The Best Water Bottles of 2021

As an avid water bottle user with a collection big enough to make most people concerned, I consider myself quite the connoisseur.

I’ve tested dozens of bottles in different shapes and materials. Whether the bottles are big, small, plastic, stainless steel, glass, or anything else out there, I’ve tested them.

This article is an attempt to put all of the knowledge I have acquired about reusable water bottles into a single place so you can make the best choice for your water bottle needs. Let’s get started.

Let’s get started.

The Best Water Bottles – Our Top Picks

The AwardThe BottleA Preview
Best All-Around BottleHydro Flask 21 oz BottleHydro Flask 21 oz Water Bottle, Sport Cap -...
Most Versatile Water BottleTakeya Actives 24 oz BottleTakeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water...
The Budget OptionNalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BottleNalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle,...
The Preferred Large BottleHydro Flask 32 oz BottleHydro Flask Water Bottle - Wide Mouth Straw Lid...
The Extra-Large BottleVenture Pal Large 1 Gallon BottleVenture Pal Large 64 oz (When Full) Motivational...
The Light-Weight BottleCamelBak Podium 21 oz BottleCamelBak Podium Bike Bottle 21oz, Navy Pearl

Now that we’ve set the scene for our top choices, here’s why we picked them. Without a doubt, the Hydro Flask 21 oz Bottle is our favorite.

1. Hydro Flask 21 oz Bottle: Best All-Around Pick

If you’re on the hunt for a reusable water bottle, the Hydro Flask 21 oz is what we recommend.

The Hydro Flask brand is always highly regarded . The number of times I’ve sparked up a conversation with another person carrying a Hydro Flask bottle is too many to count, and it’s one of my favorite parts about this bottle.

Just carrying a Hydro Flask around has led to some awesome conversations with complete strangers, all because we connected over something as simple as a water bottle! The large community of people who share a love for reusable water bottles all recognize Hydro Flask as one of the best options to choose from.

The number of colors you can choose from adds another layer to this. Being able to choose a color for each part of the bottle often leads to chatting with others about your color choices and how you opted for a certain color over another.

The experiences and social interactions I’ve had from using a Hydro Flask are worth its weight in gold. Everyone from my friends to family use Hydro Flask bottles, that itself it proof that this is an amazing product.

For this reason, I can’t recommend Hydro Flask enough.

For years I’ve carried around a Hydro Flask in my backpack, in my car, and wherever I go. It’s nice knowing that there is always cool water I can quench my thirst with. The 21 oz size is ideal for almost every situation.

Need a water bottle for your cup holder? The 21 oz bottle fits. Whether your putting it into a cup holder in your car, stroller, or purse, the 21 oz size always seems to fit perfectly.

Did I mention the water stays cold for a long time? The insulated bottle protects your cold water from hot sunny days. This bottle can keep your water cold for up to three whole days.

The only downside is the stainless steel bottle can feel a bit heavy at times. Especially if you need to carry it along with other items. The smaller 21 oz size does make it more manageable for carrying around everyday.

2. Takeya Actives 24 oz Bottle: Most Versatile

Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water...
  • Actives insulated water bottle: Takeya actives stainless steel water bottle...
  • Insulated spout lid: this stainless steel water bottle comes with an...
  • Premium bottles and lids: Our innovative Line of insulated hydration...

The Takeya Actives 24 oz bottle is another excellent choice.

While it doesn’t quite match up to the 21 oz Hydro Flask, in many ways it’s a lot more versatile.

If you need a one-stop-shop water bottle, the Takeya Actives 24 oz is what we recommend. This bottle is one of the most convenient and easy -to-use bottles on the market.

To take a sip of water, all you need to do is pop open the spout lid and start drinking. With the lid design, you get all the benefits of a normal-mouth lid and the benefits of a wide-mouth lid.

The screw-on top allows you to easily add large chunks of ice from your refrigerator allow for icy-cold water whenever you need it. Double that with the insulated design and you have some frosty water. The spout pop-off lid makes it easy to drink water without spillage as it fits your mouth size perfectly.

For those that don’t like hoarding water bottles (like myself), this option is for you.

The water bottle is perfect for the gym, the office, and road trips. Yes, basically every situation you can think of. At the gym, you can easily take a sip while running or in-between sets. The spill-factor of this bottle is next to zero. For the office, you don’t need to worry about accidentally spilling onto expensive equipment as the water seal is quite robust.

On road trips, the bottle fits snuggly into a cup holder and doesn’t tilt over (depending on your cup holder). It’s satisfying to to jump into your car and slide the bottle into your cup holder without a second thought.

The only downside is the relatively smaller size and the fact that stainless steel tends to be on the heavier side. So if you’re going on a long hiking trip, lugging this bottle around all day might not be ideal. But for everyday carry, it’s a great option.

3. Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth Bottle: The Budget Option

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle,...
  • The original. The trailblazer. The Sir Edmund of water bottles. Nalgene's...
  • For Your Everyday Adventures! Take your Nalgene bottle to the gym, office,...
  • This Nalgene water bottle is completely leak proof, made of virtually...

If you went to school in the early 2000’s, you’re probably very familiar with Nalgene. This is the old-school choice that just about everybody has heard of.

The Nalgene bottle entered the scene a few decades ago and still makes an appearance from time-to-time.

While it doesn’t keep your water quite as cold as the newer insulated bottles, this option is much more affordable.

Not to mention, you might still get into conversations with others who have owned a Nalgene in the past or still use one to this day. Everybody wants to reminisce of the glory days back before smartphones and high-speed internet (or is that just me?).

The hard plastic design of Nalgene bottles makes them very lightweight and drop resistant. It’s going to take more than short fall to crack one of these open. It won’t make a loud metallic echoing noise if dropped or banged against something on accident. This is something I’ve done with my Hydro Flask too many times to count. It’s a little embarrassing.

With a wide-mouth opening, you can easily add ice to cool your water for a super cold beverage on the go. The wide variety of colors is also another option to opt for Nalgene as you can match the bottle color with your car, shoes, purse, and more (if you’re nerdy like me).

The larger size does make it harder to stuff into a cup holder, but if you want to carry around more water, eventually you’ll have to ditch the cup holder anyways. Or you can buy a cup holder extender if you’re not willing to forego the convenience of storing the bottle upright.

The Nalgene bottle is a classic and affordable option, plus the lightweight design still gives it an opportunity to outshine more popular options like Hydro Flask depending on the situation. It’s time to bring back the early 2000’s and go Nalgene.

4. Hydro Flask 32 oz Bottle: The Large Option

What sort of list would this be if Hydro Flask wasn’t listed twice?

The 32 oz Hydro Flask is a slightly larger option for the more serious water-inclined people. The larger size and wide-mouth opening makes it a great option for those who drink a lot of water on a daily basis. If your new year’s resolution is to stay hydrated, why not get a vessel that can support your intake goals?

You can find the 32 oz Hydro Flask on Amazon for a good price.

With the Hydro Flask name, you get all of the benefits of the quality design, long-lasting cool water, and something that won’t break easily. The bottle will almost never leak, unless you’re my husband who enjoys leaving the lid only slightly on because he’s lazy.

The downside of the larger size is how bulky the bottle can feel. When it’s full of water is quite heavy. It’s hard to explain until you’ve had to lug it around all day. Not to mention, you’ll struggle to get this chuncky bottle to fit inside of a normal-sized cup holder. I end up throwing it on the floor of my car when driving to work, but at least I don’t have to worry about it leaking.

If you need a water bottle that’s keeps a large amount of water super cold in a vessel that’s eco-friendly, reusable, and BPA-free, look no further than the 32 oz Hydro Flask.

5. Venture Pal Large 1 Gallon Bottle: The Extra-Large Option

Venture Pal Large 64 oz (When Full) Motivational...
  • 【Motivational Quote & Time Marker】With unique inspirational quote and...
  • 【Half Gallon Large Capacity】With large capacity (64oz) let you enjoy...
  • 【Lightweight & Portable】Made of quality leakproof plastic, this water...

If you want something that will kick your butt into gear and get you to drink more water than ever before, it’s time to get serious with the Venture Pal Gallon bottle.

Yep, you heard me right. A one gallon bottle.

This bottle is outfitting with time markings to make sure you hit your daily water intake along with some cute motivational stamps next to each time period.

With this bottle you’ll have no excuses to not increase your water intake. If you’re avid about fitness and health, the amount of water you drink should reflect that.

The hard plastic bottle makes it relatively lightweight considering the one gallon design. The shape also makes it difficult to tip over and spill, so if you’re a bit of a clutz, no need to worry about spillage.

This bottle is highly recommended for those who want to get serious about their water intake.

6. CamelBak Podium 21 oz Bottle: The Lightweight Pick

CamelBak Podium Bike Bottle 21oz, Navy Pearl
  • BICYCLING CAMELBAK WATER BOTTLE: CamelBak Podium squeeze water bottle...
  • OPTIMIZED CAGE FIT: The Podium bike squeeze bottle is engineered to fit...
  • HIGH FLOW, SELF-SEALING CAP: CamelBak squeeze bottles are engineered with a...

Of all the options on the list, the CamelBak Podium is the choice for those who need a lightweight option.

This bottle comes in a soft plastic design that is optimal for squeezing water into your mouth while running or jogging.

