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
In stores everywhere, Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth
is sweeping the water bottle shelves with their colorful, sleek, and simple water bottle designs. No bottle compares to the ease of use and cleaning, the durability, and the overall appeal of the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Vacuum Insulated bottle. We carried this bottle on long hikes in the backcountry with hot tea, used it around town, brought it to the climbing gym with ice water, and the bottle remained our favorite by far. It is easy to drink out of, fill up, and clean because of its wide mouth. The rounded rim is comfortable 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.
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.
Top Pick for Collapsable 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.
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 being 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.