Tested: The 10 Best Travel Water Bottles of 2022

The Takeya Actives insulated water bottle tops our list

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Cropped shot of a young man taking a break to drink water while out on a hike

 

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TripSavvy's Picks

Testers liked Takeya's Actives Insulated Water Bottle best for its ideal cap size, insulation, and durability. Thermoflask's Double Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle was a close runner-up. And if you're looking for a budget option, the MIRA Stainless Steel Water Bottle impressed our testers.

A water bottle is an essential travel item, but finding the best one —in other words, one that doesn't leak, isn't heavy, or is fragile — can be challenging. We researched the best water bottles on the market and came up with a list of 26 to put to the test in our New York City testing lab. Travel editors tested the bottles for portability, insulation, durability, drinkability, and overall value by filling up the water bottles, dropping them onto the lab's concrete floor, and taking temperature readings. We then averaged scores for each category to give you the best travel water bottles for any trip or situation.

These are the best water bottles currently available.

Best Overall: Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

4.7
Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Takeya

What We Like
  • Actives Spout lid has perfect water flow

  • Extra loop on top of lid offers another carrying option

  • Passed the durability test with no damages

  • Superior insulation

What We Don't Like
  • A few leaks did occur after walking around with the water bottle in a bag

Our testers liked a lot about the Takeya Actives Spout Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, particularly its drinkability, durability, insulation, and overall value. The superb drinkability ratings start with the bottle's Actives Spout lid, which maximizes water flow without the likelihood of spilling it all over your face a la other brands' wide-mouth bottles. "This is really a perfect cap," one tester said of the lid. "Just the right size so that you can get as much water as you want without spilling and can get a perfect flow of water from it."

The bottle held up well in the shake and durability tests but surprisingly had some leaks after walking around with it in a bag. It was also slightly heavier than some of the other bottles we tested. But where this bottle also stood out compared to others was its insulation. Our original temperature reading put the water temperature at about 55 degrees. At three hours, the temperature dropped to 47.5 degrees thanks to the ice in the bottle. And by six hours, the temperature had only risen to about 50 degrees.

Testers also enjoyed some unique features of this bottle, like the removable rubber anti-skid coaster at its base, the hinge-lock, which keeps the cap out of your way while drinking, and its style. "This is a great water bottle for everyday use," a tester concluded. "But because of the smaller cap and ease of drinking while being in motion, plus its durability, I also think it would be good for someone who is very active."

Price at time of publish: $27

Material: 18/8 Food Grade Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 18, 22, 24, 32, 40, and 64 ounces

Takeya Actives Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best Overall, Runner-Up: ThermoFlask 24 Oz. Bottle with Chug Lid and Straw Lid

4.7
ThermoFlask Water Bottle with Chug Lid and Straw

ThermoFlask

What We Like
  • Comes with two different lids

  • Fit in all of our cupholders

  • Overall excellent value

What We Don't Like
  • A few dents from the drop test

The coolest thing about this water bottle? It comes with two lids—a chug lid and a straw lid. Both lids are leakproof—clutch for travel—and both passed the drop tests without cracking. We also liked that it was one of the few water bottles to fit in all cup holders and that it has a carrying handle, though we'd like to see that handle have the ability to fold down.

The vacuum insulation claims to keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12. After six hours, the temperature of the ice water we put in the bottle only increased from about 51 degrees to just under 55 degrees. The only real drawback we saw with this bottle was it did have some slight dents from the drop tests. But the straw didn't open, and no leaks started.

Price at time of publish: $68

Material: 18/8 Food Grade Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 24 ounces

Thermoflask Double Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best Budget: MIRA 25 Oz Stainless Steel Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle

4
MIRA 25 Oz Stainless Steel Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good mouth opening

  • Testers rated the seal, insulation, and drinkability highly

  • Water stayed decently cold, especially compared to other bottles

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy and no extra features

  • Didn't hold up well in drop tests

If you lose water bottles frequently, a budget bottle might be a wise choice. Our testers liked MIRA's insulated stainless steel water bottle best of the budget-friendly options we tested. The MIRA bottle has a good grip, a cap that stayed intact during the drop tests, and is a good carrying size. It also did an excellent job of keeping water cold, only increasing from 54.5 degrees to just over 58 degrees over a span of six hours.

