Which YETI Lid is the Best?
Rambler water bottles are one of YETI’s most popular and profitable product lines, due in no small part to how useful and versatile they are. YETI has designed six lid styles that are compatible with any wide-mouth Rambler bottle.
To be clear, the lids we’re talking about only fit YETI Rambler water bottles. We’re not talking about YETI’s tumblers, mugs, or new Yonder plastic bottles.
So the next logical question is, which YETI lid is the best?
Our goal with this post is to give you all the information you need to answer the more important question: which YETI lid is the best for you?
Which YETI Lid is the Best? (Video Review)
If you'd rather watch a video about this topic, then check out our YouTube video!
Or keep reading our full post below.
YETI has designed six (6) lids as of today: Standard, Chug, Straw, Hot Shot, Magdock, and Bottle Cup Cap.
YETI's Standard Lid
First is the one that started it all, YETI’s Standard Lid. This was the lid that came out when this water bottle series was initially released, and it’s still the one that comes with most YETI Ramblers bottles today.
We love the carrying handle. The rigid design is wide enough to fit three fingers, making it very comfortable and easy to hold.
The simple, no-frills design is very easy to use, and it’s also easy to clean.
This is the best option for anyone who has limited finger strength because the handle is easy to hold, and it lets you get a good amount of leverage to open the cap.
It’s also the most lightweight YETI cap at only 2.9 ounces.
There are a few main drawbacks. First, the lid is completely separate from the bottle, so it’s pretty easy to misplace or drop the lid, causing it to get dirty. It’s not like a Takeya, which has a connected spout cap.
Second relates to YETI’s Over-The-Nose technology, which in non-marketing terms just means they made the mouth opening about 1/2” wider than competitors like Hydro Flask. Because the opening is so wide, it’s notoriously easy to splash water in your face, especially if you’re in the middle of an activity like driving. And if you have ice in your bottle, all we can say is good luck.
So while we love the simplicity of the standard cap and how easy it is to use, it’s definitely the base design for a reason since it does not offer many benefits or uses compared to other lids.
YETI's Chug Cap
YETI’s Chug Cap is probably the most common replacement lid that people choose to use, and for good reason. It consists of two parts that we’ll call the base and the spout cap.
The most important and obvious benefit is how lid solves the glaring problem with the Standard Lid by making it much easier to take drinks of water without splashing water all over your face.
The handle is the same great design as the Standard Lid and is very comfortable and easy to hold.
Some drawbacks are that the spout cap comes completely off and is easy to misplace or drop.
At 6.5 ounces, this is the 2nd heaviest YETI lid.
There are more parts compared to the Standard Lid, so there is also more to clean, including an extra set of threads.
This is not as good of an option as the Standard Lid for people with limited gripping strength, mainly because the base is more difficult to get on-and-off.
Our previous video discussed a common problem we see in reviews about the chug cap, specifically that the threads can strip fairly easily. If you want to use a chug cap, we recommend watching that video to help minimize this potential problem.
While it may seem like we brought up a lot of drawbacks, the YETI Chug Cap is by no means a bad lid. It’s a solid improvement over the Standard Lid in many ways, and it’s our favorite lid for drinking regular water from YETI Ramblers that are 26 ounces or larger.
YETI's Straw Cap
The next cap we’re reviewing is YETI’s Straw Lid.
Like with most straw lids, it’s very easy to take sips of water, and there’s no chance of splashing water in your face provided that you keep the bottle upright.
The previous two caps require two hands to unscrew the lid while holding the bottle, but you can take one-handed sips with the Straw Lid. This makes it a great option for when you’re on the road.
The handle is the same comfortable, three-finger style as the Standard and Chug Lids. The only difference is that the handle is angled to the side some so you don’t hit your forehead when taking a drink, but we wouldn’t count this as a problem.
In our opinion, this is the best option if you’re planning to use ice or add flavorings like fruit to your bottle. You’ll keep everything out of your face, and the small straw opening is unlikely to plug up unless you have really small bits of ice or fruit.
If you’d like to flavor your water, consider using our FlavorFuze Straw infuser. We designed it for Hydro Flasks initially, but it also fits great on YETI’s Straw Lids.
