8 Best Water Bottle for Hiking (Lightweight and Durable)
When going out for a hike, a water bottle is one of the most essential things to bring along with you. That’s why we research for the best water bottles for hiking. Reusable bottles like these are very handy and convenient when you are outdoors. There are a lot of bottles to choose from but we based on capacity, portability, insulation, safety, durability, and weight.
In this quick guide, we will be going through some of the top rated bottles for hiking, different types of bottles, and a cleaning guide. The bottles include a range of styles, from the safe Tritan Co-Polyester plastic or stainless steel bottles with high quality insulated bottles that are excellent for keeping hot and cold drinks for hours. Read along so you can discover which one you’d like to purchase.
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List of Best Water Bottles for Hiking
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*For more information about NCS (Net Customer Satisfaction) grade, please click here. (Price range: $ = $1 - $25 / $$ = $26 - $50 / $$$ = $51 -$100 / $$$$ = $101 - $200 / $$$$$ = $201 - $250 /$$$$$$ = Above $250)
Quick Buying Guide
Here are some criteria to consider when buying a hiking water bottle. Putting these things into careful thought when buying a hiking bottle can help you choose the best one that suits your needs.
When you’re going for a hike, one of the most important things to consider is how much liquid your bottle can contain. Remember that the capacity will depend on your needs and every bottle has different sizes.
Choose one that is easy to carry yet contains the amount of water that’s enough for your hiking activity. About 30 – 40 Oz. capacity is just nice for half day hike.
Since you’re hiking, you’ll be outdoors with your bottle. So, it is good to have one that is easy to carry. A good and portable water bottle should offer different ways of carrying them. Some can include pouches, slings, and different handles, that will also allow you to hook them to your bag or other items. Most importantly, a bottle should fit on your hiking backpack or side pocket steadily.
When choosing a hiking water bottle, also add into consideration the insulation features. It’s nice to take a hike and have ice cold water from your water bottle, so it’s important that your bottle can keep the right temperatures for your drinks. Some of these bottles can also keep liquids warm, so that’s another thing to look into. Check out this post for more top rated insulated water bottle.
You’ll be mostly using your bottle outdoors, so you want your water to be kept safe. Manufacturers of these water bottles should only use quality materials that make their product safe for keeping beverages. Look for bottles that are BPA-free and made with food grade materials to help keep microbes and bacteria from growing.
Bigger bottle can store more water, but it can be a nuisance to lug along a large bottle and not forgetting to mention the extra weight. You can opt for a water bottle that has a filter to help filter water from stream or river so that you can drink it safely.
The filtered water bottle is all lightweight and easy to carry. Check out this post for some of the best water filter bottles you can buy. Many of them make the best backpacking water bottle for hiking due to lightweight.
Hiking can be considered a tough activity, so having a durable bottle is also a feature that is very important. You want your bottle to withstand use during every hike and you want to avoid changing it very often. A bottle should last for years under strenuous use. Make sure that your bottle is made with high-quality materials so that it will last long.
In line with portability, weight is another thing to consider because you’ll be carrying your bottle around when hiking. There are a lot of bottle made with lightweight materials and would only seem heavy because of the water it contains. It should be easy to carry and won’t be a burden when you hike.
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The Top 3 Best Hiking Water Bottle Reviews
There are many types of water bottle that are suitable for hiking and each one has their advantages and disadvantages. Also, the best type that suits you depends on your needs. There are many factors you should consider including use, storage, and durability.
In general, a stainless-steel bottle is heavier but durable and able to keep drink cold or hot longer. However, a plastic bottle is more portable but they aren’t dishwasher safe and not as durable as the stainless steel ones.
Thermos Stainless King 40oz Beverage Bottle
This is the best insulated stainless steel water bottle that you can use on your next hike. It is made with the Thermos patented vacuum insulation which keeps your beverages at the right temperature for a longer period of time. So, whether you want to store you drinks hot or cold, this thermos is one of the best to use.
The thermos exteriors and interiors are made with durable stainless steel that makes it a sturdy bottle. It has 4 color options to choose.
While some reviewers find that it doesn’t keep their coffee hot for long enough, the product makes up for it by effectively keeping water ice cold. The cover can also be used as a serving cup adding more convenience to drinking and the stopper can pour neatly without having any mess.
Rating / Grade
Embrava Sports Water Bottle 32oz Large
This sports water bottle flip cap by Embrava is ergonomically designed for active individuals. It is the best plastic water bottle for hiking because of its safe and durable BPA-free Tritan Co-Polyester material that is shatter-resistant. It has a spill proof lid that makes it easy to drink with one push of a button.
The only drawback we saw here is that it doesn’t have insulation. However, this is considerably an ultralight backpacking water bottle that is leak and dust proof, and that makes up for what it lacks. This bottle makes it easy to drink while you’re on the go which makes it one of the best for hiking.
