When traveling your water bottle is like your trusty sidekick. It stays close by your side whether clipped to your pack, in your hand or stuffed inside your purse or carry on.
Your water bottle saves you money in airports when you are likely to pay upwards of $10.00 for a small Dasani. It can give you extra filtration when your water source is a little questionable. And most importantly, it prevents you from making the unnecessary waste of hundreds of disposable water bottles you would otherwise use while traveling.
So, what goes into making the best water bottle for travel? The truth is there are tons of options that are all a matter of preference and personal necessity.
There are materials to consider, features to evaluate, basic construction o think about and even the amount of weight it adds to your overall travel gear. So here is a breakdown of each of these categories so you can find that perfect travel water bottle for you.
Top 5 Water Bottles for Travel
|CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle |
-Comes in several different sizes
-Ergonomic high flow spout
-Includes a handle designed to attach to bag or carry easily
|Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle |
-Keeps beverages cold up to 24hrs.
-Keeps beverages warm up to 12hrs.
-BPA-free and phthalate-free
-Pro Grade Stainless Steel
|Lifefactory 22-Ounce BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle |
-Wide mouth access
-Protective silicone sleeve
-Non slip grip
-Polypropylene screw cap
|LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle |
-2 stage activated carbon filter
-Removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria
-Removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites
|Nomader BPA Free Collapsible Sports Water Bottle |
-Free of BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead and latex
-Loops around your wrist for easy carry
-Attaches to your bag for quick access
Quick Answer-Best Travel Water Bottles
- Best Overall Water Bottle: S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Best Filtered Water Bottle: LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
- Best Insulated Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle
- Most Lightweight Water Bottle: Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle
- Coolest Water Bottle: Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Bottle
- Best Collapsible Water Bottle: Nomader BPA Free Collapsible Sports Water Bottle
- Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle: Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Double Wall Insulated Water Bottle
- Best Plastic Water Bottle: Thermos Intak 24 Ounce Hydration Bottle
- Best Glass Water Bottle: Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle
How to Choose the Best Travel Water Bottle
You have multiple choices when it comes to choosing the material for your water bottle, each having their own pros and cons. Some are better insulators, others are more affordable.
One may be more durable while another is light as air. Here are the four most popular water bottle materials currently on the market and how they stack up against each other.
Plastic water bottles are probably the most versatile you can get. They come in a multitude of colors and styles. They can be rigid or collapsible, narrow or wide, clear or colorful.
It all depends on what you prefer. They are also the most affordable travel water bottle and can take some scraps and knocks without breaking.
However, it is important to note that not all plastic water bottles are the same. Because of the liberty manufacturers can take when creating them, some will be less durable than others.
Thinner plastics will naturally break easier and cheaper materials could lead to a few defaults such as the cap not screwed tight enough to prevent water from leaking out.
So, if you decide on a plastic water bottle for travel be sure it comes from a reputable company that provides a form of guarantee. Also, all plastic water bottle is created through the use of multiple chemicals.
While producers no longer use BPA (a known endocrine disrupter) to make them, there are still many chemicals that may or may not be of health concern.
If you are looking for a water bottle with overall durability without the risk of contact with chemicals, stainless steel water bottles are a great option.
While they may dent when banged around, they rarely break or crack. This may affect the aesthetic properties, but it will never leave you high and dry when you need it the most.
That being said, everything is only as good as its weakest point. What we mean is that many stainless-steel water bottles still come with a plastic cap that may not survive the fall.
If you want the maximum durability, go with a completely stainless-steel model that also has a stainless steel screw-on cap. The only real down-side to these metal bottles is that they lack any form of insulation. That means your hot liquids are likely to get cold faster while your cold liquids will warm up quickly.
Glass is a highly preferred option when it comes to travel water bottles. Water just tastes better when it comes to the glass. Their transparency also helps you to moderate your intake, and the silicone sleeves that generally come on the outside of the bottle are great for grip and keeping your hand away from the internal cold or heat.
Glass poses no health risks and is extremely easy to clean. The down-side? They are very easy to break. Any fall against a hard surface and your water bottle are likely to shatter into a million pieces.
