When it comes to reusable water bottles, there are two gold standards. The Hydro Flask and a Nalgene. Both are great water bottles.
They both carry around your favorite hydrating liquids, but they are very different types. Today I’m breaking down the battle of the bottles: Hydro Flask vs. Nalgene.
Water Bottles are indispensable for hikers and campers. I also love them around the house. But they are not all created equal.
How Does the Hydro Flask Work?
The Hydro Flask water bottle is made of 18/8 stainless steel. It has a vacuum seal and double-wall insulation, making it one of the best hydration bottles on the market.
All of their bottles are covered in special coating making them dishwasher safe. You can also wash them with soapy water.
Curious how to get stains out of a Hydro Flask? Or maybe how to get a funk out from a leftover drink? Check out How to easily wash your Hydro Flask and other insulated water bottles?
Hydro Flask Temperature Control Properties
The Hydro Flask insulated bottle will keep your cold beverages cold for 24hrs and your hot beverages hot for 12 hrs. No need to get a different type of bottle.
Inside the bottle is their unique TempShield™ technology, with a double-wall vacuum insulation. This, along with the outside coating, prevents condensation to build up and makes sure it doesn’t slip out of your hand.
Before leaving the house, fill it up with ice cubes and water. The ice will melt, but the water says incredibly cool.
How much does a Hydro Flask Weigh?
Does a Hydro Flask Affect the Waters Taste?
When it comes to water, I’m incredibly picky. I cannot drink it out of a glass, it has to be plastic. When my husband brought home a Hydro Flask I was hesitant because it was made from a non-plastic material.
I found that the aluminum bottle didn’t transfer any taste though. If anything, I enjoyed drinking it as cold as it was.
Activities a Hydro Flask is Best for?
Day Hikes, Car Camping, to the gym, amusement parks, and around town. This bottle is heavier than its counterpart, the Nalgene, so I wouldn’t want to bring it with me backpacking or any place I’m concerned about additional weight.
Any time you might be having it sit in the sun, this is where it shines.
My kids took them to DayCamp and didn’t have a problem with them. We got them stickers to make it unique.
Hydro Flask Ease of Use?
Having a reusable water bottle is more about its probability for me. If it’s not something that carries well, I won’t bring it when I need it.
A couple of things I don’t like about the Hydro Flask over the Nalgene is that its lid isn’t connected. The lid is also made from a softer rubber, which damages easily. Its loop on the lid makes it easy to carry and the powered coat makes it easy to grip.
It’s taller making it so it doesn’t always fit well into backpack side pockets. But it fits nicely in most car cup holders.
Looking for an inexpensive alternative to a Hydro Flask? Try the Super Sparrow Water Bottle: The Super Sparrow Water Bottle | The Best Insulated Water Bottle
Common Questions about the Hydro Flask
Does Amazon sell fake Hydro Flask?
Yes, there are plenty of other people selling insulated flasks out there. I won’t go as far as to say they are fakes, just a different variety. Hydro Flask is the gold standard due to its lifetime warranty and exceptional customer service.
Does dropping a Hydro Flask ruin it?
No, Hydro Flasks are a double-wall insulated bottles. Dropping it can cause dents to the exterior wall but it will still maintain its temperature control properties.
Why is Hydro Flask so expensive?
I’m not going to lie, when I found out how much my husband paid for a water bottle in the store I was a little frustrated. After one adventure with the bottle, we went out and got three more.
When it gets hot out, there is nothing better than an ice-cold beverage. We probably saved ourselves so much money with this investment on gas station visits to pick up sugary-filled drinks.
Upgrade your Hydro Flask
There are two things I’ve done to upgrade my Hydro Flask. The first is getting a straw attachment. It has made drinking one-handed and super easy to do while hiking on a bike. When I’m not out, I have it on my desk for all-day sipping. We have one for every bottle.
The other indispensable accessory is a Bottle Sling. We keep this in the car so we can quickly make our bottle hands-free when we don’t have a daypack with us.
How Does A Nalgene Work?
Nalgene is a brand of reusable plastic water bottles that are used for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or camping.
It is made from high-density polyethylene which makes it stronger and more durable than other types of plastic water bottles on the market. You can drop it anywhere without worrying about plastic cracking.
It’s also made from 50% recycled materials. The equivalent of 8 single-use disposable bottles was recycled in the production. Nalgenes are also dishwasher safe, making them easier to clean and less expensive over time.
Nalgenes are a lot more durable and easy to clean than other plastic water bottles. Nalgene bottles come in a range of sizes from 8 ounces to 32 ounces depending on your needs.
Similar to the Hydro Flask, there are plenty of options to customize the bottle, from caps, mouth sizes, and other fun things.
Nalgene Temperature Control Properties
This is one of the biggest differences between a Hydro Flask and Nalgene. Nalgene is not insulated. Meaning there is nothing protecting the liquid’s temperature from escaping. That’s not a bad thing.
On cold nights, backpackers will fill up their Nalgene’s with boiling water and sleep with it. It can also transfer cold to keep you colder pressed against you depending on the season. One thing is for sure, the water will be at room temperature by the end of the day.
Did you know a Nalgene can keep you warm at night? Check it out 14 Ways to Safely Heat a Tent For Cold Weather Camping
How much does a Nalgene Weigh?
Does a Nalgene Affect the Waters Taste?
One thing that turned me on to Nalgene’s was the taste of the water. The plastic material doesn’t impede the water at all giving it a fresh taste.
Activities a Nalgene is Best for?
Day Hikes, Car Camping, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, gym bag, school, or anywhere you can think of. The bottle works great anywhere. The bottles hold a lot of water. If you only need a small amount, consider the hydro flask.
Nalgene’s Ease of Use?
One of my favorite things about the Nalgene is the attached lid. I never worry about it disappearing. It’s also easy to hook a carabiner to it and hang your water off anything and everything. Its loop makes it easy to carry.
Nalgene also excels with hot beverages. When cooking at the campfire, often people will use their Nalegeen to cook their soups and coffees.
Nalgene’s size makes them a little clunkier to use. One of the common things people struggle with is the wide-mouth bottle. Sometimes water will get caught in the mouth.
When you go to take a drink next, it dribbles right down your shirt. With the new caps and different sizes, this is easily avoidable.
Common Questions about the Nalgene
Why is Nalgene so popular?
They are extremely popular because they are durable and can be used for multiple purposes. Hikers love them, rock climbers love them because they clip on everything.
Paddlers love them and the sound they make on the bottom of the canoe.
Their wide mouth makes it easy to fill and attach to filters. They are also cost-effective. You can pick one up in most retail stores for less than $15.
Upgrade your Nalgene
There are two things I recommend for a Nalgene. First, if you love the original lid, get yourself a silicone Splash Guard.
This helps prevent too much water from escaping which can be a little embarrassing to happen in public.
What if you want a straw version? Not a problem. The Paravalbe Straw lid is amazing. It easily screws on and has a comfortable grip so you can carry it or clip it onto your pack.
When To Choose a Hydro Flask vs. Nalgene Bottle?
Choosing the right water bottle for the situation is crucial. Both have their plusses and minuses. When deciding on a Hydro Flask vs Nalgene bottle, it comes down to the activity and temperature.