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Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Donna Freydkin

If you want to be active and healthy, you need to stay hydrated. And the most eco-friendly and practical way to do so is by carrying the right insulated water bottles.

You want your insulated water bottles to be leak-proof, easy to clean, and durable. Because a soaked backpack makes for an unhappy hiker. You want your bottles to be BPA-free, of course, and if you’re opting for an insulated steel bottle, you won’t want it to retain any flavors. Coffee-flavored water just doesn’t sound all that appetizing. Or refreshing.

“You should get something in the 20-24 ounce range. If you need more water than that I’d recommend a non-insulated bottle or better yet, a hydration bladder,” says outdoors expert Bryan Rogala. “Stainless steel is best because it doesn’t get funky if you throw in a hydration-mix tablet, and for me it holds up longer than aluminum bottles. You also don’t get any off flavors in your water.”

The best-quality insulated bottles don’t sweat, meaning there’s no condensation on the outside of the bottle or a small puddle of liquid underneath it. And the true winners won’t leak a single drop, but we should also point out that often, leaks are the result of user error.

Some bottles are trickier than others to clean, so make sure you always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. And speaking of recommendations, these are our picks, based on personal experience, Amazon’s top sellers and user reviews.

UV Self Cleaning Water Bottle

Let's be honest. We all forget to wash our water bottles. So here's one that's self-cleaning.

Buy Now $59.95

Pros: The concept seems too good to be true, but this water bottle uses UV-C light to remove 99.999 percent of bacteria. You’re not exposed to UV light because it only turns on when the lid is securely screwed onto the bottle.

Cons: It’s big, for starters, and the mouth is a little on the wide side.

Contigo Auto Seal Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle

If you want a truly leakproof water bottle (and who doesn't?), you need to get this Contigo. It has a unique button that seals the lid between sips to stop spills and leaks.

Buy Now $14.99

Pros: One Fatherly editor has three of these water bottles. They are magical. They don’t leak, period. And they keep water cold for up to 28 hours. They’re great for kids and adults, and are very easy to open and close.

Cons: Some report that bottles get dented, but that’s not been our experience.

YETI Rambler Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle with Cap

This bottle is truly a wonder. It features a triple-haul cap for easy carrying. It's 100 percent leakproof. It's got double-wall vacuum insulation, meaning it keeps stuff hot and cold. And the bottle doesn't sweat, which is handy in cold temps.

Buy Now $49.99

Pros: This is a monster of a water bottle, in the best sense. It keeps your chai latte hot, your water ice cold, and thanks to its 18/8 stainless steel construction, we defy you to break it. You can swap out various caps, depending on whether you prefer to sip your drinks or chug them.

Cons: It’s not cheap, for starters.

Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle

This water bottle has double-wall insulation to keep the exterior sweat-free, and keep your drinks hot for up to 12 hours.

Buy Now $21.95

Pros: This insulated water bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours, and comes with three different lids for every sipping style.

Cons: It’s hand-wash only.

Takeya Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle

It keeps your libations cold for 24 hours, and hot for up to 12 hours, thanks to its double-wall insulation. It doesn't sweat, and it comes with a very cool spout lid that lets you drink one-handed.

Buy Now $19.99

Pros: This water bottle does not leak. It can go through hell, and it looks a good as new. Twenty-four hours after a refill, the water is still as frigid as you’d want.

Cons: One caveat to the no leaks promise…if you don’t screw to spout cap on tight, yes, it can leak.

Hydro Flask 32 oz Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Leak Proof Sports Water Bottle

A beloved water bottle for a solid price, the Hydro Flask has a wide mouth for faster water flow, TempShield insulation that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, and a super-cool slip-free powder coating that makes it easy to hold and use.

Buy Now $39.95

Pros: It’s an all-around great water bottle that has interchangeable lids (some more leakproof than others) and comes in a slew of bright shades.

Cons: Keeps your coffee hot for up to six hours, which may not be long enough for you.

Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle Collapsible Water Bottle

If you don't want to haul around a stainless steel bottle, this collapsible choice is the right one for you. It's BPA-free, of course, and easily flattens and rolls up when it's empty. Plus, it has a wide opening, which makes refills fast and easy.

Buy Now $9.99

Pros: Genius design, especially for those us who don’t like to tackle trails weighed down by tons of gear. And this water bottle clips to your belt or backpack.

Cons: Reviewers say that it tends to leak.

Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Handheld

This has a patented cap that lets you shoot water into your mouth, and it comes with a sleeve that's easily removable and holds your basics: Phone, nutrition bar, and keys. The perfect bottle for those who don't want to haul any backpacks around. This attaches to your hand, thanks to its strap

Buy Now $27.95

Pros: Forget about water breaks. This water bottle lets you stay fully hydrated without missing a beat.

Cons: It can leak and some folks say there’s a smell.

Avex FreeFlow Unfinished Stainless Autoseal Water Bottle

You get 40 ounces of water, that stays cold for up to 34, yes 34, hours. It has an insanely cool auto seal button-operated lid that automatically seals it up between drinks, hence no leaks. And there's a bolt lock to prevent it from accidentally opening and drenching your phone.

Buy Now $24.99

Pros: We especially love the protective spout cover on this water bottle to keep out dirt and grime. It’s got a carry handle and a nice, fast flow rate.

Cons: Reviewers say it’s not as well insulated as its competitors. Meaning, drinks don’t stay as cold as you’d expect.

CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle

This comes with a magnetic handle that keeps the cap stowed, and it has a wide-mouth opening, making it a breeze to fill with ice and water and a cinch to clean. It's a great, basic, affordable bottle perfect for little hands, like those belonging to kids.

Buy Now $24.99

Pros: You can’t beat the price, and the magnetic lid keeps everything in place while you’re drinking. It’s sleek and simple with a durable handle.

Cons: Reviewers say that the magnetic seal tricks you into thinking the bottle is closed, when it’s actually not, so you can wind up with leaks. The lesson here is: Make sure it’s actually closed.

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

You honestly can't go amiss with this classic S'well water bottle, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours.

Buy Now $28.86

Pros: They don’t leak. They keep drinks cold, for 24 hours. They come in great colors. And they’re easy for kids to use. Plus, they’re sleek enough to fit into any bag.

Cons: Because of their curved design, they’re challenging to really get clean.

Brita 20 Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottle with Filter

This genius bottle filters water as you drink it, resulting in H20 that tastes delicious, always. It fits in a car cup holder, the bottle stays cold for 24 hours, and it's made from insulated stainless steel.

Buy Now $34.99

Pros: It has a built-in carrying loop, a one-handed push button lid, and enclosed straw.

Cons: You need to replace the filter every two months or after every 40 gallons of water consumed.

Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle

Speaking from experience, this Stanley water bottle is fully insulated, keeps your hot drinks piping hot, and has an insulated lid that doubles as a cup.

Buy Now $39.95

Pros: This insulated water bottle has vacuum insulation that keeps drinks hot or cold for 32 hours or iced for 160 hours. That’s a whole lot of iced coffee or hot tea. 

Cons: The bottle can sometimes leak when left sideways.

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