Also, each purchase is 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason our product doesn’t meet your standards, just send it back our way for a replacement or a full refund. It has 4 color options to choose.
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The Coldest Water 21oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Bottle
Just as its names states, and because of many positive reviews, this is the best water bottle to keep water cold. If you have ice cubes inside the bottle, you will likely still see some of if after 12 hours or more.
This bottle is made of high quality and durable stainless steel, and is double wall vacuum insulated which makes it effective in keeping your drink’s temperature. It is also BPA-free so you’re sure that your drink is safe.
Some reviewers say that the bottle cap is hard to screw back on, but it still does a great job overall. This bottle is easy to grip and carry, plus it was made for athletes, making it a great bottle for hiking. Additionally, the bottle doesn’t sweat, so you can place it in your hiking backpack.
Also, each purchase is 100% satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason our product doesn’t meet your standards, just send it back our way for a replacement or a full refund. The bottle size is also made to be compatible with many car’s cup holders and has 5 color options to choose.
Rating / Grade
We go through hundreds of products listing at Amazon and also study the ratings left by previous buyers to find the best water bottle for hiking for you. Besides that, we also calculate the overall net customer satisfaction (NCS) grade because we want to see how happy is the previous buyers with their purchase of the product.
From our finding, we can say that Thermos, Embrava and The Coldest Water are the best water bottle for hiking brands. These brands are popular and received many excellent ratings for their products.
Also, the Thermos Stainless King Beverage Bottle, Embrava Sports Water Bottle and The Coldest Water Bottle Travel Mug score favorably for the ratings as well as the NCS grade compare to the rest. We believe that you would find these water bottles a good buy too.
Plastic, Stainless Steel or Glass
The most common water bottle is made of plastic. The reason for this because it’s cheaper to produce and also quite durable.
Furthermore, manufacturer figured out that very likely water bottle get changed quite often, so a plastic bottle is much cheaper for the buyer to replace a new one frequently.
Though plastic water bottles are cheaper but make sure that you always get one that is made of food grade material and BPA free.
A few downsides of a plastic water bottle are that they can develop a plasticky smell if you don’t consistently clean them or leave water inside for a long time, less durable compared to steel bottle and they do not offer any insulation.
The main advantage of a stainless steel water bottle is tough. It can endure more harsh use and if you drop them from any height, it won’t crack but most likely some dents and scratch but still usable.
Beside that this kind of bottle can provide insulation function to keep drinks hot or cold for 24 hours or more like the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Insulated Bottle and YETI Rambler that you can find here.
Moreover, stainless steel water bottle is quite easy to clean and maintain. Start with a soap water wash. Then insert into the dishwasher to complete the cleaning.
If you occasionally use the bottle for coffee and after some time it will develop aftertaste. Use vinegar plus baking soda to get rid of the lingering tastes.
The biggest reason for you to use a glass water bottle is the absence of plastic or metallic taste that you can get with the other 2 material types.
Unlike plastic and steel, glass will not leach any aftertaste from other drinks even you use the bottle for all sort of drinks. Also, not forgetting to mention that glass bottle is the safest compared to the 2 other materials.
However, the reason we do not feature any glass water bottle solely due to its durability. As you are using the bottle for hiking, it’s very likely the bottle will go through some rough situation.
Even the silicone sleeves that are wrapped around many glass bottles do not keep them from being the least durable option.
Are Plastic Water Bottles Safe to Use?
While this is a debatable topic but generally plastic is safe to be used as a water bottle. The reason people are concern because of BPA involved or also knows as bisphenol A as it poses a carcinogen risk. The reason manufacture previously uses BPA on a plastic bottle is to make the bottle tougher and shatter-resistant.
Due to the growing concern toward the use of BPA, many manufacturers have already abandoned using BPA in making plastic bottles, especially in children product. While worries over BPA is real but in 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) re-evaluation their stand on BPA and commented that BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group.
To be on the safe side, it’s best for now to avoid any plastic products that have BPA or alternative to BPA like the BPS and BPF and only time will tell if BPA is risk-free like claimed by the EFSA. Nonetheless, the Tritan brand of plastic, made by Eastman Chemical and used in our plastic bottle recommendation above is free from any BPA, BPS or any other bisphenols. So, it is safe for human use.
Another concern about the plastic bottle is a compound called plasticizers. This compound is also used to make plastics flexible but still remain the strong form. While it is claimed that plasticizer is harmful to human, but the research is inconclusive. Hence, there is not enough data to confirm the claims.
Also, according to Neal Langerman, principal scientist and owner of the consulting firm Advanced Chemical Safety did research on this subject. He performed accelerated-aging studies (equivalent of 5 to 6 years) on such materials and claimed that the amount of plasticizer leech into the liquid stored in the plastic could not cause any harm to human.
Wash it with warm soapy water
How to clean your bottle depends on what type it is and what kind of drinks you use it for. You can use the manufacturer’s directions to clean them. If you’re only drinking water with it, then a good rinse with mild soap and water will prevent bacteria to build up. Allow it to air dry before closing and storing it to avoid stagnant water that can stink.
