Best reusable water bottles to give as gifts in 2020

9 Nov, 2020 John Mendoza No Comments


By now, everyone knows single-use plastic bottles are bad for the environment and can be harmful to your health. Staying hydrated with a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest ways to start phasing plastic out of your everyday life. If you know someone who could use a new reusable bottle (whether they’re stuck on single-use or they simply need one for outdoor adventures), a high-quality water bottle makes a great gift.

There’s no shortage of water bottle options on the market. Some offer vacuum insulation, filtration, a straw, spout or a flip top; others are completely collapsible or can tote hot or cold beverages. So encourage your friends to recycle their disposable plastic bottles and replace them with one of these reusable, durable and stylish water vessels.

How to pick a reusable water bottle

Water bottles are mainly made from three different materials: plastic, glass and metal (typically aluminum or stainless steel). Any reusable bottle will have its own hydration pros and cons.

Plastic is lightweight and durable, but plastic can transfer a taste or odor to your beverage when you drink. Glass bottles are safer to drink from than plastic and don’t impart a taste, but they’re fragile and not ideal for rough outdoor activities like backpacking. Many glass bottles come in a protective silicone sleeve to prevent breakage. Metal water bottles, like those made from stainless steel, are usually insulated around the body of the bottle and are the best at keeping your hot drink hot and your cold drink cold, but they can be heavy and subject to dents and scratches.

After you decide what material you want your reusable drinking water bottle to be made of, consider the lid type. Do you want a straw lid, a flip-top spout lid (like on a travel mug) or a screw top? Maybe you need a lid that can attach to a backpack with a carabiner or a lid that won’t unscrew in your work bag.

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Also, consider size and design when picking your perfect water bottle. Most companies make their bottles available in a variety of sizes, usually ranging from 12 to 40 ounces. Smaller sizes often have thinner, sleeker designs with a narrow mouth, while larger sizes usually mean a wide-mouth bottle or a jug-like design good for drinking from at all-day events like a day at the beach. Some have added features like being self-cleaning or filtered.

I scoured the web for the most functional and fashionable reusable water bottle options. I began my search with brands I already knew created good products, like S’well, though I ended up finding a couple that aren’t as widely evangelized, but still create cool products to help you stay hydrated.

From basic bottles to portable pouches to all-day canteens, I tested more than 25 bottles, and the best ones made it to this list. All of the bottles on this list have mostly favorable customer reviews on Amazon in the four-star range (no product can please everyone). In the end, it’s up to you to decide which is the best reusable water bottle — and to stay hydrated. 

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Hydro Flask

The Hydro Flask exploded in popularity a few years ago and has stayed at the top of the water bottle ranks due to its double insulated design, durable stainless steel materials and fun variety of colors. Hydro Flask insulated stainless steel bottles keep liquids cool for up to 24 hours and hot beverages warm up to 12 hours.

They’re tough enough to toss into bags and survive the hustle and bustle of your days (stainless steel, remember?), plus the insulated bottles resist condensation, so the outside of your water bottle will stay dry when you drink. The Hydro Flask vacuum-insulated water bottle comes with a standard lid and spout, but you can always mix and match to make the best water bottle for yourself.

Pressa Bottle

Some people love drinking tap water plain. Some think it’s the most boring liquid to have ever graced this planet, despite it being essential to human survival. I am one of the latter, which is why I love the Pressa Bottle, the infuser water bottle with a built-in juicer. It’s a great reusable water bottle for on-the-go folks who want fruit-infused water but don’t want to deal with making a whole pitcher of it at home. 

All you have to do is put your fruit of choice in the juicer and twist the dial on top. This reusable glass bottle has a silicone sleeve to help your grip and comes apart for easy cleaning. You can also safely clean your Pressa Bottle in the dishwasher.

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Previously, we listed the Platypus Platy Ultralight Collapsible as the best portable water bottle for backpacking, but since then, Platypus has come out with the Platypus DuoLock Soft Bottle 1.0 L — a sturdier, more stylish version of the Ultralight Collapsible water bottle. The DuoLock Soft Bottle has a built-in carabiner, making it perfect for clearing up space in a hiking backpack: Just clip it on outside instead of stuffing it in. You can choose from 1 liter or 2; in my own hiking experience, I’ve found that 1 liter is sufficient unless you’re heading out for a full daylong trek.

