From battling jet lag to improving your mood, the benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated are endless. And while we all love traveling, it’s really easy to get dehydrated if we’re not careful. Whether you’re backpacking through Europe or hopping on a plane to experience one of Austria’s greatest ski resorts, you need to have easy access to a quality water bottle.
Quick Answer: Best Travel Water Bottles
- Best Stainless Steel: Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Best Plastic: Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle
- Best Glass: Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle
- Best Insulated: Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Best Collapsible: Baiji Bottle Collapsible Silicone Water Bottle
- Best with Filter: LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Travel Water Bottles
While many people want to know what is the best water bottle for travel, there’s not one simple answer. It really depends on where you’ll be using it and why. Because of that, we’ve given you some important things to consider in your quest for the best travel water bottle for you.
1. Bottle Material
The most popular water bottles are typically made from either glass, plastic, or stainless steel. While they each have their pros and cons, some people tend to have a favorite material. If you’re one of those people, then just make sure you check out the best water bottle brand for your favorite bottle type. If you’re not one of those people, here’s a brief overview of the differences between the bottles…
- Glass Bottles: If you’re not a fan of the plastic or metallic taste you can get from those types of bottles, then do some research on the best glass water bottles. While they’re great because you won’t get any aftertaste, they do tend to be heavier and less durable than their plastic and metal counterparts.
- Plastic Bottles: Plastic bottles are typically the most common and frequently used bottles. They are affordable, durable, and lightweight, so it’s easy to take them wherever you go. On the downside, they don’t offer any insulation and if you’re not careful about cleaning them or you tend to leave liquids in them for long periods of time, they can give off a funky odor.
- Stainless Steel Bottles: These bottles are the most durable of the three. If they do get banged up, you’ll probably just see a dent instead of a crack like the other two. There are also plenty of insulated bottles to choose from. Finally, they tend to be super easy to clean and don’t hold on to lingering aftertastes.
Water bottles can typically hold anywhere from 16 ounces all the way up to a half gallon of water. Before purchasing a bottle consider what you’ll be using it for. While a half gallon bottle is fine if you’ve rented a car to tour Iceland, it’s not great to carry with you while you’re camping in Big Sur because of the weight it’ll add to your backpack. If you’ll be traveling with your backpack, also consider that the capacity of the bottle affects its size, and its size determines whether or not it fits in the side pocket of your backpack. On the other hand, if you drink a lot of water, a smaller bottle means you’ll have to fill it up more frequently.
Be sure you’re mindful of the chemicals that may be present in your bottle. The most well-known is BPA. While people are still researching the effect it has on us, pretty much all water bottles are now BPA-free. The most popular bottles tend to be totally chemical-free, but it’s always a good thing to double check before buying a water bottle.
4. Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning your bottle regularly is the best way to make sure it stays as bacteria-free as possible and has a long life-span. Be sure you know whether your bottle is dishwasher-safe or not. The heat in dishwashers can be really beneficial in getting rid of bacteria. If the bottle isn’t dishwasher-safe and/or you don’t have access to a dishwasher, then hot, soapy water is what’s best to clean it. Once it’s washed, be sure to let the pieces dry completely before using them to reduce the potential of bacteria and mold.
5. Filters and Purifiers
These are ideal if you don’t know whether or not the water is safe to drink at your destination. The job of filters is protecting against bacteria and protozoan cysts while clearing out cloudy water. Purifiers neutralize viruses; so especially if you’re doing a lot of international traveling, it’s a great idea to get a bottle with a purifier.
6. Insulated or Non-insulated
Insulated bottles, or double-walled bottles, are the ones that will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours on end. If you want to keep your water cold or your tea hot throughout the day, then an insulated bottle is for you. However, they tend to be heavier and more expensive than non-insulated bottles.
7. Mouth Opening
Depending on your travel style and how you’ll be using the bottle, the mouth opening is critical. Be sure you know what the diameter of the bottle is when the top is removed. If you want to use your bottle for flavored water and need space to add fruit slices or berries, then you’ll probably want to go for a bottle with a wider mouth. If you’re only putting water in it and don’t need it to be wide enough to fit ice cubes, then a narrow mouth is probably fine. The wider the bottle mouth, the more likely you are to accidently spill when you’re drinking.
