GET SWEAT GO : The best water bottles and flasks for fitness and the outdoors
The best water bottles and flasks for fitness and the outdoors
Whether you’re out on the trails or at a fitness class, stay hydrated in style
Water flasks are an absolute must-have, whether you’re out on an adventure or simply heading to an exercise class. Not only will they help you stay hydrated out on the trails, in the gym and at your desk, but they also help you reduce your single-use plastic waste and save you money while you do it.
First up, decide which type of water flask works best for you. Do you want the contents to stay hot or cold, for example? And how many knocks is your bottle likely to get?
Metal will keep your drink cooler or hotter for longer and withstand scrapes, but it’s often heavier and more expensive than plastic alternatives. Plastic usually won’t break when dropped, but it can affect the taste of your drink. If buying plastic, look for an in-built filter, or choose one made from BPA-free plastic. Glass versions are usually pricier and more breakable, but the taste shouldn’t be affected.
- Read more: Essential runner hydration tips
Other features to consider before you buy are the type of lid (a sports lid will be handy for sipping on the go), handles, how bulky the bottle is and how easy it is to clean. If you’re into wearable technology, there’s also something for you.
Best for insulation
HydroFlask Standard Mouth
This stainless steel bottle is super insulated – it keeps your drink cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. And despite being functional and robust, it’s also pretty lightweight, making it popular with outdoor lovers.
Choose from a standard and wide mouth option, and use the interchangeable sports cap-style mouthpiece for hiking or cycling. The loop on the cap makes it easy to pick up with one finger if you’ve got your hands full, while the grip on the cap makes it easy to open and close the lid.
The bottle comes in a range of bright colours and you get a lifetime warranty with the bottle.
Red Original Insulated Steel Water Bottle
Red Original may be best known for its inflatable stand-up paddle boards, but its passion for keeping the oceans plastic-free has led it to design this great flask.
Made from high-quality stainless steel, it will keep your drink hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24 hours. The bottle can hold 750ml, which is enough for three cups of coffee – or an entire bottle of wine if you’re so inclined…
It's light and has a handy loop that makes carrying it easy, and the steel is long-lasting and won’t corrode like some others. We love the minimalist design and sleek feel of this robust flask, which is ideal for adventures in both hot and cold climates.
Also, the screw cap doesn’t leak, and there’s a sports cap you can screw in when carrying water.
Best glass bottle
Ello Syndicate 20oz Glass Water Bottle
Glass flasks eliminate plastic or metal tastes and mean you’re able to see how much liquid is left without having to pick up or open the bottle. Most are covered in silicone for drop protection, like this great option from Ello.
It has a flip lid that opens with one touch, and lets you drink directly from glass instead of plastic. There’s also a convenient carry loop so you can strap the flask around your hand or hold it easily and the whole bottle is dishwasher safe.
You don’t even need to take off the silicone sleeve. This bottle won’t keep your drink hot or cold for long, but for those who think life tastes better from a glass, this is the option for you.
Best collapsible bottle
Vapur Element Wide Mouth Anti-Bottle
Rigid bottles are bulky when empty. But a bottle that squeezes down when you’ve finished drinking is perfect if you’re on the go, especially for hiking trips or when you’re travelling through airports and space is tight.
This one from Vapur is a great choice for everything from long runs to summer hikes. Built from three layers of BPA-free plastic, the so-called ‘anti-bottles’ are surprisingly durable, yet can be easily folded up after use. It’s simple to clean (and is dishwasher safe) and the inside layer is odour and taste resistant so can be reused over and over.
There’s a flip-top cap for easy access and an integrated carabiner means you can clip it to your bag or belt for quick access while on the move. Better still, you can freeze it safely for ice-cold water or to use as an ice pack. Just fill it halfway, place in the freezer overnight, then fill to the top with fresh water in the morning.
Best for hydration tracking
Bellabeat Spring Smart Water Bottle
If you’re looking to keep an eye on how much you’re drinking each day, this sleek bottle from Bellabeat has got you covered. Not only does the glass and silicone design look good, it also works with your phone so you can keep tabs on your hydration throughout the day.
You need to download the Bellabeat app and enter your age and activity levels. The app will then figure out how much you should be drinking per day. You shake the bottle to sync it to your phone, and you’re away. Then you get updates on how much you’re drinking and when.
There’s even the option to receive notifications reminding you to drink. You don’t need to charge the bottle (it’s battery operated). This is not the bottle for a seriously hardcore adventure, but if you’re heading to a fitness class and have your charged phone handy, it’s a clever piece of tech that will help boost your wellness.
Best for flavoured water
Bio-synergy fruit infuser reusable water bottle
Water is vital, especially if you’re exercising – but it can taste a little dull after a while. Pep up the flavour of yours by using a fruit infuser like this one from Bio-synergy. You simply load the internal chamber with your favourite fruit and veg and fill up with water.
Some of our favourite combinations are lemon and cucumber, strawberries and mint leaves, and blueberries and apples. Not only will the naturally-flavoured water taste good, you’ll also be getting the fruit’s antioxidants and vitamins. It’s also BPA free and safe to use in the dishwasher. Winner.
Best for off-the-beaten-track adventures
If you’re on the move and don’t have access to clean drinking water, this water filtration bottle from LifeStraw is invaluable. It lets you turn dirty water into drinkable water, filtering out any nasties through the straw as you sip.
It’s ideal for wild camping, multi-day hikes or even travelling to countries where you aren’t recommended to drink the tap water. The straw filters water, removing 99.9 percent of bacteria (E. coli and salmonella) and 99.9 percent of protozoa (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, etc.), while also getting rid of muddiness. So you can simply fill up from a lake or river and drink straight away, without having to mess around with water filtration tablets.
There’s also a handy clip, so you can attach the bottle to your bag.
Best for backpacking
Contiki Water Bottle
This is a great option for backpackers from travel operator Contiki. This travel-friendly bottle can be folded up and packed away while not in use, saving some precious space in your bag. Not only that, but it also has a filtration system so you can have safe, clean drinking water wherever you are in the world.
The clever inbuilt system removes 99.95% of bacteria and 99.97% of protozoa, and will last for 100 litres (replacements are available). This bottle doesn’t pack quite as small other foldable bottles, and it won’t keep your drink hot or cold, but it does give you instant access to clean drinking water while abroad and means you won’t need to buy throwaway single-use plastic bottles. Ideal.
CamelBak has long been known for its hydration backpacks, but it has a great range of flasks, too. This is a good no-frills option that’s perfect for hiking or backpacking trips.
The bottle has a decent capacity (750ml) and is made from BPA, BPS, and BPF free material. This model has been tweaked so its bite valve delivers 25% more flow than previous versions. The cap is designed to be leak-proof when closed and spill-proof when open and there’s a handy strap to hold it with.
It’s pretty light (174g), and comes in a range of vibrant colours. You can also throw it in the dishwasher when you get down from the trails to clean it.