Most of the drawbacks are similar to what you’d find with any straw lid. The straw grazes the bottom of the bottle, and you’ll need to remove the entire lid if you want to drink 100% of the water.
Also, they’re harder to clean than the previous lids. Make sure you have a straw cleaner, and even if you’re cleaning the straw regularly, it’s a good idea to replace the whole straw every once and awhile.
In conclusion, this is a good straw lid that can help make your life a little easier. We like this lid the most for hiking because it’s fairly lightweight compared to the other lids and prevents spills. We also like using this lid when we want to add ice or flavorings. In some ways YETI’s Straw Lid feels a little basic when compared to competitors like Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen who have made innovations that make them easier to clean or use less plastic. But basic isn’t necessarily bad, and this is certainly still a good lid.
Hot Shot Lid
Next is YETI’s Hot Shot Lid, which is their sip-style. It’s intended to be used with smaller bottles for coffee and tea.
It does a good job of limiting how much of your drink comes out at once, which is good when drinking something hot like coffee.
One cool feature is that you can take a sip from any side of the bottle, which is different than what you find with many competing sip lids that force you to line up your mouth with the opening. In this way, the Hot Shot is a very good option for drinking coffee while driving because you don’t have to worry about lining up your mouth with the bottle opening.
And YETI’s Hot Shot has fewer parts compared to some competitors like Hydro Flask’s Flex Sip. This makes it easier to clean and less likely to misplace or drop a piece.
It’s a fairly lightweight option at only 4.7 ounces, though this is technically the 4th heaviest YETI lid.
One obvious drawback is that the lid does not have the carrying handle that’s incorporated into the previous lids. We know the Hot Shot is intended to be used with smaller bottles that are easier to carrying in general, but having a handle always helps.
But the biggest drawback that some people will find with the Hot Shot lid is that it’s more difficult to use, even compared to some other sip-style lids we’ve tested. The rim around the top is great to drink from, but it doesn’t give you much room to get your fingers against the opening mechanism. People with limited finger strength or arthritis will most likely have issues using the Hot Shot lid.
This especially applies to cleaning the lid. To separate the two pieces, you have to twist even harder counterclockwise until you hear two clicks, and then the middle piece comes out.
To sum it up, this lid is a good option to use with YETI’s 12 or 18 ounce Ramblers when you want to sip on your coffee on the way to or at work, and we really like how you can sip from any angle. But other than that, this lid is just not as easy to use as some other sip-style lids that we’ve tested. And definitely don’t get this cap if you have limited hand strength.
YETI's Magdock Lid
Next is the Magdock lid. This is the lid we have been most excited to get our hands on because it seemed like an improved version of the Chug Cap, and we were not disappointed.
The spout is the same size as the Chug Cap, meaning you can get a good amount of water when you need it while also preventing spills.
The spout cap is textured for better grip, and it adds to the feel of a premium product.
But the most obvious improvement is incorporated into the name. The spout cap has a built-in magnet that allows it to securely connect to another magnet in the base, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love magnets? This makes it much easier to prevent accidentally dropping your spout cap, which was one of the main drawbacks with the Chug Cap.
One other cool feature that we hadn’t seen before is that the o-ring that seals the connection between the spout cap and the base is much easier to remove than with most seals we find in other bottles and caps. It even has a little built-in little handle that lets you pull it out very easily, and this makes cleaning your bottle much simpler.
At 4.6 ounces, this is the 3rd lightest YETI option.
The most glaring drawback is a biggie. The Magdock Lid doesn’t have a built-in handle. If you have smaller hands, then gripping YETI Ramblers that are 26 ounces and larger can be a challenge and not having a handle on the lid is a clear drawback.
But other than that, there’s not much we don’t like about the Magdock cap.
In conclusion, we really did like this lid. This is our favorite lid hydrating while at work or hanging around the house because it’s easier to keep the spout cap nearby and clean. It improves on most of the drawbacks with the Chug Lid, it’s easier to clean than the Straw Lid, and it’s easier to open and close than the Hot Shot Lid. But the fact that it doesn’t have a handle is a major drawback for larger bottles, especially for people with smaller hands. Consider getting a carrying pouch for your bottle, which then solves the problem of not having a handle.
