After 1 Year of Testing 5 Top Brands, I Think This is The Best Water Bottle on the Market!

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I tested the best water bottles on the market to find the very best one. And the winner is…

woman drinking out of white hydroflask water bottle

Drink up! 💦

With so many water bottles on the market and so many different price ranges, it can be tough to know which is really the best water bottle to buy. That said, I’ve tested out some of the most highly-rated options over the last year and I’m sharing which ones are really worth it!

row of gray white blue and pink various brand water bottles

From spendy bottles like YETI and Hydro Flask to less than $8 finds at Walmart, here’s what I liked and didn’t like about all of them after using them on a weekly basis over the last year!

If I had to put all of my water bottles on a rating scale, here’s how I would rate them:

  • #1Hydroflask – great performance, style, and durability.
  • #2Ozark Trail – great performance and style. Durability could be better, but for the price, you can’t beat it!
  • #3Yeti – great performance, style, and durability. A smaller bottle is next on my list to test!
  • #4 Takeya – Not as great of a performance, but the most functional for kids.
  • #5 ThermoFlask – Not the most durable option, difficult to clean, and performance wasn’t the best either.

Here’s more on what I thought of each!

1. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle (The Winner! 🥇)

The trendiest bottle on the market. 

white hydro flask bottle sitting on table

There’s no denying that Hydro Flask is one of the most popular water bottle choices for basically anyone nowadays and if you’re just as concerned with the aesthetics of your bottle as the performance, then the 32oz. Hydro Flask is your answer!

While this bottle is also a top performer, the simple and sleek design is what initially won me over. Plus, I love that the new designs are able to be put in the dishwasher making maintenance a breeze! Ever since it arrived, I’ve claimed this bottle mine for the last year!

woman holding white hydro flask bottle

Here are some of my favorite things about the Hydro Flask bottle:

  • The sleek design is my favorite out of all the bottles I tested.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Softest handle & most comfortable to carry.
  • Never leaked or sweat.
  • Kept water cold.
  • Straw lid option
  • Protective boots for the bottom.
  • Customized colors & personalization are available.
  • Keeps my water icy cold all day.

A couple of things I don’t like about it:

  • Still more expensive than I’d like to pay.
  • I’m worried the softer grip handle won’t last as long as other bottles with a more durable frame, but so far so good.
  • It may not fit in some car cup holders.

1+ year update:

I absolutely LOVE my Hydro Flask Bottle! At first, I was worried the handle wouldn’t hold up well over time with constant dishwashing as it feels softer & less durable compared to the YETI. However, it still looks brand new, has an incredible seal, and is my go-to bottle anytime I leave the house! I actually even drove off with it on top of my car before (not recommended) and it got away with zero dents or scratches! Incredible! 

From my most recent photo above, you can see just how well it’s held up! 😍

2. Ozark Trail Water Bottle

The most inexpensive, durable bottle. 

hand holding dark gray ozark trail water bottle

If you want to spend a minimal amount of your hard-earned money, then Ozark Trail is a tough competitor priced under $8! 😱 This insulated water bottle may be cheap, but there’s nothing cheap about its awesome performance. I actually found this 24 oz. bottle to keep ice frozen for the longest time out of all of them!

man holding black water bottle in store

In fact, now Ozark’s water bottles are incredibly similar to Hydro Flask with their new & improved design. 😍 I also appreciate that they added a stainless steel bottom too, similar to Yeti, so no worries over paint chipping!

I truly feel like this bottle has the best of both worlds now! 👏🏻

*Note that the design I tested in this post is sold out and while I haven’t tried their newly designed bottle, I expect it to perform on par with my design given the 300+ raving reviews. 🙌🏻

row of different colored ozark trail water bottles on store cash register belt

Here are some of my favorite things about the Ozark Trail bottle:

  • Lowest price on the market.
  • Keeps drinks icy cold the longest out of all the bottles I tried.
  • Has an almost identical design and color options to YETI & Hydro Flask.
  • Top-rack, dishwasher safe.
  • Fits in my car cup holder.
  • Easy to grip and drink out of.
  • Never leaked or sweat.

A couple of things I don’t like about it:

  • I noticed some small chipping on the gray paint after a few uses.
  • The lid doesn’t go on as smoothly as other wide-mouth bottles. (Although, I have yet to try the new design!)

Hip Tip: If you’re considering this water bottle, check out Lina’s deeper dive in comparing the Ozark Trail bottle up against Hydro Flask!

