- Buyer's Guide
Best Insulated Water Bottles to EDC in 2021
In the world of everyday carry there are some non-negotiable items – bags, wallets, pocket knives and the list goes on. And very high on that long list is a water bottle, and an insulated one at that.
They’re tough, they store our hot or cold drinks, and they keep us healthy and hydrated. So we’ve spent the past two months testing a whole bunch of insulated water bottles to show you, in our opinion, the very best insulated water bottles in 2021.
Editor’s Pick | Purist Collective Bottles
Price: $48 / $56
Capacity: Mover 18oz / Founder 32oz
Empty Weight: 389g / 482g
Full Weight: 952g / 1433g
Carryology Credential: Sleek, minimalist, luxury design.
I never thought I could consider a water bottle as stylish, that is until I held a Purist bottle in my hands. Incredibly sleek and minimalist, the Purist bottles currently come in three sizes, 10oz, 18oz, and 32oz. These bottles are not only unique in their looks but also their technologies and engineering. By turning silicon dioxide into a flawless glass interior, the Purist bottles do what their name suggests; they keep the drinks pure and free from exterior tastes. Crispy cool spring water, warming whiskey, and tantalizing tea will taste just as fresh as when you poured them in.
The double-wall vacuum insulation is combined with a surgical grade stainless steel inner, which is lined by the aforementioned unbreakable glass finish. The Purist bottles are also leakproof and their array of lids fit all three bottles. The Union top is designed for use with cooler drinks, their variation on a traditional sports cap. The Scope top allows you to drink from any side of the bottle with a rotating outer ring, you can adjust the flow of your drink to your liking. The Element top is a traditional screw top. The Union and Element also include an integrated handle for easy carry.
These are the Bentley of the water bottle world, luxurious and well designed with the best materials. Naturally inspired colors add to an already distinguished design.
Most Rugged | YETI Rambler
Price: $39.99 / $54.99
Empty Weight: 617g / 802g
Full Weight: 1346g / 2120g
Carryology Credential: Nigh on indestructible
YETI products are known for their legendary toughness, and the story is the same here with their Rambler series. Available in sizes from 18oz all the way up to a gallon, these drinking vessels are made to be used and abused. We’ve been testing the 26oz and the 46oz insulated water bottles, and they’ve both proven equally effective.
The 26oz is a perfect EDC size, and the 46oz is well suited for those who are out in the field and need to bring lots of hydration with them. They both feature the same easy carry TripleHaul™ handle and chug cap. This is convenient to drink out of quickly, and I much prefer this over the wide-mouth bottles. You get the benefit of the wide mouth when loading – including the ability to get ice cubes, etc. in the bottle, but the benefit of a smaller drinking area. The chug cap is dishwasher safe and shatter-resistant, meaning that this should keep you hydrated for many adventures to come.
While the YETI bottles are on the heavier end of our tested products, there is no doubt about their robustness. I’ve got dents and scratches galore on my Ramblers from my escapades, yet I’ve seen no effect on performance. Made from kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel, and thanks to the double-walled vacuum construction, these keep cold things cold, and hot things hot very well! The DuraCoat™ finish looks great, whichever color you decide on, and they’re dishwasher safe. The Ramblers were born for adventure – where will yours take you?
Most Luxe | Snow Peak Titanium Aurora Bottle
Empty Weight: 143g
Full Weight: 942g
Carryology Credential: Featherweight Titanium Construction
Now, I’ll admit, this is a bit of a cheat. The Snow Peak Titanium Aurora Bottle is not insulated, but it’s just so special I had to include it. When this bottle arrives at your house, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d forgotten to put anything in the package, it is that light. With 1mm thick walls, this beautiful drinking vessel is made from anodized titanium which means it is as durable as it is featherweight. Camping? You can boil water in this. Hydrating? You can look good with this. Traveling? You don’t even have to worry about going over your weight limit.
The matte finish takes on a life of its own when filled and tells the stories of your adventures each day. The titanium also leaves no metallic taste, so whatever you put in there will be as delicious as intended. The mid-size opening makes drinking and filling easy. If you’re looking for a blend of fine Japanese engineering and function, look no further.
Snow Peak 500ml Milk Bottle
Empty Weight: 250g
Full Weight: 753g
Carryology Credential: Japanese style
Snow Peak do make insulated goods too, and if the Titanium bottle isn’t your speed, the 500ml (17oz) Milk Bottle might be! A modern interpretation of the traditional milk bottle, this vacuum insulated bottle is made from stainless steel with a resin coating. The wide mouth makes for easy drinking, and the curved profile is ergonomic for a comfortable grip. A silicone sealed cap means you don’t have to worry about leaks and the muted color choices make this an understated option compared to other insulated water bottles on the market.
Best Budget Option | CamelBak Chute Mag 32oz
Empty Weight: 463g
Full Weight: 1375g
Carryology Credential: Magnetic Magic
CamelBak started by making hydration packs for the outdoor hikers and bikers of the world. And it was only a matter of time before they made their way into insulated water bottles. The 32oz Chute bottle is a workhorse that is made from kitchen grade 18/8 stainless steel. The vacuum insulated construction is not only good for temperature control, but it is also sweatproof, meaning no more rings on your (or anybody else’s) furniture! The cap is leakproof when closed, but also features a really useful magnetic latch that keeps the screw top lid out of your way when you drink. The cap is also compatible with other bottles in their lineup.
