The Best Hiking Water Bottles of 2023

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Americans agree: There’s nothing quite like a long walk in the fresh air. In fact, 19% of the U.S. population claims to regularly enjoy hiking. When you’re out for a hike, it’s a good idea to carry some hydration and snacks, as well as the other Ten Essentials, with you. That’s where water comes in. A good hiking water bottle is easy to sip on the go and provides ample H2O to keep you hydrated without adding a ton of weight to your pack. As an added benefit, using a reusable hiking water bottle cuts down on plastic waste caused by single-use water bottles. 

Visit any outdoor shop and you’re likely to discover a colorful (sometimes dizzying) array of water bottles for every adventure. To find the best water bottle for hiking, we tried the leading brands on the market today. After putting seven drinking vessels through intensive testing, our favorite is the 24-ounce Hydro Flask Standard Mouth. It’s easy to care for, and it slides easily into a day pack. Its cheerful powder-coated exterior is pleasing to the eye yet decidedly rugged, and the bottle never felt too heavy—even on several long(ish) meanders. 

Here’s how the best hiking water bottles stack up: 

  1. Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle – 24 Ounces (Best Overall)
  2. Nalgene Wide-Mouth Sustain Water Bottle – 32 Ounces (Budget Pick)
  3. CamelBak Eddy+ Water Bottle – Multiple Sizes (Best for Families)
  4. LifeStraw Go Filtering Water Bottle – 24 Ounces (Best Filtering Water Bottle)
  5. Yeti Rambler Water Bottle with Chug Cap – 26 Ounces (Best for Car Campers)

Top Pick

Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle

  • Material: 18/8 Stainless Steel 
  • Volume: 24 ounces 
  • Weight: 13.1 ounces 
$27.97 at Amazon Starts at $25.97 at Hydro Flask
Product Image, white background
Pros
  • Lightweight yet rugged water bottle stands up to active use and keeps drinks cold for 24+ hours
  • Slides easily into a pack, yet holds enough H2O for easy to moderate hikes
  • Easy to wash and care for
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Doesn’t hold enough water for long-distance hikes and backpacking trips

The 24-ounce Hydro Flask Standard Mouth is a near-perfect drinking vessel for hiking. It’s durable without being over-engineered, its cheery, powder-coated exterior stands up to active use, and it’s easy to wash, fill from the tap, and sip on the go. During testing, the bottle kept cold beverages cool for more than 24 hours and hot beverages warm for 12. It’s BPA- and phthalate-free and covered by a lifetime warranty, too. In a nutshell, this is the water bottle I now find myself reaching for time and time again when preparing for easy to moderate day hikes.

A water bottle should be easy to care for and assemble, and the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth is among the easiest of the ones I tested. It’s dishwasher safe, or you can clean it with warm, soapy water (a bottle brush can help with handwashing)—then assemble and go. 

The Hydro Flask’s svelte design made it easy to slide into my 22-liter daypack with ample space left over for layers, sunscreen, first aid, and snacks. While hiking, I never felt as though the weight of the bottle was pulling me down or holding me back, and it was easy to pull out the bottle and swig some ice-cold refreshing water. It’s also leakproof—a major plus for technical outings where I found myself bounding down natural staircases and meandering around obstacles on the trail. I never once worried about the stuff in my pack getting soaked, and I didn’t notice the water sloshing or bouncing around while I walked, either. 

Everyone has a preference for how they like to sip water when they’re on the trail, and I didn’t mind unscrewing the Flex Cap and drinking from an open bottle. The Standard Mouth is also compatible with a Sport Cap, which you can pop out with a single hand for easy sipping on the go, and a Flex Straw Cap, which pops up like a straw and is leakproof when closed. Both of these caps make sipping on the move even easier. (Both products are also sold separately.) 

The one major drawback of the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth is its volume. The 24-ounce version is the largest capacity for this particular model, and it fits plenty of water for most easy to moderate hikes. On really hot, humid days and longer hikes, I’d want to carry more water. Consider checking out our budget pick (the Nalgene Wide Mouth Sustain), or the 32-ounce Wide Mouth version of this bottle from Hydro Flask, which only weighs a couple more ounces. Or, you might consider pairing your Hydro Flask Standard Mouth with a hydration bladder that you throw in your pack for even more H2O on the go. 

