Being the first on the scene, Hydro Flask has capitalized well on the insulated steel water bottle market. Quality water bottles as they are, Hydro Flask bottles are not unmatched. Best Hydro Flask alternatives available in the market vary from branded options to knock off variants on offer. Let’s take a look at some options available to see how they stack up.
Top 9 Hydro Flask Alternatives In 2021
- Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle
- Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle
- Coleman Autoseal Freeflow
- Fluid Sports Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottles
- Avex FreeFlow Stainless Autoseal Water Bottle
- Drinco – Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- BUZIO Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- SWIG SAVVY Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Super Sparrow Vacuum Insulated Bottle
Branded Hydro Flask Competitors To Consider
Here are some better-known Hydro Flask competitors that you may want to consider. You can check out the links below for detailed comparisons.
9 Hydro Flask Alternatives Detailed
1. Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle
Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle is a very close relative to the Hydro Flask, and thus a viable alternative. It doesn’t perform as well as Hydro Flask, but it performs fairly well for a low-cost alternative. The claim still is 24 hours for cold beverages and 6-12 for hot ones. You could consider it true, in the sense that after 24 hours, the contents would still be cold, though not as cold as in a Hydro Flask.
The bottle is made from 18/8 stainless steel and the plastics used for the lid are BPA free. Iron Flask is available in a range of sizes, including 14, 18, 22, 32, 40, and 60oz. Of these, only the 18oz and 22oz bottles fit in conventional cup holders. Each bottle comes packed with a straw lid and stainless steel lid. A flip lid is available for 18-40 oz sizes.
Much like Hydro Flask, exteriors of the Iron Flask are powder-coated for easier handling. The bottles are available in several colors.
- Good insulation
- Good value for money
- A choice of size and color options
- Claimed insulation at 24 hours for cold and 12 for hot beverages
2. Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle
Nalgene used to be the premium water bottle before Hydro Flask made landfall. These are still pretty popular, though steel bottles are have gained more favor as compared to plastic bottles. Nalgene bottles are available in several size and color options. They are fit to be used as reusable bottles, though we continue to have reservations on plastic use.
These bottles are made from BPA/BPS-free Eastman Tritan co-polyester with impact-resistance. Nalgene bottles can last for a fairly long time and are top-shelf dishwasher safe. Of course, there is no insulation on offer here, but it can still be fairly useful.
- Well-known and trusted brand
- No insulation
- Wide-mouth bottles
- Made from plastic
3. Coleman Autoseal Freeflow
Coleman is a popular name in outdoor gear and insulated water bottles are the new rage everywhere. And so the famed company took the jump into the market with Coleman Autoseal Freeflow bottles.
In theory, Coleman Autoseal Freelow seems to check every requirement for insulated bottles and even go over and beyond. Freeflow bottles are made from high-quality 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and have excellent insulation to keep your chosen beverage at the right temperature.
Coleman claims that the hot drinks can stay on for up to 11 hours, while cold beverages will stay cold for 31 hours. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the bottles do match up with many other Hydro Flask alternatives.
Autoseal system is Coleman’s big draw for these bottles. It’s a button-operated lid that seals between sips to avoid/prevent leakage. This is backed by a cross-bolt slide lock to ensure that the Autoseal button doesn’t get accidentally pressed while on the go.
These are excellent systems, but they don’t really measure up well in actual use. Despite the big name backing, I’ll place the Coleman Autoseal Freeflow solidly in the average category.
- Autoseal button is convenient and useful
- Rugged bottles well-suited for outdoor use
- Good range of size and color options
Check current price on Amazon
4. Fluid Sports Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottles
Fluid Sports Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottles are available in a small range of colors and two sizes. The 40oz bottle is perhaps the better choice, though a 24oz option is available as well. Included plastic lids with Fluid Sports bottles are BPA-free.
The 40oz bottle includes three lids in the package. These are the stainless lid, flip top lid, and straw lid with two straws. In terms of insulation, these bottles offer 24 hours for cold beverages and 6-12 hours for hot.
- Great value for money
- Each bottle includes 3 lids
- A choice of color options
5. Avex FreeFlow Stainless Autoseal Water Bottle
The biggest selling point for Avex FreeFlow Stainless Autoseal Water Bottle is its ease of use. The cap on this bottle is remarkable. It is leakproof and its Autoseal makes using it remarkably easy. Just press the button every time you want a drink, and you can enjoy it without any trouble.
It is also claimed to be dishwasher-safe, which may be true considering the insulation is perfunctory. While the claim is 29 hours of cold and 9 hours of hot beverages, the reality is nowhere near it. I’d say it is a couple of hours for either. It’s a fun bottle for general use, but don’t expect any insulation.
- Excellent lid design
- Dishwasher safe
- Minimal insulation
6. Drinco – Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Drinco – Stainless Steel Water Bottle has a design very similar to the Takeya Thermoflask. Its lid especially is very similar to that of Takeya. The lid is also functionally similar and adds usability to the water bottle. Drinco bottles are available in several colors and 20oz and 30oz sizes.
The bottle is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and the lid is BPA-free plastic. Drinco’s claimed insulation times are up to 24 hours for cold beverages and up to 12 hours for hot drinks.
- A range of color options
- Available in 20 and 30oz sizes
- Insulation works 24 hours for cold and up to 12 hours for hot beverages
7. BUZIO Stainless Steel Water Bottle
BUZIO Stainless Steel Water Bottle is available in 20oz, 40oz, and 64oz sizes. There is a range of colors on offer for each size, so there are decent options to pick. The bottle is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and the plastic used in its caps and lids is BPA-free. These wide-mouth bottles have powder-coated exteriors to ensure a longer shelf life for the looks and design of the bottles.
