Whether at home, at the gym, or out on an adventure, you want to make sure you stay hydrated.
An insulated drink bottle will keep your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot throughout the day, so you can enjoy them at the perfect temperature wherever you are.
There’s more to a great drink bottle than insulation though, and the following guide should help you decide what features are important to you.
After the reviews below, we discuss the key things to look for in an insulated bottle to help you make the right choice.
Our top pick: Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic
Why we chose it: Klean Kanteen Classic bottles deliver on the basics and are built for adventure. They are vacuum insulated and feature a food-grade stainless steel lining that won’t impart flavours on your drink. These bottles are 100% leakproof and the lid has a handy hook so you can hang the bottle from a pack loop while on the move.
Klean Kanteen Classic bottles are available in a number of sizes and designs so you can select one that best suits your specific needs. They also come in a range of colours, so are perfect for fashion-conscious adventurers and also make great gifts.
Runner up: Yeti Rambler
Why we chose it: The Yeti Rambler is an insulated drink bottle that looks great and keeps drinks at the temperature you want them. The Chug Cap makes it easy to drink on the go, and the TripleHaul Cap provides a better grip so you’re less likely to drop it when you’re out and about.
The kitchen-grade stainless steel is rust-resistant and puncture-resistant, so it will stand up to all kinds of abuse. This bottle comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, so you know you can rely on it for years to come.
Best with straw: Klean Kanteen Insulated TKWide
Why we chose it: The TKWide bottle comes with a built-in reusable steel straw, making it perfect for people who like to regularly sip away without needing to unscrew the lid. Klean Kanteen’s TK Closure internal thread design increases thermal performance and makes it leak-proof.
The bottle has a tough chip-resistant powder coat finish so is a great option for travel or outdoor activities. This stainless-steel, BPA-free water bottle also has a slim design that fits in most cup holders, so it’s also a good choice for road trips.
What others say: Outdoor Gear Lab name this their favourite all-around bottle. They say it is “impressively well insulated, made from almost entirely recycled materials, and has the best feature set of any bottle we’ve tested.”
Also great: Frank Green Ceramic Reusable Bottle
Why we chose it: This stylish, multi-award-winning bottle comes in a wide range of fun colours and is triple wall vacuum insulated to retain heat or cold. The durable stainless steel construction is made to last, while the ceramic-lined interior ensures that it doesn’t impart or absorb flavours. It’s BPA-free and uses FDA & EU-approved materials, so you can feel confident about using this reusable bottle every day.
This bottle comes with either Frank Green’s famous push-button lid or an easy-to-use straw lid, so there’s no wrong way to enjoy your favourite drink. The dishwasher-safe lid makes it easy to clean after use.
Why we chose it: The design of this bottle is clean and sophisticated, making it perfectly suited to an office environment. However, it is still rugged enough to take travelling or hiking and thanks to its triple-layer insulation it can keep liquids hot for 12 hours or cold for more than 24 hours.
The seal on the bottle is airtight and will even keep carbonated beverages carbonated. The sleek shape of this bottle means it can fit nicely into the drink bottle sleeve on your backpack.
Why we chose it: Hydration has never been easier thank to this innovative product from EcoCocoon. This vacuum-insulated bottle has a great design that includes a leak-proof top that is nothing short of genius.
There’s no straw, and no pulling or twisting is required (perfect for gym-goers), and it’s condensation-free while still being insulated. This bottle is easy to clean and free from BPAs.
Why we chose it: This bottle features a magnetic top that helps restrain the cap while you’re taking a drink, perfect for those looking to stay hydrated while on the move. Meanwhile, the double-wall vacuum insulation ensures that the bottle will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours without ice.
Hot liquids will remain hot for up to six hours so you can keep yourself warm on chilly days. It has a narrow mouth that will prevent it from spilling while still being easy to drink. This is a bottle you can easily throw in your pack or gym bag without fuss.
Feature-packed and reliable, it’s easy to see why this tried and tested bottle is one of the most popular products on the market.
Why we chose it: A high-end insulated bottle, designed for those with a great love of the outdoors, the Hydro Flask features innovative tempshield insulation. This impressive design can keep your beverages cold for an entire day, or hot for up to six hours. Be sure to throw a few ice cubes in if you want to keep your drinks cool for longer.
The lid has a smooth twisting mechanism and comes with a handy carry handle. The interior design is rounded to make it harder for bacteria to build up and to ease cleaning to avoid lingering flavours and unwanted odours.
Insulated Water Bottle Buyer’s Guide
All insulated drink bottles are not created equal. If you want your water to stay cool (or hot) for long periods of time, ensure you go with a bottle from a reputable manufacturer that has at a minimum double wall insulation.