Grayl

The Grayl Geopress Purifier filters out 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and sediment. It holds 24 ounces of water, it’s incredibly durable, and it’s easy to clean — a really big deal as heavy-duty filtered water bottles are notoriously difficult to clean. I tested the Grayl Geopress Purifier along with five other filtered water bottles and the Geopress struck me as the safest and the best investment for outdoor use.

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Glass is nontoxic, doesn’t seep chemicals and doesn’t degrade over time, making it a great alternative to a plastic water bottle. The body of this Contigo bottle is made entirely of glass, while the protective outer layer is silicone and the cap is stainless steel. The outer silicone sleeve makes this bottle extra grippy (no broken glass!), and it’s top-rack dishwasher-safe.

I’ve owned many a Contigo bottle and this Purity glass one lived up to the brand’s reputation of making long-lasting, stylish, functional bottles. It’s also one of the least expensive bottles on this list; quite honestly, I don’t know how Contigo even profits off of such inexpensive bottles, especially when they seem to be high-quality and durable. But hey, I’m not complaining about a great reusable water bottle for just $12.

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All of Klean Kanteen’s water bottles are environmentally friendly thanks to the company’s patented chip-resistant, durable finish called Klean Coat. But the Klean Kanteen 20-ounce Insulated Reflect vacuum insulated bottle is especially environmentally friendly, made from just three materials: stainless steel, food-grade silicone and bamboo. It has no paint, ink, coatings or plastic.

It’s easy to carry, with a nice loop handle and the bottle is elegant in its simplicity. Despite lacking the insulated coating that most stainless steel bottles have, the Klean Kanteen Insulated Reflect is still double-wall vacuum-insulated and the bottle kept my water cold for as long as I needed it to. Hot drinks and hot liquids aren’t recommended because of the steel bamboo cap.

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The insulated, stainless steel Roamer from S’well keeps a whopping 64 ounces of water cold and delicious even when it’s hot out. I took this bottle on a 9-mile hike and it lasted me until the end. It was a hot day, so there were no actual ice pieces left, but the water was still ice-cold.

Made from food-grade stainless steel, a S’well bottle is perfect for long, hot beach days and for those who just don’t feel like refilling their bottle several times a day. Because it holds 40 or 64 ounces, depending on the model, and is made of stainless steel, this insulated bottle can get pretty heavy when it’s full, so you might not want this one for hiking or walking around. It’s definitely not the easiest way to carry water on a hike, but overall, I didn’t mind toting this 64-ounce water bottle.

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I tested the Astrea One water bottle for our list of best filtered water bottles for 2020 and while I wouldn’t recommend using this one with natural freshwater, it works wonders on tap water, filtering out lead, benzene, mercury, copper, chlorine and other undesirables. It also has a great design that’s sturdy, durable and easy to clean.

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The Que bottle might be the most adorable water bottle I’ve ever used. Made only of silicone and stainless steel, this bottle collapses down to half its size when empty — perfect for anyone who’s always trying to save space in a bag. The Que bottle is also dishwasher-safe, BPA-free and 100% plastic-free. Flexible and durable, this bottle can withstand drops and falls, plus it bounces back to its normal size and shape even after being totally smushed.

CrazyCap

In another category of reusable water bottles that zap away dirt and pathogens, self-cleaning water bottles use UV-C light to decontaminate water. I tested three self-cleaning UV-C water bottles and the CrazyCap Gen 2 produced the best taste and has the best suite of functions: It has a normal purification mode for tap water and a so-called Crazy Mode for freshwater; an autoclean function; and a slender design that makes it great for taking along in the car and slipping into bags.

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Try as we might, it’s not always possible to avoid a quick stop at a gas station for a bottle of water. Maybe you forgot your reusable water bottle, or you did bring it but you’re in the middle of nowhere and need a clean refill. Enter: Pathwater

Pathwater makes the first bottled water in a 100% reusable, recyclable aluminum water bottle. You can find the company’s product at gas stations and convenience stores (use the store locator) and it only costs $2 to $3, depending on the location. You can also buy a case (linked below). The water that comes in these bottles is just as good, if not better, than any water you’d get in a plastic bottle, and they are endlessly reusable and recyclable. 

I stocked my fridge with a case of Pathwater have been using the same set for nearly a year now! Even if you don’t reuse a Pathwater bottle, it takes five times less energy to recycle than a plastic bottle of the same size, according to the Pathwater website.

More for readers seeking health and hydration

Originally published earlier and updated periodically.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.



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