YETI's Bottle Cup Cap
The last lid option that we’re reviewing has the most focused purpose. The Bottle Cup Cap essentially turns your YETI Rambler into a Stanley Classic Thermos. There are three pieces, the base, the spout cap, and the cup. Just unscrew the spout cap a little, and then you can pour your drink into the detachable cup.
The cap looks amazing. The stainless-steel cup has a heft and feel to it that definitely feels premium.
We haven’t officially tested this yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this cap has the best insulation properties compared to other YETI lids.
Because the insulation is probably so good, this is a great option if you’re sitting in the stands watching a sporting event on a chilly day, sitting around the firepit, or relaxing at a campsite.
But there are some key drawbacks to consider. First off, the lid is huge and bulky. At 12.7 ounces, it’s almost twice as heavy as the next heaviest cap.
In addition, this cap doesn’t have a handle to help manage all that extra weight and bulk.
And with a price tag of $30 today, it’s also the most expensive lid option by far. As of today, you can actually spend $5 less and get a 34-ounce Stanley Classic Thermos that serves the same purpose and has a handle built into the bottle.
Overall, while this is a really cool add-on for very specific scenarios, we think the Bottle Cup Cap is too situational and expensive for most people except the most die-hard YETI fans and collectors.
To bring it all together, here is our summary for each lid, including recommended best-uses.
The Standard Lid is a decent lid in general, particularly for hiking, but we think there are better options for most situations.
The Chug Lid has some good improvements over the Standard Lid and is our recommended option to use when you’re actively participating in a sporting event. It’s a little heavier, so it’s not as good for longer walks or hikes.
The Straw Lid is our recommended option for hiking or when you want to add ice or flavorings to your bottle.
The Hot Shot Lid is ideally used to drink coffee with smaller Ramblers, but it’s not a good option if you have limited hand strength or if you want to drink from a larger bottle.
The Magdock lid is our favorite all-around lid for every-day hydration, especially when pairing it with a carrying pouch so not having a handle isn’t as big of an issue.
And the Bottle Cup Cap is a good option when you’re lounging game-side or around the fire and want to sip at a warm drink, but other than that it’s not very practical.
Regardless of which cap you get, consider getting a cup holder adapter for your YETI Rambler to keep it securely by your side when you’re on the road. We just came out with our new-and-improved BottlePro Max adapter that fits all YETI Ramblers.
And that’s it! We hope this post has helped you decide which lid or lids you should get. Keep BottlePro in mind for accessories for your large bottles.
Which Insulated Bottle is the Best?
Insulated water bottles have been around for a long time, but in the last decade or so their popularity skyrocketed with brands like Hydro Flask and YETI. There’s no doubt that the dual-wall insulation technology in these bottles is a wonderful quality of life improvement compared to non-insulated bottles, especially if you live in a hot region.
But if you look on Amazon today, you can find dozens if not hundreds of brands selling similar insulated bottles. So many people ask, which water bottle has the best insulation?
We tested 10 popular water bottles to see how well they hold ice.
The Best Insulated Bottle - A Video Review
If you'd rather watch the results, then check out our YouTube video below!
We primarily focused on 32-ounce bottles because that size tends tend to be very popular, but we did use some other bottle sizes for certain brands based on what was available. We also included a couple non-insulated bottles as a baseline, a Stanley classic thermos to see how the older style compares, and a triple-wall bottle because we hadn’t tested one before and we were curious if it’s the next best thing.
(click an image below to see the bottle on Amazon)
Because the main purpose of an insulated water bottle is to maintain a temperature for longer periods throughout the day, we measured the weight of ice before and after the test as our main metric. We purchased an ice mold that creates larger sticks to limit the effect that surface area variations in different pieces of ice might have on the melting rate. Then we added one ice stick to each bottle and no water. After four hours, we poured the contents of each bottle into a strainer, then the remaining ice was dumped onto a scale. By comparing the weights of each ice stick before and after, we were able to get an idea of which bottle keeps ice the best. We then repeated this test three times and calculated the cumulative results.