Budget Pick

Nalgene Wide Mouth Sustain Water bottle

  • Material: Tritan Renew Plastic
  • Volume: 32 ounces 
  • Weight: 6.25 ounces 
$13.88 at Amazon $16.99 at Nalgene
Product Image, white background
Pros
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • BPA/BPS-free and derived from 50% plastic waste
  • Number 7 plastic bottle can be recycled in some municipalities
  • Easy to wash and care for
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Wide mouth design can be hard to sip while on the move

There’s a reason Nalgene has been the hiking community’s go-to water bottle for the last 50 years. Its compact, lightweight design fits a whopping 32 ounces of water, and the water bottle is easy to stuff into most packs. The most recent version of the Nalgene features Tritan Renew, a hard plastic resin that’s BPA- and BPS-free and derived from 50% recycled plastic waste. In some cities, it’s possible to recycle water bottles made from Tritan Renew at a #7 plastic recycling facility (see here for participating municipalities). The best part? The Nalgene Sustain costs a fraction of most water bottles on the market and it’s covered by a lifetime warranty, making it a great value for hikers of all backgrounds and experience levels. 

There’s literally zero assembly required with the Nalgene Wide Mouth—you simply wash the bottle by hand with warm, soapy water or toss it in the dishwasher, fill from the tap, and head out the door. And its squat yet spacious construction means that it slid easily into my day pack without jeopardizing too much real estate. One of my favorite aspects of the Wide Mouth Sustain is its bright, translucent design—because I can see through the water bottle, I felt compelled to keep sipping and finish the contents by the time I returned home from the trailhead. 

To test the water bottle, I took it on two hikes—one short (but steep!) 2-mile effort involving a winding staircase through North Seattle, and a longer, 4-mile hike through Bridle Trails State Park. I never noticed the water bottle sloshing around in my pack, nor did I feel weighed down (at 6.25 ounces, it weighs about half of the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth). 

The Nalgene Wide Mouth Sustain is also leakproof, and can be filled with boiling-hot beverages (you should never boil water in a Nalgene, though). Its wide mouth accommodates some filtering devices. You can also freeze water in a Nalgene. The brand simply recommends leaving about 25% of the bottle empty to accommodate expansion. 

After promptly dropping the water bottle on the hard sidewalk during my urban hike, I didn’t notice any scuffing or wear and tear, although I have seen older-looking Nalgenes that appear quite beat up. More testing is needed to determine the long-term durability of this bottle (and all the water bottles this guide, for that matter).

Critiques of the Nalgene Sustain tend to focus on the fact that the water bottle’s wide mouth can be challenging to sip from. To address this, Nalgene sells a narrow mouth version designed with athletes in mind. Or, consider a splash guard, which makes for easier sipping on the go. 

Some folks prefer not to sip from a plastic drinking vessel. If that’s you, consider our top pick (Hydro Flask Standard Mouth) as well as our top filtering water bottle (LifeStraw Go) and our top bottle for car campers (Yeti Rambler). 

Is a Hiking Water Bottle Worth It? 

man in red jacket and nikes at the edge of a rock over a mountain range
Ashley Knedler

You don’t necessarily need to invest in a dedicated hiking water bottle if you’re just getting started with hiking. Any reusable drinking vessel will do, so long as it holds plenty of water and fits in your pack. (So no gallon water bottles.) There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules for hydration—this depends on lots of factors, like your age, weight, health conditions, and climate where you live. But it’s good to drink water whenever possible. People between 19 and 30 years old should aim to consume between 2.7 and 3.7 liters of water per day, according to the National Academy of Sciences icon-trusted-source National Academies “Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate” View Source . This can come in the form of water-rich foods or drinks. 

That said, you should always carry water with you when you hike. Exercise increases your need for water and experts icon-trusted-source Mayo Clinic “Water: How much should you drink every day?” View Source agree that you should aim to hydrate before, during, and after working out. There’s no simple formula to figuring out how much water you should carry with you when you’re planning for a hike. Every person is slightly different and environmental factors—including what you’re wearing, the air temperature, level of humidity, and even how sunny it is outside—can play a role in how much you sweat on a hike. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to replenish every pound of water you sweat out during a workout with 24 ounces of water. 

