Insulated water bottles are an essential gear item for summer — that much is obvious. But they also have lots of great uses throughout the year. Check out the best-insulated bottles of 2021 here.
If you’re looking to purchase a water bottle for outdoor adventures, an insulated bottle should be high on your list. Insulated bottles are designed to keep cold liquids colder longer (and hot liquids hotter), and are usually higher-quality and more durable than their plastic counterparts.
Plus, having a reusable water bottle is great for the environment. Read on to find the best-insulated water bottles on the market.
For this review, we looked at water bottles that have some form of insulation (whether ceramic or stainless steel construction) and a good-sealing cap or lid. And we evaluated each on factors like insulation, shape and volume, durability, and price. Then we checked each brand’s bottle performance through online reviews across multiple platforms.
To choose the best of the best, we ranked each bottle on features, feedback from our testing, the volume of positive reviews and feedback, and price. Scroll through our picks for the best-insulated water bottles of 2021 or jump to a category below:
The Best Insulated Water Bottles of 2021
Best Overall: Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle 24oz.
Sometimes you don’t want to mess with the OG. Hydro Flask’s Standard Mouth bottle ($35) won out as the best insulated bottle, with an overall 4.61-star rating across a massive 13,000 reviews.
The brand’s double-wall vacuum insulation and pro-grade stainless steel are designed to maintain drink temperatures for hours without altering taste, and we found during testing that this bottle is pretty durable as well. As one reviewer put it, the Standard Mouth can really take a beating and still work great.
Reviewers rave about this bottle for its great insulation and lineup of more than 10 fun colors. Also, being on the skinnier side, it fits in most cupholders and pack pockets. While it comes in 18- and 21-ounce sizes, we like the 24-ounce best for most activities.
Why you should buy: We’ve hiked with it for days, left it in hot cars for hours, and used it from office to trail. Plus, Hydro Flask offers a lifetime warranty.
Runner-Up: YETI Rambler Chug Water Bottle 18oz.
YETI’s 18-ounce Rambler Bottle ($30) is another amazing insulated bottle. This one tied with our top choice for its stainless steel construction, insulating performance, and price. However, it weighs slightly more — although that also gives it points for durability.
The cap style, its ease of drinking, and protection against leaks was the only controversial feedback amongst testers — some love the cap, some don’t. That’s about it.
Why you should buy: This bottle had the most 5-star ratings out of all the ones we tested and is a super-solid choice for the price. It was also in our top three for most durable (in terms of deterring dents and dings and overall longevity).
Best Budget: GSI Outdoors MicroLite 500 Insulated Bottle
GSI Outdoors dedicates an entire section of its website to all things insulated. But the best insulated bottle the brand makes, in our opinion, is the MicroLite 500. (The 500 refers to 500mL, but it also comes in a 750mL/24-ounce size.) In addition to performing great in testing, this bottle is one of the lightest insulated stainless steel bottles on the market at a little under 8 ounces.
The MicroLite 500 ($26) is also our “best for hot contents” choice — it really lives up to that leakproof level we all search for. We don’t have quantitative proof, but hot liquids stay really hot in this bottle, and we mean piping hot. Reviewers agree. (And the cold stuff stays cold too if you were wondering.)
The flip cap — while it does have a little bit more complicated construction — is also really wonderful for travel, and we believe it’s a really nice feature. And the lock feature works well; it doesn’t accidentally pop open and spill contents when this bottle is in your pack. One thing we will note, though, is that you’ll want to wash the interior cap thoroughly between uses and drinks.
Why you should buy: In short, contents stay very hot or very cold, and the price is right.
Best of the Rest
We decided not to choose any bottle as the most durable or most versatile because all of the insulated bottles below performed great and proved plenty durable — both during daily use and out on the trail.
If you’re looking for something different (whether in cap style, size, or color) from our top three above, check out these bottles below.
This bottle has a unique cap design but still functions great. The cap is a screw cap that flips open to attach to a magnet out of the way.
If you’re a multitasker and want a bottle with easy one-handed opening and no chance of losing your cap, this bottle might be for you. (Bonus: It’s a universal cap that fits a slew of other CamelBak bottles.) Despite the cap design, this bottle is on the lighter side, and we found it to be very durable, especially when traveling.
The CamelBak Chute Mag ($30) has 18/8 grade stainless steel construction with a BPA-free magnetic cap. Reviewers love how cold ice and water stay in this bottle, but some commented that it’s prone to leaking.
Why you should buy: The volume for the price point makes this a super-great investment.
The bottle boasts it will keep contents cold for over 14 hours thanks to its smooth interior ceramic construction (as opposed to stainless steel). This classic bottle has over 4 stars. It has a silicone footpad and is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. Stanley also offers a lifetime guarantee with the GO Vacuum Bottle ($35).
Why you should buy: If you don’t mind carrying a bottle that’s slightly heavier than most, and don’t want a stainless steel interior, go for this Stanley vacuum bottle.