Keep in mind that this experiment was intended just to give an idea if there are any major variations in insulation effectiveness. In an ideal experiment, we would have used a more accurate scale, used similar lids on all of the bottles, measured out the water into each ice mold to ensure the same volumes of ice were made, and used the same volume bottles across the board.
With the disclaimers out of the way, here are the results!
The cumulative results are summarized in the table below. You can see the percentage of ice that melted in the fourth column. A few things jumped out at us.
The Luxe and Stanley Original bottles are in a league of their own with 36% ice loss. One factor to keep in mind with the Luxe bottle is that it’s only 22 ounces, and the smaller volume of air likely made the result look better than it really was. We also haven’t tested or used this bottle at all other than with this insulation test, so we’re not quite ready to recommend it yet. Regardless, this initial test of the triple-wall insulation showed promise, and this type of bottle is worth looking into more. The Stanley result was interesting too, given that this type of bottle has been around for a long time and is basically the OG of insulated bottles.
After that, we have the Klean Kanteen TKWide, the YETI, Takeya, and Hydro Flask with between 49 and 52% ice loss. These results are very close and are certainly within the range of potential error, so there’s not much difference here.
Next is the Iron Flask at 55% ice loss. But keep in mind that we only had a 40oz Iron Flask to test, and the larger volume of air likely made the ice melt faster. Based on this consideration, we feel comfortable assuming that the Iron Flask’s insulation is essentially the same as the previous group.
ThermoFlask was the one outlier of the dual-wall insulation bottles. At 59% ice loss, ThermoFlask seemed to consistently test worse than the other similar bottles.
And the Nalgene and Klean Kanteen classic had the worst results, but given that these are single-wall bottles and not insulated, this result was to be expected. We mostly just included them in the test as a baseline because we could see when the ice had finished melting in the Nalgene, and we were curious if the single-wall stainless-steel design would do any better.
When we take a step back to think about these results overall, we can reach a few conclusions.
Klean Kanteen's Best Bottle?
Klean Kanteen quickly became one of the leading bottle brands when it burst onto the scene with its stainless-steel bottles in 2004. But more recently, other brands have caught up with, and in some cases overtaken, Klean Kanteen’s market share by introducing stylish bottles with dual wall insulation. In late 2020, Klean Kanteen finally released an insulated bottle called the TKWide series.
So was the TKWide bottle worth the wait? We purchased a 32-ounce TKWide with a chug cap to find out. We’ll let you know our thoughts and what you can expect if you buy one for yourself.
Hydro Flask's Flex Chug - A Video Review
If you'd rather watch a video, then check out our Youtube video below!
We’re fans of insulated bottles in general, so that’s a big plus. We’ll be testing the TKWide’s insulation in a future video to compare it against bottles like Hydro Flasks and YETIs, but we expect the insulation is good for most daily activities.
Size and Weight
The other thing we noticed right away is the size. This bottle is huge for a 32-ounce. It’s because of the Impact Base Cap adding another inch or so to the height. The bottle is also heavier than other 32-ounce bottles. A 32-ounce TKWide is a full 5 ounces heavier than a 32-ounce Hydro Flask, or about 32%. This isn’t a big deal most of the time, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re going hiking or on a long walk with your bottle.
When you take off the cap and look inside, you’ll find the comically large instruction booklet translated into 8 languages. There’s also a thank you note that reviews all the social programs and environmental commitments that Klean Kanteen is involved with, so if you’re into supporting environmentally-focused causes and companies then you’ll probably feel pretty good about your purchase.
For a completely plastic-free option, consider getting a 40-ounce non-insulated Klean Kanteen with the classic wide loop cap. Please note that this cap only fits Klean Kanteen’s wide mouth bottles with external threads, which does not include TKWides.
In conclusion, we really like Klean Kanteen’s TKWide bottle. It looks fantastic, is very durable, and has a premium feel that’s hard to describe. The minor issues like the weight and how the internal threads are more difficult to align than standard threads can be overlooked for the most part, though if you’re going on a long walk or hike, we recommend bringing a lighter bottle.
