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The Best Water Bottles

Stay hydrated, save money and reduce waste with the best water bottles for gym workouts, travel, hiking, running, H2O on the go, or just being a kid.

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Staying well hydrated is the most important step to having a healthy body and mind. And carrying a reusable bottle is perhaps the simplest way to ensure you drink enough water each day.

A refillable bottle can also help you fight the global plastic problem, and the 450 years it’s estimated a single-use plastic bottle takes to break down.

We think the best and most practical reusable drink bottles are made from stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. Glass bottles are another option, though we don’t like that they aren’t as light, durable or able to hold temperature as well as our steel and plastic picks.

Whichever bottle material you prefer, it’s usually most important that your bottle is leakproof – which will mean a screw-top, flip-top, spout or straw lid. The bottle will ideally also be insulated, with a double wall and vacuum seal, to keep drinks hot or cold for longer.

We found the Takeya Actives is the best water bottle for most people, being sturdy and durable, insulated and leakproof, and a good size to carry for exercise and travel. We think it’s quite stylish too.

All the Best Gear

Top Gear: Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle

Best Bottle with Screw-Top Lid: Hydro Flask Standard Mouth

Most Stylish Water Bottle: S’well Stainless Steel Bottle

Best Plastic Water Bottle: Nalgene Wide Mouth

Best Bottle for Travel: Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug

Best Bottle for Kids: CamelBak Eddy+ Kids

Reviews and Recommendations

Takeya Actives insulated stainless steel water bottles orange and silver
Photo: Takeya

Top Gear: Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle

The best water bottle

The Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle is a smart and stylish way to carry cold and hot drinks, with a spout lid making it ideal for indoor workouts or outdoor adventures.

This double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottle will keep drinks ice cold for up to 24 hours or steaming hot for up to 12 hours, without leaving sweat or condensation marks.

The sturdy 18/8 stainless steel is considered ‘food grade’, so you can be confident that it’s safe to re-use and won’t transfer old flavours to your next fill.

A double powder-coated exterior gives the bottle good grip and helps it resist paint chips.

A removable silicone bumper protects the base and keeps the bottle in place while it’s standing. The bumper also helps the bottle fit securely into most cup holders.

Lids and Leaks

The spout lid on the Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle allows swift, one-handed access when you work up a thirst. The leakproof, insulated and BPA-free lid also lets you fill up or pour from the bottle without removing the entire lid.

The mouth lets you fill the Takeya Actives bottle with ice cubes before you head out, quickly hydrate while on the move and easily clean when you get home.

If you want a stainless steel bottle with a straw lid, then the Takeya Actives is still our top pick. But we prefer a spout lid to be more confident that it always closes properly and avoids leaks.

If you aren’t sure which lid you like, or just want to have the option to use a spout or straw lid, then Takeya offers an Actives bottle with both lids.

Colour and Shape

The Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle comes in more than 30 different colours, including lilac, coral, steel and a few blues.

The wide range of sizes includes some suited to kids – 415ml / 14oz and 470ml / 16oz – with the choice of a spout lid or straw lid.

But for most people, we think the 650ml / 22oz and 710ml / 24oz size bottles hold enough water for a workout or hot drink on an early-morning hike, yet are light enough to conveniently carry with the wide loop handle.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tech and Specs

Materials: 18/8 stainless steel bottle
Sizes: 530ml / 18oz | 650ml / 22oz | 710ml / 24oz | 950ml / 32oz | 1.2L / 40oz | 1.9L / 64oz
Lids: Spout lid | Straw lid
Weight: 450g / 16oz (710ml / 24oz bottle)

More Guides to Best Buys
Hydro Flask insulated stainless steel water bottle blue
Photo: Hydro Flask

Best Bottle with Screw-Top Lid: Hydro Flask Standard Mouth

Sturdy stainless steel with simple cap

The Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle is an elegant stainless steel bottle suited to keeping you hydrated when making your way up a mountain or simply across town.

The double-walled and vacuum-insulated bottle will keep your water cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours. The stainless steel material also prevents flavour transfer and keeps condensation to a minimum.

The slip-free powder-coated exterior resists most scratches, but some people have found scuff marks can take some effort to remove.