1+ year update:

We sadly don’t have this water bottle anymore – it began to chip all over and had a few dents. Although it’s super great at keeping water cold, it was more difficult to put the lid on and take it off and certainly isn’t kid-friendly! Since it was my son’s water bottle, we ended up replacing it with the Takeya bottle I shared above. However, I still stand by Ozark Trail being a cheap alternative to YETI & Hydro Flask if you’d like to save quite a few bucks! Plus, I love the new design of their bottles even more now!

3. YETI Rambler Bottle

The most heavy-duty bottle money can buy. 

woman holding dark gray yeti water bottle

This was the biggest and most expensive water bottle that I tried. Hello, $50… GULP! 😳 And while the 36 oz. is also a tank to lug around, it’s simply awesome and looks brand new over 365 days later! I’ve really got to give it to YETI – from the design to the durability, they truly thought of everything!

Speaking of design, they even changed their standard insulated bottles to now come with their innovative chugging cap to make drinking easier! That’s a $12.99 value that now comes standard! SWEET!

Here’s what I thought about the YETI Rambler Bottle overall:

hand holding large yeti water bottle

Here are some of my favorite things about the YETI bottle:

  • Easiest handle to grip & open.
  • Never leaked or sweat.
  • Kept water cold.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Easy to grip exterior “DuraCoat”.
  • Stainless bottom (no color chipping over time).
  • MagDock lid option.

A couple of things I don’t like about it:

  • It’s the most expensive option.
  • I need two hands to drink from the 36 oz. size.
  • It may not fit in some car cup holders.
  • It’s the heaviest bottle out of all the ones I tried.

1+ year update:

Overall, I’m really impressed with my YETI Rambler. The price is well worth it – you certainly get what you pay for! As you can see from my recent photo above, it shows very little wear and tear on the outside and still has a perfect seal after tons of uses and washes through the dishwasher.

4. Takeya Water Bottle

The most kid-friendly water bottle.

hand holding pink lid with takeya water bottle in background

Takeya Water Bottle, 18 oz. $17.99

Not only am I a fan of this bottle, but so are my kids! The screw-top is by far the easiest one to open and close and there’s no fussing with the perfect angle to get it back on with a great seal, which is so important for kids and preventing leaks – even more so now that mine are back in school all day! The 18 oz. bottle that I tried was also pretty easy to tote around thanks to the ergonomic handle.

We have loved it so much, I recently bought a second one for my son!

woman holding pink and black takeya water bottles

Here are some of my favorite things about the Takeya bottle:

  • Silicone boot comes standard (also comes off easily for cleaning).
  • The lid is easy to unscrew and put back on.
  • Kid-friendly design.
  • The adjustable handle is easy for carrying and storing away.
  • Good price point.
  • Easy to drink out of with one hand.
  • Never leaked or sweat.
  • Fits easily in car cup holders.

A couple of things I don’t like about it:

  • Handwash only.
  • The lid is a bit more of a hassle to clean.
  • Wasn’t the greatest at keeping drinks cold.

1+ year update:

This water bottle is perfect for kiddos! I have even snuck ours in the dishwasher numerous times and it’s held up incredibly well! Both my son and daughter take theirs to school every day and the silicone bottom is perfect for keeping it in place on his desk and it’s super easy to unscrew and drink from. Plus, over the summer, they saw a fair share of usage between camping, the pool, and everything in between!

5. Thermoflask Water Bottle

The most extras for your money water bottle. 

woman holding blue thermoflask water bottle with straw lid

This 18 oz. water bottle is the best value as far as extra features go! With two included lids and an extra straw, it’s definitely got the most bang for your buck! I found the biggest downfall with this bottle to be the lid which doesn’t adjust. However, if you don’t mind taking up a little extra room in your cabinet, then this one will suit all of your needs just fine.

hand holding blue water bottle on top of stripe blanket

Here are some of my favorite things about the Thermoflask bottle:

  • Comes with 2 different lids and an extra straw.
  • Easy to grip with one hand and drink out of.
  • Great price.
  • Fits in my car cup holder.
  • Never leaked or sweat.

A couple of things I don’t like about it:

  • The handle isn’t adjustable so it takes up more room in cabinets.
  • Not as many color choices as the other brands.
  • Handwash only.
  • Wasn’t the greatest at keeping drinks cold.