So overall, this is a great go-to bottle that will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Do you agree with our conclusion? Let us know!
Is Hydro Flask's New Flex Chug Lid Good?
Hydro Flask just released a brand new cap in late 2022. It’s called the Flex Chug, and it’s Hydro Flask’s first true spout-style chug lid. We ordered one, and we have been testing it for a few days, and we’ll let you know our initial impressions as well as what to expect if you’re thinking about buying one for yourself.
Hydro Flask certainly needed a chug-style lid to compete with ones that many of their competitors already have, including ThermoFlask and Takeya. But while we’re fans of most Hydro Flask products and have built our company around making complementary products for Hydro Flasks, we have to admit that we think they missed the mark on the Flex Chug cap.
Hydro Flask's Flex Chug - A Video Review
If you'd rather watch a video than read our post, then check out our Youtube video below!
What We Like
What We Don't Like
So overall the Flex Chug cap is an OK option and does a decent job at what it’s designed for, but we wish that Hydro Flask had taken some of the aspects of other proven spout lids and incorporated them into their design.
Do you agree with our conclusion? Let us know!
Are Narrow or Wide Bottle Openings Better?
When you’re buying a reusable bottle, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether to get a narrow mouth or wide mouth bottle. Virtually all bottle brands have narrow mouth and wide mouth options, so this is something you’ll need to think about whether you’re looking to buy a Hydro Flask, Nalgene, or any of the countless other bottle brands on the market today. We’re going to review the main factors you should be thinking about when making your decision. And spoiler alert, we have a pretty strong opinion on this one.
Please note that some bottle brands have different terminologies. For example, Hydro Flask has a “standard mouth,” and that’s what we would classify as a narrow mouth design.
Links are given to the Amazon listings for each product. Thanks for your support!
Narrow Mouth vs Wide Mouth - A Video Review
If you'd rather watch a video than read our post, then check out our Youtube video below! We review the same information and give our recommendation on whether narrow mouth or wide mouth bottles are better.
Factor #1 – How Easy is it to Drink from a Narrow vs Wide Mouth Bottle?
One of the most common reasons that someone might prefer a narrow mouth is that it’s easier to take sips of your drink, and this is certainly true with the base bottle. With wide mouth bottles it’s not uncommon to take a sip of water and accidentally splash yourself in the face. Then don’t be surprised when your friends and family make an Airplane reference about having a drinking problem. Narrow mouth bottles help prevent this issue.
But if you have a wide mouth bottle, you can easily avoid this problem by purchasing a different style lid, like a straw, sip, or chug style. For Hydro Flasks, see our videos reviewing their Flex Straw and Flex Sip lids to take a closer look. Or get a splash guard, like a SplashPro for Hydro Flasks, or Guyot or Watergate for Nalgenes.
So all-in-all, there’s not much of a difference here between narrow and wide mouth bottles, other than the small cost you might run into if you’re buying a different lid or splash guard.
Lids to Prevent Spills
Alternative: Splash Guards
Factor #2 – How Easy is it to Clean a Narrow vs Wide Mouth Bottle?
First off, regardless of which bottle you use, we highly recommend getting a bottle brush to help make cleaning your big bottle more easy. But in general, you’ll find narrow mouth bottles more difficult to clean than wide mouth bottles.
Narrow mouth bottles limit the size of a bottle brush you can fit, and with smaller brushes, the bristles usually aren’t long enough to easily reach the spot where the bottle widens just under the neck. Wide mouth bottles can fit bigger brushes with longer bristles, so it’s easier to clean this area.
So when it comes to ease of cleaning, wide mouth bottles are the clear winners.
Factor #3 – Adding Ice and Flavorings
Many people like to add ice or flavorings to their water to change things up, but if you get a narrow mouth bottle, you’re really limiting what you can do. Adding ice is more tedious, and that’s if your ice cubes even fit. Some bottles, like narrow mouth Nalgenes, have really small openings that don’t even fit most standard ice cubes. And odds are you won’t have an easy time adding fruit or tea leaves since most infusers won’t fit. You can add liquid flavorings and flexible tea bags to narrow mouth bottles, but that’s about it.