Lids and Leaks

The Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle comes with a leakproof, insulated flex cap that includes a discreet strap for carrying the bottle or securely clipping it to a bag.

You can also add a Standard Mouth sport cap for one-handed drinking on the go, though it isn’t leakproof and is only considered suitable for cold drinks.

The standard mouth is wide enough for most uses and to fit ice cubes into the bottle, but if you prefer a faster fill and pour you can go for the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle. The Wide Mouth is available in 4 sizes, ranging from 590ml / 20oz up to 1.9L / 64oz.

Colour and Shape

The Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle comes in 18 different colours, depending on which size you choose, including spearmint, olive, jade and several shades of grey.

A smaller range of sizes than some brands offer is focused on convenient volumes of 530ml / 18oz, 620ml / 21oz and 710ml / 24oz. Each size will fit securely into car cup holders and bike bottle cages.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tech and Specs

Materials: 18/8 stainless steel bottle
Sizes: 530ml / 18oz | 620ml / 21oz | 710ml / 24oz
Lids: Flex cap included | Sport cap available
Weight: 375g / 13.2oz (710ml / 24oz bottle)

S'well stainless steel water bottle onyx
Photo: S’well

Most Stylish Water Bottle: S’well Stainless Steel Bottle

Finest for fashion and insulation

The S’well Stainless Steel Bottle has set the style standard for refillable flasks, offering a choice between modest pastels and dazzling designs, with all available in a distinctive chic shape.

But the S’well bottles are more than just pleasing on the eye, as the triple-layered, vacuum-insulated materials will keep your drinks colder or hotter for longer than the rest. The 740ml / 25oz size is said to keep drinks cold for up to 54 hours, or hot for up to 26 hours.

With a copper wall layer, the outside of your S’well bottle will stay completely condensation-free, while a choice between different textures means you can decide how grippy you want it to be.

Lids and Leaks

The S’well Stainless Steel Bottle comes with a simple screw-top and leakproof lid. But S’well now also offers a sports cap that you can buy separately.

The mouth can fit ice cubes, though not as easily as some bottles on this list, and the body will suit most cup holders.

Colour and Shape

The S’well Stainless Steel Bottle comes in more colours, prints and patterns than should be possible, with some of the most striking resembling stones like granite, onyx and marble. Each will suit the office as much as the gym or local park.

The bottle is available in a 270ml / 9oz size to fit nicely in handbags and backpacks, 500ml / 17oz for a more standard size bottle, and 740ml / 25oz for longer-term insulation.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tech and Specs

Materials: 18/8 stainless steel bottle
Sizes: 270ml / 9oz | 500ml / 17oz | 740ml / 25oz
Lids: Screw-top included | Sports cap available
Weight: 450g / 16oz (740ml / 25oz bottle)

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth plastic water bottle on rock
Photo: Olgierd Rudak

Best Plastic Water Bottle: Nalgene Wide Mouth

Classic light and durable container

The Nalgene Wide Mouth is a practically indestructible bottle that you’re sure to see on hiking trails and other outdoor adventures. The bottle is so popular that accessories like water filters and even backpack pockets are now designed to suit its size and shape.

This plastic bottle is noticeably lightweight, at just 178g / 6.3oz for the 950ml / 32oz bottle, making it convenient to carry in a backpack whether you’re enduring a commute or exploring the outdoors.

The durable Tritan plastic will hold up against most bumps and bangs, making this the best value bottle on initial purchase and then over many years. It also won’t retain flavours and smells.

The BPA-free plastic is suitable for cold and warm drinks, but if you want a bottle that can also hold hot drinks you should consider the stainless steel bottles on this list.

Lids and Leaks

The iconic Nalgene Wide Mouth has a 63mm opening that makes it convenient to clean and easy to use, especially if you want to quickly fill or drink from the bottle. We particularly like that ice cubes and lemon wedges fit through the large mouth, for our favourite blend on a long hike.

A simple screw-top cap is guaranteed to be leakproof, and has a loop connecting to the bottle to ensure you don’t lose the cap.

A Nalgene Narrow Mouth bottle is also available, for hydration with less mess.