Aluminum water bottles combine many of the benefits that we find from stainless steel and plastic. They are very affordable, can be recycled, are highly durable denting rather than breaking and are decently insulated.
They are also the lightest option next to plastic. Their only problems come from their reactivity to acid and ease of care. Most aluminum water bottles come with an epoxy external layer that protects them from contact with various acids. However, as that epoxy degrades over time the exposure may lead to rusting. They are also not the easiest option to clean.
Water Bottle Weight
When traveling you will likely be carrying your water bottle with you most of the time. This can seem more of a hassle if your water bottle is large and heavy. The overall weight is generally measured in ounces when empty.
Plastic is always going to be the lightest, but aluminum is definitely a close second. Stainless steel, on the other hand, becomes cumbersome over extended use and is not always the best option for those looking to travel minimally.
Besides the main materials, there are other factors that can up the weight of your water bottle. Internal insulation liners, external grips, and heavy-duty caps will all add to the weight of your water bottle.
Travel Water Bottle Size/Volume
Your standard handheld water bottles are almost always going to hold about 12 ounces of fluid. However, if you are looking to expand the size for long days trips or hikes, you can upgrade to jugs or hydration packs that can generally hold 1-3 liters of water.
These are not recommended for everyday travel just because of their bulk, which can be very useful once you have arrived.
Desired Travel Water Bottle Features
For something as simple as a water bottle, you may be surprised to learn that there are a ton of features that should be taken into account before you buy. Again, these can be chalked up to personal preference, but it is a good idea to know what to look for before you go in for the purchase.
- Insulation– Stainless steel, aluminum and glass water bottle all require some form of insulation as they do not have these natural capabilities. Insulation can come as an external or internal liner that keeps everything warm or cold depending on the scenario. Insulation will also prevent your bottle from sweating, which could reduce your grip and potentially lead to dropping and breaking. Most insulation is made from different forms of plastic. So, if you are avoiding exposure to plastics, look for external insulation.
- Internal filter– If you are traveling abroad it may be beneficial to look into water bottles with an internal filter. This is because you don’t know the water standards of each country and it is better to be prepared than ending up sick. There are some filtered water bottles than can give you the ability to grab water from anywhere including a stream or a pond. Others simply add a little extra protection against harmful chemicals or metals that may be found in the local tap. If choosing a travel water bottle with a filter, be sure to note the type of toxins it filters out as well as its recommended use. Also, be aware that choosing an internal filter will greatly add to the overall weight of your water bottle.
- Wide mouth vs. Narrow– A narrow-mouthed water bottle is the most popular option. They allow you to drink while on the move without splashing or dripping and are the perfect size for your mouth. However, wide mouth water bottles will allow you to add ice cubes without the hassle and are much easier to clean and fill. Wide mouth water bottles also are compatible with most water filters unlike those with a narrower top.
- Quick Access Cap– a quick access cap is generally pop-up straws or push-pull caps. With just one finger you are able to open the gap and grab a quick sip anywhere. You can do this one-handed leaving your other hand free to hold your luggage or phone. Also, because of the ease of access many people have found that they drink more water than they otherwise would.
- Screw Cap– while screw caps lack quick access, they too have their benefits. Because of their lack of an internal mechanism, they are less likely to break over time. Also, they protect your drinking surface from exposure to dirt and germs as you travel, meaning you will always get a clean refreshing drink without having to wipe away the dirt of the day first. ‘
- Collapsible– When you have limited space and weight is of the utmost concern, you may want to look for a collapsible water bottle. When empty, they can be rolled up and stowed away until the need to refill arises again. They are perfect for throwing into your carry on without taking up any room and can be used as a reservoir for long day trips or hikes in the back-country.
Best Travel Water Bottle Recommendations
CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle
CamelBak offers a superior solution for those looking for a water bottle. The CamelBak Chute Mag hydration bottle delivers a high flow of water. It’s a BPA free water bottle that is leak-proof when closed, easy to carry, and packed with convenient features that make it easy to take with you wherever you travel.
This CamelBak Chute Mag sports water bottle is designed with a universal cap with a built-in magnetic handle that keeps the cap stowed while drinking. The universal cap is also compatible with Eddy+ and Hot Cap vessels.
