Thursday, December 12, 2013

Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle Hunt: Hydro Flask Impressions

Finding an insulated stainless steel water bottle...
One week and $60 later, I now have a 20 oz. Klean Kanteen Insulated Water Bottle, a 16 oz. Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Pint Cup, a new loop sewn into my backpack, and a carabiner on the way. Each item, except for the first one, is "adored" -- as much as one can give to an inanimate object. While I like the first item a lot, it's been giving me a little bit of trouble. Just check out my review to see what's bugging me.
My Klean Kanteen Insulated Bottle
But long story short, I started looking for an alternative and came across another product line that I would be interested in trying out. At the time of writing, I haven't purchased another bottle yet. That doesn't mean I don't think it's worth sharing!

Hydro Flasks
Again, I am not an owner, just a curious bystander. This product line started popping up in my Amazon searches when I was shopping for Klean Kanteen bottles. Unfortunately, I was completely set on the insulated Klean Kanteen bottle because of its almost completely stainless steel interior -- "almost" because there's still a non-steel seal at the cap that is required. When I started looking for an alternative and researched Hydro Flask, I found a very interesting product.

What's so interesting?
Most Hydro Flask bottles appear to be vacuum insulated from what I've seen. According to the official website, they have plenty of options in terms of size, color, and mouth opening as well. Sizes range from 12 oz. to 64 oz.. Narrow, standard, and wide openings are available for select sizes. Color is color and I count over ten on this product page for the Hydro Flask, Standard Mouth, 21-Ounce. Most importantly for me, a boring, "classic stainless" steel option is available for many configurations.

According to the company website, their caps are usually made from polypropylene. These appear to be the ones that come standard with new bottles. However, there is a Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Standard Mouth Flat Cap available for around US$ 5 -- it only fits the "standard" mouth sized bottles. The interior of this cap is stainless steel, but I'm guessing that there's a non-steel seal like the Klean Kanteen cap.

In terms of heat retention, the Hydro Flask website claims 12/24 hours (hot/cold) and Klean Kanteen website claims 6/24 (hot/cold). One obviously makes a greater claim than the other. I've never tested either, but 6 hours is more than plenty for me.

Klean Kanteen vs. Hydro Flask for 20-ish oz. bottles
At the time of writing, has a classic stainless insulated 21 oz. Hydro Flask bottle for US$ 23.39 while a brushed stainless Klean Kanteen 20 oz. insulated bottle is US$ 25.17 -- prices vary depending on color for both items. To get the mostly stainless steel interior for the Hydro Flask, the stainless steel cap would have to be added for US$ 6.23 or US$ 29.62 total. This makes the Hydro Flask version slightly more expensive, but not by much when you factor in the better advertised insulation time for hot contents and additional 1 oz. capacity.

Alternatively, I'm thinking that I could just get the 64 oz. beast of a bottle for US$ 38.23 (time of writing), keep the plastic lid, and just fill it 1/3 of the way so that the water rarely, if ever, touches the top. There's a 40 oz. version too, which may be a better idea. And the larger size could prove to be useful in helping it stay upright in a bag -- aside from weighing it down and taking up more space.

So now then...
I continue to be impressed by my current Klean Kanteen bottle and am very impressed with the features of the Hydro Flask bottle that I would like to own. Definitely have to make a mental note to get a Hydro Flask bottle down the line. Plan B where I would buy a 40 oz. or 64 oz. bottle and just fill it part way is the approach that I have in mind.

Regardless, both bottle brands have similar features and are within a comparable price range. It'd be worth the effort to check out both brands when shopping for insulated bottles.

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