Each 40oz bottle is packed with a straw lid and flex cap. They even include a brush to make cleaning the bottle easier.
You will need to buy a brush to clean any double-walled steel water bottle. Practically all of these bottles need hand-washing and are not dishwasher safe.
Buzio’s claims on insulation are exaggerated. They claim 48 hours for cold and 24 hours for hot. I’d say for practical use, the number is more like 24 hours for cold, and 6-12 hours for hot beverages. And even then, moderate expectations are key.
- Available in 20, 40, 64oz sizes
- Some color options available
- Powder-coat finish
8. SWIG SAVVY Stainless Steel Water Bottle
This water bottle is available in a range of color and size options. SWIG SAVVY Stainless Steel Water Bottle is made from 18/8 stainless steel and BPA-free plastic is employed for the lids and caps. These bottles are marketed to the outdoors-loving crowd and even include a carabiner to make it easier to carry it with your backpack!
The wide-mouth bottle is 1.9-inches wide at its opening. They’ve kept their claims of insulation towards the standard side, claiming 24 hours for cold and 12 for hot beverages.
- Good looks
- Insulation at 24 hours cold, 12 hours hot
- A limited choice of color options
- Includes carabiner for easier use outdoors
9. Super Sparrow Vacuum Insulated Bottle
Super Sparrow bottles are available in the more conventional water-bottle shape. Their marketing images (like the one you see here) makes me think of Daleks! For whatever reason, that cap or arrangement makes these bottles look like those dangerous bot-like creatures!
Anyway, the appearance and design of the Super Sparrow can be considered to be somewhat similar to the S’well water bottles we listed above. Construction of these bottles makes use of 18/8 stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. The claimed insulation stays at the conventional 24 hours cold, 12 hours hot routine.
Super Sparrow bottles are available in 17oz and 25oz sizes, and each includes two caps for easier use.
- Conventional bottle-like shape
- Good value for money
- Available in 17oz and 25oz sizes
- Limited range of colors
- Insulation at 24hours cold and 12 hours hot
A Quick Note On Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask is the market leader and the innovator in this segment. It was the appearance of the Hydro Flask that kicked off the market for the double-walled, insulated, steel water bottle. So it is no surprise that Hydro Flask is considered the best water bottle in this niche. These thermos water bottles took the market by a storm, given their quality, durability, and overall ease of use.
Hydro Flask bottles are available in several sizes, ranging from 12oz kiddie sized bottles to 128 oz flasks designed for groups. Exteriors of the water bottles are powder-coated, making them easy to grip, even when your hands are sweaty.
Hydro Flask has a variety of caps available to suit different needs. The company claims that the bottle can keep hot drinks hot for 12 hours, while cold beverages can last 24 hours in the Hydro Flask. Simple, convenient, and useful.
With the growth in popularity, more water bottles like Hydro Flask appeared on the market. Some of these are Hydro Flask dupes, while others are legit brand competitors. Of course, there’s also the “name brand versus generic” thing going on, so we wouldn’t be quick to dismiss Hydro Flask competitors.
Making Your Water Bottle Decision
Hydro Flask water bottles come at a premium pricing. It is only natural that people look for options that are lower in the price range. You’ll find that most competitors to Hydro Flask are cheaper.
Colors, Shape, And Other Physical Characteristics
Aesthetics play a role in our water bottle selection. Some of us would like them to be in the traditional curvy bottle shape, others prefer the straight looks of the Hydro Flask. Similarly, the colors and finish available vary with each brand.
Overall, there is a large selection available. Some, like the Yeti Rambler, also offer some customization. Other brands are adding similar features as well.
Insulation is an important factor in double-walled stainless steel bottles. While claims vary, I think 12 hours for hot liquid and 24 for cold is a pretty standard and likely benchmark. And that’s actually a tough one to beat. If someone claims times way beyond these, I’d suggest healthy skepticism.
Caps, Lids, And Accessories
Caps and lids add functionality to the water bottle. They are available in many options, including sports lids, straw caps, or the good ol’ fashioned caps. Caps and lids are generally interchangeable, so you can have the functionality you want from the bottle. A sports lid or straw cap is good when you want single-handed use of the bottle. A conventional cap works well if you want to drink straight from the bottle.
Lids and caps are usually made from plastic. So if you are buying a quality bottle that you expect to last for years, it might be a good idea to consider buying from a brand that can be around for a long time. Or consider buying a few extras for the accessories.
Many brands also offer a choice between wide-mouth and narrow-mouth bottles. I find wide-mouth bottles more convenient and easier to drink from. However, narrow-mouth bottles have their uses as well.
Construction Of Your Water Bottle
I think quality construction and top-shelf materials are non-negotiable for anything that comes in touch with edibles. Hydro Flask and most quality competitors use high-quality materials. All plastic components must be BPA-free. The most preferred metal in the segment seems to be 18/8 stainless steel. This food-grade material is safe, does not add any taste to edibles stored, and does not retain any odors or materials.
Good cleaning habits are necessary, but picking a good material is as much of a necessity.
Picking A Hydro Flask Competitor
There are countless double-walled stainless steel water bottles available on the market. Picking a Hydro Flask alternative is relatively easy, but picking a quality option can be tougher. The options presented here have a good reputation and have managed a good response over a fairly long time.
My suggestion is that if you really need a performance water bottle, consider the premium branded options. If you can afford some ups and downs related to quality and insulation, the knock off or value for money options can be as good, if not better, than premium bottles.