Be careful if you go with the MIRA, as many dents formed during the drop tests. "It's now wobbly and doesn't stand perfectly straight and balanced anymore," one tester noted after the drop tests. Still, if you're looking for a basic bottle that won't hurt to lose, this one is a good value that keeps water cold and is nice to drink from.

Price at time of publish: $16

Material: 18/8 Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 17 and 25 ounces

MIRA Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best Value: Brita Hard Sided Water Bottle with Filter, 26 Ounce

4.6
Brita Hard Sided Water Bottle with Filter

Walmart

What We Like
  • Excellent insulation, kept water the same temperature for six hours

  • Has a water filter

  • Good for carrying and holding

What We Don't Like
  • Lid could be annoying for certain face shapes

  • Dented fairly easily

If you didn't already know, Brita makes water bottles, too. And it turns out the brand makes pretty good ones. Like the typical Brita counter water filter, the hard-sided water bottle comes with a filter that reduces chlorine taste and odor. (Note: it's recommended to replace the filter every two months.) Besides the filter, this bottle also features all of the typical features included in a quality reusable water bottle, like stainless steel construction and a leak-proof lid.

This bottle has a silicone mouthpiece that our testers liked. "The water tasted great and pure," one tester noted. "The button to open the lid is nice and convenient, as is the handle on top." Our testers had one issue with this bottle: It dented fairly easily, and the seal was compromised when it landed on the lid during the drop tests. But, overall, our testers liked this bottle quite a bit.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 20 and 32 ounces

Brita Stainless Steel Water Filter Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best for Hiking: Nalgene 32-Ounce Wide Mouth Tritan Water Bottle

3.9
Nalgene

Amazon

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Loop on the lid offers additional carrying options

  • Very tough to break or dent

What We Don't Like
  • Wide-mouth does come with some drawbacks like easier spilling

There are a few pieces of gear I remember being an absolute game-changer for me. The 32-ounce Nalgene Water Bottle is one of those products. Nalgene has been around for decades, but I still remember getting my first Nalgene bottle as a teenager in the early 2000s. Nalgene has manufactured this water bottle for over 50 years, finetuning its design so that the water bottle is durable enough to survive in any condition. This lightweight water bottle features BPA-free Tritan material, which can handle both cold and hot drinks. The opening is large enough for ice cubes to fit inside, making washing it by hand a breeze. You'll be able to track your water intake easily when you're on the go using the measurement markers displayed on the side, and the loop-attached lid guarantees you'll never lose it.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Tritan Renew Copolyester | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 32 ounces

Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best for Portability: Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Water Bottle

4.3
blue hydro flask water bottle

Amazon

What We Like
  • Carrying loop makes it easier to carry

  • Fits perfectly in backpack holders and fits well in car cup holders

  • Grippy outer material

What We Don't Like
  • Not great durability

  • Water temperature increased by about 8 degrees over six hours

Bend, Oregon-based Hydro Flask has elbowed its way into the competitive insulated water bottle market by making high-quality and functional tumblers and bottles. I've always been a Nalgene fan because of the brand's lightweight, rugged, and inexpensive bottles. But Hydro Flask has grown on me over the past decade for its functionality. The Standard Mouth Flex Cap bottle has quickly become one of my favorites in the Hydro Flask line.

Our testers also liked the Standard Mouth Flex Cap bottle for many reasons, including its textured finish for boosted grip, its superior seal that didn't allow any leaking, and the actual flex cap, which has a loop that pivots and moves with you as you walk. "The size of the bottle fits perfectly into a backpack holder and fits securely in there without feeling top heavy, so it'll fall out. It also fits well into a car cup holder," a tester reported.

Two downsides dropped the overall scoring of this bottle. The temperature increased almost 8 degrees over six hours (although it stayed remarkably stable for three hours). And it dented easily. "A couple more falls could have likely broken the bottom rim and made the bottle unusable," a tester noted. "The lid and cap however, stayed intact."

Price at time of publish: $30-70

Material: 18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 18, 21, and 24 ounces

Hydro Flask Standard- Mouth Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best Splurge: Yeti Rambler Stainless Steel Bottle with Chug Cap

4.7
YETI Rambler 26 oz Bottle

Yeti

What We Like
  • A delight to drink from

  • Narrow mouthpiece helps prevent spills

  • Very strong and durable

What We Don't Like
  • A bit heavy

When I see a YETI product, I know two things are likely to be true about it. First, it's going to be expensive. Second, it's going to be of excellent quality. The Rambler bottle isn't that much more costly than others on this list. But it is of top-shelf quality, and if you don't tend to lose water bottles, it is definitely worth the higher price.