 “Most people underestimate how long a hike might take,” says Kevin Lau, a retail sales specialist for REI Co-op who helps customers with their gear-shopping decisions. He says that he carries approximately a half-liter or 16 ounces of water for every hour of activity he plans to be out on the trail, and brings more when conditions are dry and warm. 

Lau’s tips for staying hydrated on the trail include trying to take small sips of water frequently throughout your hike. He likes electrolyte mixes like those made by Nuun and Skratch Labs, which can help replenish minerals that your body loses when you’re sweating.

How We Found The Best Hiking Water Bottles

best hiking water bottle | people carrying 24oz hydro flask on hike
Nordstrom / Hydro Flask

Meet Your Guinea Pig

I’m Jessica Bernhard, a writer and editorial consultant with more than seven years of experience writing about and testing outdoor gear. I’ve written about everything from running vests to recovery sandals for The Nessie. In my free time, I love hiking around Seattle’s lush urban parks—sometimes with my toddler in tow. 

Our Testing Process

To find the best hiking water bottles currently on the market, I first scoured the internet and shelves of outdoor retail shops to identify the most popular water bottle brands. I initially considered about 20 leading hiking water bottles, then selected seven of the top-rated models to put through intensive, on-trail testing. Hydro Flask, Nalgene, and Klean Kanteen sent us bottles for testing, and The Nessie purchased the remaining ones.

I took detailed notes about how to care for each water bottle, as well as the relative ease with which I was able to assemble each water bottle and slide it into my 22-liter day pack. In addition to recording my experience of what it was like to use each water bottle to hydrate on the go, I also put each water bottle through a leak and a durability test on the trail, the latter of which involved dropping the water bottle on a sidewalk as well as a rocky section of the route to see how well it would withstand dents and dings. 

In total, I spent more than 24 hours testing the water bottles, plus an additional several hours of research and reporting on how to choose a water bottle for hiking. To read more about my testing process, check out the test notes, where I recorded my thoughts on the water bottles in real time. 

The Hiking Water Bottle Buying Guide

man with hiking backpack, sunglasses, and cap drinks from boxed water in a meadowy mountainside
Boxed Water Is Better

Almost anyone who enjoys going for walks outside can benefit from a hiking water bottle—you don’t need to be bagging peaks or thru-hiking a long trail to be considered a hiker. The only requirement is that you enjoy lacing up your shoes and putting one foot in front of the other once in a while. You can also use your hiking water bottle off the trail to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

When choosing a hiking water bottle, there are several considerations to keep in mind. They include volume and weight, material, insulation, leakproof-ness, durability and price. 

Volume and Weight 

When you’re gearing up for a hike, you’ll be more likely to reach for your water bottle if it fits in your pack and doesn’t weigh you down. In order to whittle down the decision, consider how far you plan to hike and how challenging it will be. As a rule of thumb, the more challenging and/or far flung the effort, the more H2O you’ll want to carry with you. 

Be sure to confirm that the water bottle you choose fits comfortably in your pack before purchasing. In addition to space for your water bottle, you’ll also want ample space for snacks, extra layers, sun protection, first aid, and more. 

Material 

Water bottles come in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, plastic, and even glass. Think about the material you most like to sip from and choose accordingly. Plastic tends to weigh less than steel, so a pick like the Nalgene Wide-Mouth Sustain or the CamelBak Eddy+ may make the most sense if weight savings are a priority for you. These days, many plastic water bottles are made from some percentage of recycled plastic and are BPA-/BPS-free.

Insulation 

If you enjoy sipping cold water on the go—or if you want the option to fill your water bottle with hot water that stays warm for many hours—you may want to invest in an insulated water bottle. The Hydro Flask and Yeti Rambler keep cold beverages chilled for more than 24 hours, and hot drinks warm for 12. 

The LifeStraw Go also has a double-wall vacuum construction that keeps liquid cool for about 24 hours. It isn’t recommended for use with warm or hot beverages. 

Although the Nalgene Wide-Mouth Sustain and CamelBak Eddy+ aren’t insulated, they can be filled with warm beverages, which is a nice option for longer hiking and backpacking adventures where you may want to warm up with some hot water when temperatures drop. 

Leakproof-ness 

There’s nothing worse than peeling open your hiking pack to find that the contents have been soaked by a leaky water bottle. All of the water bottles we recommend are leakproof for this very reason! 