Hydro Flask’s new Lightweight Trail Series bottles have really won us over. If it weren’t for the price, this bottle might be in our top three.
The Lightweight Wide Mouth ($45) weighs just 10 ounces, has a perforated strap to keep weight down, and is designed to work with most backcountry water filters. It’s also gotten super-high reviews (over 4.9 stars on Hydro Flask’s site) since its launch.
Why you should buy: If you want to invest in a Hydro Flask, this is the best lightweight option.
This Klean Kanteen bottle ($40) has a wide mouth, is vacuum-insulated, and holds 32 ounces of your drink of choice. It’s more expensive than others on this list but has everything you need: a cap and fold-down carry handle, a stainless steel interior, and insulation to keep liquids cold or hot for over 20 hours.
Some testers commented that they don’t like the lid design. We noted that it’s slightly narrower and shorter than other wide-mouths on this list.
Why you should buy: This Klean Kanteen is very durable and also has a bunch of interchangeable cap options.
Hydro Flask made a pretty awesome solution to those who don’t like the style of a wide-mouth bottle (but want something with lots of volume): a straw drinking lid.
This 32-ounce bottle has the same stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulation as the standard Hydro Flask bottle but measures slightly wider and has the option of a straw lid. But at $50, it’s definitely an investment.
Reviewers noted that this bottle is great at keeping water cold for at least 24 hours and holds up really well to daily use.
Why you should buy: If you want something durable and with more volume, get this Hydro Flask.
Purist uses a glass interior to combat the odors and flavors some don’t like in their stainless steel bottles. Meanwhile, the exterior sports the tried-and-true stainless steel construction for durability. The brand’s medium size, the Mover 18 oz. bottle ($50), has a convenient sipping cap.
We also liked testing the 32-ounce, wide-mouth size (same insulation and materials, just holds more), although the 18-ounce fits much better in cupholders, packs, and bags. We like the muted colors and professional aesthetic of this brand.
Why you should buy: If you can’t stand the aftertaste of stainless steel, go for this sleek glass-insulated bottle instead.
CamelBak MultiBev 12 and 17oz. & 16 and 22oz.
This is by no means a bottle you’ll want to take backpacking, but it’s a really cool design. CamelBak designed the MultiBev ($48-50) for just what it sounds like — multiple beverages on the go.
It’s great to fill up with water or coffee at the start of your day, and then have a reusable and insulated option for other drinks later. The incorporated cup is also great for sharing, and both components hold the cold and hot temps well.
However, it’s heavier and pricier than most.
Why you should buy: If you want something really versatile and great for travel and don’t mind paying a higher price, this CamelBak bottle is for you.
Klean Kanteen’s latest water bottle in its stainless steel product lineup is the TKWide with new construction, threading, and cap options. The TKWide comes in 16-, 20-, or 32-ounce sizes. It’s made with 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and a vacuum-insulated design. It also has a chip-resistant powder coat finish (on color bottle options).
We’ve been using the new TKWide 20-ounce bottle ($33) and like its travel compatibility with cupholders and backpacks, its durability, and its leakproof-ness. The TKWide is dishwasher safe and is compatible with five different caps, including the newest Twist Cap with a built-in straw. Our only note? The carry handle is thin and requires some dexterity to lock and pop in/out of place.
Klean Kanteen says this bottle can keep contents cold up to 59 hours; we tested it up to about 30 hours (and assume it could stay cold longer).
Why you should buy: If you want to purchase a bottle (or a few) with a variety of cap and size options that also keeps contents icy cold for hours.
Like YETI, ORCA also makes durable, insulated coolers for the outdoors and drinkware with the same insulation to match. The ORCA Hydra ($30) has 18/8 grade stainless steel double-wall construction with a super-grippy carry handle.
We found its insulation to perform about as well as a Hydro Flask in keeping water cold. Really, if you like the look of this bottle, go for it — it’s also got a great price tag.
Why you should buy: Get the Hydra if you like bold colors and want to support a small(er) business.
CamelBak’s Podium Chill Bottle ($16) has more reviews and higher ratings than Polar, one of the first plastic insulated bottle brands on the market, which is big. The Podium Chill has an overall 4-plus-star rating across nearly 3,500 reviews. It comes in 21- and 24-ounce bike cage-compatible sizes and has a twist lock jet valve to prevent spills.
Reviewers used to have lots of problems with the valve and cap, but CamelBak has recently redesigned that feature. This is a great bottle for rides (it’s also one of the narrowest insulated bottles we could find).
Why you should buy: If you want an insulated bottle that works outside for under $20, grab the Podium Chill.
This is the only one of two bottles on our list that isn’t made with double-wall stainless steel for insulation. Like the CamelBak Podium Chill, Specialized’s plastic insulated bottle ($20) uses a BPA-free plastic insulating barrier to keep contents cold. This bottle also comes with a fantastic price point and doesn’t require unscrewing or opening any sort of cap.
