Best Sports Water Bottles

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

50 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
345 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best sports water bottles

Last Updated October 2019

Whether you’re a dedicated cyclist or frequent gym-goer, hydration is incredibly important for your performance. A large percentage of our water intake comes from our diet. Foods like fruits and vegetables are, after all, mostly made up of H2O. Many people, unfortunately, have poor diets, which limits their water intake from food. People also often forget to hydrate regularly throughout the day. Throw in a sweaty workout on top of chronic dehydration, and you’ll experience a decrease in stamina and, in severe cases, serious symptoms.

Our bodies are mainly made up of water, so it’s essential that we replace the fluids we lose through sweat by drinking enough liquids. If you’re participating in intense physical activity, it’s also vital that you replace lost electrolytes. The easiest way to remember to drink is to have a water bottle on hand with fluids at the ready. Fill your sports water bottle up with water, a sports drink, or a protein shake, depending on your needs. Carry your water bottle with you whenever you’re out and about. You never know when you’ll start to get thirsty and need a sip.

Read our buying guide on sports water bottles to learn more and to find the best water bottle for you.

Vacuum insulated bottles are excellent for keeping beverages either hot or cold, but they cannot be washed in the dishwasher.

Key considerations

Sports water bottle materials


Stainless steel: You may find sports water bottles made of aluminum, but stainless steel is a far more common material. Metal bottles are very durable and typically dishwasher safe. They’re a bit heavier than plastic options, and while they won’t break if dropped, they may dent or become nicked.

Plastic: The majority of sports water bottles nowadays are made with BPA-free plastic. Plastic bottles are available in a wide array of styles, shapes, and colors. They’re also inexpensive and often dishwasher safe. Bottles made of plastic are lightweight and freezer-friendly, too. However, plastic loses points for its non-eco-friendliness and lack of durability compared to other bottle materials.

Glass: Glass is the best water bottle material for those concerned about aftertaste. While metal and plastic can sometimes impart an unpleasant flavor, water housed in glass bottles does not have an aftertaste. Glass bottles, however, are pricey, heavy, and fragile. They’re a poor choice for outdoor activities. You may drop the bottle by accident, and carrying a heavy glass bottle on your run or hike isn’t ideal.

Uses for sports water bottles

A sports water bottle can be used for any number of activities, including the following.

  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Camping
  • Yoga
  • Walking

Size and capacity

Sports water bottle sizing varies between 500mL and 1L, though there exist small bottles under 500mL specifically designed for running. When deciding on water bottle capacity, think about the duration of your activity. Are you heading out for a multi-hour hike? A larger bottle may be necessary. If there are fill-up locations along the way, however, opt for a smaller bottle to avoid lugging around extra weight. Are you cycling in hot weather? The more you sweat, the greater your hydration needs.

Opening type

There are a few different bottle opening options, but the final choice depends on your preference.

  • A wide-mouth lid allows for easy access for drinking, cleaning, and filling your bottle.
  • A flip-top with a narrow opening is easy to drink from, but it’s tougher to add ice cubes or electrolyte powder to this type of bottle.
  • Twist-off cap models are easy to clean because they usually have wide openings, and they provide easy access to hydration. Twist tops are also unlikely to leak if appropriately sealed.
  • Straw caps are a unique lid option that allow you to sip water as needed, but the straw component is a bit difficult to clean.
  • Specialty leak-proof nozzles used for cycling or running water bottles provide immediate access to liquids. Bite down on the nozzle and let the water flow into your mouth. The nozzles are leak-proof, and there’s no need to fiddle with a cap or lid when it’s time to grab water on the move.

Insulation

Foam insulation keeps drinks cool. The drawback to insulated bottles is that they’re not typically dishwasher safe.

Reflectivity

If you frequently head out after dark to work out, a bottle with reflective components will help you be seen in low-light conditions.

The Hydro Flask water bottle is a top-rated model available in a wide array of colors and the option to choose your preferred lid. The bottle’s thick stainless steel housing keeps liquid cold, and any plastics included are BPA-free. You may also add hot liquids to the bottle without damaging it.

Storage

Some bottles are outfitted with attached pouches or pockets — usually, these are bottles with hand straps — that provide additional storage. Use the pocket to stuff your keys, money, or sports gels.

Handstrap

Water bottles equipped with hand straps are designed for one-arm hydration. Drink on the go with one hand. Your hand won’t cramp or stiffen since there’s no need to hold on tightly to your bottle. The strap does all the work!

