Author: The Adventure Lab Staff
We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more here.
Whether at home, gym, at the office or out on an adventure, you want to make sure you stay hydrated. The problem is no one wants to have a lukewarm drink while you’re pushing your way through the day, and that’s why you want a well-insulated bottle.
There’s more to a great bottle than insulation though, and the following guide should help you in your selection process.
After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to look for in an insulated bottle, followed by reviews of the best bottles on the market in Australia.
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #1 RATED
S'WELL INSULATED STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE
- Beautiful Design
- Triple wall insulation
- Portion of profit goes to charity
- Keeps contents cold for 24 hours, hot for up to 12
CAMELBAK CHUTE MAG
- Magnets keep cap stowed while drinking
- Dishwasher Safe
- Wide-Mouth Opening
- Angled Spout
- Internal Cap Threads
KLEAN KANTEEN 20OZ
- Double-Wall Vacuum Insulation
- 18/8 Stainless Steel
- Exterior is electropolished
- Holds temperature very well
- Safe for the Dishwasher
- Designs assists with cleaning
- No BPA’s
Insulated Water Bottle Buyers Guide
Insulation is Key
All 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, 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 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. For these activities, you’ll also be more concerned with weight, so should prioritise bottles that have been designed to be light-weight and easy to stash in your hiking backpack or daypack.
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 they also come with added weight.
Finally, there are 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 design or that shows off a bit of your personality.
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 poring 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 manufacturers 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 Reviews
#1 S'Well Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
BUY AT biome
The design of this bottle is clean and sophisticated, making it strong enough to withstand rugged excursions or accompany you to a business meeting. The BPA free design can keep liquids hot for 12 hours or cold for more than 24 hours.
The texture has a pleasant stone-like feel and is just as durable while the general style and appearance is inspired by semi-precious gems. 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 bag.
Triple wall insulation
Portion of profit goes to charity
Keeps contents cold for 24 hours, hot for up to 12
- Heavier than comparable bottles
#2 CAMELBAK CHUTE MAG
BUY AT AMAZON
This fantastic design comes with 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. The incredible insulated design ensures that the bottle will keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours without ice, longer if you add it.
Hot liquids will remain hot for up to six hours so you can keep yourself warm inside and out. It has a narrow mouth that will prevent it from spilling while 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.
Magnets keep cap stowed while drinking
Dishwasher Safe and BPA-Free
Internal Cap Threads
Good value for money
Plastic holding cap to the bottle is thin
Too big for most car holders
#3 KLEAN KANTEEN 20OZ
BUY AT CATCH
Klean Kanteen are one of the most popular insulated water bottle brands globally thanks to their high-performing products and great designs. Their bottles are also renowned for being lightweight, making them perfect for adventurers.
This bottle is a classic stainless steel design that features double-wall vacuum design, ensuring your drinks will stay hot or cold for a long time. Klean Kanteen vacuum-insulated bottles are incredibly efficient, with this model stated to keep drinks cold for 50 hours, or hot for up to 20 hours.
The coating is capable of handling the roughest treatment while being safe for people and the planet alike. The lid features a hook so you can hang the bottle from a pack loop while on the move. These bottles are available in number of sizes so you can select one that best suits your specific needs.
Coming in a range of colours, the Klean Kanteen bottles are perfect for fashion conscious adventurers and also make great gifts.
- Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated
- 18/8 Stainless Steel
- Exterior is electropolished
- Also available with wide mouth
Lip where the lid and mouth meet may trap water
May be difficult to clean the inside
#4 Hydro Flask
BUY AT amazon
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.
- Large 946 ml capacity
- Holds temperature very well
- Safe for the Dishwasher
- Wide mouth design for easy drinking
- Designs assists with easy cleaning
- Screw on cap less suitable for drinking on the move
#5 Ecococoon 500ml Stainless Steel Bottle
BUY AT biome
Hydration has never been easier thank to this impressive 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 to use, no pulling or twisting is required (perfect for gym goers), and its condensation-free while being insulated.
This bottle is easy to clean and free from BPAs, and has an exterior you can decorate with chalk pens!
- Double-walled for superior insulation
- Made from sturdy 18/8 stainless steel
- Great features and spill-proof design
- Easy to open and close
Can’t be frozen
Must be hand-washed
Lid is made of plastic
Our top pick is the S'Well Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle thanks to the durability, reliability of its insulation and its versatility of being suitable for the outdoors, home or office. You can rely on this bottle to keep your water cold for long periods of time.
The Klean Kanteen is our best value thanks to the quality on offer at a reasonable price point. It’s designed to handle the roughest treatment and is designed to be safe for the environment. It is reported to keep drinks cool for an impressive 50 hours. No matter what you choose, all of these bottles are great products that are sure to serve you well.
Insulated water bottle FAQs
What water bottle keeps water cold the longest?
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.
Which bottle is best for cold water?
The best bottles for cold water are stainless steel with double walled vacuum sealed insulated construction. This has been proven to be more effective than alternatives such as glass or plastic. We recommend this bottle from S'WELL.
What is an insulated water bottle?
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.
Is stainless steel water bottle safe?
Stainless steel is one of the safest materials you can choose for your water bottle. There are potential risks with plastic, some known, such as BPA, but there are possibly other nasty chemicals yet to be discovered.
Why does my water bottle smell?
Stainless Steel bottles are generally better at remaining odour free that 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 doesn’t have a chance to settle.
Can you put coffee in stainless steel water bottle?
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 manufacturers specifications before using your bottle for any type of hot drinks.
Can you put stainless steel water bottles in the fridge?
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.