8. Sippers and Straws
If you choose a bottle with a straw or sipper, then a wide-mouth bottle shouldn’t be a problem. These make drinking easy because you don’t have to worry about spilling. Be mindful that sippers and straws can be very difficult to clean though, and can easily collect bacteria if not properly taken care of.
9. Type of Bottle
Do you want a hard or soft bottle? Soft bottles, typically collapsible ones, are ideal if weight and packability are important to you. If you’re going on a hike or running out of room in your suitcase, soft bottles are a space-saver and a breeze to pack. However, they may require two hands to stabilize them when you’re drinking. Hard bottles tend to be more popular because they come in many styles and materials while fitting in your backpack, carry-on luggage, or cup holder without a problem. The fact that the structure is durable and you can easily grab it and drink with one hand makes it a fan favorite.
Weight may or may not be important to you based on where and why you’ll be using the bottle. If you’re going backpacking, camping, hiking, or trekking, please consider the weight of your bottle… your back will thank you later. Pounds can quickly and easily add up, so especially if you’re already traveling with a backpacking tent or camping hammock and other camping supplies, you don’t want a super heavy bottle. Keep in mind, 16 ounces of water typically adds just over 16.5 ounces to the weight of the bottle. Glass bottles tend to be the heaviest, while plastic bottles are typically the lightest.
Best Travel Water Bottle Reviews
Below are the best water bottles for your next adventure:
Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle
1. Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Currently the best stainless steel water bottle available, the single-walled bottle has an electropolished interior, meaning you won’t have to worry about tasting yesterday’s tea when you’re ready to put water into it. It’s dishwasher-safe, but the 1.75-inch opening makes it easy to wash by hand if necessary…the opening is also big enough to fit ice cubes. The Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Water Bottle comes in numerous sizes to fit your travel style, so you can choose a bottle as small as 18 ounces or as large as a half gallon. The leak-proof cap is BPA-free and includes a loop so you can easily hook it on your travel backpack, belt loop, or purse. As soon as you get your new bottle, you’ll know exactly why it’s one of the most popular water bottles on the market.
Best Plastic Water Bottles
2. Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle
For those who prefer plastic bottles, the Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle stands out on the list of the top-rated water bottles. As soon as you get it, you’ll notice it was designed with practicality and convenience in mind. The textured design makes it easy to grip and the rotating meter allows you to keep track of your water intake. Another benefit to this bottle is that because it only weighs 6.4 ounces, it’s one of the best travel water bottles for all of your adventures from backpacking in Honduras to exploring the best of New York City. There’s a lot to love about this leak-proof water bottle.
3. CamelBak Chute Water Bottle
CamelBak is so confident that they have the best water bottle for travel that each bottle is backed by their lifetime guarantee. The .75-liter bottle is durable, leak-proof, and easy to fill with ice cubes and slices of fruit. With convenience in mind, the cap snaps into the handle so it’s out of the way whenever you want to take a drink. They even put the cap threads inside of the spout to make drinking more comfortable. This great bottle comes in many vibrant colors and designs so you can match it with any of your travel gear, from your travel jacket to your favorite pair of travel pants and everything in between. If you’re looking for the best travel water bottle for your next adventure, don’t overlook the amazing CamelBak Chute Water Bottle.
Best Glass Water Bottle
4. Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle
Underneath the colorful yet protective silicon is the best glass water bottle available. While it’s a bit heavier than stainless and plastic bottles, you’re guaranteed not to encounter any leftover smells or tastes. The bottle is surprisingly durable, so while you may not want to put it in your carry-on luggage, don’t hesitate to take it with you on your Croatian road trip, or anywhere else your travels take you. The bottle is BPA-free and phthalate-free, and its wide opening means that adding fruit to make flavored water or ice cubes is a breeze. If you’re a lover of glass bottles or just want to try one out, this 22-ounce bottle is the one for you.