No need to be boggled down by a heavy stainless steel bottle, when you can use an ultra lightweight bottle for cycling or running.

This is the ultimate bottle for those on the go, who need to walk long distances and stay hydrated in the meantime.

The only thing I would question about the CamelBak bottle is the durability. The soft plastic design does not inspire confidence. I’m not sure exactly how many washes this bottle will make it through before replacement. We’ve all seen how nasty a bottle can get once the plastic starts to wear down. Not to mention, you won’t experience icy cold water for super long periods of time.

But if you need a truly lightweight option, you’ll have to sacrifice a bit on the quality to get something so portable. You can find the CamelBak Podium on Amazon.

How To Choose A Water Bottle

Blue and Red Hydro Flask sitting next to each other.

Picking out the perfect water bottle is a tough choice. If you have never picked one out before, it can be hard to know exactly what size, material, or brand you need. We’ll go over all of the different factors you should consider when you’re picking out a water bottle so the decision-making process can be as easy as possible.

Picking The Right Material Type

When picking a water bottle, you’ll encounter several different choices, plastic, stainless steel, glass, copper, and more. Choosing between these material types depends a lot on what you plan to use the bottle for and how heavy you want the bottle to be.

Before you choose the material type, it’s important to opt for a BPA free bottle above all else. A BPA free bottle prevents toxins leeching into your drinking water from the bottle itself. BPA can lead to all sorts of health issues, so if you’re drinking from a bottle everyday, you want something that won’t hurt your long term health.

BPA aside, the material type does matter a lot as well.

Stainless steel insulated bottles are known to keep water cold for days at a time. With a vacuum seal, they prevent conduction and convection from warming up your liquids. This can keep your water frosty for a long time. The only downside is the layers of metal can add weight to the bottle and make it cumbersome to carry around.

Plastic bottles are much lighter than steel variations, but they issues of their own. For one, they don’t keep the water quite as cold and have the issue where can develop funky smell given enough usage. They just aren’t as robust as stainless steel.

Glass bottles offer an excellent tasting experience and feel very satisfying to use. The only downside is they can shatter from a single fall and they don’t keep the water quite as cold as other options.

Choosing between the different material types comes down to what you’re looking for in a bottle. Stainless steel is usually the best option for most people.

What Size Bottle Is The Best?

Picking the size is one of the easier choices. For beginners I highly recommend anywhere between 20 oz – 26 oz. In this size range, you’ll be able to easily carry it without getting tired and it won’t feel to cumbersome. Not to mention, it will fit perfectly in cup holders wherever you go.

If you choose a size bigger than this and it’s difficult to carry around, it will discourage you from taking it with you, which defeats the whole purpose of the water bottle itself. Start small and work your way up.

Once you start pushing into the 30 oz plus range, expect the bottle to feel heavier and bulkier. These are not for the feint of heart. If you value hydration and a 24 oz bottle sends you to the water fountain too much, 32 oz is the next size up. With a stainless steel bottle, the metal will start weigh things down a bit more, so it may be worth it to opt for a plastic option instead to save on weight. However, it’s entirely up to you.

Any size larger than 30 oz is for those that want to carry enough water for the entire day. This is ideal if you want to commit to being more hydrated as the bottle itself can set a daily intake goal. Gallon-sized bottles are perfect for this, especially when they have motivation quotes and time-stamps to get you to continue drinking throughout the day.

These will be very difficult to lug around all day, but if you’re stationary most of the day, you can set it down between sips.

Ultimately, the size comes down to what you’re looking for in a bottle. If you’re a beginner it’s best to start small and work your way up. If you want to set a high daily water intake goal, the larger sizes might be better to encourage you to hit that.

Choosing The Brand

When you consider water bottles, the brand will play a large part in your decision.

The big name brands such as Hydro Flask and Yeti are often considered the best and are associated with longevity and more. Just beware, these popular brands tend to have a lot of counterfeit options on the market and might not be to the same standard. Always be a little careful when buying.

Smaller brands can give you a better deal and will often be just as good when it comes to quality. Most insulated bottle designs are very similar regardless of the brand. The main difference will come down to the lid type, bottle shape, and the branding itself.

Doing a bit of research beforehand will help you a ton in making a choice. We often recommend Hydro Flask and Takeya.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing a water bottle, our top choice is the Hydro Flask 21 oz bottle. This water bottle is excellent for most situations and leads to some awesome interactions with other people who love them too.

Our runner-up is the Takeya bottle, as the lid design is truly versatile and is great for almost every situation.

The rest of our options can also make for a good choice depending on what your looking for in your water bottle. Choosing a water bottle can be a tough purchase sometimes, the main thing to look out for is to make sure the bottle is BPA-free. The rest is comes down to preference.

Stay frosty.