Best Hydro Flask Alternative
Klean Kanteen Classic 32oz Water Bottle
The Klean Kanteen Classic water bottle does numerous things exceptionally well, but few meet the level of performance as its thermal insulation. While no specifics regarding its construction are given, this stainless steel water bottle offers superior thermal insulation than even the Hydro Flask.
For the cold insulation, the Klean Kanteen Classic water flask’s double-walled stainless steel insulation can maintain chilled temperature for an astounding 90 hours or 7 ½ days, by far the longest time on our list. Equally impressive, though, is its heat insulation, which can keep its drinks hot for a full 24 hours.
Beyond the incredible thermal insulation, the Klean Kanteen Classic employs a technique to electropolish the interior and coats the exterior of colored models in Klean Coat powder. It also does not hurt that this water bottle is the second-lightest on our list, making it easier to carry for extended periods.
Bottom Line: The Klean Kanteen Classic stainless steel water bottle easily tops our list as the best alternative to Hydro Flask with thermal insulation that blows the competition out of the water combined with multiple treatments.
The Best Hydro Flask Alternatives Reviewed
Looking for a Vacuum Insulated Bottle for Water?
You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:
- Identify the important features to look for in vacuum insulated water bottles.
- Reviews of five of the top Double Walled Water Bottles
- Our unbiased #1 pick for the Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Whether generally out of the house, working out, or outdoors, having quick, easy access to water is one of the most important qualities of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, regularly buying plastic bottle of water is wasteful with your wallet and impacts the planet’s sustainability.
That said, there are plenty of different types of reusable bottles for water on the market, but few of them have captured the public’s attention quite like Hydro Flask. However, some people may not have the money to spend on such a hot item or be willing to wait for the next shipment as they fly off the shelves.
That is why we put together a list of the five best hydro-flask alternatives, highlighting what each one does best. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide to figure out what qualities you need if your next water flask to stay healthy and hydrated.
A Brief History of Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask has an inauspicious origin that stretches back to 2009 but has since taken the world by storm with exceptionally well-made stainless steel water bottles. Since the breakout of this high-quality brand, Hydro Flask expanded its operations from providing a standard product to a whole lineup of water receptacles.
Only three short years following the company’s founding, Hydro Flask began to win awards, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down with eight awards won in just over 11 years. Unlike some brands, Hydro Flask makes it a point that their products perform as desired while still caring for both the environment and their employees.
Hydro Flask Knock Off Buying Guide
While most casual people will look at the volume held by their flask as one of the most important qualities, its actual value differs depending on what you are doing while using it. For example, if you take your flask to the beach or another leisurely location without immediate access to potable water, it may be more critical.
However, if you just want a receptacle to carry around with you as you go about your daily routine, a colossal flask might be more inconvenient than anything else. This principle applies doubly if you take your container on a hike or want something for ultralight camping or backpacking.
As opposed to the volume, the seal of your flask is almost universally important, regardless of your situation, as nobody likes a leaky bottle. Granted, there are still some circumstances where this quality weighs heavier than others, but you are unlikely to find anyone okay with their flask leaking, even occasionally.
The most effective type of seal commonly used for water bottles is the vacuum seal, though this should not be confused for the other types of vacuum protection these types of flasks offer. Instead, a flask with a vacuum seal relies on your standard twist lid with a gasket made of rubber or plastic to completely seal the container.
Outside of vacuum-sealed water bottles, your alternatives generally rely on the standard screw-on lids without the gasket. For the most part, you generally do not need to worry about these leaking too much so long as you completely screw the cap on.
Along with the leak proofing of your flask, the thermal insulation is by far the most crucial factor and likely the reason you are looking for one in the first place. It is worth noting that the technology has been around for over a century but often remained non-standard from company to company.
Since the explosion of Hydro Flask’s popularity, however, more and more companies are taking thermal insulation more seriously. While there still is no standardized rating for a flask’s thermal insulation, most companies these days still make sure that their models provide solid insulation.
Keep in mind, most brands advertise an hourly rating for how long the flask can keep hot drinksx hot and cold contents cold, but they often determine those ratings in ideal conditions too. As such, a brand that advertises 24 hours of cold insulation may perform better than a competitor advertising 36 hours of cold insulation.
Caps, Lids & Accessories Design
Depending on the person and activity, this can either be a nice luxury or an absolute necessity, with the latter favoring those who take their flask with them on the go. While each brand puts its particular spin on any given design, the three main types of caps and lids are the standard, handle, and spout.
