Best Water Bottles for Hiking and Backpacking in 2017


Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz.

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz.

Here we selected and reviewed the best water bottles for hiking and backpacking. We only included insulated water bottles as these keep your beverages cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.  Insulated water bottles are typically made of stainless steel and therefore very durable. Furthermore, as stainless steel doesn’t absorb flavours, they can be used for various beverages besides water, such as soft drinks, tea, coffee, soup etc. However, insulated water bottles have one big downside; they are relatively heavy and bulky. Therefore, we don’t recommend using them if the conditions don’t require them (e.g. moderate temperatures). In such conditions, a hydration bladder, collapsible water bottles (such as the Platypus SoftBottle) or simple disposable water bottles are a better option as they are lighter and take up less space in your backpack (plus they can be compressed when emptied). Nevertheless, insulated water bottles are the best (and often the only) option for hiking in winter as they prevent the fluids from freezing. They also come in handy in the heat of summer as they keep your beverages cold. However, it’s up to you whether you want to carry the additional weight to keep your drinks cold.

In this review of the best water bottles, we only listed lightweight insulated water bottles of the highest quality which are perfect for hiking, backpacking, mountaineering and similar activities. If you want to learn more about hydration, check out our article How much water to take on a hiking trip. If you are considering buying a hydration bladder also check out our article Hydration Bladders VS Water Bottles where we list the advantages and disadvantages of hydrations bladders in comparison to water bottles.

1. Buying a Water Bottle for Hiking and Backpacking – What is important?

Capacity:

In this review, we included insulated water bottles with a capacity of 18 fl. oz. to 32 fl. oz. As insulated water bottles are relatively heavy, you usually only bring one such bottle with you and keep it within easy reach – for example in the backpack’s side pocket. You will probably need to bring more fluid with you than that, but the rest of the water/beverage you can carry in plastic water bottles stored in your backpack where it gets less affected by high or low temperatures (due to the insulation from clothing, gear etc.). When you empty the insulated water bottle you simply refill it with the water from the plastic bottles in the backpack. Therefore, it rarely makes sense to go for an insulated bottle with a capacity higher than 32 fl. oz. On the other hand, we don’t recommend buying an insulated bottle with a capacity smaller than 18 fl. oz. as it will require refilling too often.

Weight:

Lightweight equipment minimizes the strain on your body and therefore we only included lightweight insulated water bottles in this selection. The heaviest bottle in the selection weighs 15.1 ounces.

Insulation:

Insulated water bottles feature a special design to reduce the heat transfer by conduction and convection. Any insulated water bottle consists of two bottles where one is placed within the other. The air in the gap between the two bottles is then extracted (creating vacuum) to minimize heat transfer between the two.

Opening:

It’s a great advantage if the opening of your insulated water bottle allows easy refilling and cleaning by being relatively wide. Furthermore, a wide opening also allows you to insert ice cubs in warm conditions or to store a more chunky soup. The bottle should also be easy to open or close – even while wearing gloves.

2. The Best Water Bottles for Hiking and Backpacking Review

Best Water Bottles

Best Water Bottles

  1. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz.
  2. Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 32 oz.
  3. CamelBak Chute Vacuum 20 oz.
  4. Avex FreeFlow AutoSeal 24 oz.
  5. YETI Rambler Vacuum Bottle 18 oz.

Comparison

Feature/Product Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz. Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 32 oz.CamelBak Chute Vacuum 20 ozAvex FreeFlow AutoSeal 24 oz. YETI Rambler Vacuum Bottle 18 oz.
Weight (empty)14.1 oz. (400 g)14.9 oz. (422 g)10.9 oz. (310 g)13.4 oz. (380 g)15.3 oz. (433 g)
Liquid Capacity32 fl. oz. (0.94 liters)32 fl. oz. (0.94 liters)20 fl. oz. (0.59 liters)24 fl. oz. (0.70 liters)18 fl. oz. (0.53 liters)
Material Stainless SteelStainless SteelStainless SteelStainless SteelStainless Steel
BPA Free YesYesYesYesYes
OpeningWideClassicWideWideWide
Cap TypeScrew CapScrew CapHalf-turn capButton-lockScrew Cap
Also available capacity18 fl. oz. (0.53 liters), 40 fl. oz. (1.18 liters),
64 fl. oz. (1.89 liters
20 fl. oz. (0.59 liters), 64 fl. oz. (1.89 liters)40 fl. oz. (1.18 liters)40 fl. oz. (1.18 liters)26 fl. oz. (0.76 liters), 36 fl. oz. (1 liter),
64 fl. oz. (1.89 liters
Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz.