Why you should buy: If you want something that’s insulated, has an easy-squeeze feature, and will fit in a bike cage, get this Specialized bottle.
How to Choose an Insulated Water Bottle
Pick a water bottle with enough volume for all your activities. If you really love one particular insulated bottle, consider getting two sizes — one for daily use and one with more volume for longer trips or travel. (And also consider if the bottle you’ve chosen will work with a water filter or in your pack pocket if you know you’ll be taking it with you on the trail.)
Make sure the bottle you choose lists how long it keeps water (or other liquids) cold. The standard is 24 hours, but we’ve noticed in many of these bottles the contents will stay colder for longer. You’ll want to know how good the insulation is, especially if you live in a hotter climate.
Another decision you should make when choosing between bottles is what type of mouth you want. Do you want narrow for easy drinking, or wider to fit in a water filter? Do you want options for interchangeable caps? All these are things to consider.
What are the interior and exterior materials? Most insulated bottles use some form of stainless steel double-wall insulation, but not all. Also look at the exterior material: Is there a powder coating? Does it reduce condensation? Is there a rubber grip or protective design on the base?
Once you find a bottle you think will work for you, pick out a fun color while you’re at it! Colors are mainly just a preference but can also help identify your bottle in a crowd.
Lastly, think hard about your budget. These bottles are an investment but totally worth it, especially if, like us, you spend lots of time outside. And before buying, always check to see if your favorite bottle is on sale.
What Is the Best Insulated Water Bottle?
On this list, we have selected the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth 24oz bottle as the best overall insulated water bottle. This option provides a useful blend of quality insulation and heavy-duty construction. We also like that it fits easily in most cupholders.
Still, the best-insulated water bottle is the one that meets your needs. If you are looking for a bottle with greater volume, you may want to go with the 32oz Hydro Flask Wide Mouth or the 32oz Klean Kanteen TKPro.
Which Water Bottle Keeps Liquid Hot and Cold the Longest?
All of the bottles on this list will do a great job at keeping your hot liquids hot and your cold liquids cold for impressively long periods. That said, the GSI Outdoors MicroLite 500 performs exceptionally well when filled with hot contents. It’s a lightweight bottle that keeps liquids piping hot and is thoroughly leakproof.
The Stanley GO Vacuum Bottle has a smooth ceramic interior that helps keep its contents cold for over 14 hours.
Does Bacteria Build Up in Insulated Water Bottles?
It is important to regularly clean reusable water bottles to prevent the growth of bacteria. Many insulated water bottles are dishwasher safe, and others can be easily cleaned with dish soap and hot water.
On this list, many of the bottles are made from easy-to-clean materials such as stainless steel and ceramic. After cleaning, it is a good idea to take the cap off of your bottle and let it fully air dry.
Can I Put Coffee, Tea, and Food in My Insulated Water Bottle?
Generally, it is safe to fill insulated water bottles with contents other than water. For coffee and tea, an insulated water bottle can allow you to enjoy a hot drink all through the morning. However, it is especially important that you clean your bottle thoroughly after filling it with anything other than water. Because of the different shapes of insulated bottles, some are easier to clean than others.
For food like hot soup or oatmeal, you’re going to be better off with a food-specific thermos. These are similar to insulated water bottles, but their short and stout shape makes them easier to use and clean. A good thermos can keep hot food at a safe temperature for hours — an excellent counterpart to an insulated bottle!
Can I Put My Insulated Water Bottle in the Dishwasher?
Yes, many insulated water bottles are dishwasher safe. Always double-check the manufacturer’s directions before washing your bottle. If your bottle is not dishwasher safe, it can be cleaned with hot water, a little dish soap, and a thorough rinsing.
What’s the Best Way to Rinse an Insulated Water Bottle?
Always check to see what the manufacturer suggests. Many insulated water bottles can be washed in the dishwasher, which is an effective way to thoroughly remove any bacteria that may be present.
If washing by hand, scrub the inside and outside of the bottle with hot water and dish soap. Be sure to fully clean out the threads on both the cap and bottle. After cleaning, let all parts fully air dry.
How Long Do Insulated Water Bottles Last?
Thanks to hardy stainless steel or ceramic construction, a good insulated water bottle should last many years — or potentially decades for the careful owner. We’ve all seen those old green Stanley bottles that are 3 decades old and still going strong.
The biggest threat to insulated water bottles is puncturing. If the double or triple-walled insulation of your bottle is punctured, it will lose its ability to insulate. To prevent this, avoid dropping your bottle onto jagged or hard surfaces. Plastic insulated water bottles are less prone to dents and punctures, but they are generally not as rugged overall.
That’s it! Go forth, hydrate, and have fun!
Have a favorite insulated water bottle we missed? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.