I‘ve probably tested over 100 insulated drink receptacles for Outside over the years. I’ve used hundreds of pounds of ice and countless gallons of beer, booze, and boiling water to rate everything from wee whiskey tumblers to mondo growlers. Oddly enough, I hadn’t yet tested the vessel that I use for daily water consumption: the 32-to-36-ounce insulated bottle. This size hits a sweet spot—it isn’t too big to carry on short hikes or day trips but is still big enough to minimize visits to the sink during the workday. So I evaluated seven top contenders to find the best one for you.
I screwed and unscrewed the caps on these containers 100 times in a row and took notes. I washed each bottle by hand five times. I did not specifically test durability in this roundup, because all seven of these water bottles are tough as nails and will last through years of hard daily use, barring freak accidents.
I weighed each of these on my kitchen scale while they were empty. I performed 50 jumping jacks with each bottle in my right (dominant) hand and took notes on how easy they were to hold on to. I also packed and unpacked each bottle from the fully loaded backpack my wife and I use as our daughter’s diaper bag.
I used each of these water bottles as my daily drinker for two full days—one spent chasing around our two-and-a-half-year-old and one spent primarily at my desk. I consumed five full bottles of water from each container.
I placed 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 taking the first thermometer reading. I then closed them again and waited 36 more hours before taking another temperature reading.
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