Hip Tip: If you’re a Costco member, you can score a two-pack of Thermoflask bottles priced at just $27.99 – making these bottles just $13.99 each! And as an even bigger bonus, I noticed that their model comes with a lid that looks adjustable and even has a convenient silicone bottom. 👏🏻

woman pointing at blue chipped water bottle

1+ year update:

Although this water bottle is the most bang for your buck, it hasn’t held up the best over the last year. Even with handwashing, the blue paint is chipping at the bottom and the body of the water bottle also has seen some small dents

It was going strong until my son asked for a new water bottle, so to the donation pile it went! Considering it had the chipped paint and didn’t keep the water very cold, I think there are many other better & affordable options to consider for long-term use.

Here’s how they all stood up to my ice challenge:

hand holding bowl of ice cubes with water bottles on counter in the background

I placed 6 whole ice cubes in each bottle. I checked each bottle every 2 hours for 8 hours straight, starting my test at 10:30 AM taking notes every 2 hours, and ending at 6:30 PM.

Here’s what I discovered…

various brand water bottles with bowl of melted ice in front of it

It’s pretty clear to see that Ozark Trail (the cheapest competitor amongst the group) dominated in the ice challenge with almost 6 whole cubes still intact and barely any melting. The two most popular brands, YETI and Hydro Flask, performed about the same, and given that their capacity to hold water is slightly bigger than the rest of the bottles, I still say they held up pretty well!

That said, the less expensive brands, ThermoFlask and Takeya did pretty poorly in comparison and were actually the smallest bottles I tested. ThermoFlask only had about 2/3 to 1/4 of ice remaining and sadly, Takeya totally bombed the challenge with almost no ice remaining after the 8 hours.

The Hydro Flask bottle wins my yearly update!

woman holding white hydro flask bottle

After using all of these highly-rated water bottles for over a year, I have to give it to Hydro Flask as my best overall pick! Yes, they’re slightly more pricey than some of the other brands I tested but the performance and quality are unparalleled and worth the extra money if you’re looking to keep your water bottle around for a while. That said, I don’t think you could go wrong with 4 out of the 5 water bottles I tested!

BONUS TIP: If you’re buying a handwash-only bottle…

hand holding blue bottle brush in kitchen over sink

I did a lot of research on bottle brushes and I came across this innovative option. It’s long enough to reach into any bottle for easy cleaning and I love the stainless handle so you can assure that it’s going to be durable enough to last a long time. (I’ve had mine for over two years now!)

Most importantly, it’s designed to stand on its own which makes it a more sanitary and cleaner choice as well. 🙌🏻

Check out more fun product reviews from our team!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 60

  1. Jen

    In case anyone is interested in good non-insulated options…
    I’m a big fan of Nalgene, Kleen Kanteen , and Sigg brands. I’ve been using the same Nalgene bottles for 16 years, and we’ve had the same Nalgene sippy cups for 9+ years. The Sigg bottles we have used 12 years… One is starting to chip paint where I’ve dropped and dented it, the other one is still like new.

    • Jackie

      Klean kanteen has insulated version also, very good quality.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the helpful review, Jen! Good to know which brands you’ve liked best!

    • Love deals!

      I’m a big fan of Nalgene, too!

  2. Betsy

    We bought our Thermo Flask water bottles on sale at Costco several months ago. They are holding up great (I have 4 kids and a husband who is a pilot and uses his for work).

    Ours ARE top rack dishwasher safe.

    They came with a rubber boot on the bottom and are essentially a Hydro Flask minus the cost. Plus they fit it in the cup holders in our vehicles! I have seen them on clearance the last few times I’ve been at Costco (MN).

    My kids have dropped theirs often and they still look good.

    I highly recommend them.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for the recommendation, Betsy! Happy they have held up so well!

  3. Jennine

    One way to tell Hydo flask is indeed your fav. The same positive was said twice about it 🙂 •It did a good job at keeping my water cold. • keeps my water icy cold all day.

  4. xoxos

    Surprised to not see Buzio on your list. I have a 40oz that I can fill with a few ice cubes and cold water in the morning and still have some ice and cold water left in the evening. And if I don’t finish the water by bedtime, I wake up to nice cold water still the next day.

    • Jessica

      me too- my favorite one !

  5. animity

    My Hydroflask has so many dents from dropping it. I hate that I spent so much money to have a product that dents so easily.

    • BlueWaterGirl

      I’m laughing because how often do you drop your water bottle? I’ve never! Don’t get mad at a company who makes a good product that you keep “dropping”.

