Hydro Flask insulated water bottle review

Although the word “flask” conjures up images of thin, sneaky metal containers filled with cheap hooch that can be concealed in an overcoat pocket for smuggling into movie theaters and rock concerts, Hydro Flask is actually a water bottle. But this is no typical bottle. The Hydro Flask is a double-wall, vacuum insulated piece of gear that will do everything except massage tired feet.

Hydro Flask double wall insulated water bottle.

Okay, foot massages are an exaggeration. But the Hydro Flask will keep your cold liquids cold and hot liquids hot. It’s made from durable, BPA-free stainless steel, is sweat proof, freeze proof, recyclable, and comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty. Damn, maybe it can do massages.

Ever since I got my hands on the 21-ounce, standard mouth version of the Hydro Flask, it’s become my go-to bottle not so much for water, but as an insulated container for my coffee and hot chocolate on backcountry ski tours. Hydro Flask claims that their bottles will keep liquids hot for 12 hours, but I never scientifically tested this out. I’m sure that if the bottle is filled with boiling water and then kept at room temperature while never being opened for 12 hours, liquids would stay hot.  But on long tours in the Wasatch Mountains in temperatures ranging from the single digits to the 20s, My coffee stayed hot for hours… but not 12 hours.

Opening the Hydro Flask every time I stopped atop a peak to take a drink let out a lot of heat, and my hot chocolate would be lukewarm after about 5 hours of skinning, skiing, and drinking. For real-world testing, I think that’s a pretty respectable amount of time considering the cold conditions and frequent exposure to the chill air. On the other hand, using the Hydro Flask while at work or in the car kept my coffee tongue-scalding hot all day.

The burly, updated cap on the standard mouth Hydro Flask.

Although I used mostly hot liquids in my Hydro Flask during testing (it’s winter after all,) I did spend some time getting to know it as a water bottle. As advertised, the Hydro Flask kept my water ice cold all day, and I never saw a single bead of sweat form on the outside, even if I used ice cubes.

Despite all the various liquids I poured into my Hydro Flask, the flavors never lingered like in other bottles I’ve owned. Not even a whiff of chai tea could be found after rinsing the bottle out and using it for water that same day.

The Hydro Flask is made from double-wall 18/8 stainless steel, which is the insulating agent, but also makes the bottle heavier than others. I’d say that’s a small price to pay for everything this bottle can do. Also, I experienced a bit of leakage from the cap, but because of Hydro Flask’s unconditional lifetime warranty, they got a new (and improved) cap out to me quick and I’ve had no problems ever since.

Looks like the Hydro Flask is the only bottle you’ll ever need. You can use it for liquids hot or cold, and it should last for the rest of your life. In fact, I think it’s probably best to own two. That way you can bring both hot coffee and cold water with you wherever you go.

Plus, if you purchase a Hydro Flask then 5% of the purchase will be donated to charity that you can choose on FivePercentBack.org. Now that’s even better than a foot massage.

For more information, or to purchase a Hydro Flask, visit their website at www.hydroflask.com


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1 comment for “Hydro Flask insulated water bottle review

  1. BKmom
    October 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I just got a very positive lead test on Hydro Flask all-stainless steel bottle. After inquiring with the company about the exposed solder on the bottom of the bottles, the company assured me that it was lead free. Then I tested it myself and posted the pic to their Facebook page. After a few exchanges, the rep stated, “we’ve decided as a company to use lead-free solder in all of our products going forward,” and that the lead free versions would be available “toward the end of the year.” I believe current consumers and those considering buying Hydro Flasks need to be aware of this, especially considering they make a lunch box size canteen (which, regretfully, my young son has been using for months).

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