Durability

A good hiking water bottle stands up to repeated use (and washing) and doesn’t dent or ding the moment you drop it on a technical section of the trail. All of the water bottles I tested held up to drops on drops and sidewalks; that said, further testing is needed to determine the long-term durability of the products in the guide. 

Price 

Once you buy a hiking water bottle, you’ll use it again and again. The drinking vessels in this guide range from $13.99 to $38.95. Think about how often you’ll plan to replace your water bottle, how you’d like to use it, and what special features you require, and then invest accordingly. If you’re like me and tend to lose things frequently, you might want to factor that into your equation, too! 

What Are BPA and BPS? Should You Avoid Them?

a bunch of people with walking sticks and carrying framepacks walk through a flat part of a mountain
Austin Ban

BPA stands for bisphenol-A, a chemical that shows up in polycarbonate plastics used to make containers for storing food and beverages, like water bottles. In recent years, widely publicized concerns about BPA and lesser-known BPS, a BPA-substitute, have linked the chemicals to a range of health conditions including obesity, diabetes, and reproductive disorders. Although BPS appears to affect humans differently, it’s been associated with metabolic disorders like gestational diabetes icon-trusted-source Nutrients “Bisphenol S in Food Causes Hormonal and Obesogenic Effects Comparable to or Worse than Bisphenol A: A Literature Review” View Source .

Despite these associations, a 2015 European Food Safety Authority analysis found that exposure to BPA through diet the current levels—like, say, sipping from a plastic water bottle—“poses no health risk to consumers at any age group.” The FDA also declares that BPA is safe, although the administration will continue to review available information and studies on BPA and human health. 

It’s now easy to avoid BPA and BPS in your drinking vessels, including hiking water bottles. All of the water bottles in this guide are BPA-free. The Nessie was also able to confirm that all of the water bottles we recommend are BPS-free, except for the LifeStraw Go. Unfortunately, LifeStraw did not respond to multiple inquiries about whether its bottle is made with bisphenol-S.

What To Know About Filtering Water Bottles 

a woman in a framepack stands on rocky terrain and overlooks the mountains
Stephen Leonardi

A filtering water bottle allows you to purify your water when you’re traveling in a spot where you’re worried about the quality of the drinking water or hiking and can’t carry enough water with you (water can be heavy!). The benefit of a filtering water bottle is that you simply fill the bottle from a source (like a tap, river, or stream) and drink. 

The downside is that these bottles are heavy compared with other hiking water bottles, and you’re limited in how much water you can carry with you at any given point in time (for example, the LifeStraw Go featured in this guide carries only 24 fluid ounces of water). As a frame of reference, on hot days, Lau of REI Co-op says he drinks about 16 ounces of water for each hour he’s out on the trail. Consider your needs and plan appropriately. If you’re going to be out for an extended period or want to carry more water with you, you may want to consider investing in a water filter instead. Some easy-to-operate options include squeeze and straw-style filters

How Often Should I Replace My Hiking Water Bottle? 

a woman in a lime green backpack walks ahead of a woman in a red backpack, who climbs some rocks to get to higher ground. a brown lab-looking dog looks at the woman in the red backpack from a distance.
Holly Mandarich

How often to replace your hiking water bottle depends on how often you use the bottle. Scratches and small cracks in the interior or exterior of your water bottle can be a place for bacteria to grow. “Clean your bottles regularly and check for any funky odors coming from the bottle,” says Lau. Metal water bottles tend to last longer than plastic; however, you may need to replace plastic parts over time. 

Hiking Water Bottle Maintenance and Care

two backpacks lie haphazardly on some slick wet rocks. the damp trunk of a fallen tree rests on a rock in the background.
Andrew Ly

Follow the manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and caring for your hiking water bottle. Many water bottles can be washed in the dishwasher, though some parts should be reserved for the top rack. If in doubt, clean your water bottle with warm, soapy water and allow it to air dry. Cleaning your water bottle after each use (the way you would with any other drinking vessel) will reduce the buildup of bacteria and  extend the longevity of your gear. “Ideally you should clean your bottle after every use,” says Lau. “But if you’re refilling it throughout the day, clean it at least once per day to prevent bacteria growth.”