    • E

      I drop my water bottles or my kids drop mine often enough. My kid broke the bottom off of a sip/swell water bottle. Cracked off on concrete.

    • Elizabeth M.

      We invested in the sleeve for our larger Hydroflasks both to help minimize denting and to help with carrying them. They are the large 64 ounce ones so you’re bound to drop them. The sleeves are available on their site and on Amazon.

    • Angie

      I am with you! My toddler has dropped mine and the paint is chipping if it’s not dented. Every family member has a dent in theirs because it only takes one fall when full to have it dented.

  6. Blue

    We really like the RTIC brand. Keeps ice for the day, holds up to rough handling (trucks, tractors, equipment) and hasn’t dented or chipped after several years of use.

  7. crustycat

    My family and I must be in the minority. We all have Yeti’s and don’t think they perform well at all. They don’t keep things hot or cold nearly as long as the Bubba cups from Walmart or any other cups we have for that matter.

    • Halley

      I was just going to add about Bubba mugs! We have the cups with lids and straws and we love them! And the ice lasts for hours. And I agree about yeti, I invested a chunk of change on a big for my husband and it doesn’t stay hot as long as my 10$ contigo( for coffee)

    • JD827

      Consumer Reports didn’t think they did either. March 2021 issue They rated the travel mugs that stayed hottest the longest. Zojirushi stayed hot 13.5 hours. Thermos for 7.5 hours. Bubba 5.5 hours. Yeti 4.5. Our family uses Bubba and love them. My drinks are icy cold all day. I put the tumbler in the bottom of the dishwasher and the top in the upper rack-two years and going strong.

      • Winnie

        I have many zojirushi bottles. Love them

    • Steph

      I agree with you. The Bubba keeps water cold and there is still ice at the end of the day.

  8. Samantha

    Another brand that I like bc of the various sizes, colors and lid options: simple modern

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the suggestion, Samantha!

  9. clemsonspalding

    I use RotoScrub drill powered bottle bush to clean my water bottles and it works great!

  10. MH

    Thanks for the great review. Any thoughts on which stand up the best to getting continually DROPPED? Like do any of them literally have thicker metal? It’s annoying when you drop it once and it’s crooked for life.

  11. Breanna

    I prefer my Hydroflask over my Yeti!

  12. Jackie

    I like my insulated kleen kanteen.

  13. Ruthie

    I have used all the above mentioned brands…and I do LIKE my hydroflask….but I LOVE my corksicle the most.

    • Jackie

      I have a corksicle and haven’t tried it. Good to know :). There are so many brands out there!

  14. eileenmccartybranham

    Yeti with the water bottle lid. Best ever

  15. TR

    I’ve been using hydro flask for years and had NO idea it was dishwasher safe. Is this new or have they always been dishwasher safe? 😂😅

  16. Karen B

    We really like the Bubba bottle with straw from walmart. About $15 for a 40 oz I take to the gym. I does dent but I don’t care about that.
    My daughter prefers hydroflask but that is more of a name brand thing because she is a teen. My youngest does fine at school with the Thermoflask kids bottles. The lids don’t leak and are easy to get on and off for a 7 year old.

    • JD827

      Those are our favorite too. They hold so much but still fit in my car cup holder. Budget friendly and dishwasher friendly as well.

  17. Jody Paul

    Maybe next time you can test the Zojirushi!!

    • JD827

      See Consumer Reports March 2021:
      They rated the 16 oz travel mug. Zojirushi $25 was Top Performer Stays hot for 13.5 hours
      5/5 Temperature Retention
      4/5 Cleaning
      5/5 Gasket removal
      5/5 Gasket replacement
      I had never heard of this brand but it sounds great.

      • Jody Paul

        There have been days that I put hot water in my salsa Richey and it’s still hot the next morning so I believe it is rated the top one

      • Jody Paul

        I have several other ones like a yeti, Takya , Hydro flask, and bubba and the Zojirushi outperforms all of them.

  18. Allyson

    Takeya is our favorite. We have several of them. Ours keep water cold for 12+ hours. I’ve given them as gifts before also.

  19. Deedie Edwards

    I love S/M Simple Modern, they have their own site and you can also buy on Amazon…about $25, quite a few colors/designs/styles , get a boot with it, pick the style of lid that you want. Fits in my cupholder but not everyone’s but I have a 40 oz, but they have smaller ones. I fill mine up in the morning and I’m not kidding, the next morning…there’s still ice!

