Best Insulated Water Bottles 2022

Insulated water bottles are child’s play. They keep drinks cold or hot, depending on your needs; they are infinitely portable and reusable; and some are even super cute (I mean, look at this speckled one. The downside of such an everyday essential? hundreds with similar names and similar claims.

In fact, before I started testing bottles for this guide, I had a handful of random bottles that I had used intermittently but never committed to because they had never lived up to their claims. I never got rid of them because, well, they’re still working water bottles, I’m going to need them one way or another!

But now, having tested nine of the most popular and best-selling thermal water bottles, I’m ready to take out the junk for the ones that actually live up to the hype.

How we tested the best insulated water bottles

I’ve identified the most popular water bottles based on our readers’ favorite stores and brands, as well as market research. This gave way Street too many results, so I filtered them further. Bottles had to be from a recognizable brand and available in multiple stores to facilitate shopping, at least double-walled for proper insulation, made with food-grade stainless steel for safety, have a mouth wide enough to hold round ice cubes and fit a standard car cup holder. The bottles also had to be available in multiple formats; I tested the ones that ranged between 20 and 24 ounces because they were the most popular size and usually fit in a car cup holder.

Once I narrowed things down to nine bottles (wow!), I put them through a series of stress tests and typically lived with them for several weeks, using each instead of my everyday Duralex glasses (which I they also helped to drink more water!).

Test in cold water: I filled each bottle with as much ice as it could hold and then filled it with water at room temperature. I tempered the water with a Thermapen food thermometer to make sure it was 35 ° F and then resumed the temperature after 24 hours, which is how long most bottles claimed to keep the water cool.

Try hot water: Except for the Takeya Actives insulated water bottle with straw lid, I filled each bottle with 115 ° F hot water by hand, which I confirmed again via Thermapen. None of the brands mention how much heat they can take and boiling water is never recommended, but hot drinks are usually fine.

Leak test: I put a drop of food coloring in each bottle and placed them on the sides overnight to see if any water leaked out and left a small puddle of blue food coloring.

Drop test: I literally dropped each bottle five times onto gravel and concrete from about six feet up, noticing dents and nicks.

Test of fit: I put each bottle in two different car cup holders and went for a ride in my neighborhood. One is about 3 inches in diameter and the other slightly larger, at about 3.2 inches.

Of the nine bottles I tested for this guide, six failed to cut them, or rather, did not survive the gravel. For the TL; DR of the specs of the best bottles, check out the handy table below. For all the results, read on.

Photo by Angelyn Cabrales

1. Best insulated water bottle for cold water: CamelBak Chute Mag

Photo by CamelBak

Price: $ 25 +
Pretend for cold water: Up to 24 hours
Cold water temperature after 24 hours: 33 ° F
Hot water demand: Up to 10 hours
Hot water temperature after 24 hours: 100 ° F

If you like frozen water, the CamelBak Chute Mag is basically like a portable freezer. After 24 hours, about 60 percent of the ice was left (the maximum of all bottles tested) and the water temperature was super-cold 33 ° F, just above freezing. The double-walled vacuum insulation helped keep the water warm, dropping 15 ° to a temperature hot enough not to burn my mouth.

While most of the other bottles I tested only had a screw lid, the Chute Mag lid has an additional cap so your mouth is not exposed to, for example, gravel or concrete on a driveway or old one placed under the passenger side of the car. The practical magnet prevents the cork from falling or losing it and also makes it easier to drink with one hand. Even though the lid and mouth meant there were two spots that could eventually pop out, not a single drop of blue water came out.

And speaking of dropping items, the lid and plastic handle were pretty tatty after they were introduced into my driveway, but not as badly as some of the others, and the body showed minimal dents and scratches.

2. The best insulated water bottle for hot water: S’well Original

Photo by S’well

Price: $ 25 +
Pretend for cold water: Up to 36 hours
Cold water temperature after 24 hours: 34 ° F
Hot water demand: Up to 18 hours
Hot water temperature after 24 hours: 106 ° F

For hot drinks, S’well Original is the closest to a traditional glass for coffee, tea, cocoa and the like. As a personal preference, I usually use an insulated glass as it has a smaller opening for easy sipping. But the construction is the same with double-wall insulation, so I see no reason why you couldn’t use the same hot drink bottle; all the bottles I have tested work well in warm temperatures.

The S’well Original had the longest heat demand of up to 18 hours and, in my hot water tests, kept the water warmer after 6 hours, dropping to just 106 ° F. The small opening meant I was even less afraid of burning my mouth while sipping water.