Other Hiking Water Bottles To Consider

Best Filtering Water Bottle

LifeStraw Go Stainless Steel Water Bottle

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Volume: 24 ounces 
  • Weight: 17 ounces 
$36.84 at Amazon $49.99 at LifeStraw
Product Image, white background
Pros
  • Insulated stainless steel water bottle filters bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter and sediment
  • Improves the taste of tap water
  • Bottle (not filter) is dishwasher safe
  • Filter lasts ~ 2 months
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Not recommended for use with hot beverages
  • Heavy
  • Slow flow through the filtering straw

A filtering water bottle could be for you if you’re planning a hiking vacation where the quality of the tap water may be variable, or if you’re sticking close to home and want the ability to refill your water bottle from a mountain stream. The LifeStraw Go Stainless Steel uses a powerful filter to remove bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter and sediment (think dirt and sand) from drinking water. It also improves the taste of the water, and it’s covered by a three-year warranty. 

The LifeStraw Go functions like most other hiking water bottles on the market and can be tossed in the dishwasher for easy washing. To activate the filter, you simply remove it from the bottle and run it under the water for 60 seconds. You then fill the bottle, allow it to sit for 10 minutes (to soak the filter), then drink as you normally would. 

The first few sips from the LifeStraw Go can be challenging as you work to displace air from the filter. The flow rate improves over time, but sipping from a filtering water bottle isn’t as pleasant as drinking from a conventional water bottle. The tradeoff is that the water tastes great, and you don’t have to worry about toxic materials or microorganisms making their way into your H2O. 

I enjoyed testing the LifeStraw Go, although I didn’t find myself in a location where I was worried about contaminated water. It carries 24 ounces of H2O, yet it fit easily into my 22-liter hiking pack. It’s a bit heftier than the water bottles I tend to reach for again and again, however, its weight is in service of that two-step activated charcoal and membrane microfilter. 

I also appreciated that the LifeStraw Go filter is made from BPA-free materials, and that its leakproof, insulated design kept cold beverages cool for about 24 hours. (The bottle isn’t recommended for use with hot beverages.) 

There are some unique considerations when considering whether to purchase a filtering water bottle, in general. The first is weight: Although a filtering water bottle may seem convenient, some water filtration systems actually weigh less (like the Katadyn Hiker Pro Transparent Filter that I use for backpacking trips, which weighs 11 ounces). If you’re counting grams, consider the individual weight of all the gear you plan to pack, and decide whether you wish to allocate that weight to a filtering bottle.

You’ll also want to consider cost, as filtering water bottles tend to cost more than other hiking vessels. In addition to the initial investment, replacement filters for the LifeStraw Go cost $24.95. This could be worth it if you’re planning a trip where you’d otherwise rely on disposable water bottles to keep you hydrated. 

Best Family Water Bottle

CamelBak Eddy+ Water Bottle

  • Material: Tritan Renew Plastic 
  • Volume: 25 ounces 
  • Weight: 6.13 ounces
$16 at Amazon $16 at CamelBak
Product Image, white background
Pros
  • Exceptionally lightweight and leakproof
  • Tritan Renew plastic is BPA/BPS-free and derived from 50% plastic waste
  • Easy to wash and care for
  • Kid-friendly design
  • 3-year warranty
Cons
  • Flip, Bite, Sip straw can be tricky to drink through

Getting outside with little ones looks different from hanging outdoors with a bunch of adults. That’s why the CamelBak Eddy+ is my pick for a family-friendly water bottle for hiking. 

The Eddy+ comes in a variety of constructions and sizes; for this guide, I tested both the 25-ounce and 32-ounce versions made from Tritan Renew plastic—the same material derived from 50 percent plastic waste as the Nalgene Sustain (my value pick). This water bottle is exceptionally lightweight, easy for tiny hands to operate, and totally leakproof when closed and spill-proof when the straw is open. The water bottle slides easily into a day pack, and I never noticed sloshing when I was out on the trail with my kiddo. The bottle is also covered by a lifetime warranty, a nice perk when you’re investing in pricey outdoor gear for the whole family. 

The biggest thing about hiking (or life, for that matter) with small kids is that they often want to be doing exactly what the adults around them are doing. While the other water bottles on this list were too heavy for my toddler to navigate on her own, she had no trouble popping the straw, biting down, and sipping refreshingly cold water from the Eddy+ on the go. She liked the water bottle so much that I actually ended up sending the 25-ounce model with her to school one day. 