Colour and Shape

The Nalgene Wide Mouth is available in more than 20 transparent tints, including blues, greens, reds and oranges.

You can buy the bottle in 4 different sizes, between 475ml / 16oz to 1.4L / 48oz, though we think the classic 950ml / 32oz will be right for most people and purposes.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tech and Specs

Materials: BPA-free Tritan plastic bottle and lid
Sizes: 475ml / 16oz | 950ml / 32oz | 1.1L / 38oz | 1.4L / 48oz
Lids: Screw-top
Weight: 178g / 6.3oz (950ml / 32oz bottle)

Contigo Autoseal West Loop travel mug blue corn
Photo: Contigo

Best Bottle for Travel: Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug

Sealed and spill-proof lid

The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug is made for being on the move, with a smart design that allows for one-handed opening with the push of a button.

This double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottle will keep drinks cold for up to 18 hours or hot for up to 7 hours.

The insulation works so well that many reviewers recommend you remove the lid completely for a few minutes before taking your first sip of a steaming hot drink.

Lids and Leaks

The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug has a sophisticated shape, but is really all about the lid!

The lid automatically seals between sips, and has an additional lock that ensures travellers, commuters and explorers won’t suffer from messy spills or annoying leaks when storing or carrying the mug.

The one-piece lid can be removed from the bottle, then fully opened to let you clean all its nooks and crannies. You can even place the lid on the top rack of your dishwasher for a deeper clean.

Colour and Shape

The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Travel Mug is available in more than 20 colours, with a choice between many vibrant hues and tasteful tones.

It is only available in 2 sizes, with our preference being the versatile 590ml / 20oz bottle.

But the 475ml / 16oz size might be right if you want to use it more as a thermos to keep coffee, tea or even soup hot for longer.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tech and Specs

Materials: 18/8 stainless steel bottle
Sizes: 475ml / 16oz | 590ml / 20oz
Lids: Push-button spout
Weight: 357g / 12.6oz (590ml / 20oz bottle)

More Guides to Best Buys
Camelbak Eddy+ Kids plastic water bottle Let's Explore
Photo: Camelbak

Best Bottle for Kids: CamelBak Eddy+ Kids

Keep kids happy and hydrated

The CamelBak Eddy+ Kids is the latest version of the popular water bottle, with fun designs to appeal to children and, no doubt most importantly for parents, a spill-proof and leakproof lid.

Made with BPA-free plastic, the 156g / 5.5oz bottle is light enough to be lifted by toddlers and older kids. But it doesn’t require any tricky tipping to drink – children just need to flip the lid, bite the silicon valve and sip through the broad straw for a fast flow.

The hard plastic bottle and lid are both thick and durable enough to withstand the knocks that inevitably come with being carried (and dropped) by kids.

Lids and Leaks

The clever design of the flip-lock lid on the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids means it is leakproof when closed, and spill-proof when open. We found that you just need to be sure to pull the valve far enough through the opening to lock it in place and prevent leaks.

The sturdy lid includes a loop handle that had our youngsters carrying the bottle around even as part of their play. Older kids might want to use the handle to clip the bottle to their schoolbag or a backpack.

Stronger hands will be able to unscrew the lid from the bottle, then remove the valve and straw for a thorough clean. Unscrewing the lid will also let you fit ice cubes through the wide mouth opening to keep water cold all day.

With the bottle tough enough to last several years, it’s helpful that you can buy replacement valves and straws, especially if your child chews on the valve or you want to add some fresh colours.

Colour and Shape

The CamelBak Eddy+ Kids is only available as a 400ml / 13.5oz bottle, though there are larger sizes available in the standard CamelBak Eddy+ range – as long as you’re happy to miss out on the fun and funky designs for children.

The pictures and patterns on the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids include dinosaurs, butterflies, skate monsters, unicorns and some more understated designs for young explorers.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Tech and Specs

Materials: BPA-free polypropylene bottle and plastic lid, silicon valve
Sizes:  400ml / 13.5oz
Lids: Flip-lock with bite valve and straw
Weight: 156g / 5.5oz (400ml / 13.5oz bottle)

First published: 17 March 2020

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