What is the Best Water Bottle for Hiking? (Hydro Flask vs Klean Kanteen vs Nalgene)
So Many Options
With so many water bottle options available, you might be asking which one is the best for hiking. Here, we’ll review our favorites and let you know our recommendations.
We know you're busy, so here's the short-short version.
Keep reading the rest of the post or watch the video for more details.
Click the links below to see these products on Amazon.
The Best Water Bottles for Hiking - A Video Review
In this video, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of some of the most popular and iconic water bottles, including Nalgenes, Klean Kanteens, and Hydro Flasks. If you'd rather read through our recommendations, keep scrolling down for the full post (the video and written post cover the same info).
Our Recommendations for Water Bottles for Short Hikes (1-3 Hours)
Today we’re focusing on short hikes between 1-3 hours in length. For these length hikes, a large water bottle is usually enough to keep you hydrated.
If you’re looking for full-day or multi-day hydration solutions, that’s when you start getting into bladder packs and filtration systems. We’ll cover those in a future post.
When it comes to the bottle brand, we love the classics: Nalgenes, Klean Kanteens, and Hydro Flasks. These happen to be three of the more popular water bottle brands for outdoor enthusiasts, and for good reason.
There are TONS of other great brands and bottles out there, including YETIs, Takeyas (we LOVE Takeyas), and Camelbaks to name a few, but for the sake of time, we’re limiting our review to Nalgenes, Klean Kanteens, and Hydro Flasks because each one marked a new milestone in hydration bottles for hiking.
Nalgene: The Original Hiking-Focused Bottle
Nalgenes are the original reusable water bottles that focused on outdoor recreation, and they're still a great option today.
What about BPAs?
BPAs, or bisphenal A, are chemicals that have been linked to certain health issues. We're not medical experts, so we'll refer to the Mayo Clinic on this one.
There was a lot of press about BPAs in Nalgene bottles in the early 2000s, but they changed their manufacturing formulas in 2008 to make sure their bottles are all BPA-free.
Who Should Get a Nalgene?
Overall, we recommend getting a Nalgene if you’re trying to limit your spending or are very focused on carrying as little weight as possible. Even though they’re not the premium option on this list, they’re still great bottles that will keep you hydrated for many years. And they're also made in the USA if that influences your buying decision!
Klean Kanteens: The Original Stainless Steel Hiking-Focused Bottle
Klean Kanteens started around 2004 and were the first stainless steel bottles focused on hiking and outdoor recreation. They really started taking off when Nalgenes were in the news for BPAs. At first they had non-insulated bottles, but more recently they’ve expanded their line to include dual-wall vacuum sealed options.
The Newer, Better Klean Kanteen Handle
What about Klean Kanteen's Insulated TKWide Bottles?
Who Should Get a Klean Kanteen?
To sum it up, we recommend getting a Klean Kanteen if you want to avoid drinking out of a plastic bottle but still want to be cost-conscious.
Just remember that Klean Kanteen has a mix of insulated and non-insulated bottles, make sure to pay attention when buying to make sure you’re getting what you want. But either way we think you’ll be happy with one of these bottles.
Hydro Flask: The Premium Insulated Hiking-Focused Bottle
Hydro Flask is arguably the most popular water bottle on the planet in 2022. These bottles burst onto the scene in 2009 as one of the first major bottles with dual wall vacuum insulation. With a great product and a healthy dose of FOMO through social media, they became staples of certain subcultures.
Who Should Get a Hydro Flask?
We recommend getting a Hydro Flask if you want your drink to stay cool through your hike and if you want to get a specific color that fits your style.
But at the same time, we realize that Hydro Flasks are expensive, and some of the cost you pay is just for the logo on the front. Many people argue that you can get a better deal and more cap options with similar brands like Iron Flask, Thermoflask, or Takeya and they’re not necessarily wrong. But if you decide to invest in a Hydro Flask, we doubt you’ll be disappointed, and you’ll have a fantastic bottle that you can reuse for years to come.
What about Hydro Flask's Trail Series?
Slings: A Useful Add-On for Hands-Free Hiking
With any of these three bottle brands, we recommend also buying a carrying sling for hands-free hiking with your big bottle. At BottlePro, we have a couple options available, but there are plenty of other options to choose from in today’s market. Here are a few to consider, and look at the listings to be sure to make sure you're getting the right size for your bottle!
Want to take your favorite bottle to the next level?
Check out our Amazon store for fun and helpful accessories, like fruit infusers, cup holder adapters, and carrying slings.
Follow along as we tackle this tough, but fun hike!
Located in Palisade, Colorado off of G Road.
Hydration products we used (follow the links to Amazon)
1) Hydro Flask 40oz Wide Mouth
2) BottlePro Cup Holder Adapter
3) SplashPro Splash Guard
4) HikerPouch Leather Bottle Sling
After debuting just over 10 years ago, Hydro Flasks quickly gained traction as the go-to insulated water bottle. For many people, the simple benefit of having a bottle that is vacuum-insulated was enough of a selling point. For others, it's the clean, yet stylish design. Whatever the reason, Hydro Flask continues to build its following and shows no signs of slowing down.
It's only natural what happened next. A whole range of accessories have been developed with the goal of making life with these amazing but cumbersome bottles a little easier.
We here at BottlePro got involved in this niche early with our cup holder adapter, so we've seen it grow over the years, including new notable accessories coming available fairly often. Here are some of our favorites for the best accessories for Hydro Flasks in 2022 (focusing on 32 and 40 ounce bottles).
ACCESSORIES FOR GETTING AROUND
The most common accessories for Hydro Flasks involve making it easier to bring your bottle wherever your adventures take you. These include cup holders, bottles slings, and handles.
#1: Cup Holder Adapter
#2: Stylish Bottle Sling
#3: Heavy-Duty Bottle Sling
#4: Leather Bottle Sling
#5: Paracord Handle
ACCESSORIES FOR PROTECTION
Next, consider investing in something that can help keep your bottle looking great for years to come.
#6: Bottle Sleeve
#7: Bottle Boot
ACCESSORIES FOR FLAVOR AND ICE
Now that your bottle is easier to bring along with you on your adventures, it's time to think about ways to improve what you're actually drinking!
#7: Flavor Infuser
#8: Ice Alternative
#9: Splash Guard / Ice Stopper
ACCESSORIES FOR CLEANING
It's not the sexiest category, but you should certainly put some thought into cleaning your Hydro Flask.
#10: Brush Kit
Bonus: Bottle Tablet Cleaners
Hiking the Colorado National Monument, Independence Monument (And What we Used for hydration)
The Colorado National Monument is a relatively lesser-known park, at least compared to nearby Arches and Canyonlands in Moab, Utah. But as Grand Junction locals know, that almost makes it better. You won't get the massive crowds like you do around Moab, and the scenery is out of this world. Here's our recap of our hike on the amazing Independence Monument hike, starting from the lower trailhead.
Location, Parking, and Services
Hydration Products and Accessories We Used while Hiking
1) Iron Flask 40oz Wide Mouth (Fire): See on Amazon
2) BottlePro Cup Holder Adapter: See on Amazon
3) FlavorFuze Straw and Straw Lid Kit: See on Amazon
4) HikerPouch Leather Bottle Sling: See on Amazon
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