Hydro Flask Water Bottle Review

Overall Score

Last Updated February 28, 2022
  • Ease of Use 80% 80%
  • Durability 55% 55%
  • Seal 100% 100%
  • Maintenance 60% 60%
  • Insulation 80% 80%

Key Takeaways

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Versatile Bottle

Offers a surprising amount of capacity for its size and weight.

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Effective Insulator

The thinner walls provide decent insulation while keeping weight down.

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We Recommend the Flex Boot

Invest in the extra “flex boot” to protect the bottom of the bottle that can be damaged if dropped in the wrong conditions.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

No Sweat

Changeable Tops

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Overview

Hydro Flask has cultivated a devoted following in the last several years, especially among the outdoorsy crowd. It has even been deemed the unofficial bottle of Coloradans who seem to prefer this one over any other brand. This was not by accident either. Hydro Flask states their products are inspired by outdoor recreation and their branding indicates they try hard to connect with this audience. It’s not complete corporate fluff either; Hydro Flask is true to the outdoors and even has a charitable program, Parks for All, that has donated millions of dollars to benefit public green spaces.

Hydro Flask offers a wide range of colors and styles. Their bottles are available in over 15 different shades, offering a full spectrum of natural tones and brighter options. If the base product colors don’t fit your look, you have option to customize using “My Hydro,” a service available on the Hydro Flask website where you pick a unique strap, cap, bottle and boot. This is without a doubt the most customizable brand we’ve reviewed!

We tested the 21oz version and found it was a practical combination of size, weight and capacity. It held up well in all areas of testing and our team appreciated the quality and experience when using it. Speaking of quality, readers should know it comes with a lifetime warranty and their US-based customer service team was very responsive when we reached out with questions. Overall, we consider the Hydro Flask worthy of the praise it receives. Whether it’s for a backpacking trip up in the mountains or simply for use around the house, we think this bottle is a great option and a must-add to your collection.

Ease of Use

We chose to review the “standard mouth” version since it seemed to have a practical shape that would suit it for a variety of activities. Hydro Flask also offers a “wide mouth” line that might be a better fit if you prefer bigger sips or the option of attaching a straw cap. Both versions offer similar features including a twist off cap, a rubber handle that attaches to either side of the cap and a solid-feeling stainless steel construction.

We were impressed with this product after using it for a few weeks. The bottle is easy to carry; we found the girth on the 21oz version could be easily gripped by hand while users also had the option of holding it by the sturdy rubber strap attached to the cap. The powder coat is sleek, but not slippery and didn’t prevent users from getting a good grip even in wet conditions. Opening and closing was as simple as it gets for a twist-off cap and required less than one full 360° rotation. When tightening the cap on the bottle, we appreciated the feedback provided by the rubber gasket. You’ll know the when the bottle is sealed without having to apply much torque. 

Our testers used the Hydro Flask in a variety of situations, both outdoors and indoors, and offered high praise as far as the ease of use. One team member used this bottle during a series of weekend trips in Bozeman, MT and Sun Valley, ID and was impressed with the experience it offered:

“I brought the Hydro Flask on a few hikes and loved it from the start. It has to be one of the easiest bottles to carry. I found the rubber strap to be pretty comfortable on my fingers even when the bottle was completely full… it also made drinking easy sinceI didn’t need to worry about dropping the cap on the floor… I would recommend the larger sizes if you’re out for a full day, but for quick hikes this one was great… I also loved how it was narrow enough to fit in the sleeve of my pack.”

The bottle received equally good reviews from folks who used it at home and at work. One reviewer specifically commented on the “ideal” size of the 21oz model that made it easy to carry by hand and place it in the cupholder of her car. She also noted she could easily fit ice cubes through the mouth despite it not being the “wide” mouth version.

Drinking from a Hydro Flask

The 21oz Hydro Flask is a great pick for short to mid-length day hikes. If you’re going to tackle a longer trail you should consider the larger 40oz or 64oz models.

 

Durability

The Hydro Flask feels strong in the hand when gripped, just as you’d expect from a top stainless steel brand. This strength is enough to deflect minor damage as we saw firsthand during testing. Only a few scratches were noticed after daily use that included gym sessions, commutes, use during the work day and short hikes. We consider this level of damage normal and on par with other stainless steel bottle we’ve tested.

A higher degree of damage was noticed when the product was subjected to more intense testing. One of our team members carelessly dropped his Hydro Flask on a concrete surface at roughly 75% capacity and reported moderate denting at the base where it made contact with the ground. Some paint chipped off which exposed the metal underneath, but thankfully the damage was mostly aesthetic. The bottle still worked well and the paint peeling wasn’t exacerbated after hand washing and running it through the dishwasher. The reviewer noted a slight imbalance to the bottle when rested on a flat surface.

If you’re like us and know that a few drops are inevitable, we recommend you purchase the “flex boot,” a rubber attachment that wraps around the bottom of the bottle. It’s made of a durable rubber material that will certainly prevent scratches and scrapes and help you protect your purchase. Unfortunately, at this time, the flex boot does not come with the bottle.

Hydro Flask in the snow

The Hydro Flask is as durable as any other stainless steel bottle out there. It held up well during our end-to-end testing that included exposing it to the outdoor elements.

Seal

There were no leaks reported during the testing period for the Hydro Flask. As mentioned in an earlier section, the screw lid requires only a small turn to fully open or close, making this bottle nearly foolproof. One reviewer had a tip that might reassure any users who are on the fence about purchasing the Hydro Flask with this cap type:

“The top cap can be screwed on very tight for extra reassurance, but I found that a slightly looser fit also did the trick thanks to the rubber gasket on the cap. You don’t t need to apply much strength to keep this bottle closed and that’s definitely worth noting.”

Maintenance

Hydro Flask is one of the few double walled stainless steel bottles that is 100% dishwasher safe, including the cap. Be careful though, only bottles made in 2020 and later fit this description which is when Hydro Flask updated their bottles with a proprietary powder coating that can withstand the heat of a dishwasher. We admire their innovation, especially in an area that is important to consumers.

If washing by hand, the standard mouth is wide enough to allow a scrub brush to enter and fully clean the bottle. Interestingly, their customer service team encourages hand washing for “best results.” Rest assured, we noticed no damage during our extensive testing period that included dozens of dishwasher runs.

Insulation

This product performed well during the Insulation Test which should come as no surprise considering it’s double walled stainless steel construction. During the test, we filled the Hydro Flask with 34°F water and over the course of eight hours it gained only 10°F! A solid performance that is sure to please any user. Keep in mind, if you decide to add ice to your bottle, it will easily maintain that ice cold 32°F temperature all day. 

 

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