"A delight to drink from," one tester succinctly described the Rambler. "The mouth opening was a great size, and the water tasted terrific and cold."

The Rambler comes with a chug cap, and if you get a smaller size (it comes in five sizes, up to 64 ounces), it's likely to fit easily into a backpack pocket or car cup holder. The temperature only increased by about 2 degrees over six hours. And, because it's YETI, there were basically no dents or scuffs during the drop tests. Like the Hydro Flask, the YETI Rambler has edged its way into my water bottle rotation with my Nalgene, and I'm good with it.

Price at time of publish: $40

Material: 18/8 Kitchen-Grade Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 18, 26, 36, 46, and 64 ounces

YETI Rambler Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best Thermos: Healthy Human Vacuum Insulated Double Walled Thermos

4.6
Healthy Human Water Bottle

Amazon

What We Like
  • Excellent drinkability

  • Cap stayed intact during drop tests

  • Excellent insulation

  • Dented easily

There's a lot to like about the Healthy Human Water Bottle. For one, it was one of our top performers in the temperature test, dropping almost a full degree over six hours. Our testers also enjoyed the size of the lid for drinking as water poured out easily but not too quickly. It was also super comfortable for our testers to hold. Like others on this list, it did dent somewhat easily during the drop tests, but the cap stayed intact and only suffered minor scuffs.

Price at time of publish: $35

Material: 18/8 Stainless Steel | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 16, 21, 32, and 40 ounces

Healthy Human Insulated Thermos

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best for Picnics: Corkcicle Hybrid Canteen

4.3
Hybrid Canteen

Courtesy of Corkcicle

What We Like
  • Excellent insulation

  • Absolutely no leaks

  • Very nice grippy material

What We Don't Like
  • It dented easily every time it was dropped

  • No handles or straps for gripping

Behold the top performer in our temperature readings test. Six hours after we put ice water in the Corkcicle Canteen, the temperature of the water dropped an impressive five degrees. So this would be an excellent choice for hot picnics or beach days or carrying any sort of liquid you really don't want to get warm. But that's not all that impressed our testers about this bottle. They enjoyed the bottle's material, which was smooth but not slick and helped increase the grip. And the spout was easy to drink from when walking and standing. The bottle did struggle with denting each drop during the drop test, but the bottle held up well when dropped on its lid.

Price at time of publish: $40

Material: Not listed | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 20 ounces

Corkcicle Canteen

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Best Collapsible: Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

4.3
Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

Amazon

What We Like
  • No leaks

  • Strap makes it easy to hold and carry around

What We Don't Like
  • Cap to the spout is right in your face while drinking

  • Plastic did crack on the lid during the drop test

Available in nine different colors, including aqua blue, army green, and neon pink, the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle features ultra-durable, BPA-free, food-grade silicone. It can carry up to 20 ounces of hot or cold liquid when full. When empty, it rolls up into a travel-sized package ideal for tucking into your carry-on luggage or backpack.

The patented twist cap creates a 100 percent waterproof seal and protects your drinking spout from contamination. The neck of the bottle is wide enough to allow for spill-free filling. When full, the fabric strap loops around your wrist or attaches to your pack, leaving your hands free for climbing, cycling, or map-reading. This bottle is dishwasher-safe and can be kept in the freezer.

Our testers enjoyed drinking from this bottle, sans the spout, which can be right in your face while drinking. They also enjoyed the strap for holding and carrying the bottle. And while there were no leaks during the testing, the cap did crack during the drop test.

Price at time of publish: $35

Material: Silicone | BPA-free: Yes | Sizes: 22 ounces

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Other Water Bottles We Tested

We tested 26 bottles for this roundup. Other bottles we tested not included above in our list were as follows: Hydro Flask Lightweight Trail Series, CamelBak Eddy+, CamelBak Podium Bike Water Bottle, Simple Modern Water Bottle, Purist Mover Vacuum Water Bottle, Kleen Kanteen Classic Water Bottle, Kleen Kanteen TKWide, S'well Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle, Que The Collapsible Bottle, W&P Porter Glass Water Bottle, Contigo Autospout, Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle, E-Senior Collapsible Water Bottle, and MoChic Flat Water Bottle.

