The Coolest (& Warmest) Way to Drink
Hydro Flask 21 oz Insulated Water Bottle
Retail price: $27.99
Specs per manufacturer: The 21 oz insulated bottle is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and the double wall vacuum insulation provides top notch insulation power, keeping cold liquids icy cold for up to 24 hours and hot liquids steaming hot for up to 12 hours.
Hydro Flask is proud that all our products are BPA-free, 100% recyclable and are backed by a lifetime warranty. Look for the H-guy and Hydro Flask logo to ensure you’re getting the market’s premium insulating beverage bottle.
Findings: I am admittedly a bit of a snob when it comes to water bottles. For many years I was a tried and true Nalgene gal. I easily owned twenty or more–all decorated with stickers and electrical tape to lend identity. Then came BPA. With much sadness I tossed almost my entire collection. I kept some for dry goods–I reasoned BPA wasn’t too likely to seep into my crackers while I was backpacking. Going to stainless water bottles was painful–they were heavy and didn’t fit my water filter not to mention the added expense. I tried many brands and found like much of outdoor gear, more money gets you a better product. Cheap ones leak, crack, etc.
Enter in the Hydro Flask. Given the size, I really didn’t think it would work at all as an insulating water bottle. So I set up the challenge–both for keeping drinks cold and hot. Test #1 keeping drinks cold in Nicaragua in 90 F weather. I volunteer down in Nica every November and it is hot all the time. With limited power and more limited refrigeration, keeping a drink cold is not easy. I managed to find a few pieces of ice one morning and tossed them in the bottle. Icky water tastes so much better cold! Five hours later at 90+F the ice was melted, but the water was still cool. Impressive, considering the conditions and the fact the ice was pretty drippy when I put it in. I followed up the “keeping cold” test in Los Angeles with temperatures around 80F. Wow! With real ice and starting out with cold water, the water stayed cold, not cool, all day long! But could it keep my hot Tang hot on a near 0F day? Success again! In fact my drink was so hot I had to add some snow to cool it so I could drink it. I left the Hydro Flask over night in my car at 29F and it was still warm in the morning. Not sure what kind of special vacuum insulation they use, but it is good stuff.
Now for the little details. The lid seals well. I don’t worry about it upside down in my pack at all. The ring in the lid is strong enough to support itself from a carabiner. The sleek design is easy to clean. The mouth is smooth and easy to drink from. I haven’t had a chance to try any of their accessories, but I plan to. $28 is a lot for a water bottle, but again, you do get what you pay for. After you buy a Hydro Flask, I’m sure you will be tossing a bunch of the lesser brands to make way on your water bottle shelf. I know I will be.