Wash it with dishwasher
Of course, the easiest way is to chuck the bottle into a dishwasher and let the machine get the cleaning job done. But before you do that, make sure you have checked the product manual to see if the water bottle is dishwasher safe. Usually, stainless steel and glass bottles are safe for the dishwasher.
Before inserting the bottle into the dishwasher, make sure to give it a wash first especially the inside. We love to use the Water Bottle Cleaning Set by OXO Good Grips to get the job done. This dishwasher-safe kit comes together with a large bottle brush, a skinny straw brush, and a looped detail-cleaning brush. All these brushes are all kept together in a handy ring so you won’t lose any of the parts.
Wash it with vinegar and baking soda
Vinegar plus baking soda is one of the best natural and harmless ingredients that you can use to effectively killing certain germs and bacteria. Also, if you been using your water bottle besides water, over time gunk will be built in the inner wall and that can give you an aftertaste in your water. Baking soda is very effective at cleaning gunk and stains.
Try this method: after washing with soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and fill your bottle one-fifth of the way with white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Fill the rest with warm water, let it stand overnight, and in the morning thoroughly rinse it out. Don’t close the cover though as gas generated from the baking soda and it needs to be released.
Wash it with water bottle cleansing tablets
Camelbak and Hydrapak is one of those companies that selling the water bottle cleansing tablets which can effectively clean the bottle for you. Just drop the tablet into the bottle and add water. If you want more cleansing power, pour in 1/5 vinegar and add 1 tablespoon baking soda to get the job done well. No scrubbing required. Best use to clean stainless steel bottles.
Benefits of Using a Water Bottle
The best hiking water bottle lasts long and also defeats consumption of single-use plastic water bottles. If you buy one of the good quality ones, you can reuse that bottle for years and avoid additional trash from plastic bottles. Reusable bottles are very eco-friendly and reduce landfills.
Another apparent reason, but also the best one, is that reusable bottles are very convenient for hiking. Compared to their single-use counterparts which you waste money on, these reusable bottles are easy to refill with water before a hiking activity. You can fill them up ahead of time and keep them in the chiller to have cold water the next day.
Keeps you hydrated
Water bottles serve their purpose well and keep you hydrated throughout your hike. Your bottle makes water readily available to you so you can drink when you’re thirsty. Drinking water during hiking is very important because it’s very easy to get dehydrated. That’s why it’s important to have a water bottle with you.
Not so often noticed, but a good water bottle won’t leave an “off” taste to your water because it is made with the best materials, unlike other cheap low-quality bottles. Some bottles that are made of plastic leave a plastic aftertaste to your drink. This is a good reason to choose the best over the lesser quality.
Sometimes drinking from a water bottle can be an inconvenience especially both of your hands are occupied. In such situations, a hydration bladder and hydration pack will give you the extra convenience to drink water at hand-free. Here are some of the option of hydration bladders and hydration packs:
A good option for a hydration bladder is the Camelbak Antidote. The bladder, a collapsible plastic reservoir ranging from one to several liters in volume, is attached to a hose that you suck on to draw water into your mouth.
To use it, just fill up water into the bag and pack the bladder into your backpack and transfer the tube through the hold specially designed for tubes. Most backpack nowadays has such hold ready. The disadvantage of a bladder is that it is hard to clean and less durable.
Much like a backpack but the main compartment is just large enough to store a bag of water. This is not your regular backpack where you can stuff a lot of things into it and carry around but rather just a small backpack. There are a few compartments for you to store some food and emergency kit, though.
The good thing about this hydration packs is when you don't want to carry your entire backpack on your full-day hike or bike ride but still need to stay hydrated throughout the day. One of the excellent options of such backpack is the CamelBak M.U.L.E. This backpack design to give you maximum ventilation and lightweight.
Other hydration packs like the Salomon running hydration pack is suitable for a runner where they can wear it not only to store water and drink it hands-free through the tube but also their GPD device and phone.
As for the cycling hydration packs are designed for cycling folks. The backpack is specially designed to store large amount of water, compartment for food as well as essential bicycle tools, and sometimes even rain gear.
Bottle Care and Maintenance
Overtime, your bottle may have gone through so much use and would need replacement. There are different reasons why you would want to buy a new one and the best thing to do is to inspect your old water bottle for any cracks, discoloration, dents, rust or signs of being worn down. If your bottle shows any of these after years of use, then it’s time for a replacement.
Staying hydrated is one of the most essential things after long hikes and bike rides. There are many water bottles you can choose from and finding the perfect one that suits your needs depends on many factors. When you decide to buy one, think about it thoroughly so you can pick the best.
We hope that our guide will make your purchase easier. Our top three picks are carefully picked for their high positive reviews, high-quality material, portability, and great insulation. These are considerably the best water bottle for hiking that you can use on your next outdoor activity.