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Hydro Flask Vs. Ozark Trail Water Bottles – Cold Water Challenge!

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person holding an Ozark Trail and Hydro Flask water bottles

Looking for a new insulated water bottle recommendation?

Refillable water bottles sure have become popular in recent years, especially the higher quality stainless steel insulated type that keeps drinks super cold for hours.

Hydro Flask is a brand that keeps popping up in conversations with my kids and their friends. This specific brand has become so popular among teens and outdoor enthusiasts alike for hydration, and I’ve been curious how a Hydro Flask water bottle measures up to my favorite and much more affordable brand of insulated tumblers and water bottles—Ozark Trail from Walmart.

hydro flask green water bottle

The price point is quite a bit different with Hydro Flask coming in at around $35 for a 24 oz. water bottle and Ozark Trail at around $9.

So just like I did the YETI Vs. Ozark Trail challenge, I’m now doing the same thing – just this time with Hydro Flask!

holding 2 insulated water bottles

There are a lot of similarities and features that both water bottles seem to have:

    • double-wall vacuum insulated
    • hold 24 oz. of liquid
    • are BPA-free
    • have a sweat-free finish
    • have an easy to carry handle
    • are NOT recommended for the dishwasher

measuring temperature in a water bottle

Hydro Flask Vs. Ozark Trail Cold Water Temperature Challenge

Both Ozark Trail and Hydro Flask claim to keep water cold for hours so I decided to do my own casual water temperature test between the two water bottles to see if there was a big difference in performance.

recording water temperatures in hydro flask

I used an instant-read thermometer to record the starting temperature in each bottle of ice water. Then I put the lids on and placed both water bottles outside in the sun for the day. I recorded the temperature inside the water bottles throughout the next 24 hours.

Starting temperature:

    • Ozark Trail: 36°
    • Hydro Flask: 43°

3 hours later:

    • Ozark Trail: 35°
    • Hydro Flask: 40°

6 hours later:

    • Ozark Trail: 35°
    • Hydro Flask: 38°

24 hours later:

    • Ozark Trail: 34°
    • Hydro Flask: 41°

water temperature test water bottles

Results: Both Ozark Trail and Hydro Flask Win!

It’s so interesting that each brand’s water bottle ended up exactly 2 degrees cooler than when I started! This means Ozark Trail performed just as well as Hydro Flask in keeping water cold, which is the most important attribute I look for in a water bottle.

At under $10, I’ll pick the Ozark Trail brand all day long because I feel like the quality is on point. Unfortunately, I have a feeling my kids would still pick the Hydro Flask—they’re so trendy among teens! 😆

water bottle hanging off backpack

Prefer tumblers? See how Yeti Vs. Ozark brands performed in a similar challenge!

Join The Discussion

Comments 36

  1. Kristin

    Just curious why the starting temperatures were different? What was the reasoning behind that approach?

    • Mz Teacher

      Ditto! I was thinking the same thing!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      This was just a casual test. I threw in ice and water and measured both, not worrying about making them the same starting temp. I was just curious what the start and end temps would be – mostly curious if the diff would be significant from each other. Essentially they had similar performance.

  2. Malinda

    Just curious if Contigo is comparable? I got 3 yesterday for $2 each at our local Dirt Cheap (close-out, over-run, salvage store in the South). Anyone have any experience with Contigo?

    • J.H.509

      I love our Contigo cups. They keep coffee hot for hours and drinks cold for hours as well. And we love the auto seal feature as well. I highly recommend these as well. (•‿•)

    • Kimberly

      We’ve used Contigo bottles and cups for years and love them. They work very well.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Thanks for sharing!

