I recently bought myself a double-walled vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottle. It’s a no-name brand, and it was fairly inexpensive, about $15. It’s no S’well or HydroFlask, which are supposed to be some of the best double-walled stainless steel water bottles out there! But those retail for about $40 and up for an average-sized bottle, so I figured I can’t go too far wrong at $15.
I don’t know if you’re like me – but I’m always wondering if the big name brands are really worth all that money. Maybe a no-name brand product is just as good? So I decided to put my no-name water bottle to the test versus a HydroFlask.
I tested out its insulation ability for hot and cold. HydroFlask’s website claims that it will keep things cold up to 24 hrs, and hot up to 6 hours. My water bottle label had ambitiously claimed it could keep things hot up to 12 hrs, and keep things cold up to 24 hours. Of course, both statements are a bit vague – what temperatures constitute “hot” or “cold”? But, let’s see how they do!
I tested them for hot insulation after 12 hours, starting with boiling hot water. I tested them for cold insulation after 24 hours, starting with water and ice cubes. This was all done indoors at room temperature. The bottles are slightly different volumes. My water bottle holds about 900 ml (30 oz) and this HydroFlask bottle holds 700 ml (24 oz). I filled them both up to the brim and checked the temperatures with a meat thermometer.
(Don’t I have anything better to do on a weekend than run experiments on water bottles? Fortunately not!)
After the hot insulation test, both of them started at 94°C (201°F) and the HydroFlask ended at 56°C (133°F) and the small-name brand ended at 57°C. And at that temperature, although not boiling hot, it was at perfect sipping temperature. For the cold insulation test, both the HydroFlask and small-name bottle ended at 10°C, which is cool, but not icey cold.
So, the results are in – the insulation between the small-name and big-name brand seems pretty comparable. Is the HydroFlask still worth $40? They do have a lot of different color options, accessories, and a warranty, so it really comes down to what’s important to you. I guess we’ll see how this no-name brand water bottle does in the long run.
Stay Tuned! Coming Up Soon…
Overview of an Earthquake Survival Kit: