Finding the Perfect Water Bottle: The Hunt is Over

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Aside from coffee, wine and the occasional can of Dr. Pepper, water is the only thing I drink.

It’s probably the only healthy thing I don’t struggle with. I never had to “cut out soda” because I’ve never been one to drink it regularly. I don’t even get down on myself when I do have have that giant Dr. Pepper because I know the next one I drink will be in like six months.

I only drink juice when I’m sick or mixing it with rum. I haven’t had a glass of milk since I was two when I stopped drinking it in protest of my mother taking away my bottle. I found out that fun fact like five years ago.

So water is my jam. I don’t even need to add flavors to it. I actually drink less water when I add stuff like lemon or mint.

Finding the perfect water bottle has been tricky. The perfect water bottle had to meet a few, but very important, qualifications.

  1. It couldn’t be plastic. I’m really trying to move away from using too much of the stuff. It’s great and it has some amazing uses, but I’m trying to limit my use of it.
  2. It had to keep water ice cold. I love an ice cold glass of water. Maybe it’s because my fridge didn’t have an ice maker so growing up ice was scarce. As soon as it gets to be room temperature, I stop drinking it as often.
  3. It had to be spill proof. I have this horrible personal flaw where I don’t close things very well. I’m notorious for leaving cans, jars and bottles open, which always ends up in me spilling the contents all over the floor or myself (I actually did it while writing this post. Not even lying) Water bottles are no different. I essentially need a sippy cup.

Not too hard right?

Yes. Apparently it was too hard. After years of searching, I finally found the perfect water bottle that meets all my criteria.

Behold HydroFlask.

This stainless steel water bottle is vacuumed insulated so it keeps ice water cold forever. I have literally found ice in it 13 hours later. The locking top makes it spill proof. I’m in love.

I was introduced to HydroFlask during a shopping trip to REI, a store that I’ve become in love with despite often feeling like the most out of shape person there. One of the employees recommended it to me and when I was checking out, the cashiers followed up with equally great reviews.

Initially, I purchased the purple one shown in the photo below.  Its slim design was great when we went hiking a couple of weeks later, and the top can be easily attached to a carabiner. I quickly fell in love with this water bottle. It kept water colder than any other water bottle I had ever experienced.

Photo: After the Knot

Photo: After the Knot

The only downside: the top. It wasn’t spill proof and it was a pain in the ass to open when I was driving. Despite that, it’s a great water bottle. So great that C asked me to pick up one for him.

I made my way back to REI and there I found the latest models. I think they’re made to be used for coffee as they also keep liquids warm, but I was just so, so excited. The size was a bit smaller and it’s a little bit heavier, but it had the spill proof top I was searching for. I bought one for C and another one for me.

Getting them in NY Islanders colors was a total coincidence. // Photo: After the Knot

Getting them in NY Islanders colors was a total coincidence. // Photo: After the Knot

If you want to purchase one for yourself, please use the affiliate links listed below. The price is the same, but I get a little commission for recommending the product.

21oz water bottle with the narrow mouth (in case you’re not as klutzy as me)

18oz water bottle wide mouth with Hydro Flip lid 

Runners Up

Before getting to Hydro Flask, I went through two other water bottles that weren’t bad and may meet your needs.

I was introduced to CamelBak by a friend of a friend and despite it being plastic, I really liked it. I loved that it was light — because it was plastic — and I LOVED that it was spill-proof.

Downsides: It sweats. Even the insulated one pictured below sweats. It doesn’t really keep water cold for very long and the mouth piece is hard to clean. You can buy replacements, but that’s kind of a hassle. I still use it when we go hiking because it’s light and water is water when you’re hiking.

I was really impressed with Contigo for a long time. It’s also vacuum insulated and it kept my water cold for a long time even when it was sitting in a hot car.

Downsides: You can’t put the colored ones in the dishwasher. I do anyway, but it eventually ends up looking like the one in the picture below. I also think putting it in the dishwasher regularly did something to the vacuum seal because it definitely doesn’t keep water cold for very long anymore. It’s also heavy and bulky. I still use it for coffee on my way into work, but I’ve stopped using it as a regular water bottle.

Photo: After the Knot

Photo: After the Knot

You might have other requirements for your water bottles so these could be good options for you. If you end up using any of these water bottles, come back and tell me what you think.