The standard lid is just that: a basic lid that screws on and keeps the flask closed, often providing the best vacuum seal. The next type of top is the handle cap, which otherwise looks and performs like the standard lid, except it has a handle molded into it to make it easier to carry.
Finally, the spout lid includes some form of a mouthpiece to make drinking from the flask easier, though the spout may or may not have an attached straw. It is worth noting that both the standard and handle caps often provide the best seals while the spout cap may leak through the mouthpiece.
This is arguably one of the least important factors in how the flask performs but may help you break a tie between two similar products. For the most part, the overwhelming majority of hydro flask alternatives are not dishwasher safe due to their stainless steel construction.
While stainless steel may naturally be rust-resistant, it is not rust-proof, and the cleaning detergents combined with the high-pressure, hot water can lead to the inside of a flask rusting. As such, most water bottles state that the receptacle must be washed by hand to avoid rusting.
Thankfully, the same does not always apply to the lids, which are generally made of plastic and safe to wash in the dishwasher. However, be aware that some of the caps are made of stainless steel and likewise need to be hand-washed and dried to prevent the development of rust.
Durability is always vital for any product, but you generally do not need to worry about it as much for hydro flasks as you do with other products. A big part of the reason is that most water bottles are made out of stainless steel as part of their double-walled construction.
However, the same cannot always be said of the lids or seals, where the general durability of a water flask matters more. Polycarbonate or stainless steel tends to be the most durable lids, though plenty of nylon plastic lids are durable too — so long as you do not put them to the test.
Outside of the lids, the only other parts that might show wear and tear is the exterior, especially if it has a decal or other form of an aesthetic coating. Thankfully, many manufacturers make sure this too, stands up to plenty of abuse without having to worry about the exterior chipping or peeling away.
Hydro Flask Alternatives: The Results
Hydro Cell Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Best Backpacking Hydro Flask Alternative
Hydro Cell is a new company entering a somewhat crowded market, which might explain why they keep their prices low. However, their inexpensive products are not the only thing that makes this such excellent value as it also meets the needs of hikers and backpackers better than most.
For example, the Hydro Cell water flask is easily the lightest entry on our list, tipping the scales at only 13 ½ oz. As if that were not enough, backpackers will not have to worry about making as much extra room for this water flask as it also boasts the most compact profile we reviewed at 9” x 3 ⅗” x 3 ⅗”.
One of the more surprising qualities of this water flask is that it holds plenty of liquid at 32 oz, despite being one of the smaller models on our list. Even better, the Hydro Cell water flask boasts solid thermal insulation able to maintain chilled temperatures for 24 hours and hot temperatures 8 hours.
Unfortunately, you do not get something for nothing, and the low cost of the Hydro Cell water flask pays for its low price with iffy wide mouth lids, especially the sports top with straw. On top of that, the caps do not provide the best seal either, though you have to worry more about the temperature than actual leaks.
- Double Wall design keeps contents cold for 24 hours
- Wide Mouth lid for easy filling & drinking
- Only weighs 13 ½ oz & holds 32 oz of liquid
- BPA free
- Not the best lid
- Does not fit most cup holders
Bottom-Line: Hydro Cell is a great mid-tier option that is inexpensive while offering solid thermal insulation, weighs less than any of its competition, and provides multiple lids for different situations.
Contigo Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Best Budget Hydro Flask Alternative
Contigo may not have the name recognition of some of the other companies on our list, but their 20-year history and focus on portable water bottles work great for casual users. Specifically, the Contigo Couture AUTOSPOUT provides one of the best seals that we encountered, though that is the brand’s primary focus.
The seal, aside from being leakproof, also comes from one of the few spout lids that do not have leaking concerns. The Contigo Couture AUTOSPOUT also features a pop-up straw to make using it easier and a spout cover and button lock to prevent it from popping up by accident.
Even better, this water flask is one of the most portable models we found thanks to a svelte profile of 10 ¾” x 2 ⅘” x 2 ⅘”, making this one of the few water bottles on our list that fits most cup holders. What is all the more surprising given the numerous unique features afforded is that this is an inexpensive model.
On the other hand, likely a big part of the reason that the Contigo Couture AUTOSPOUT is inexpensive comes down to its volume of 20 oz, which is the smallest on our list. On top of that, this water flask also has the worst thermal insulation, able to keep chilled temperatures only 18 hours.
- Has multiple protections
- Has failsafe features
- Fits most cup holders
- Is less expensive
- Has a smaller volume capacity
- Not the most insulated
Bottom-Line: The Contigo makes it onto our list primarily because it is an inexpensive option. Still, it is also a great model if you want to take it with you in a vehicle or are otherwise limited in carrying space.
