Things are heating up—with the weather and the water bottle industry. Yep, turns out our responsible desires to create less trash and drink more water has created a specific need plenty of companies want to fill.
But if you’re like me, you don’t want just any water bottle—you want the coldest water bottle for your money. Something you know will hydrate you no matter the heat, without a price tag that makes you sweat.
Of these top container contenders (Yeti, Rtic, Orca, Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen) which one will stand the test of time (literally) in a temperature check, ice check and overall price check? Let’s find out.
Coldest Water Bottle: Cost Comparisons
Okay, when you’re comparing water bottles—remember they come in tons of sizes, variations and colors. And yeah, sometimes the color alone jacks the price up a few dollars on a third-party website. If everyone wants the hot pink Hydroflask, well, Amazon knows it can charge more. It’s just another case of supply and demand.
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I have to say, though, prices on the water bottle companies’ own website were pretty stable. And they tended to put less popular colors on sale instead of charging more for the hot colors.
That brings me to my first savings tip with water bottles. Once you read all the results in this article and set your heart (and wallet) on which bottle you’ll buy, don’t purchase from the first website you see. (In fact, this tip works when you’re buying anything—from cell phone plans to couches.) Just like the classic Motown hit suggests, “You better shop around.”
Okay. Let’s quickly talk logistics. My team found each bottle in the closest-to-similar-size they could to compare. And the prices below are what we found on that company’s website. Here are the basic deets on each:
- Vacuum insulated
- 26 oz (with chug cap)
- Vacuum insulated
- 26 oz
- Vacuum seal insulated
- 22 oz
- Vacuum insulated
- 24 oz (standard mouth)
- 20 oz (with twist cap)
By the way, I found the Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen bottles cheaper on Amazon, depending on the color. That just further solidifies my tip to shop around. It’s just another way to be a wise spender and keep that buyer’s remorse out of your life. All the time.
Coldest Water Bottle: Temperature Test Results
Here’s how this experiment went down. We filled the water bottles all the way to the top with ice and then water. The starting temp was 31 degrees. After 24 hours, we took the temp again and checked to see if there was still ice. After 48 hours, another temp and ice check.
The results? Read ‘em and weep. Or just read ‘em, because it’s not really something to cry over.
Which Water Bottle Should You Buy?
Okay, when I saw those results, I had a couple initial thoughts. First of all, holy crap, the Rtic is half the price and just as nice! So this is my personal budget pick based on value for the money.
Second, Orca had the worst performance after 48 hours. For the price, I’d expect more. Be better, Orca.
Third, Yeti is a great company, with great customer service and an incredibly well-made product. And you know what? The Yeti brand—as a whole—represents a specific type of person (hip, outdoorsy people who care about sustainably made, quality gear). It’s a whole vibe. With all that in mind, I’d name this as my upgrade pick.
Now, I want to call out one key feature that had nothing to do with this particular experiment but might make or break your decision. And that feature is—the mouth. Not your mouth, but the water bottle mouth . . . and how your mouth works with it. So yes, technically your mouth too, I guess.
But anyway—the mouth of the bottle is an underrated factor. If it’s not comfortable or easy to drink from, I’m out.
The Orca comes with this cool handle that can slap you in the face while you drink. (Maybe it’s just me. But I don’t think so.) That wasn’t a deal breaker, but I was already feeling lukewarm about them for finishing last in our temperature test.
The next problematic mouth was the Hydro Flask. When you tilt it up to drink, the top rim pushes into your nose. This is not an attractive way to drink your water. Trust me. And it didn’t feel right either.
One more note: If you’re a big fan of straws with your water bottle, you need to hear about Klean Kanteen. The straw twists away like a magic trick. Maybe not a magic trick you’d want to pull out at parties, but one that can bring a little surprise and delight throughout your day.
Final Thoughts on the Coldest Water Bottle for Your Money
Here’s the deal: Most people don’t leave water bottles around for 48 hours. That’s a good way to start growing a science experiment. So needing a container that keeps ice or keeps cold that long isn’t really that important. But if you’re wanting to save money on your purchase, I hope all of this super nerdy research has helped!
And speaking of research, I’ve learned that room temperature water or warm water is scientifically better for you (for digestion, detox and hydration)—so don’t lose sleep over how long your water stays cold.
It really all comes down to the budget, honestly. If you can fit the bottle you want in the budget, and you aren’t sacrificing your financial goals to look cool while you’re sipping that H2O—and it’s not an impulse buy—then get it!
Speaking of a budget, if you don’t have one, go get you one! Check out EveryDollar, which is totally free to use and my top pick for budgeting apps. It’s the one I use for my own money management, so I’m endorsing based on personal experience here.
Listen: The fact you’re drinking water at all is admirable. I’m so proud of you. Get budgeting and stay hydrated, my friends.