It’s no secret that single-use plastic is not only, but can . If you’re looking to cut down on your use, a reusable water bottle is one of the best and easiest ways to start. A good reusable water bottle will last for years and withstand day-to-day stresses, such as being thrown in a bag or accidentally clanking it into a railing. Plus, having a water bottle you love might make it easier to all day long.
How to pick a reusable water bottle
Water bottles are mainly made from three different materials: plastic, glass and metal (or). All three have their own hydration pros and cons.
Plastic is lightweight and durable, but plastic can transfer a taste or odor to your beverage when you drink. Glass bottles are safer to drink from than plastic and don’t hold onto taste but they’re fragile and not ideal for rough outdoor activities like backpacking. Metal water bottles and are also usually insulated (there’s insulation around the body) and are the best at keeping the beverages you drink cold or hot (depending on if they start cold or hot, naturally), but they can be heavy and subject to dents and scratches.
After you decide what material you want your reusable drinking water bottle to be made of, consider the lid type. Do you want a straw lid, a flip-top spout lid (like a travel mug) or a screw top? Maybe you need a lid that can attach to a backpack with a carabiner or a lid that won’t unscrew in your work bag.
Also, consider size and design when picking your perfect water bottle. Most companies make their bottles available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 12 to 40 ounces and beyond. Smaller sizes allow for thinner, sleeker designs with a narrow mouth, while larger sizes usually mean a wide-mouth bottle or a juglike design ideal to drink from at all-day events like beach days.
I scoured the web for theoptions for the most functional and fashionable reusable water bottles from which to drink. I began my search with brands I already knew created good products, like S’well bottles, though I ended up finding a couple that aren’t as evangelized but still create cool products to help you stay hydrated.
All of these brands have received multiple customer reviews on Amazon — the bottles on this list are all in the four-star range with mostly favorable reviews on Amazon (no one can please everyone). From basic bottles to portable pouches to all-day canteens, try replacing your plastic disposable drinking water bottles with one of these reusable models. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which is the — and to stay hydrated.
Hydro Flask exploded in popularity a few years ago and has stayed at the top of the water bottle totem pole due to its double insulated design, durable stainless steel materials and fun variety of colors. Hydro Flask insulated stainless steel bottles keep liquids cool for up to 24 hours and hot beverages warm up to 12 hours.
They’re tough enough to toss into bags and survive the hustle and bustle of your days (stainless steel, remember?), and Hydro Flask vacuum insulated bottles resist condensation, so the outside of your bottle will stay dry when you drink. The vacuum insulated water bottle comes with a standard lid and spout, but you can always mix and match to make the best water bottle for yourself.
Some people love drinking tap water plain. Some think it’s the most boring liquid to have ever graced this planet, despite it being essential to human survival. I am one of the latter, which is why I love Pressa Bottle, the infuser water bottle with a built-in juicer. It’s a great reusable bottle for on-the-go folks who want fruit-infused water but don’t want to deal with (or forget to make) a whole pitcher full at home.
All you have to do is put your fruit of choice in the juicer and twist the dial on top. This reusable glass bottle has a silicone sleeve (the silicone sleeve helps your grip) and comes apart for an easy clean. You can also safely clean your Pressa Bottle in the dishwasher.
Previously, we listed the Platypus Platy Ultralight Collapsible as the best portable water bottle for backpacking, but since then, Platypus has come out with the Platypus DuoLock Soft Bottle 1.0 L — a sturdier, more stylish version of the Ultralight Collapsible. The DuoLock Soft Bottle has a built-in carabiner, making it perfect for clearing up space in a hiking backpack: Just clip it on outside instead of stuffing it in. You can choose from one liter or two, but in my own hiking experience, I’ve found that one liter is sufficient unless you’re heading out for a full day-long trek.
The Grayl Geopress Purifier filters out 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and sediment. It holds a standard amount of water (24 ounces); it’s incredibly durable; and it’s easy to clean — a really big deal as heavy-duty filtered water bottles are notoriously difficult to clean. I tested the Grayl Geopress Purifier along with five other filtered water bottles, and the Geopress struck me as the safest and the best investment for outdoor use.