I love that the odor- and stain-resistant water bottle is BPA- and BPS-free, and that the 25-ounce version slides into my car’s cup holder for easy sipping on the way to the trailhead. The bottle is dishwasher safe, although the manufacturer recommends washing the lid on the top rack. For more challenging hikes, or hikes where you suspect you may be sharing your water bottle with family members, I recommend reaching for the 32-ounce version, but for most mellow hikes, the 25-ounce model is my pick. 

Negative reviews of the CamelBak Eddy+ harp on the fact that it can be tricky to get a good flow of water through the straw. I admit that biting the straw is a strange experience, at first, but I found that I got the hang of it over time. The Eddy+ is compatible with other lids, including the Chute Mag and Carry Cap. CamelBak also makes a kids’ version of this bottle, if you prefer not to share vessels (believe me, I get it).

Best Water Bottle for Car Campers

Yeti Rambler Water Bottle

  • Material: 18/8 Stainless Steel
  • Volume: 26 ounces 
  • Weight: 22.4 ounces
$40 at Amazon $40 at Yeti
product image, white background
Pros
  • Double-wall vacuum insulated water bottle keeps cold beverages cool and hot drinks warm for an impressively long time
  • Shatter-resistant spout makes for easy on-the-go sipping
  • Easy to wash and care for
  • 5-year warranty
Cons
  • Too heavy for hiking moderate or long distances

Yeti is known for making wildly durable products. The Yeti Rambler Water Bottle is no exception. There’s no doubt that this water bottle is well made—its 18/8 stainless steel body is easy to toss in the dishwasher, and its shatterproof cap is a cinch to sip from. But the Yeti Rambler also weighs more than the other drinking bottles I tested (including the LifeStraw Go, with its powerful filter, which weighs 5 ounces less than the Rambler) and it occupied a lot of real estate in my pack. 

Still, I learned to love the Yeti Rambler for easier walks where I wasn’t worried about weight savings, mainly because of how indestructible it felt and how refreshingly cold it kept my water for hours on end. While I wouldn’t recommend hitting the trail with the Rambler, I think it’s a near-perfect pick for car camping trips where you aren’t hauling your stuff through the backcountry under your own power. 

The Yeti Rambler is heavy, but I loved how crisp and cold it kept my water for hours on end. This, combined with its Chug Cap (a shatter-resistant spout), which is easy and pleasant to sip from, made me eager to drink water en route to the trailhead, during my activity, and on the way home. I often returned home with an empty water bottle (a plus, in my book!) as a result. The Rambler is compatible with a range of caps from Yeti—allowing maximum flexibility depending on your activity. 

I hiked with the Yeti Rambler on one shorter jaunt to an urban park with my toddler, and one longer, 5-mile hike, and I found that it held ample water for both adventures. Unsurprisingly, it weathered drops on the sidewalk and one especially rocky section of trail with nary a scratch. And although it felt heavy in my pack, I never worried about the Rambler leaking. 

As with my top pick, the Rambler can hold hot beverages, keeping them warm for hours.  On one frigid, 32-degree hike, I loved unscrewing the lid to sip piping hot tea on the trail. The Rambler isn’t approved for use with carbonated beverages or food products. 

This water bottle is pricey, and if you’re solely searching for a hiking water bottle, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you spend a lot of time outdoors—hiking, car camping, paddling—the Rambler is a primo pick.

Hiking Water Bottles You Can Skip

Klean Kanteen TKWide Insulated Water Bottle with Twist Cap

  • Material: 18/8 Stainless Steel
  • Volume: 32 ounces 
  • Weight: 18.3 ounces
$44.95 at Amazon $44.95 at Klean Kanteen
product image, white background
Pros
  • Made from 90% post-consumer recycled stainless steel
  • Compatible with a variety of TKWide Caps
  • Keeps contents cold for up to 75 hours
  • Easy to wash and care for
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Twist Cap is not leakproof
  • Not intended for use with hot or carbonated beverages

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to hiking. You want to be prepared for skies that could open up at a moment’s notice, or a trail that turns out to be more challenging than anticipated. The Klean Kanteen TKWide Insulated Water Bottle with Twist Cap seems like a highly versatile hiking water bottle at first blush. Its stainless steel cylinder fits an impressive 32 ounces of water and weighs only 5 ounces more than my top pick (which, in comparison, fits only 24 ounces of water) and its innovative Twist Cap is easy to access and sip from on the go. The TKWide also keeps beverages cold for a shockingly long time—about 75 hours, which is a plus for warm-weather hiking, as well as extended trips. 