There have been no leaks to speak of, although the smooth stainless steel cap makes it difficult to screw tightly if your hands are wet. The construction was useful during the drop test, however: the small cavities on the cap and bottom of the bottle masked most of the dents. Unfortunately, it didn’t help hide a rather large dent on the side. Small nicks were masked by the speckled pattern on the bottle I tested, although monochromatic bottles may not do so well.

The thinnest bottle in the test pool, the S’well Original fit snugly into the stretchy compartment of my bag, but was almost comical in my car. The 17-ounce bottle I tested was 2.8 inches in diameter, so it moved a lot when I drove; try the larger 25oz bottle if you are a frequent driver.

3. Best Insulated Water Bottle For Activities: Takeya Actives Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid

Photo by Takeya

Price: $ 29.99 +
Pretend for cold water: Up to 24 hours
Cold water temperature after 24 hours: 40 ° F
Hot water demand: Not recommended

It should come as no surprise that the bottle with “Actives” in the name would end up being the best for running, hiking and so on. Well, it’s not exactly ergonomic to carry a 24-ounce bottle filled with ice, but the little design details were perfect for the treadmill and beyond.

The silicone case prevented the bottle from bouncing off the treadmill, absorbed the shock of my driveway so the bottle looked almost new except for a rough cork, And made for a secure fit in my car’s cup holder when coming to less than smooth stops, intentionally, of course. Meanwhile, the flip-down straw lid meant easy one-handed drinking, and the rotating carry loop was easier to hold while hiking than a stiffer cap.

Although the straw is not rated for hot drinks, the double-walled insulation still meant that the cold water remained cool at 40 ° F after 24 hours, but without ice. Not the coldest temperature of all the bottles, but it was still a welcome respite after sweaty runs and hikes.

4. Best Budget Insulated Water Bottle: Contigo Cortland Chill 2.0

Photo of Contigo

Price: $ 19.99 +
Pretend for cold water: Up to 24 hours
Cold water temperature after 24 hours: 33 ° F
Hot water demand: Up to 6 hours
Hot water temperature after 24 hours: 103 ° F

At 24 ounces, the Contigo Cortland Chill 2.0 was the largest bottle I’ve tested (along with the Takeya), as well as the best value for your hard earned dough. I’ve never seen the bottle cost more than $ 25 on Amazon or Walmart, but as prices can vary, I’d recommend keeping track of prices to make sure you get a good deal.

The Contigo was second to the CamelBak when tested in cold water, with about 30 percent ice left and which measured 33 ° F after 24 hours, and second to the S’well Original for hot water, which measured 103 ° F. It was a little too hot to drink comfortably, although if you like them hot, that’s not a bad thing.

The stainless steel exterior didn’t show many dings or scratches, although it showed all my fingerprints during testing. The plastic cap and handle were rougher and the impact on the gravel and concrete caused the lid covering the mouth to open, so be sure to clean it before your next drink.

5. Favorite community: Yeti Rambler

Photo of Yeti

Price: $ 30 +
Pretend for cold water: N / A
Cold water temperature after 24 hours: 40 ° F
Hot water demand: N / A
Hot water temperature after 24 hours: 96 ° F

The Yeti Rambler was the most popular insulated water bottle among our GI community for keeping drinks cold, and especially for its Chug Cap because you’re not putting your mouth on something you just dropped. In my tests, it was also one of the most comfortable bottles to drink from, unlike bottles that have extra wide openings that spill water on you (not that that happened, of course …).

Unfortunately, Yeti doesn’t state how long its bottle will hold cold or hot, so there’s not much in the way of comparison. But if we were to compare it to others I have tested, the cold water was 40 ° F and the hot water was 96 ° F after 24 hours. Both temperatures are still objectively cold and warm, which should be fine for most people.

The Rambler did not leak during my tests and showed minimal chipping on the bottle, but the plastic handle was quite damaged. Thankfully, you can pick up a cosmetic substitute, although that would add to the overall cost of the bottle.

While most other bottles recommend hand washing, this one is the one that can be washed in the dishwasher, another win for something you’ll likely use every day and wash once a week. However, it cannot be easily thrown in the car, even the 18oz bottle I tested would not fit in my car’s cup holder.


What’s your favorite thermal water bottle? Let us know below!

This post features products chosen (and loved) independently by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on eligible purchases of the products we link to.

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