This CamelBak water bottle also features an ergonomic spout that produces a higher flow rate of water without spillage. We’ve also added an easy-to-carry handle. Finally, the CamelBak Chute Mag is made from high-quality materials that are simple to clean.
- BPA Free
- Comes in several different sizes
- Ergonomic high flow spout
- Includes a handle designed to attach to a bag or carry easily
- Lifetime Guarantee
Check CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle price at Amazon
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle
Our unique double-wall vacuum insulation protects temperature for hours. Cold drinks stay icy cold and hot drinks stay piping hot so you can stay refreshed for any adventure.
Made with 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel to ensure pure taste and no flavor transfer — and the durable construction stands up to whatever life brings. Our proprietary powder coat means an easy-grip, sweat-free, and extra-durable bottle that you can take anywhere.
Strong yet flexible, the Standard Mouth Flex Cap is the perfect companion for spontaneous campouts, epic road trips, and everything in between. Made with stainless steel pivots and an easy-to-carry strap, this cap has Honeycomb Insulation to help keep your drinks cold for up to 24 hours or hot up to 12.
- Keeps beverages cold up to 24hrs.
- Keeps beverages warm up to 12hrs.
- BPA free and phthalate-free
- Lifetime Warranty
- Pro-Grade Stainless Steel
Check Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle price at Amazon
Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle
The 22-ounce glass water bottle with a classic cap is, well, a classic. It is a simple screw cap that just plain works. It is the favorite cap for those that prefer to drink directly from a wide mouth.
The 22-ounce glass water bottle is an everyday favorite that is always ready for adventure. Ideal for juicing and smoothies. The handle can be clipped to bags and the leak-proof cap seals with a twist. There’s also a 16-ounce and a 12-ounce available and in 20+ colors.
- Wide mouth access
- Protective silicone sleeve
- BPA free
- Nonslip grip
- Polypropylene screw cap
Check Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle price at Amazon
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
It gives you peace of mind when abroad. LifeStraw removes bacteria and parasites (including Salmonella, E-coli, Giardia) and chemicals. Reliable and effective, LifeStraw products are the perfect accessory for international travel.
Municipal water quality is not always optimal and may be contaminated with chemicals, chlorine, or micro-plastics. LifeStraw allows you to drink safely from water fountains at parks, airports, at school or tap water. It’s also great for on-the-go commutes.
With lightweight design and versatility, LifeStraw products are the perfect water filter for hiking and camping. Drink water straight from the nearest stream, puddle, or pond. It’s the fastest way to filter – never pump or wait for chemicals to react again.
- BPA free
- 2 stage activated carbon filter
- Removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria
- Removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites
Check LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle price at Amazon
Nomader BPA Free Collapsible Sports Water Bottle
Made of thick and flexible BPA-free silicone, the reusable Nomader water bottle maintains its sturdy feel for a comfortable drinking experience, yet it conveniently rolls up or squashes down when space is tight. Attached multi-function strap secures the flask in its folded position and makes it easy to carry when you’re on-the-go.
The patented screw cap design ensures a secure, airtight seal when closed and controlled intake when open. In between sips, the hinged cap doubles as a hygienic spout cover, preventing germs from getting onto the mouthpiece and into your drink–handy for when traveling, spending time outdoors, at the gym, or for kids at school.
- Free of BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead and latex
- Loops around your wrist for easy carry
- Attaches to your bag for quick access
Check Nomader BPA Free Collapsible Sports Water Bottle price at Amazon
Not finding what you are looking for? Check out our favorite places to go shopping for travel gear.
- Shop Columbia – The industry leader in outdoor apparel and products; You can find anything from great jackets, gloves, hats, shirts and travel pants.
- Shop REI – They offer some of the best outdoor gear around. We love REI since they have a year Love it or hate it no questions guarantee.
- Shop Moosejaw – Has a huge selection of outdoor gear at killer prices.
- Shop Sierra Trading Post – You can get some of the best prices on outdoor camping goods here, but most items they have are last year’s models for about 40% off.
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