  20. Joan S.

    You left out the most important detail on the bottles you tested.
    Country of Origin .
    Which ones are Made In China?
    I will not buy any made in China!

    • JD827

      Nalgene is USA made but not metal. If you want a metal one made in the USA than it is only Liberty Bottleworks. I have never had one so can’t tell you anything more than buy at Amazon.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the request! I have passed this along to the team!

  21. Meg

    Owala! Their free sip lid is the best, you can chug or sip. I also like the hydro cell ones from Amazon. I’ve found I drop them if they are too wide so while I wanted one that held more water, I found the narrow ones that fit in your car cup holder are easiest to hold.

  22. Peaches

    I have that same battle brush and one of its really nice features is that you can get replacement brush heads for it. Less waste, less expense. I’m partial to my 24 ounce Contigo West Loop as the lid is leakproof, spillproof. It fits in my car cupholder and if I drop it while driving I don’t have to worry about a mess when I can finally pick it up.

  23. lauren

    I got a “hydra flow”, which I guess is the knock off of hydroflask, from Beall’s outlet. It was $15 for a 34 oz and seems to do a great job so far. However, the straw is really hard to get liquid out of. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to burst a vessel in my face from trying to suck the water out! lol! Is this an issue with these stainless steel water bottles, or am I doing something wrong?

  24. Mary

    Surprised you didn’t review SWIG, people are obsessed around here with all their different varieties of tumblers, travel mugs and water bottles.

  25. Dkp91576

    I love my S’Well bottles. I have 40 oz Roamers for road trips and a bunch of the Travelers and Water Bottles and have had no issues, except for a bit of peeling on some of the funky color ones. But the bottle doesn’t sweat, ice cubes stay frozen for 4 hours and coffee is hot during my work hours. Their customer service is also amazing. A few of my caps lost the screw and I called them. They sent me a few different options for free, sip, straw and clip closed. I didn’t even know they had that many options lol.

  26. Bethany

    Owala is another amazing brand! I was introduced to it late last year, and it is wonderful at keeping drinks cold!

  27. Rich

    I prefer Tervis for the great designs and licenses like MLB, NFL, Star wars, The Office etc.

  28. Nananu

    I have had my Liquid Savvy bottle for several years. I absolutely love this bottle. Doesn’t sweat, I bought it specifically for Girl Scout Camp and bought one for the co-leader. We both still use them daily. Doesn’t dent easily and color doesn’t chip, both had several falls, of course it’s camp. Came with 3 lid options. They were $16-18 five years ago for 32 oz.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you, Nananu!

  29. Cece

    I’m sad to not see Contigo on here. I absolutely love my Contigo Fit 32oz. auto spout bottle. I’ve never tested the ice, but it’s definitely similar to the Ozark. Unfortunately mine gets dropped daily with my kids and not a single dent even with the occasional bounce across the floor. Plus, the customer service is exceptional! Full replacement if something breaks.

  30. Jody Paul

    I wish you would test the Zojirushi . I have compared all of the bottles you have tested and the Zojirushi is the best. It also jade the best features like a locking lid.

  31. Kristina Woods

    Owala makes some awesome ones

    • 3boys

      Takeya was my favorite, but after winning a Owala FreeSip, I LOVE Owala! I’ve bought 3 of them to give to my kids. One son is a runner, so he’s using a water bottle everyday, he also loves the Owala FreeSip.

      • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

        We have an awesome Owala water bottle deal if you click here!

        • KimNell


  32. KimNell

    Jennifer your comment does don’t include a link.

  33. Michelle

    Can anyone rate the Owala stainless steel water bottle?

  34. Adina Hirschmann

    Nobody tested a bottle with a fliptop. I have an Aquatix 32-oz bottle with a silicone boot and flip top lid that I can open with just one hand. The spring action was fast enough. And the opening is generously sized so I can sip from it directly or add my own preferred straw. A slider on the latch locks it. It came with an extra gasket and attached carabiner. I purchased a 14″ flexible jumbo stainless steel drinking straw from The Wright Stuff, bent it to fit and can now use the bottle with my modded Musucian’s Mask during rehearsals. And I can hang the bottle from the carabiner on my music stand. Most 32-oz bottles come short and squat, but this one is slim enough to pick up with one hand. The only problem I had was that the straw was a bit rough on the silicone stopper that sits inside the flip assembly. I could have used an extra.

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