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz.

1. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 32 oz.

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ski Touring
  • Skiing

The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth water bottle is very popular among hikers, backpackers and other outdoor enthusiasts because it offers great functionality while being relatively lightweight. However, it is also the most expensive water bottle in this review. The bottle utilizes the TempShield technology which eliminates the need for a heavy bottom cap. Therefore, it offers a better insulation-to-weight ratio than competitive products. The TempShield technology also efficiently eliminates condensation and, according to the manufacturer, keeps beverages cold up to 24 hours in hot weather and hot up to 12 hours in cold weather. The Hydra Flask bottle can easily be cleaned as it has a wide opening and comes with a screw lid featuring a handle for easy transportation. However, different lids for this bottle can be bought separately. The Hydra Flask bottle also utilizes abrasion-resistant and slip-free material on the outside.

 

Pros:

  • Insulation
  • Functionality
  • Works with different lids
  • Slip-free material
  • Abrasion-resistant

Cons:

  • /

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Video

Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 32 oz.

Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 32 oz.

2. Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic 32 oz.

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ski Touring
  • Skiing

The Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic bottle is slightly less expensive than the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth bottle listed above. However, it doesn’t come with the anti-slip finish for good grip. Nevertheless, it is a great insulated bottle for outdoor enthusiasts. The Klean Kanteen bottle features double-wall vacuum insulation and can, according to the producer, keep beverages hot for up to 24 hours in cold weather and cold for up to 90 hours in warm weather. It has a screw cap with a loop that allows you to attach the bottle to your other gear (for example backpack or belt) with a carabiner. The bottle has a relatively narrow opening and therefore it is harder to clean. However, the opening is wide enough for easy refilling.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Insulation

Cons:

  • /

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CamelBak Chute Vacuum 20 oz.

CamelBak Chute Vacuum 20 oz.

3. CamelBak Chute Vacuum 20 oz.

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ski Touring
  • Skiing

The CamelBak Chute Vacuum bottle is a great option for hikers, mountaineers and other outdoor enthusiasts. It has a trendy design and provides great functionality. The bottle is vacuum insulated and can, according to CamelBak, keep beverages cold for 24 hours in warm weather and warm for 6 hours in cold weather. The surface of the bottle has an anti-slip finish for good grip and the sophisticated lid is equipped with a half-turn cap which snaps into handle so that it doesn’t get in the way when drinking. The handle also allows you to attach the CamelBak Chute Vacuum bottle to a backpack or climbing harness with a carabiner. As the bottle has a wide opening, you can easily clean it.

 

Pros:

  • Trendy design
  • Functional cap
  • Slip-free material

Cons:

  • /

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Avex FreeFlow AutoSeal 24 oz.

Avex FreeFlow AutoSeal 24 oz.

4. Avex FreeFlow AutoSeal 24 oz.

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ski Touring
  • Skiing

The Avex FreeFlow AutoSeal is a robust water bottle which keeps beverages warm for up to 10 hours in low temperatures and cold for up to 29 hours in high temperatures according to the manufacturer. The bottle uses a sophisticated lid with AutoSeal technology – there is a button on the lid which opens the valve. The button can be also locked so that it can’t be pushed accidently while you are carrying the bottle in a backpack. Thanks to the sophisticated design, you don’t have to unscrew the lid to drink – you simply push the button and use the spout. However, as the whole mechanism is rather complicated there are more potential weak links which could cause malfunction. The lid can be also unscrewed, so that you can easily clean the Avex FreeFlow bottle through the wide opening.

Pros:

  • Robust
  • Insulation
  • Push button

Cons:

  • Higher chance for malfunction

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YETI Rambler Vacuum Bottle 18 oz.

YETI Rambler Vacuum Bottle 18 oz.

5. YETI Rambler Vacuum Bottle 18 oz.

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Backpacking
  • Mountaineering
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ski Touring
  • Skiing

The YETI Rambler is a simple but very durable insulated bottle. The bottle is made of 18/8 stainless steel and uses vacuum insulation to keep your drinks warm in cold conditions and cold in warm conditions.  The opening is wide for easy cleaning and the bottle uses a screw lid with a handle for easy transportation. However, YETI offers different lids for this type of bottle (sold separately), including a straw lid for easy access to water while on the move. All in all, the YETI Rambler is a great bottle but it is quite a bit heavier than other products in this review. The 18 oz. model listed here weighs more than the 32 oz. model from Hydro Flask. Nevertheless, it’s a great option for those who don’t mind carrying a couple of grams more.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Insulation

Cons:

  • Weight

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3. The most attractive product in the review

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