YETI Rambler 36 oz Bottle
Best Premium Hydro Flask Alternative
YETI is the only company on our list that not only did not start out making water bottles but does not focus on them, though it has always specialized in thermal insulation. That being the case, it makes perfect sense that the YETI Rambler water bottle provides plenty of high-end design features.
For one, this water bottle is the second-largest entry that we reviewed with a volume of 36 oz. While its thermal insulation properties are not advertised, its real-world performance of its double-wall design offers chilled temperatures between 16 to 20 hours and heated temperatures between 8 to 10 hours.
While this may not seem as long as some of the competition, you must keep in mind that these lengths were tested in real-world conditions, not a lab, still, the YETI Rambler water bottle also provides one of the best lids we encountered which is shatter-resistant while still offering a mouthpiece.
Unfortunately, you have to pay for extra features not commonly found elsewhere, and the YETI Rambler water bottle is an expensive model. This water bottle is also a bit less portable than many of the alternatives as it weighs a whopping 1 lb 8 ½ oz– easily the heaviest water bottle that we reviewed.
- Is more durable
- Holds 36 oz of liquid
- Double-Wall design keeps drinks cold for 16-20 hours
- BPA free & dishwasher safe
- Is more convenient
- Is more expensive
- Is a heavier flask
Bottom-Line: The YETI Rambler stainless steel water bottle is one of the easiest to use options on our list thanks to being dishwasher safe as well as its over-the-nose opening– not to mention its shatter-resistant mouthpiece.
Simple Modern 40 Ounce Summit Water Bottle
Largest Hydro Flask Alternative
Simple Modern focuses not only on providing sustainable products, but it is owned by the employees, which is likely part of the reason it can sell high-end products at a low price. That said, the Simple Modern Summit water flask’s low cost is only part of what makes it a great value.
One thing you might not expect from an inexpensive water flask is a large volume, but the Simple Modern Summit tops our list in this regard with a 40 oz volume. Even better, this water flask is extremely lightweight given its capacity as it only weighs 15 ⅗ oz, which is on par for most bottles with 8 oz less volume.
In terms of its performance, the Simple Modern Summit comes in second place for its cold thermal insulation, providing chilled temperatures for 32 hours. Similarly, this water flask performs just as well for heat insulation and keeps contents hot for a second-best 12 hours.
You do not get list-topping specs at such a low price without having to pay for it somewhere, and the Simple Modern Summit suffers in the sealing department, specifically its wide mouth handle lid. To make matters worse, the stainless steel lid, while well-sealed, is not the most convenient.
- Holds 40 oz of cold or hot drinks
- Double-Wall design keeps contents cold for 32 hours
- Has superior insulation
- Is less expensive
- Not the most convenient
- Not the best wide mouth lid design
Bottom-Line: The Simple Modern Summit water bottle has the second-best thermal insulation on our list. This is thanks to an additional copper-coating, and it comes in with the largest volume at a reasonable price.
Klean Kanteen Classic 32oz Water Bottle
Best Alternative to Hydro Flask
Despite Hydro Flask’s recent popularity, Klean Kanteen has been around a full half-decade longer, which likely explains how it performs so well. Easily the most impressive quality of their Classic water bottle is its outrageous thermal insulation thanks to its vacuum insulated double-walled design.
Specifically, this water bottle can maintain a chilled temperature for 90 hours, which is almost three times longer than the next closest competitor. As if that were not enough, the stainless steel water bottle can also keep its drinks hot for 24 hours, which is twice as long as the next closest competitor.
The application of an electropolish treatment means that you do not have to worry about rubbing a sharp edge while cleaning the inside of this stainless steel water bottle. Even better, backpackers and hikers will appreciate the model’s lightweight design which is the second-lightest on our list at only 15 oz.
One thing to keep in mind while purchasing a Klean Kanteen Classic stainless steel water bottle is to make sure you buy from a verified seller as there are many counterfeits on the market. On top of that, this water bottle is an expensive option, though you more than get what you pay for considering its performance.
- Double-Wall design keeps cool drinks cold for 90 hours
- Keeps warm drinks hot for 24 hours
- Holds 32 oz of drinks
- Has multiple treatments
- Is more expensive
- Has counterfeit sellers
Bottom-Line: Because a water bottle’s primary purpose is to keep its drinks the temperature they were when poured in, the extremely effective thermal insulation of the Klean Kanteen Classic makes it a no-brainer.
Last update on 2024-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API