The biggest drawback of the Klean Kanteen TKWide Insulated Water Bottle with Twist Cap is that it leaked all over my pack each time I hiked with it. Eventually, I MacGyvered a way to keep it upright in my backpack (by stuffing it full of many extra layers) and the leaking ceased, but the soggy pack was a major disappointment, especially since Klean Kanteen says the Twist Cap is leakproof. If you love the style and function of the TKWide, you might consider purchasing a model with a different style cap (it should be noted, however, that I did not test the other caps to test their leakproof-ness). 

The other drawback to the Klean Kanteen TKWide with Twist Cap is cost. It’s a few dollars more than some of the pricier water bottles in this guide like the Yeti Rambler, which clocks in at $40. And, though it holds plenty of water, it isn’t as durable or leakproof for outdoor adventures. 

Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle – Stainless

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Volume: 20 ounces 
  • Weight: 14.2 ounces 
$31.49 at Amazon $32.99 at Brita
product image, white background
Pros
  • Improves the taste of tap water
  • Bottle is relatively lightweight and allows easy sipping on the go
  • Keeps contents cold for 24+ hours
  • Leakproof when closed
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Hand wash only
  • Not recommended for use with hot beverages
  • Only filters chlorine (taste and odor) and particulates

If you want to improve the taste of your drinking water—and take that water on the trail with you—the Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle could be worth a gander. It’s a lightweight, leakproof (when closed) vessel that slid comfortably into my day pack, and offered crisp water for sipping on the trail. I found it perfect for easy hikes lasting 2 to 3 miles.

The Premium Filtering Water Bottle proved relatively durable. At one point, I dropped the bottle on a paved staircase in Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park and it seemed no worse for the wear, although the stainless exterior picked up a couple of scuffs. 

You can’t throw the Brita Premium in the dishwasher, but it does have an easy-to-activate filter that’s ready to use after running under tap water for just 15 seconds. Each filter lasts approximately two months, or every 40 gallons of water. All that said, the main drawback of the Brita is that it’s designed to exclusively reduce chlorine, improving water’s smell and taste, and particulates (think sediments like tiny pieces of dirt and sand). I wouldn’t therefore recommend taking the Brita backpacking—or even on a long hike—and filling it from a river or stream. Choose the LifeStraw Go if you want a vessel that effectively filters out bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and more. 

Sources

  1. Interview with Kevin Lau, REI Co-op Retail Sales Specialist (January 2023).
  2. Nineteen percent of the U.S. population claims to regularly enjoy hiking: “2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report.” Outdoor Industry Association (June 2021).
  3. When you’re out for a hike, it’s a good idea to carry some hydration and snacks, as well as the other Ten Essentials, with you. “The Ten Essentials.” National Park Service (March 2022). 
  4. People between 19 and 30 years old should aim to drink between 2.7 and 3.7 liters of water per day: “Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate.” National Academy of Sciences (2005). 
  5. Exercise increases your need for water and experts agree that you should aim to hydrate before, during, and after working out. “Nutrition and Healthy Eating.” Mayo Clinic (October 2022). 
  6. Every person is slightly different and environmental factors—including what you’re wearing, the air temperature, level of humidity, and even how sunny it is outside—can play a role in how much you sweat: “Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate.” National Academy of Sciences (2005). 
  7. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to replenish every pound of water you sweat out during a workout with 24 ounces of water: “How to Know If You’re Staying Hydrated.”Hospital for Special Surgery (June 2021).
  8. To enjoy your hike—and possibly perform better and stay out longer—it’s a good idea to carry the outdoor essentials with you when you leave the house, including plenty of H2O: “National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for the Physically Active.” Journal of Athletic Training (2017).  
  9. Proper hydration and fueling can help you maintain your ideal body temperature, thereby keeping you comfy and safe: “How Thermoregulation Can Give Athletes an Edge.” Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut (2015).
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