Glass is non-toxic, doesn’t seep chemicals and doesn’t degrade over time, making it a great alternative to plastic. The body of this Contigo bottle is made entirely of glass, while the protective outer layer is silicone and the cap is stainless steel. The outer silicone sleeve makes this bottle extra grippy (no broken glass!), and it’s top-rack dishwasher-safe.
I’ve owned many a Contigo bottle and this Purity glass one stood up to the brand’s reputation of making long-lasting, stylish, functional bottles. It’s also one of the least expensive bottle on this list; quite honestly, I don’t know how Contigo even profits off of such inexpensive bottles, especially when they seem to be high-quality and durable. But hey, I’m not complaining about a great reusable water bottle for just $15.
All of Klean Kanteen’s water bottles are environmentally friendly thanks to the company’s patented chip-resistant, durable finish called Klean Coat. But the Klean Kanteen 20-ounce Reflect vacuum insulated bottle is especially environmentally friendly, made from just three materials: stainless steel, food-grade silicone and bamboo. It has no paint, ink, coatings or plastic.
It’s easy to carry with a nice loop handle, and the bottle is rather elegant in its simplicity. Despite lacking the insulated coating that most stainless steel bottles have, Insulated Reflect is still double-wall vacuum-insulated and the Klean Kanteen insulated bottle kept my water cold for as long as I needed it to. Hot drinks and hot liquids aren’t recommended because of the steel bamboo cap.
The insulated, stainless steel Roamer from S’well keeps a whopping 64 ounces of water cold and delicious even when it’s hot out. I took this bottle on a 9-mile hike and it lasted me until the end. It was a hot day, so there were no actual ice pieces left, but the water was still ice-cold.
Made from food-grade stainless steel, S’well insulated bottles are perfect for long, hot beach days and for those who just don’t feel like refilling their bottle several times a day. Because it holds 40 or 64 ounces and is made of stainless steel, this insulated bottle can get pretty heavy when it’s full. Depending on your preferences, you might not want this one for hiking or walking around. It’s definitely not the easiest way to carry water on a hike, but overall, I didn’t mind toting this 64 ounce bottle.
I also tested the Astrea One water bottle for our list of best filtered water bottles for 2020, and while I wouldn’t recommend using this one with natural freshwater, it works wonders on tap water, filtering out lead, benzene, mercury, copper, chlorine and more. It also has a great design that’s sturdy, durable and easy to clean.
The Que bottle might be the most adorable water bottle I’ve ever used. Made only of silicone and stainless steel, this bottle collapses down to half its size when empty — perfect for anyone who’s always trying to crunch space in their bag. The Que bottle is also dishwasher safe, BPA-free and 100% plastic-free. Flexible and durable, this bottle can withstand drops and falls, and bounces back to its normal size and shape even after being totally smushed.
In another category of reusable water bottles that zap away dirt and pathogens, self-cleaning water bottles use UV-C light to decontaminate water. I tested three self-cleaning UV-C water bottles and the CrazyCap Gen 2 produced the best taste and has the best suite of functions: It has a normal purification mode for tap water and a “Crazy Mode” for freshwater; an autoclean function; and a slender design that makes it great for taking along in the car and slipping into bags.
Try as we might, it’s not always possible to avoid a gas station run-in for a bottle of water. Maybe you forgot your reusable water bottle or you did bring it, but you’re in the middle of nowhere and need a clean refill. Enter: Pathwater.
Pathwater is first 100% reusable, recyclable bottled water in an aluminum bottle. You can find it at gas stations and convenience stores (use the store locator) and it only costs $2 to $3, depending on the location. The water that comes in these bottles is just as good, if not better, than any water you’d get in a plastic bottle, and they are endlessly reusable and recyclable.
I stocked my fridge with a case of Pathwater in four months ago and have been using the same set since. Even if you don’t reuse a Pathwater bottle, it takes five times less energy to recycle than a plastic bottle of the same size, according to the Pathwater website.
Originally published earlier and updated as new products become available.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.