For efficient heat retention, you’ll want a bottle that is vacuum sealed, as opposed to being filled with foam or simply empty space that hasn’t been vacuumed sealed.
How Vacuum Flasks Work
To understand why vacuum sealing is effective for drink bottles, we need to quickly cover the basics of heat transfer.
The main mechanisms for heat transfer are convection (movement of molecules) and conduction (when molecules come into contact with each other).
As both of these require direct contact, any bottle that has layers that connect the cold water inside the bottle to warm air outside will result in the water warming over time.
Vacuum-sealed bottles have two layers, typically made from stainless steel.
The space between the layers is vacuumed, which reduced the exposure to other molecules and therefore reduces the heat transfer that occurs via conduction and convection.
This assists with the desired outcome of storing liquid at a constant temperature for extended periods.
Not only is this design great for heat retention, but it also eliminates pesky condensation on the outside of the bottle.
This design is certainly not a new concept and has been around a long time in popular brands like Thermos. It is, however, gaining popularity as environmentally conscious consumers look to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles by moving to reusable options and also reduce exposure to potentially harmful plastics.
Choose Based On Your Activities
When you’re looking for a water bottle you want to consider how you intend to use it as that’s going to play a major role in your final choice.
If you’re looking for a water bottle that can accompany you to the gym, a fairly entry-level bottle will suffice as it won’t need to keep the temperature cool for extended periods.
On the other hand, if you intend to use your bottle hiking or for travel, you’ll appreciate a flask that can retain temperatures for extended periods.
Some activities will require a more durable option. Water bottles are often dropped and if you’ll be out in the wild, yours could take some serious knocks.
If this is a concern, be sure to choose one with outdoor adventure in mind so you can be confident of the durability.
Insulated bottles come in a range of sizes so be sure to think about how long you need your water to last and what access you will have for a refill. Keep in mind that larger bottles are not only bulkier but also come with added weight.
Finally, there is a wide range of aesthetics on offer when it comes to drink bottles. If you’ll be using yours at work or while out and about you may opt for one with a sleek, more minimalist design.
Mouth, Lids, And Caps
How you can drink from your water container is going to be your next consideration.
Your options will include wide-mouth, narrow mouth, flip-caps with sippers and pull-stoppers.
When you’re on the move you’re generally going to want to avoid wide-mouth screw-tops as they can make it difficult to stay hydrated without spilling water all over yourself. They can, however, be the most pleasant option for home or office environments.
Keep in mind if you’re using your bottle predominantly at work you may end up pouring your drink into a cup, in which case a narrow mouth design would be the most suitable.
Types Of Liquid
Water is the obvious use for an insulated bottle, however, many users like the option of transporting other beverages within their vessel. Other cold drink options include iced tea, juice, soft drink and even beer or wine.
The insulation properties of these flasks mean they are also great for hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and soup.
If you’re keen on using your bottle for hot liquids, be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications as not all are suited for this use.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that flavours can sometimes remain in the bottle even after being rinsed.
Insulated Water Bottle FAQ
Your Best Digs tested a range of bottles and concluded Klean Kanteen insulated bottles have the best temperature insulation. Hydro Flask also is renowned for great insulation and are a favourite amongst outdoor enthusiasts who want to keep their beverages cold for days. If you really want to keep your beverage cold, throw in a few ice cubes just before you seal the bottle.
The best bottles for cold water are stainless steel with double or triple walled vacuum sealed insulated construction. This has been proven to be more effective than alternatives such as glass or plastic.
An insulated bottle is one where there is an outer and inner layer with something in between to reduce the transfer of heat between them. Some bottles use foam as an insulator however the most effective is empty space that has been vacuum-sealed.
Stainless steel is one of the safest materials you can choose for your water bottle. There are potential risks with plastic, such as BPA.
Stainless Steel bottles are generally better at remaining odour free than other materials like plastic, especially if you only use your bottle for water. However, over time some smells are likely to appear if you don’t wash it regularly. These smells are the result of bacteria that have been transferred from your mouth, hands, and other places, taking up residence on your bottle. Wash your bottle with warm soapy water and a bottle brush to ensure bacteria don’t have a chance to settle.
Stainless steel bottles are generally safe for hot drinks, however, some liquids such as tea can erode the inner layer. The taste from the coffee in your bottle is likely to remain for a while after so keep this in mind if you intend to also use the bottle for water. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications before using your bottle for any type of hot drink. Check out our guide on travel coffee mugs.
Stainless steel bottles are perfectly fine to be stored in the refrigerator. If your bottle is insulated, you may want to leave the lid off so the water can cool down faster. Also, water stored in a container for a period of time is likely to grow bacteria and mould and therefore become unpleasant to drink, so keep this in mind.