This sturdy water bottle is easy to carry and clean, but is better at keeping drinks cold than hot for long periods, and would benefit from a drinking spout.
Convenient foldaway carrying handle
Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours
Doesn’t retain the taste of beverages
Heavy and bulky
Wide mouth makes drinking messy
Lid can leak if not screwed on well
Only keeps drinks warm for about 8 hours
Dents easily when dropped
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Hydro Flask 32oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle: first impressions
This stainless steel hiking water bottle is large enough to carry a whole day’s water on the trail, and its wide mouth makes it easy to refill along the way on hot days and easy to clean when you get home. Vacuum insulation keeps icy beverages cold for 24 hours without forming condensation, while your tea will stay hot for six to eight hours, and the stainless steel leaves no metallic taste and doesn’t hold onto the taste of juice, coffee and sports drinks.
• List price: $45
• Dimensions: 9.4” x 3.6”
• Weight: 15.2oz (empty)
• Materials: Stainless steel
• Lid type: Screw-on
• Colors: Many
• Compatibility: Hiking, camping, rock climbing
The screw-on lid comes with a convenient carrying handle, making it easier to tote around with you when you’re on the go, which is a good thing because this bottle is bulky and heavy when full. It’s one of the pricier water bottles out there, but great for those of you who like having a veritable reservoir on hand on the trails or at your desk.
Hydro Flask 32oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle: in the field
This is a beefy water bottle meant for those who love charging around with lots of water at their disposal. I find it a bit heavy for hiking, but there are a few features that I really like. For one, the carrying handle makes it easy to pull out of my backpack and cart around. I also really love how easy it is to fill up and clean, and its capacity to keep icy beverages really cold all day and all night. It doesn’t have any metallic taste, even on the first use, and I’ve put sports drinks in it and found that it doesn’t hold the taste of them for weeks to come.
All of that said, I find that most of these water bottles which claim to keep beverages both cold and hot are usually better at the former than the latter, and this one is no exception. While it claims to keep my tea hot for 12 hours, I found it to be more like eight hours (at a stretch) which isn’t great if I want to take a thermos of tea on an overnight road trip, as I often do.
I also find that the wide mouth means I frequently dump water down my front when I’m going for a sip, but perhaps I just need more training in how to drink water. I’ve also found it leaked a few times when I hadn’t screwed the lid on really tightly, which is my fault but still something to watch out for. When the lid is screwed on really tight, I tend to use the carrying handle to get a better grip for unscrewing it, so I suspect that will wear the handle out over time. Also, while it looks and feels super sturdy, I dropped it on the hard ground and it instantly dented, which I suspect is because it’s so heavy when full.
It’s a nice looking bottle but pricey, and I think I prefer a smaller and more portable one. However if you really like to carry a lot of water and don’t mind the weight, it performs well and should last.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.