Which sports water bottles are best?

Sports water bottles have durable designs that withstand heavy use, whether you exercise indoors or out. They’re also equipped with a wealth of convenient features, ranging from insulation to rugged construction. The Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle, for example, has double-wall insulation and chills beverages for up to 24 hours, and it even keeps hot beverages warm for up to 12 hours. 

What to know before you buy a sports water bottle

What is a sports water bottle?

Sports water bottles are equipped with handy features for athletes and active people. Many runners and cyclists, for example, choose designs with reflective details that boost their visibility to drivers. Bottles with wrist straps or loops that can be attached to backpacks or belts are excellent for camping, hiking or fishing. Insulated water bottles are popular for hot weather use because they keep drinks cold hours longer than regular water bottles.  

Top beverages for sports water bottles

Besides water, you can fill your bottle with other clear beverages, such as sports drinks or iced tea. Certain sports water bottles also hold hot beverages, particularly coffee or hot chocolate. However, sports water bottles aren’t great for thick or chunky drinks because they can clog straws or sipping mechanisms. 

What to look for in a quality sports water bottle

Capacity

Generally speaking, sports water bottles hold 12-64 ounces of liquid. The most common sizes, however, are 20-32 ounces. 

When choosing the best bottle capacity, keep in mind that the higher its capacity, the larger the bottle will be. While it might seem obvious, the size may impact how convenient it is. 

High-capacity water bottles often have stout bases that won’t fit inside cupholders. They’re also bulkier, heavier and harder to pack. Lower-capacity bottles that are tall and slender might be too thin to fit securely inside cupholders and will pop out of them during sharp turns or when you hit the brakes.  

Bottle material

The most common sports water bottle materials are plastic, stainless steel, aluminum and glass. 

  • Plastic: Plastic bottles are lightweight, flexible and affordable. With that said, plastic bottles have shorter lifespans than other materials. 
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is the most durable option, and unlike plastic, it won’t affect the taste of water or other beverages. However, stainless steel is heavy and expensive. 
  • Aluminum: Aluminum has a sleek, modern appearance, and it’s notably lighter than stainless steel. However, because it can react to certain liquids, most aluminum bottles have epoxy or resin protective linings.
  • Glass: Glass is easy to clean and stain-resistant, but you won’t find too many sports water bottles made of glass. They’re prone to cracks and chips, and they’re rarely, if ever, designed with insulation. 

Opening design

Sports water bottles have several types of openings, including twist-off lids, flip-up straws and push spouts. Certain bottles have more than one opening for flexible drinking options, but the designs aren’t flawless. Many of these bottles are prone to leaking, including when they’re tightly closed. However, there are a growing number of multi-opening bottles that are leakproof with sealing mechanisms. 

How much you can expect to spend on sports water bottle

Basic sports water bottles without insulation or sipping mechanisms cost $15 and below. Designs from $20-$30 include bottles with premium features such as leakproof seams, insulation and rugged construction. The $35-$60 range includes sports water bottles geared toward heavy-duty outdoor use. 

Sports water bottle FAQ

How do I clean a sports water bottle?

A. Unless otherwise specified, most sports water bottles can be cleaned with gentle dish soap. Certain bottles require hand washing, whereas others are dishwasher-safe. Sports water bottles with narrow openings can be cleaned with bottle brushes, such as those used for cleaning wine glasses or baby bottles. 

Can I recycle old sports water bottles?

A. It depends. Plastic water bottles are marked on the bottom if they’re recyclable. Most curbside recycling programs won’t recycle stainless steel or aluminum water bottles, and instead, you’ll need to bring it to a scrap metal yard. Otherwise, you can repurpose the metal bottle as a vase, mini herb garden or watering can. 

What’s the best sports water bottle to buy?

Top sports water bottle

Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle

Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle

What you need to know: A rugged design, this stainless steel sports water bottle handles everyday and outdoor use. 

What you’ll love: It offers three lid options, including a flip straw. The double-walled insulation keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours, including in hot weather. The water bottle is available in six sizes from 14-64 ounces. 

What you should consider: Some people said their water didn’t stay cold as long as expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sports water bottle for the money

Polar Sports Insulated Water Bottle

Polar Bottle Sport Insulated Water Bottle

What you need to know: This triple-insulated water bottle is one of few affordable options that’s BPA-free. 

What you’ll love: The water bottle has a flexible plastic body that lets you squeeze water in your mouth. With three insulation layers, it promises to keep drinks cold twice as long as older Polar Sport bottles. It also has a leakproof sports cap. 

What you should consider: The bottle has nooks and crannies that accumulate dirt and mildew. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Contigo Autospout Ashland Water Bottle

Contigo Autospout Ashland Water Bottle

What you need to know: Contigo’s top-selling water bottle offers convenient one-handed drinking.

What you’ll love: The bottle has a slender body that fits in most vehicles and stroller cupholders. The protective spout prevents dirt and other particles from entering the bottle. It also has a built-in clip that attaches to carabiners or backpacks. 

What you should consider: It’s not insulated, which means water eventually reaches room temperature or gets warm. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

 

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