CamelBak MultiBev™ 22/16
Capacity: 22oz Bottle/16oz Cup
Empty Weight: 545g
Full Weight: 1258g
Carryology Credential: Multi Cup design, intelligent storage.
If the magnet on the Chute is useful, the MultiBev™ is just ingenious. This bottle was designed for your whole day, to keep you watered and caffeinated from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. The MultiBev™ features both a 22oz bottle AND a 16oz travel cup – all in one complete package. Similarly to a Russian nesting doll, the bottle sits inside the travel cup (be sure to wash both thoroughly!). You can take your water bottle full, and fill up your coffee when at your destination or vice versa.
The silicone Pak™ Cap is stored in the plastic lid of the main water bottle – and this can also be used for a handful of snacks if you aren’t intending to use both in the same day. Powder coat finishes in pastel colors fit with any style, and the silicone nonslip base is one of my favorite features – no slip and slide here. The MultiBev™ is a unique bottle, and one that is perfect for minimalists and travelers alike.
Most Ethical | MiiR x Cotopaxi Llama Widemouth
Empty Weight: 344g
Full Weight: 936g
Carryology Credential: Slender profile – just enough!
This cup holder-friendly wide-mouth water bottle is a perfect marriage between two companies who share many of the same philosophies – particularly when it comes to the environment. MiiR are Climate Neutral Certified – meaning they invest much of their profits into carbon reduction and removal products. The sales of this particular bottle will help support grants to Water1st, a non-profit that helps with water access in underserved communities in Honduras. Thermo 3D™ vacuum insulation is paired with Temp Deflector™ technology that reflects temperatures internally – aiming to regulate the temperature for longer. Leak-free, BPA-free, and sweat-free – this bottle leaves you free to explore the world around you. Whichever color you choose from the lineup, thanks to their eco-commitments, this bottle is as green as they come.
Great All-Rounder | Klean Kanteen Insulated TKWide with Twist Cap
Price $32.95 / $39.95
Empty Weight: 462g / 581g
Full Weight: 1068g / 1571g
Carryology Credential: Ingenious straw design
With the TKWide, Klean Kanteen have committed to creating the all-in-one water bottle that is as useful for sporty adventures as it is for city iced coffees. Their TK Closure™ replaces the external threading seen on many bottles with an internal thermally efficient closure. Raised bumps create a leakproof seal, and also allow for rounded edges, meaning comfortable drinking without the lid.
The bottle itself is made from 18/8 stainless steel, is BPA-free, and has a chip-resistant outer coating while the slim design on the 20oz fits into cup holders easily. The Climate Lock™ design claims 59 hours of chilled drinks, but my drink has never lasted that long! I can say though that I have left the bottle in my car for around 36 hours and returned to a cold iced tea.
The most ingenious part of the Klean Kanteen though is their Twist Cap straw system. Simply put, this is the best straw/bottle combination I have ever used. A silicon straw head that pops up out the lid with a twist of the cap is both excellent design and easy to use. It maintains the leakproof design of the bottle, not what you would usually associate with a straw bottle. A steel straw plummets down into your beverage without having to search for the corners or being too short. Thoughtfully, the whole straw mechanism is easily taken apart for cleaning, no sliminess here. This bottle is a pleasure to use and has all the bells and whistles you could want.
Great All Rounder | Hydro Flask Trail Series
Price: $39.95 / $49.95
Empty Weight: 281g/ 354g
Full Weight: 897g/ 1285g
Carryology Credential: Lightweight AND fully insulated
Hydro Flask are a big name in the water bottle market, and with good reason. Their happy-go-lucky logo, array of great colors, and variety of sizes make them instant favorites with many people. Now, they’ve gone a step further to improve their bottles with the Trail Series. As the name suggests, these are designed for life outside. One of the biggest problems with insulated water bottles, for hikers and trekkers particularly, is the weight. Of course we want our hot/cold drinks but not at the expense of comfort. With long days on your feet, everything feels that bit heavier. So, what did Hydro Flask do? They cut the weight – by 25%.
These Trail Series bottles are still just as effective when it comes to insulation, and are perfect for travel. The slimmer 21oz bottle has been my travel bottle of choice, particularly with the smaller standard mouth, while the 32oz has the wide mouth offering for loading up with ice. With 18/8 stainless steel walls and BPA-free construction, the Trail Series still feels tough enough to take a few tumbles on your adventures. And the perforated strap is flexible and comfortable to pull from water bottle pockets with ease. Made for exploring and adventures – take a little bit of the load off your shoulders.
The reality, like many areas of carry, is that once you are spending $30+ on a water bottle, you’re going to find a well-performing product. All of these insulated water bottles have kept my drinks cold and me hydrated during a very hot summer – but they have each suited different use cases or scenarios. The market continues to grow and now we are fortunate to have choices based not only on performance but also style and design preferences.
So the question is – which is your pick?
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