Ever since concerns arose the chemical BPA leaching into drinking water from plastic bottles, there’s been a bit of an upsurge in metal water bottle products hitting the market. Today, we look at a couple of offerings for the outdoors person made by Hydro Flask.
For some odd reason, I’m a fan of different water carriers whether it’s bladders, the various plastic/lexan offerings, or even old military canteens. That’s why I was just a little excited when I had the first chance to take a look at a couple of bottles from Hydro Flask. Actually, the reason I became aware of Hydro Flask was a press release that discussed the company’s move to offer a standard mouth opening on their bottles in addition to their original narrow mouth openings. This is an appealing option because it makes it a little easier to add ice cubes to your water and it makes pouring drinks and soups a little easier as well. In the picture to the right, you can see the 12 ounce bottle with the new standard mouth opening compared to the opening on their 24 ounce bottle. Between the two, I definitely prefer the standard mouth because I absolutely want to put ice cubes in my water for those hot days out on the trail.
The reason you can use Hydro Flask bottles for hot and cold items is the double wall construction of the bottles from 18/8 stainless steel. 18/8 just means there is 18% chromium and 8% nickel in the metal’s composition provide the right properties to make a great, drink quality stainless steel. One of the main reasons it’s preferred is that this combination of chromium and nickel helps create a non-pourus surface in the bottle that will prevent the absorption of tastes and smells of previous drinks/soups and it prevents the growth of bacteria. Additionally, Hydro Flask bottles do not have a liner in them like some bottles, so you don’t have to worry about any problems with damage to the liner and any problems with BPA’s leaching into your drink.
As far as the thermal properties of the bottles are concerned, Hydro Flask boasts that cold drinks will stay cold for 24 hours and hot drink (or soups) will stay hot for 12 hours. Since it’s wintertime, my main concern right now is that the hot stuff stays hot. This is the right time of the year for us outdoors folks to take along some piping hot coffee, hot soup, or even some hot cocoa to break out around the fire. It’s a definite psychological boost to get some hot liquids in you when the temperature is low. I did some of my own testing with the two bottles I received from Hydro Flask for review. They sent a 24 ounce bottle and a 12 ounce bottle. To me, the 12 ounce bottle is great for soup and hot drinks. The 24 ounce definitely seems destined more for water carriage. That said, if there’s a couple of you on the trail, the 24 ounce bottle would be a great choice to carry hot coffee or cocoa for the both of you.
Most of the outings I’m on this time of year are usually short affairs. I might go hiking for the day or just go hunting for a few hours. Summer is when I usually spend upwards of 12 hour or more outside. So, I decide to run my own test to see how well the Hydro Flask bottles performed. The test that I did was rather simple. I boiled a pot of water and then poured the boiling water immediately into both bottles. I let both bottles sit for 8.5 hours in an ambient temperature of 60 degrees. 8.5 hours wasn’t really the target time for me. It was 8 hours. But, I got distracted and didn’t get to it until 8.5 hours had passed, but the test would still be valid. At that 8.5 hour mark, I opened the bottles to see how hot the water was at that point. To be honest, the 12 ounce bottle felt just a few degrees warmer than room temperature, though I wouldn’t actually call it hot. I’d estimateThe water in the 24 ounce bottle was actually a few degrees warmer than the smaller bottle. Neither one were what I would call hot, but warm enough to drink some coffee or cocoa. Now, bear in mind that was only after 8 hours, not the 12 stated by the company. Just guesstimating, but if the hot drink would lose its temperature that amount in 8 hours, I would have to guess that the drink would be around room temperature after 12 hours.
I don’t hold this as a negative. More than likely, whatever I’m taking with me to drink or eat will have already been consumed by the 8 hour mark. Also, I’m able to boil water and make my drinks on the trail and take along the extra for consumption later on. So, I’m not terribly tore up about the water not being piping hot after 8 hours. Though some folks will want that, so it’s something to keep in mind.
Other than that, there weren’t many tests or trials to run. These are water bottles. Nothing too complex. They are well made from what I can observe. The caps seem very robust and have a nice large seal on the interior to prevent leaks. The seal rings I’ve seen in other metal water bottles haven’t always been this well built. I also like the fact that there’s a ring at the top of the cap. It makes it easy to clip the bottles to your belt or pack with carabiners without taking up precious interior storage room. All in all, I liked the bottles quite a bit and appreciated the different sizes available to carry what you like.
If you’re in the market for some new water bottles and would like to try some metal bottles this time around, give the Hydro Flask bottles a look. They’re reasonably priced for what they offer, and they’ve even got a program where you can dedicate part of the proceeds to a charity of your choice as well.