Best Insulated Water Bottle
5. Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Created with a 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, this bottle is built to last. One of the best water bottles for hiking, you can be confident that it will stay with you throughout all of your adventures. Its innovative TempShield Insulation means you can enjoy your hot drinks for up to 6 hours and your cold drinks for up to 24. Whether you’re wearing gloves while experiencing Iceland or your hands are wet after taking a swim in Jamaica’s Reach Falls, the powder coating on the Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle means that it’s easy to grip and it won’t sweat. Among the top water bottles you’ll find, anyone who is always on the go will absolutely love this bottle.
Best Collapsible Water Bottles
6. Baiji Bottle Collapsible Silicone Water Bottle
Not only is this the best collapsible water bottle on the market, but you contribute to a great cause when you buy the bottle. These bottles are convenient and fun, and a portion of the profits go toward dolphin rescue and protection programs. These are really good water bottles for all types of travel because they can be rolled up and laid flat when you’re not using them so they barely take up any space. The dishwasher-safe water bottle is super lightweight at only 4.8 ounces and it’s freezable so you can enjoy cold drinks throughout the day. If you need the best water bottle for hiking, this is a great option because of its weight and versatility.
7. Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle
One of the best water bottle brands in business presents a premium bottle that makes traveling the world easier. This collapsible bottle rolls up to easily attach to your bag or around your wrist when not in use, but when you are using it, the shatter-proof silicone won’t collapse in your hand. The company’s founder, Bryan, was determined to create an excellent bottle that can go with you through all of your favorite adventures, so the bottle is able to hold cold and hot liquids and it’s heat-resistant, freezable, and dishwasher-safe. The protective grip makes it easy to hold, and of course the bottle is leak-proof and hygienic. A great bottle for hiking, camping, and city sightseeing, you can’t go wrong with the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle.
Best Water Bottles with Filter
8. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
Treat yourself to the best water bottle with filter capabilities and one of the greatest travel gifts available. The LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle filters water while you’re drinking it, so it’s ideal not only for trekking and camping, but also for emergency kits and emergency situations. The 22-ounce bottle has a two-stage filter with a 4,000-liter capacity that removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites and bacteria without using batteries, chemicals, or iodine. The bottle is leak-proof and made from a BPA-free Tritan. When you purchase a LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle a student in need gets safe drinking water for a whole school year. Because you can contribute to a great cause and get a bottle that lets you drink clean water no matter where you are in the world, the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle is the best water filter bottle for travel.
9. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle
No matter where you are in the world, the best filtered water bottle for travel gives you 16 ounces of clean water in only 15 seconds. This premium bottle not only has a sleek design that looks great, but the full-spectrum filter removes 99.9% of viruses. The award-winning one-press filter sifts out things like silt, heavy metals, chemicals, etc. In addition, you can get a good taste, no odor or aftertaste, and increased clarity. Each purifier cartridge replaces 300 single-use plastic water bottles, so not only is it convenient for you, but it’s helpful to the environment. Because you can use it anywhere in the world with no problem, they’re some of the best hiking water bottles available.
Best Titanium Water Bottle
10. Vargo Titanium Water Bottle
Consistently ranked as one of the best water bottles for travel, the Vargo Titanium Water Bottle is made of a strong titanium while weighing only 4.6 ounces. While it has a lot of features that contribute to its greatness, by far the best thing is that you can use it to boil water, so no matter where your travels take you you can always have clean drinking water. This biocompatible bottle holds 22 ounces of water and its slim design makes it super easy to carry in your backpack or fit into your bicycle water bottle cage. For constantly fresh water in a sleek and sturdy bottle, go for the Vargo Titanium Water Bottle.
Now that you’re ready to choose your best water bottle for travel, you’ll love how much a good water bottle and being properly hydrated improve your next adventure!
Excellent write up on the best travel water bottles, including what features to look for when selecting a bottle. But what about the bottle’s warranty? This is an important factor that buyers should consider before investing in a reusable water bottle in order to protect against defects that are bound to occur from time to time. The Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle includes a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.