Best Water Bottles for Hiking

Stop buying bottled water. Buy re-usable bottles.

If you want some water how often do you reach for a pre-filled disposable water bottle? Bottled water is easy to buy in disposable plastic and glass containers everywhere. The fact that buying bottled water actually costs around 2000 times more than tap water should be a good enough reason. Did you know that to make the bottles for all of the worlds bottled water takes thirty million barrels of oil per year and the same amount of greenhouse gases as thirteen thousand cars?(

Most re-usable water bottles today are made from plastic. They’re cheap, light, and durable but their quality varies according to price. Most of the cheap ones are wide mouth and really designed for two handed use. I reckon CamelBak nailed it a few years ago when they changed plastic water bottles forever by adapting their famous mouthpieces to water bottles. Until then, only screw and flip top chute lids existed. The CamelBak Chute is great but the famous Eddy and Podium bottles are built for fast and easy one-handed use. Importantly, you need to take special care of the lids. They’ll get mouldy if you don’t properly clean and dry them. Be careful when cleaning the mouthpieces and lids or you’ll damage the valves

Lineup of various water bottles

Contigo is a new brand with a unique push button opening for single handed use. They’re well-made bottles and they last a long time. I wasn’t sure if the complicated spout would break easily but I’ve never had to do anything special with the Contigo lids and they’re still going.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel water bottles have been around since the early 1900’s. Mind you, hiking water bottles didn’t progress much past military style canteens or thermos flasks until the 1980’s. They are heavy but if you need to keep things cold (or hot), you’ll need them.


Aluminium water bottles came around in the late 1800’s and they’re light and generally cheap. There’s a lot of cheap and nasty aluminium water bottles out there. SIGG bottles are where it’s at.


Glass water bottles are HEAVY. Glass is the safest material to store liquids in but probably not the safest to carry on the trail, despite all the silicon wrapping some have.


Wooden water bottles were last used by French soldiers in the Napoleonic era. They should stay that way. The wooden water bottles that are being heavily marketed these days are simply stainless steel vacuum flasks with a wood finish. There are some interesting startups, like the ‘Birch bottle’ and plastics made from plant fibre.

Best for Hiking

You’ll get what you pay for. A ten-dollar water bottle will probably only be good for a few short walks. Poor quality gear hinders rather than helps.

A plastic water bottle is the best for hiking. For all day hikes it depends on the temperature, but plastic is still the best. In summer (in Australia) you’ll need a stainless-steel water bottle to keep water cold. Multi-day hikes need a bit of planning and a mix of insulated and non-insulated bottles.

My Picks

My favorite water bottles to take hiking are the CamelBak Eddy or Podium bottles. If it’s going to be hot, I take two, but pre-freeze one the night before for later in the day. Contigo stainless steel bottles are excellent at keeping things cold in hot weather and are still easy to use on the move. If you want thing to stay hot, then the original Stanley flask is the best for keeping things hot in cold weather, but it’s a beast of a thing.

Go back to the homepage and explore some more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.