Best Insulated Water Bottles for Families + Giveaway

This spring, summer, and fall we did a bunch of testing of ways to keep water cold for an entire day in the Wyoming/Montana heat.  If we head somewhere, it is always for a long day (because driving almost anywhere requires that) and keeping hydrated is a must.  Water getting hot in the car isn’t enjoyable for anyone drinking it, and this is the first year we have put some energy into making sure we have good water all day long.  As we head into fall and winter now, we still need drinks to stay cold OR hot and be ready for quick family drinking (of things like milk and hot chocolate, of course).


All of these bottles kept water cold for a similar amount of time – definitely a full long day (24 hours) and sometimes longer than that depending on the outside temperatures.  As far as hot drinks, 8 hours was perfectly possible for at least keeping it very warm.  They also are all BPA free, resist odors and keep water tasting fresh (even if hot chocolate was in it last.)


KIS350OT_BackEco Vessel FROST $22.95:  Because of the straw, this bottle is not recommended for use with hot beverages.  It’s just not safe.  However, it’s an excellent size (13 oz.) for both my kids to have cold water for quite a while.  While it is not recommended except for kids aged 3+, our two year old uses it with almost no issue.  The only “problem” he has is being strong enough to open up the straw on his own.  We also put “hot” chocolate in it for them occasionally, because they never really drink it hot anyway – luke warm is good enough for them!  Easy to clean because the straw is stiff and there aren’t many nooks and crannies for “junk” to get lost in.  You DO have to watch, though, to make sure they are not biting on the straw – it occasionally will break (but a replacement lid can be bought for less than $4).



hydro-flask-64-oz-wide-mouth-black-butte-stainless-steel-vacuum-insulated-water-bottleHydroflask Wide Mouth 64 oz. Growler $49.99:  I know some people keep “other” beverages in this growler, but we have found it is perfect for a keeping up a “refill supply” of cold water and for bringing enough hot chocolate for the whole family after sledding, skiing or snowshoeing.  It’s definitely too big for me to handle drinking from one-handed, but we keep it in the car almost all the time so we know we have fresh water.




hydro-flask-21-oz-standard-mouth-orange-zest-stainless-steel-vacuum-insulated-water-bottle_121 oz Standard Mouth Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle $25.99:  This is the water bottle that Mama doesn’t share.  It’s mine and I don’t want any floaties in it.  While I drink through it pretty quickly (especially pregnant), it is the only bottle that I have that really does keep my water cold all day long (24 hour day…) and never smells funky.  This is the largest size that is available in the “standard opening” models, but they do have a 40 ouncer available in the “wide mouth” version.




What insulated water bottles do YOU love?  



I have a “blue glow” Eco Vessel FROST water bottle to share, thanks to Eco Vessel.


As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!  Sorry, this giveaway is open to the U.S. only.


Hydroflask and Eco Vessel generously provided us this gear per our request in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.  You can find my full disclosure here.  

© 2013, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


  • Amelia lives with her husband and five young children outside of Jackson, WY in Grand Teton National Park. As a mom, she quickly learned that the secret to sanity was to spend more time outside where tantrums don't see quite so bad. Amelia started TMM in 2012 to help encourage all families (including her own) to get outside, no matter the weather. Due to the necessity of having to keep so many kids warm and happy, she has become an expert in kids' gear and loves being able to share it with others.

36 thoughts on “Best Insulated Water Bottles for Families + Giveaway”

  1. hydro flask for about 2 years now works great. backwoods camping this works great as I will fill up my platypus filter up at night to let it filter the water then it cools in the night air then first thing in morning put into my hydroflask to have cool water during the day. Also like you take with us on short trips to refill the 20oz hydro flask

  2. I generally freeze at least part of the liquid in the bottle for summer trips. In Bend this summer, with temps in the 90s, we froze the entire bottle and it melted enough to provide cool water all day.

  3. I would also freeze about half of the bottle to keep water cold and I have a cheap insulated thermos to keep drinks hot, but it doesn’t work well.

  4. I also freeze about half of the bottle to keep water cold and I have a cheap insulated thermos to keep drinks hot, but it doesn’t work well.

  5. I got a hydro flask less than a year ago and love it! I haven’t used in the winter yet so I’m hoping for the best 🙂 My son really wants one and I love the recommendation for a child friendly insulated water container.

  6. We have a terrible water system…is there still a Nalgene in the car? Who knows how long it’s been sitting there! Would love something that keeps the water cold and fresh tasting!

  7. We had a great thermos from LL Bean that I’ve used for years for hot cocoa. I destroyed the plug in the in-sink disposal just last week!!! Arg. In the summer, we drink water at any temperature. I do occasionally freeze water bottles 1/2 full to keep our picnic cold while we hike though.

  8. Occasionally I’ll freeze some water in our bottles for a local day hike or long car rides. However, during the day in winter or summer the water is just going to be the temperature it’s going to be. If we’re backpacking or staying in a tent in the winter when the water is at risk of freezing at night I’ll sleep with a water bottle in my bag so I have something to drink in the morning.

  9. We’ve never used anything to keep the water (etc.) cool, just going for woods temperature, but it sounds like we should try hydroflask!

  10. my Sigg water bottle was my faithful companion for probably 7+ years, until it finally got a leak from dropping it so much. but no one sells them anymore! i have been all over bozeman and can’t find them. so i’ve moved on to a REI screw-top metal bottle. i really miss my flip-top cap.
    my biggest issue is finding water bottles for the kids that don’t leak. anything with a straw/bite valve/flip-top always leaks!!!

    • As far as kids’ bottles that AREN’T insulated, Avex has one out now that has been GREAT for the 4 year old (though it’s still a bit tricky for the two year old.) Review coming soon (with a giveaway too..)

  11. In the summer, I just fill a Nalgene with ice and then put a little water in it, but then it condensates all over everything in the bag. If I’m thinking, I wrap a towel around it. We never bring hot chocolate to-go on our adventures in the winter, I’m not sure why! I’d love to try this water bottle!!!

  12. I throw water bottles in the freezer the night before hiking in the summer and fill my bottles with super hot (almost boiling water) in the winter

  13. We have some thermos’ from Starbucks that keeps things hot for many hours. Though small, they get the job done!! As for cold, we end up drinking a lot of warm water on hikes because we have yet to find a great method beyond throwing a few ice cubes in!

  14. In the summer we use ice cubes or put it in the freezer for a little while before going out. We don’t really do much to keep things warm though.


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