Water bottle testing

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

Product Selection

We selected products based on internet research and the expertise of travel writers, editors, and our lab testing team. Internet research included examining what other prominent media sites have featured and highest-rated products on sites like Amazon and REI. Individual expertise came from the experience of TripSavvy's editors and writers and the water bottles we've used over the years.

Once we selected an initial list of products, we narrowed it down to the 26 tested above based on price points, intended uses, features, and styles. We wanted to provide a diverse list of products to fit as many different types of consumers, travelers, and outdoor-focused individuals as possible.

Water bottle testing

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

How We Tested

We tested water bottles for drinkability, seal, portability, insulation, durability, and value. Each bottle was rated on a five-point scale for each category. We averaged each score to create an overall score for each bottle.

First, we filled each bottle with ice a quarter of the way. Then we filled the rest with cold water from the water machine in our testing lab. An initial temperature reading was taken. Testers took temperature readings three and six hours after the initial reading. For drinkability, testers took drinks from the bottles while standing still and walking, noting any spills or splashes.

We tested the seal by shaking the bottles, holding them upside down for one minute, tossing them in backpacks, and carrying them around for five minutes. Testers rated portability based on the bottles' grip, carrying handles, and how well they fit in cup holders and backpack carrying pockets.

Drop tests tested durability. Testers dropped the filled bottles three times on the lids and three times on the main body and rated the bottles based on the damage. Lastly, testers rated value based on how the bottles performed across all tests.

Water bottle testing

TripSavvy / Conor Ralph

What to Look for in a Travel Water Bottle

Materials

These days, insulated bottles' standard water material is 18/8 Stainless Steel. Be on the hunt for that material if you're looking for a quality bottle. Other brands, like Nalgene, feature a proprietary Titan plastic material. Most importantly, be sure the bottle you pick is BPA-free.

Insulation

Like the 18/8 Stainless Steel construction, most quality bottles will claim up to 24 hours of keeping liquids cold. This claim will vary based on many factors, like how cold the liquid is initially when it's placed in the bottle and how warm or cold it is when you use it. Vacuum and double vacuum insulations are the best types of insulation these days, so look for that when purchasing a water bottle if insulation matters to you.

Style of Lid and Cap

While materials and insulations are mostly the same in reusable water bottles, lid and cap styles can vary. Do you prefer a wide-mouth lid? Standard-mouth? Do you like a straw? A smaller lid? Those are all personal preferences to consider when picking a water bottle.

Extra Features

Some water bottles have bonus features like filters, purifiers, or fruit infusers. If that interests you, be on the lookout for those additional items. Just know that with those extra items likely comes increased costs.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I clean and wash my water bottle?

    This is less of an issue if you're only putting water in your water bottle. You can either hand wash your bottle or throw it in the dishwasher if it's dishwasher safe. All water bottles come with cleaning instructions. But, if you're like me and putting electrolytes or other liquids in your water bottle, cleaning can get a bit more involved. This might require additional scrubbing with warm or hot water and typical dish soap. Pro tip: If mold starts to form, fill your bottle a quarter of the way with ice and add coarse salt. Shake it hard until whatever is growing on the sides of your bottle is removed. I have noticed the traditional Nalgene material is more likely to grow mold than new Nalgene materials and the 18/8 Stainless Steel.

    Another rule is to give your bottle a good scrubbing before using it for the first time.

  • What kind of water bottle can I take on a plane?

    Any reusable water bottle! The only potential issue is forgetting there's water in it when you go through the security line. Reusable water bottles are excellent for travel as they are better for the planet and help you avoid overpaying for a water bottle after going through the TSA security checkpoint.

  • How do you carry a water bottle while traveling?

    We love bottles that have some sort of carrying loop on the lid. It's easier to carry in your hands or attach to a backpack or other luggage with a carabiner. Most carry-on backpacks and other luggage items also have water bottle-specific pockets. If those options don't work, putting the bottle in your carry-on bag will work.

What Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Allen is TripSavvy's Outdoor Gear Editor. Friends and family have made fun of him for the amount of liquids he keeps on hand. Nathan uses collapsible water bottles daily while trail running, biking water bottles often while cycling or mountain biking, and keeps them nearby for rehydration while working between his many outdoor pursuits. His current rotation of water bottles includes Nalgene's 48-ounce wide-mouth bottle, YETI's Rambler, and Hydro Flask's Standard-Mouth Bottle.

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