Wide mouth bottles are much more versatile than narrow mouth bottles. Its easier to add ice, fruit and tea infusers, and other natural flavorings. Our FlavorFuze Pod fruit infuser fits great in most wide mouth bottles, and you can fit many common tea infusers as well. So when it comes to adding ice or other flavorings, wide mouth bottles are better than narrow mouth bottles.
Accessories to Add Flavoring (Narrow Mouth)
Accessories to Add Flavoring (Wide or Narrow Mouth)
Be sure to check your bottle's mouth diameter before buying an infuser. But in general, most popular wide mouth bottles tend to have mouth openings that are at least 2.0 inches diameter. So get infusers that are less than 2" around and you should be good.
What about the Cost?
You might be asking if narrow mouth or wide mouth bottles are more expensive, but the opening style really is not much of a factor. The variables that make the most impact on the bottle cost are the brand and bottle size, not the opening style.
So when it comes to deciding whether narrow or wide mouth bottles are better, our opinion is that wide mouths are the clear winners. They’re easier to clean, they’re more versatile when it comes to adding ice and flavorings, and you can make it just as easy to take sips as a narrow mouth bottle by getting the right lid or splash guard.
Do you agree with our recommendation? Let us know!
What's the Big Deal with Hydro Flasks?
Today we’re answering the question, why are Hydro Flasks so popular and expensive, and are they still worth it in 2022 and 2023? Are Hydro Flasks good, and are they worth the price?
At BottlePro, we’ve been involved in the niche world of large water bottles since we released our first cup holder adapter in 2015, so we’ve seen and tested our fair share of bottles. Here we’ll give you a quick history of Hydro Flask, and by the end of it you’ll know more than you thought you ever needed to know about water bottles. Then we’ll give our thoughts and recommendations about Hydro Flasks in particular, and we’ll also let you know some good alternatives to Hydro Flasks in 2022 and 2023, especially if you’re looking for a gift for the Holidays.
We know you're busy!
If you're looking for less expensive alternatives to Hydro Flask, here are some of our favorites.
Keep reading the rest of the post or watch the video for more details.
Click the links below to see these products on Amazon
Why are Hydro Flasks so Popular and Expensive, and What are Good Alternatives? (A Video Review)
If you'd rather watch a video than read a post, you're in luck! In this video, we review the history of Hydro Flasks and give our recommendations on whether it's still worth buying one in 2022 or 2023. We'll also let you know some good alternatives. The video mostly reviews the same info as the blog post below.
What's with big water bottles?
For most people, water bottles are not a huge part of their life or their daily routine. But many people won’t leave their house without their favorite water bottle by their side, and this group of people is growing every day. Large reusable water bottles are winning over an increasing number of people for many reasons, with the most common being to improve hydration habits, to limit plastic waste, and to keep a cool drink nearby on a hot day (or vice-versa).
Even if you don’t think much about bottles, we bet you’ve noticed more and more people carrying around awkwardly-large water bottles, particularly in the last 5-10 years. The bottle brand with the most meteoric rise in popularity during that period is without a doubt Hydro Flask. But when you first look up Hydro Flask, one of the first things you’ll notice is the price tag. And today, with high inflation and an economic downturn, budgeting is becoming more essential for many people and families.
Which makes many people ask, why are Hydro Flasks so popular and expensive? And are Hydro Flasks still worth buying in 2023?
When did Hydro Flasks Become Popular?
Before Hydro Flask, the most common reusable water bottles that focused on the outdoor recreation industry were plastic bottles, like Nalgenes, or single-wall stainless steel bottles like Klean Kanteens. Both bottle types have their own benefits and drawbacks, which we go into more detail in our previous post. There were also some insulated bottles like Stanleys, but they had a mostly rugged design that focused on utility. Each bottle brand had a loyal following in the outdoor recreation community, and to many outsiders it seemed like the market was saturated.
But then came along Hydro Flask, and everything changed. The company was founded in 2009 and quickly began building a cult-like following of devoted users in the outdoor recreation community, particularly in Hawaii and on the western US coastal states. The company moved to Bend, Oregon, which is where Hydro Flask is still headquartered today.
