My present favourite vacuum water bottles

I have probably tested over 100 insulated beverage containers for Outside over the years. I’ve used hundreds of pounds of ice and countless liters of beer, alcohol and boiling water to rate everything from small whiskey mugs to Mondo growers. Oddly enough, I hadn’t yet tested the jar I use for my daily water use: the 32 to 36 ounce insulated bottle. This size hits a sweet spot – it’s not too big for short hikes or day trips, but it’s still big enough to minimize washbasin visits during the working day. So I rated seven top candidates to find the best one for you.

The test

user friendliness
I unscrewed and unscrewed the caps of these containers 100 times in a row and took notes. I washed every bottle five times by hand. I haven’t specifically tested the shelf life in this summary, as all seven of these water bottles are nail hard and can withstand years of hard daily use, except for unusual accidents.

I weighed each of them on my kitchen scale while they were empty. I did 50 jumping jacks with each bottle in my right (dominant) hand and made notes of how easy they were to hold. I also packed and unpacked every bottle from the fully loaded backpack that my wife and I use as our daughter’s diaper bag.

Drinking experience
I used each of these water bottles as my daily drinker for two days – one I spent chasing our two-and-a-half-year-old and one I spent mostly at my desk. I have consumed five full bottles of water from each container.

I put 200 grams of ice in each of the bottles, filled them to the brim with water, closed them, and let them sit for an hour before I took the first thermometer reading. I then closed it again and waited another 36 hours before taking another temperature measurement.

The winner

(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

GSI Outdoors Microlite 1000 Twist ($ 35)

User friendliness: 4th
Portability: 5 (weight: 13.7 ounces)
Drinking experience: 3.5
Thermoregulation: 5 (10 degree temperature gain)

The Microlite 1000 is a unicorn. It is remarkably light, the cheapest of the bottles I tested and in the thermoregulation test with only ten degrees of temperature in 36 hours absolutely kicked the ass. It’s almost never clear that the lightest and cheapest product has the highest performance, but the Microlite 1000 really does it all. I was blown away by its functionality. Due to the medium-sized mouth, this was not the easiest bottle to clean, but packing and unpacking was a breeze due to the small footprint. I wasn’t crazy about the way the cap is attached to the bottle – it would hit my face if I didn’t hold it with another hand – but it feels given all the other magic that it does Bottle contains, just picky.

The easiest to clean

Otterbox-Elevation-Wasserflasche_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Otterbox Elevation 36 ($ 45)

User friendliness: 5
Portability: 2.5 (weight: 1.5 pounds)
Drinking experience: 3.5
Thermoregulation: 3 (15 degree temperature gain)

A large threaded lid and the widest opening of these seven water bottles made this beefy unit an absolute dream when cleaning. I could get my whole hand and a sponge in there and scrub like the Dickens. The easiest to clean is not the sexiest category, but an important distinction for some reasons. At 36 ounces, this container is a more sensible growler than its 64-ounce counterparts – perfect for a picnic for two or for a family soup. Thanks to the effortless cleaning, the elevation does not become an evil breeding ground after trips outdoors. It was the widest bottle I’ve tested, which made it a bit difficult to hold for long periods of time and took up a lot of space in the backpack. But it didn’t slip out of my hand during the jumping jack test, which is due to the beautifully powder-coated exterior and the three grip edges.

Best bang for your buck

camelback-carry-water bottle_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

CamelBak Carry Cap 32 ($ 36)

User friendliness: 5
Portability: 4.5 (weight: 15.6 ounces)
Drinking experience: 4th
Thermoregulation: 3 (12 degree temperature gain)

This bottle is extremely portable thanks to its weight of less than a pound and its small size. I loved how easy it was it had to be kept. The slight angle of the handle made it swing easily from my fingers as I walked around the neighborhood with my daughter. The opening struck a middle ground between the super wide otter box and the chug cap on the yeti (below), which meant that it was relatively easy to clean, but no water spilled on my shirt when I drank something while walking. The light powder coating and the narrow diameter of the bottle also made it one of the best performers in the jumping jack test.

Best drinking experience

Yeti Wanderer Water Bottle_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Yeti Rambler 36 ($ 50)

User friendliness: 5
Portability: 3.5 (weight: 1.5 pounds)
Drinking experience: 5
Thermoregulation: (16 degrees temperature gain)

The Rambler 36 was by far my favorite bottle to drink from as it contained a chug cap included. While the Otterbox has an optional drinking lid that offers a similar drinking experience, it costs an additional $ 15, while the chug cap comes standard with this water bottle. The cap directs the water to a thumb-wide spout that allowed me to drink actively while following my daughter along a steep path without spilling a drop. It is also easy to unscrew from the top of the bottle, making it extremely easy to clean. While it wasn’t the best thermoregulator and quite heavy, this is the bottle that will be on my desk all summer because the drinking experience was far better than anyone else on this list.

Best to take anywhere

Hydro-Flask-Trail-Wasser-Bottle_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Hydro Flask 32 oz trail series ($ 50)

User friendliness: 4th
Portability: 5 (weight: 12.5oz)
Drinking experience: 4th
Thermoregulation: 2 (18 degree temperature gain)

It’s crazy that Hydro Flask was able to build an insulated 32-ounce water bottle that weighs less than 13 ounces. This and the GSI are the only insulated water bottles I would bring with me for a backpacking trip or an extended ski tour. This weight and slim shape did not cause hand fatigue when I took it for long walks, and my wife agreed. She only lets a new water bottle into our house when we get rid of one, but she immediately called Dibs in the Trail series. The lack of a powder coating made the jumping jack test somewhat precarious – I would have been nervous if the bottle had been wet. It performed poorly in the thermoregulation test, but both factors are difficult to object to at this weight.

Best lid

klean-kanteen-water bottle_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Klean Kanteen TKWide 32 oz ($ 40)

User friendliness: 5
Portability: 3 (weight: 1.25 pounds)
Drinking experience: 4th
Thermoregulation: 2.5 (15 degree temperature gain)

In a sea of ​​isolated water bottles that is TKWideis characterized by its brilliant lid design. A simple swinging metal loop, which is stowed in the lid, can easily be used to open and close the bottle. The interior is not provided with threads, but with raised dots that make removing the lid a breeze while liquids are still trapped. The exterior of the TKWide had the most textured powder coating that held well during the jumping jack test. The mouth of this bottle also had a really nice rejuvenation that gave me the best feeling on my lips.

Best looking

stanley-water-bottle_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Stanley Vacuum Unbreakable 36 ounces ($ 38)

User friendliness: 3.5
Portability: 2 (weight: 2 pounds)
Drinking experience: 4th
Thermoregulation: 5 (11 degree temperature gain)

This thing is a beast. It weighs almost two pounds and hardly fits in my backpack. To be fair to Stanley, the company clearly didn’t design this for quick and easy bulk. Many details that make this jar so heavy – the thick powder coating, a solid lid with a stack height of several inches and a useful metal handle – also make it look absolutely bad. It’s timeless: it would be just as much at home on my tailgate in a ski resort as it would be in the lunch box of a construction worker from the 1920s. That’s a good thing, because all these difficult details mean that it will probably take 100 years. It was of course the least portable, but proved to be easy to hold during the jumping jack test due to its powder coating and relatively small size. Despite being one of the largest bottles in the test, it had one of the smallest mouth openings, which resulted in a fantastic drinking experience, but also a container that is difficult to clean.

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Main photo: Sarah Jackson

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