Water Bottles

19Feb16

hydroflask

After years of drinking tons of ice water from reusable bottles at home/work/sports, I finally found a solution I really like and has changed/improved the water intake in my life enough to warrant a post. I’ll jump to the punch line first:
Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle with Flip Straw Lid

Here’s my long-winded review/reasons:

1) Vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottles. Advertised as 24hrs cold, 12hrs hot–for real? Yes. If I have some leftover ice cubes in my bottle when I leave work, the next morning when I return, the ice will still be solid (and I think the majority of heat escapes through the lid, not the bottle). This bottle keeps your drink cold, which is particularly important to me when it’s out in hot weather while I’m playing sports. The other great benefit of vacuum-insulated is zero condensation, no “sweating.” Normal bottles leave a puddle on my desk, or get my gym bag all wet when there’s ice water in it. No such issue with vacuum-insulated. Note that other brands have vacuum-insulated bottles too.

2) Wide mouth. There are two problems with narrow-mouthed bottles. a) It’s difficult to put ice cubes in them and b) It’s difficult to clean. Both issues are minimized with wide-mouth bottles.

straw lid3) Flip Straw Lid. Lids are an important part of the water bottle. With conventional bottles, I never liked the lids that you need to unscrew off (takes too much time) and drink directly from the bottle. Stainless steel is too hard to be comfortable to drink from and accidentally hit your teeth. It’s easy to spill onto your face and it’s hard to drink just liquid when you have ice cubes coming out too (filter with teeth). I’ve used sports caps during sports, which is a decent solution; but due to the need to lift bottle above your mouth for gravity to work and the sucking air sound it can make, it’s a nuisance (borderline awkward) for at-your-work-desk/meeting drinking. Flip lids can be nice, but as ice cubes melt to smaller size, they can partially block the hole or worse yet go through the hole and cause unexpected ice in your mouth to try to not choke on. Low water flow rate can be an issue when it comes to sipping (vs suction), especially with ice cubes at the top. I just discovered this flip straw lid recently and it has been surprisingly a big difference-maker. A fast flip top that doesn’t leak, it has a rubber spout that’s comfortable for your mouth, and the straw portion is in the bottle completely (reusable and no bite marks). Drinking from a straw is much faster than sipping from lids/bottles, it has a high water flow rate, and no need to lift/tilt your bottle. Since ice floats, the ice never blocks the straw hole or gets in the way. The entire lid is dishwasher safe so it’s easy to clean (unfortunately, the bottle itself is hand wash only). As a result of all this, I’ve observed that I consume ~2x the water than I used to previously just with the new lid. It also has a finger loop to clip/hold onto. Flip Straw Lid.

The downside? It’s a bit pricey ~$30 but comes with a lifetime warranty for hopefully years and years of use.

The 40oz bottle I have is huge, but I like it a lot since I drink through a few of these a day now; and for sports, I need about that much water for my games. You can purchase a cheaper smaller-sized bottle too though (i.e. $23 for 18oz bottle).  2/2016 Edit: Since writing this review, they have released a 32oz bottle which is probably a more reasonable size for most people. The Flip Straw Lid is frequently out of stock due to demand, but you can get it for $7 from a local REI (free shipping with store pickup when ordered online). 6/2016 Edit: Looks like they’ve updated their line with the Flex Cap. You can get the 18oz, 32oz, or 40oz here.

Originally posted on Facebook on 5/19/2014.

Note: I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you purchase anything on Amazon through my links, I will receive a percentage. My opinions are my own, and I have linked items for your reference.

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