Insulated water bottles are great because they don’t sweat on the important documents on your desk, and they keep your water cold longer in the summer heat. They are not as bulky or heavy as a traditional Thermos so you can take them with you while hiking or on day trips. Here’s what to consider when looking for the best insulated water bottle. Read our reviews on the best insulated bottles on the market today.
How to Pick the Best Insulated Water Bottle
Actual Size of Bottle
Because insulated water bottles have a double wall they are larger than bottles that hold the same amount of water. For example, the .5L CamelBak Eddy insulated bottle is the same size as the .75L CamelBak Eddy non-insulated bottle. If you’re looking for a bottle of a particular size (like to fit in your bike bottle holder) I would recommend the .5L CamelBak or a Thermos brand bottle. CamelBak also has a Big Chill 25 ounce bottle made especially for fitting in all sizes of bike drink holders and is made of 100% BPA-free plastic. We like this one especially because it is lined with material which protects it from bacteria growth.
Bottle’s Liquid Capacity
Generally, due to the double wall construction of insulated water bottles, the liquid capacity is less than you can get with a similarly sized, non-insulated bottle. Thermos has some good, large capacity bottles: choose from a 34-ounce or 26-ounce insulated water bottle. Eco Vessel has two 25-ounce stainless steel insulated bottles, one with a flip straw top and another with a screw cap. We also like that the flip top and screw cap from Eco Vessel come in many color options as usually insulated stainless steel water bottles don’t come in that many colors. Just know that many insulated bottles only hold 15-18 ounces – which is fine for when you’re sitting at your desk and can refill it but not ideal if you want to use it for hiking or other forms of exercise.
Type of Material and Where Manufactured
Unfortunately, as we’ve covered extensively while talking about stainless steel water bottles, there are no stainless steel bottles made in the US. They are all made in China. Therefore, if you want an insulated stainless steel water bottled that’s not made in China you may have to buy a plastic water bottle – just make sure it’s a BPA-free water bottle. Another option is to buy a glass water bottle. (And if you’re new to this site, we highly recommend that you buy stainless or glass because they are safe water bottles that are not made of BPA, a hormone disrupter, which is found in many plastics.)
Straw or No Straw
When I first started reviewing stainless steel water bottles, I didn’t like straws in my water bottle, mostly because I think they are difficult to clean and dry completely to avoid mold growth. Now, I love my CamelBak Glass Eddy water bottle and, lucky for me, CamelBak also offers a stainless steel insulated water bottle with a straw. As I mentioned above, Eco Vessel is another great choice for an insulated water bottle with a straw, and they come in lots of colors too. I particularly like straws for work because using a flip top or a straw prevents water dribbling down your shirt. Using a straw is also a lot safer to drink from while driving.
Another option is to purchase an insulated carrier instead of buying an entire new bottle. These are made of neoprene and are like a beverage coozy. The downside is that if you don’t get the exact brand and size of bottle, it won’t be a great fit. Also, most of the insulated covers are we tried were $15 – $20 or more. For that price, you can get a new insulated water bottle.
How to Clean It
The manufacturers of most of these bottles recommend hand washing only. This is a downside for sure, but with plastics it’s better to hand wash. We’ve learned the hard way to always wash by hand because of the seal on most of the lids. You want to be sure your bottle stays 100% leak proof.
Best Insulated Water Bottle
These are the best insulated water bottles on the market today. We are partial to insulated stainless steel and glass water bottles but have included insulated plastic water bottles as well.
Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottles
CamelBak Unisex Eddy Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
CamelBak was one of the first to make stainless steel insulated bottles. The Unisex Insulated Eddy is a little smaller than some other bottles, which allows it to easily fit in car cup holders and in most bike holders. It’s their traditional Better Bottle with bite valve so if you already have a CamelBak and like the straw, this may be your best bet. You can pick one up for less than $25 on Amazon.
This is a great one to use for sports or while exercising (and even driving!) as you don’t have to remove the entire lid to get a drink.
Eco Vessel Stainless Steel Bottle
Eco Vessel makes a 25-ounce insulated bottledesigned for hot and cold beverages and costs between $20 – $25. It includes a removable mesh screen which you can use for a tea bag or to block ice when you are drinking. (I generally don’t use the screen because I don’t add ice to my water.) They also make an insulated bottle with a flip straw top and a non-insulated filtered water bottle. I like the Eco Vessel bottle because I really like the strap to carry it when I’m on my walks. The screen is a nice feature and is also easy to clean.
Thermos Insulated Water Bottles
Thermos has a number of highly rated stainless steel bottles – the Hydration (18 ounces, typically $20 or less)and the Nissan Hydration (26 ounces), and the Nissan Briefcase Bottle (34 ounces). The Briefcase Bottle is one of the largest capacities of any of the insulated bottles on the market.