Leak-proof design

If you’re packing your bottle in a bag, check that the design is labeled as leak-proof to avoid a messy surprise in your gym bag or backpack.

Rigid vs. collapsible

Rigid bottles are best for storing in your bag or backpack or keeping on hand at the gym. Collapsible and soft flask bottles are best for those who prefer to hand-carry their hydration. Collapsible bottles are easy to store and lightweight, making them ideal for traveling and fastpacking. The softer material, however, is not as durable as harder materials and is a bit awkward to hold.

Measuring markers

Choose a bottle with measuring markers if you plan to mix protein powders or electrolytes with water or other liquid.

Shaker bottles

If you need to mix up your post-workout protein shake or smoothie, choose a shaker sports water bottle. These bottles are equipped with a round shaker component made of metal that helps to emulsify and mix your beverage. You may also remove the shaker orb and simply fill the bottle with water if you prefer.

EXPERT TIP

A running water bottle should be ergonomic and comfortable to carry during training and racing.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

A transparent bottle is ideal for those who need to mix water with electrolyte or protein powder.


Staff  | BestReviews

Sports water bottle prices

Pick a reusable sports water bottle, and you’ll never need to waste money buying water or sports drinks from the vending machine at the gym. You don’t need to spend a significant amount to purchase a durable water bottle that will stand the test of time. Pricing varies depending on a bottle’s capacity, construction, features, and brand.

In most cases, you needn’t spend more than $10 for a sturdy BPA-free plastic bottle from a name brand company. You’ll pay a little bit more for a bottle made of metal — a small stainless steel bottle, for example, costs at least $15. Specialty bottles designed for specific sports (e.g., collapsible bottles for running) cost more. You’ll spend at least $20 for a large-capacity bottle with unique features like insulation.

Need to carry water on your hike but hate the idea of carrying a bottle? Stuff it in your backpack or invest in a hydration pack.

Tips

  • For ease of cleaning, choose a dishwasher safe water bottle. If you own a water bottle that’s not dishwasher safe, use a small brush to clean its nooks and crannies thoroughly.
  • Empty and rinse your water bottle after each workout session to prevent flavors from lingering.
  • Allow your bottle to dry thoroughly before putting it away to prevent mildew growth.
  • Don’t forget to clean the bottle cap. This is especially important if you’ve been drinking something other than water from your bottle.

Inexpensive insulation

The Polar Insulated Water Bottle is a lightweight, low-cost option for the athlete working out in hot weather. The bottle keeps beverages insulated with a foil component. It’s also a suitable bottle for cyclists, as it’s likely to fit most bike cages.

Other products we considered

The Nike Hyperfuel Water Bottle provides quick hydration in a leak-proof package. The plastic housing is squeezable, so it’s easy to get every last drop out of the bottle. It holds about 18 ounces of liquid.

The BuildLife Sports Water Bottle is a 1-gallon jug with a clever marker system that reminds users to drink throughout the day. The plastic bottle is BPA-free and features a convenient wide-mouth opening.

The CamelBak Podium Bike Water Bottle features a squeeze design that’s specially made to fit cycling cages. The valve allows water to flow through quickly without splashing or leaking. Its plastic housing is BPA-free, too.

Finally, the ultra-affordable Gatorade Squeeze Bottle features prominent branding and a leak-proof design. The pop-top lid is easy to use and provides a steady, fast flow of liquid.

Hate carrying gels with you on the run? Some specialty water bottles have a unique built-in gel compartment with a special valve that allows you to access your nutrition or hydration as you move.

FAQ

Q. Can I put hot water or beverages in my water bottle?
A.
Check the manufacturer guidelines before putting piping hot liquids into your sports water bottle. Avoid adding scalding liquids to glass bottles, as the temperature difference between the bottle and liquid may cause the material to crack.
 

Q. My water warms up so quickly during my workout. How can I keep it cooler for longer?
A.
Choose a bottle that’s insulated if keeping water cool is a must for you. Otherwise, try freezing your bottle the night before, and it will gradually melt, leaving you with cold refreshing water to drink. The downside is that your bottle will be quite cold to the touch, which may be uncomfortable until it warms.
 

Q. Do I need more than one sports water bottle?
A.
Having a few water bottles available allows you to reserve individual bottles for different uses. Some people like to have multiple bottles to prepare different hydration mixes or protein shakes for different workout days.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Steph
    Steph
    Writer

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