By 2012 as Hydro Flask really started gaining popularity, you may have started noticing people, usually Gen Z’s or Young Millennials, carrying these bottles. Popularity continued to steadily increase until it peaked in 2019, when the Gen Z the subculture known as “VSCO girls” received a lot of press and attention.
Since peaking in 2019, Hydro Flask’s search popularity based on Google Trends has fallen significantly. But the trend curve has mostly leveled off and continues to be significant, vastly out-performing previous market leaders like Nalgene and Klean Kanteen.
Why did Hydro Flasks Become so Popular?
Even when you know that Hydro Flasks are popular, that still doesn’t answer the question of why they became popular. So how did Hydro Flask become such a staggering success as a brand and company? There are a few reasons, including having a high-quality product, marketing very effectively, and honestly, having some lucky timing.
Hydro Flask had a great product, but so did many other similar bottle brands at the time. Nalgenes had color options and are very durable. Klean Kanteens had the easy-to-clean, plastic and BPA-free stainless steel option covered. Stanleys and other thermos-style mugs had insulation. But Hydro Flask was the first company to effectively combine all those benefits into one bottle.
Even still, the rise of Hydro Flask cannot be fully explained without also considering the rise of social media, particularly Instagram. Instagram was launched in 2010, and it quickly became the must-have app for younger generations. With Hydro Flask starting around the same timeframe and targeting similar customers, they were a natural fit. Hydro Flask began gaining traction from influencers, followers, and fans posting pictures of their colorful bottles, and with a healthy dose of FOMO, Hydro Flasks quickly became the go-to water bottles for eco-conscious Gen Z’s and Millennials.
There is no doubt that Hydro Flask would not have become as widespread and popular without Instagram.
Of course, all those factors don’t matter without execution, and you really have to hand it to Hydro Flask with what they accomplished. The company is a great example of what effective planning and execution can accomplish with a little bit of luck and timing.
Is a Hydro Flask Worth Buying in 2023?
So now you know more than you ever thought you needed to know about the history of Hydro Flask. The original question remains: is a Hydro Flask still worth buying in 2023? With a price tag of roughly $50 for their 40oz, it’s a sizeable purchase for most people and families.
The answer is a little subjective and depends on your situation.
If you’re doing OK financially and you want to buy a great product that will last for many years, it’s hard to go wrong with a Hydro Flask. They make great products, and we’ve been using Hydro Flasks for over a decade. Invest in a 32oz or 40oz bottle and you’ll find it much easier to stay hydrated wherever you go, and you’ll look great doing it. Or if you really want a well-known bottle brand but aren’t into Hydro Flasks, consider YETI, which also makes a great range of bottles that are at similar price points.
But it’s almost 2023, not 2012. Back in 2012, there weren’t many other alternatives for insulated, colorful water bottles. Nowadays, we see new bottle brands pop up every month. And honestly, many of them are just as good as Hydro Flasks and come with more accessories, all for a lower price.
Cost for the Logo
Based on what we’ve seen, you can just think of Hydro Flask’s logo as $10-$20 of your purchase. For many people, why spend that extra cost when you can get a great bottle from a company like Iron Flask, ThermoFlask, Takeya, Simple Modern, COLDEST, RTIC, or Hydro Cell (and on and on and on).
What are Good Alternatives to Hydro Flask in 2023?
With the ever-expanding list of companies selling Hydro Flask ripoffs, we recommend sticking to the established competitors to make sure quality is up to par. Here are a few of our favorite alternatives to Hydro Flask in 2022 and looking ahead to 2023. We stuck to 40oz bottles for consistent comparisons.
Gift for Two (or a Spare for You!)
There are a lot of water bottle options in 2022, with more certainly coming onto the market in 2023. Many of these are great alternatives to expensive Hydro Flasks. But while each person may have their own reasons to buy from one brand or another, we believe the best water bottle is the one you’re using (as long as it’s reusable). Get a bottle for yourself, a friend, or a family member, and it’ll help improve hydration habits while also minimizing plastic waste from single-use bottles. And those are both wonderful reasons to invest $20-$50 in a new bottle that you can reuse for years to come.
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.
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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!
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
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