At 18 ounces, the Thermos Hydration bottles are a great size and easy to tote around. My kids used them for an entire school year, and I used it whenever I brought a water bottle anywhere. But then within two months of each other, all three of our lids broke. This was after using them for approximately 11 – 12 months with almost daily use. We haven’t been able to find replacement caps which is a downside to these bottles. Otherwise, we really love them and love the small, easy-to-hold design. Because we used them so much, I put the stainless steel water bottle (not the lid) in the dishwasher multiple times a week and never had any problems with it.
I absolutely loved using this slim bottle. It holds a lot of water and fit in my car drink holder and in the outside pouches in my kids’ backpacks. It even fit in my bike water carrier and my purse. I just wish we could buy replacement caps for Thermos.
Thinksport Insulated Bottles
Thinksport makes a 750ml and a 350ml insulated water bottle that is double walled and one of the more attractive bottles on the market. We’ve owned these bottles before, and as long as you keep them forever out of the dishwasher, they will last for a long time.
My sons bring the smaller ones (17 oz) to school and they are able to easily drink from them as well as refill them on their own. They like being able to hold the strap which connects the lid to the bottle. It is also convenient for refilling at their drinking fountain as the cap is attached and they don’t need two hands to hold it while trying to refill it. I didn’t feel comfortable giving them the 750 ml (25 ounce) bottle to use at school because it is obviously a lot bigger.
I love bringing the 25 ounce one along on my hikes or even to leave in the car to refill our other bottles. Water stays cold in it all day, even on 100+ degree days! Our family has personally enjoyed the Thinksport insulated water bottles. They are easy to carry by the handle when walking. (Update: My active brother in-law came for a visit and the three times he went hiking he loved using the 25 ounce Thinksport water bottle.)
Sporting-USA Insulated Bottles
This water bottle from Sporting-USA holds 25 ounces, and is made from 18/8 food-safe stainless steel. It’s vacuum insulated and double-walled and keeps drinks cold all day. Drinks stay hot for 4 hours. This brand is a newer entry to the market.
What is unique about this water bottle is that it comes with two lids, for hot drinks and one for cold. This is nice because most water bottles are sold for use with cold or room temperature drinks, not hot. Usually if a stainless steel water bottle is able to hold hot drinks, you have to buy the lid for hot beverages separately. Both are screw-top lids. I turned the water bottle upside down multiple times when testing it, and it proved to be leak-proof.
The “cold” lid is a sports type with a flip up spout with a plastic straw. It would be great for using for sports. I’m not a big fan of straws and extra plastic in general so I don’t use this feature, and it works just fine. The “hot” lid is also a screw top. You take off the lid and drink from the actual bottle.
I really like that it holds 25 ounces but isn’t bulky or exceptionally heavy.
Unfortunately, the bottle, though stainless steel, is not to be cleaned in the dishwasher because of the exterior paint. Additionally, the cap is made completely of plastic (it is BPA, toxin and phthalates free) and cannot be placed in the dishwasher.
When I saw the name, Sporting-USA, I thought I had finally found a stainless steel water bottle made in the US. Unfortunately, as with all stainless steel water bottles sold to date, these are made in China.
We do appreciate the lifetime warranty the company offers.
Glass Insulated Water Bottle
If you’re in the market for a an insulated glass water bottle, this one might be just what you’re looking for. Sun Tea’s Double-Wall Thermol Travel Mug glass bottle, holds 18 ounces of liquid, and has a screw-on cap. What I love about this one is that the “body” of it can be washed in the dishwasher as it’s all glass. Glass is generally my first choice but I only bring this with me when I’m not carrying it around a lot.
Plastic Insulated Water Bottles
The Big Chill 25 ounce bottle is a 25-ounce, BPA-free insulated plastic bottle that fits in bike bottle holders. My kids take these when we ride bikes. I like that it comes in lots of colors so we which bottle belongs to each of us. My kids love that they can drink it or squirt it (to drink or at each other!). Again, I’m not a big plastic water bottle person so I generally don’t grab this when I’m walking or hiking. But because these are so lightweight, I often fill an extra one or two of them when we go hiking as a family so that we can refill our other water bottles if necessary.
Trudeau has a 24 ounce and 16 ounce plastic insulated water bottle with straw. It is also BPA-free but doesn’t keep water as cold as all of the other bottles. My water was cold for only about 4-5 hours. This is fine for me as I don’t like drinking cold water all of the time but most people buy insulated bottles to keep things colder longer.
So there you have it: Reviews of the best insulated water bottles on the market today. There are a lot of features to consider when you are looking for an insulated water bottle bottle. Being BPA-free (if plastic) and the liquid capacity as well as how easy is it to actually use, are all important to consider.
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Keep your drinks cold for hours with one of the best insulated water bottle reviews above.