.
Read full review: Nalgene Wide-Mouth
Top Pick for Collapsible Bottle
Not very durable
Difficult to clean
Though there were only two bottles in the collapsible category; the Platypus Softbottle
still won by a landslide. It is the lightest bottle we tested, easy to fill, even from a shallow stream, and collapses down to the size of an empty plastic bag. These features make it great for backpacking or climbing, where finding room in the pack is always a struggle. The Platypus does not stand up well on a table, but it is better suited for the great outdoors anyway. The bottle is difficult to clean since it has such a narrow mouth, but at only $8, the Platypus is perhaps not meant to last that long anyway.
Read full review: Platypus Softbottle
Top Pick for Glass Bottle
Lifefactory Glass Flip Cap
Nice shape for carrying
Durable silicone casing
Easy to clean
Problematic flip cap
Similar to the collapsible category, we only tested two glass bottles this year. One was the new Soma Bottle
and the other the Lifefactory Glass Flip Cap
, a tried and tested favorite. This year, we tested the Lifefactory flip-cap, which we liked less than the original simple lid design. Even so, the Lifefactory bottle proved to be the most durable and effective glass bottle. It works very well as a lifestyle bottle, while at the same time satisfying the increasing consumer demand for alternatives to plastic. Glass is widely accepted as being safe from chemical leaching. It fits well into car cup holders, as well as your hands, due to the comfortable silicone sleeve. We loved that it provides the portability of a water bottle, yet feels like drinking out of a glass in our kitchen. We were also very impressed when it passed our drop tests. With proper care, this bottle will last a very long time.
Read full review: Lifefactory Glass Flip Cap