        • Malinda


  3. Ziggystardust

    My daughter also asked for a Hydro Flask to replace her already awesome yet much cheaper water bottle and I was inclined to find out why. Apparently the growing trend in Hydro Flask bottles is greatly in part thanks to the unfortunate growing trend in something called a VSCO girl. If you’re interested just google it and make your own minds up, but this momma will not be allowing her to jump on that train lol 🙂

  4. Sourkisses

    I have several Hydro Flask, although I like them, I find them to be to heavy…

  5. natie

    I love my Hydroflask and Yeti water bottles because I can drop them, bang them around, take them on outdoor adventures, camping, etc. and they don’t dent as easily and the color (exterior color) doesn’t come off as easily when dropped and banged around.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing that!

      • SusanAlyssaTurner

        Oh that would be a great new test! Durability of them all!

    • Dpcrafts

      My daughter dropped her hydro flask the day we bought it and put a dent in it. She was heartbroken. She waited so long to get one and it dented like nothing. Everyone at school has them. So all the kids want them. I don’t think they are worth the price though after it dented that quick. 😕 I love the thermoflasks from Costco. They seem to keep things really cold, are durable and half the price.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        I actually saw at Dick’s sporting goods -a few hydro flasks for an additional discount that had small dents. Lol

        Thanks for sharing about the thermoflasks! 👍

      • Mamamia

        Just bought a two pack of the thermoflask. Havent tried them out yet though. Great to hear that you enjoy them.

  6. Jess

    I appreciate this!! I got my daughter a HydroFlask for Xmas (on black friday) because she’s 10 and she wanted that one specifically b/c that’s what all the kids like. However, I’m sure my boys who are a couple years younger will see hers and want one too, and they don’t care about the brand, so Ozark will be it for sure!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing Jess!

  7. Jaime

    Technically, the hydro flask is better, with 4.7% temperature drop vs Ozark at 5.5%…but whether that’s an appreciable difference would depend on the user’s preference I guess 🙂

    • tipaye


    • emily

      If you’re drinking something cold, wouldn’t a higher percentage decrease in temperature be better?

      • Jaime

        Haha… you’re right. I was thinking of coffee staying warm and how a drop would be undesirable …I wasn’t even paying attention to the fact that these are to keep things cold! LOL

  8. Josh

    Does nobody else find it odd that the water actually got COLDER over 24 hours? Isn’t that the opposite of what you would expect from a cold beverage?

    • Marie

      No. From the looks of it, the test was done using ice, so it makes perfect sense to me that the water temp dropped over time, but then began to rise slightly once it got to almost 24hrs.

  9. Marie

    Thank you hip2save for this test. My kids wanted a hydroflask, but I couldn’t see spending so much $$. Now I know what to get instead!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Oh perfect! You’re very welcome, Marie! Glad this was helpful!

  10. Sara

    I got my girls Hydroflasks because they’re the popular thing right now but I love my Ozark Trail bottle. I highly recommend the chug cap also sold by Walmart to keep the “splashing” to a minimum.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh thanks Sara – I’ll look for that!

  11. Swimmom

    I love my Thermoflask. My kids have used Hydroflask for a few years. My teen is getting a new Yeti that I picked up here from the Dick’s sale. They tell me “Hydroflask is not cool anymore”. I’m fine with my 2 Thermoflask with a straw from Costco that were $9 for the pack.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve heard those are great too 👍

  12. Becky

    I dont have a hydroflask but ive had my yeti since 2015 and it still seals well, no dents and my ice will still be there tomorrow money.. my husband’s ozark trail barely seals, paint is chipping and he says his coffee doesn’t stay hot as long as his yeti

  13. Chrystal R Bachmann

    so the bottles actually make the water colder than when you start? Started at 36 and ended even colder at 34?

  14. NikiD

    We discovered RTIC this year. We got everyone in our house one. That’s all we drink out of and we take them with us everywhere. I also gifted almost everyone in the extended family one. They are great! Stay cold all day ok hot days. It’s the same quality as Yeti, much cheaper.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Nice! Thanks for sharing about that brand. 😀 that’s a great gift idea 👍

  15. Lu

    I found a Hydroflask in perfect condition and a really pretty color at a thrift store for 99 cents!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Wha?? Great score!

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