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The 13 Best Water Bottles for Travel [2023]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

774 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

32 Published Articles 3117 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 45U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Carrying a water bottle means you’ll always have access to a cool drink when you need it while feeling good about reducing your carbon footprint with every step you take!

Here are our top recommendations for the best water bottles to accompany you on all your travel adventures.

Why Should You Travel With a Water Bottle?

Water Bottle
Using a refillable water bottle is much better than buying a plastic bottle every time you get thirsty. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Investing in a reusable, refillable water bottle is much better than simply buying a plastic bottle every time you get thirsty. From a trip to the gym to a long-distance road trip, your water bottle is important for so many different reasons, including:

  • Save Money — Having a refillable water bottle saves a fortune on having to buy water, juice, or soda whenever you feel thirsty.
  • Stay Healthy — Our bodies are made mostly of water, and we need to drink a least 1.5 liters of the good stuff a day. Water helps keep our joints moving freely and improves our skin, eyesight, and general well-being.
  • Drink Healthy— Single-use plastic water bottles can contain the chemical BPA, which has been linked to hormonal issues and even cancer. Switching to a reusable BPA-free water bottle will help keep you healthy.
  • Stay Hydrated— If you’re traveling somewhere very hot, you need to drink even more water than usual to remain hydrated. Not consuming enough water can cause headaches, sickness, and sometimes serious health conditions.
  • Drink Clean — Not all countries have the same water treatment processes, and drinking water that our bodies aren’t used to can make us unwell. Drinking filtered water from your very own bottle will reduce any risk of upset stomach (or worse) in some locations.
  • Support the Environment — Not buying plastic bottles helps to save our environment. Single-use plastic bottles are responsible for a vast majority of the world’s marine pollution, and they provide further problems with landfills on dry land.

Impact of Plastic and Bottles on the Environment

In the U.S. alone, millions of plastic water bottles end up in landfills every day. These bottles may seem like a convenient way to enjoy the fresh, cool water that our bodies need to stay well, but they are filling up our landfills and crippling our oceans.

The plastic bottle production process utilizes the petroleum product polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This product requires a large amount of fossil fuel to both make the bottles and transport them. For every single-use bottle manufactured, the equivalent of 1.4 gallons (5.3 liters) of clean water is also needed to make it.¹

Plastic water bottles are also incredibly hard to recycle — meaning that the more of them we use, the more is left leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground since they take more than a human lifetime to decompose fully.

And the plastic bottle tops that give you convenient access to your water cause huge problems for marine animals worldwide. If fewer people buy single-use plastic water bottles, there will be less opportunity for them to be manufactured, distributed, and eventually disposed of in landfills or oceans.

If all this hasn’t convinced you to buy your own water bottle, we don’t know what will!

Things To Consider With a Water Bottle

When buying a new water bottle, you should consider the following:

Materials

Water bottle material
Most water bottles are made from either stainless steel or plastic. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Your water bottle needs to be reusable, durable, free from leaks, and easy to clean. Most water bottles are made from either stainless steel or plastic, as these materials offer affordable ways to mass-produce drinking bottles.

Reusable plastic options offer a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs — and most of the ones available today are BPA-free, making them super safe for both you and the environment.

Stainless steel bottles are far better insulated and perfect for keeping hot drinks warmer for longer. They may cost more to buy than a standard plastic bottle, but they should last you for a long time if you take care of them.

Design

Collapsible water bottle
Collapsible water bottles are also popular if you are short on space. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Water bottles come in all shapes and sizes.

  • Vacuum-insulated bottles can keep your water super cold all day long or your beverages hot for up to 5 hours straight.
  • Glass bottles are beautiful and efficiently solve the problem of plastic waste and unwanted BPAs, but they can be breakable and do not insulate as well.
  • Stainless steel bottles are non-reactive, BPA-free, and lightweight compared to glass bottles. They are also usually affordable since they can last a long time as long as they’re cared for and cleaned properly (handwash only!).
  • Plastic bottles are the most popular type of refillable bottle in the U.S. today. You can fill them with all types of liquid, and choose from pop-up tops, flip tops, or even just plain screw lids.
  • Collapsible water bottles are also popular if you are short on space. You can flatten them when empty, and they will bounce back into shape when they are full again.

Capacity

Carry just enough water for your needs. Choose a bottle that can hold enough water to last you in between refills, but not one that is so large and heavy it becomes difficult to carry. Most water bottles are between 16 ounces (473 milliliters) to 24 ounces (708 milliliters).

Free of Chemicals

Reusable plastic bottles are designed to be BPA-free and made from materials that will not pose any risk to your health. There are even companies out there that manufacture water bottles made from sugar cane that are free from BPA, phthalates, and additives. Some recycled paper or stainless steel bottles come complete with natural bamboo stoppers.

Easy To Clean

Easy to clean water bottle
A practical water bottle is easy to clean. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

A practical water bottle is one that is easy to clean. Over time, mold and mildew can build up in the spout and base of the bottle if it is not cleaned regularly, and you definitely won’t want to drink out of that! Plastic sports-style bottles, glass bottles, and some vacuum bottles can go in the dishwasher. Stainless steel and collapsible bottles may need to be washed by hand.

Filters and Purifiers

There are lots of bottles on the market that offer much more than just a practical, easy-to-clean vessel for carrying your beverage around. Some bottles even feature filters that remove chlorine and other contaminants from the water in the bottle, giving you purified water with every sip.

Insulation

Insulated water bottles are designed to keep the temperature of your drink stable over prolonged periods. The quality and thickness of the insulation will dictate how effective it will be. Whether you’re planning on taking a hot coffee to work with you or ice-cold water on a very hot day, an insulated bottle will keep the temperature constant for 4 or 5 hours at least.

Opening

Water bottle opening
Water bottles come with different caps, spouts, and openings. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Bottles need to be easily accessible for filling up, but also securely closed to prevent leakage. Most bottles will have a screw top for cleaning and refilling.

When it comes to enjoying those beverages, there are a huge variety of different caps, spouts, and openings to choose from:

  • Wide-mouth bottles that open like cups
  • Sports cap bottles that you pull up with your teeth
  • Pop-up straw spouts that fold down to prevent leaks
  • Screwcap bottles that open like a traditional flask
  • Spouts that twist like coffee cups

Weight

The weight of your water bottle will obviously depend on whether it’s full of liquid or not. If your water bottle feels quite heavy without any water in it, imagine how heavy it will feel when it’s full!

The lighter, the better, especially if you’re carrying it long distances or traveling with it in your bag. Note that stainless steel water bottles are usually much heavier than their plastic counterparts.

The 2 Best Filter Water Bottles

There are hundreds of different types of water bottles on the market. Make your choice based on your own needs and preferences, but pat yourself on the back for choosing to step away from environmentally damaging single-use plastics.

1. Great for Adventurous Globetrotters

Check on Walmart

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

The LifeStraw series by Danish company Vestergaard filters water while you drink, making it perfect for camping, backpacking, and emergency kits. The award-winning LifeStraw hollow fiber membrane protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, and other chemicals.

BPA-free and incredibly durable, the microbiological filter promises up to 5 years of safe drinking water while you travel. And the 23-ounce leakproof bottle is large enough to keep you hydrated, featuring a food-grade silicone mouthpiece.

Wherever you roam, this bottle can remove 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine, or batteries, meaning all water can become safe drinking water. It also provides clean water for 1 year for 1 child through its innovative “One Purchase, One Child” program.

What We Like

  • Great for the environment and communities in need

What We Don’t Like

  • The straw is a little difficult to suck liquid through

2. Best for Backpackers and Hardcore Travelers

GRAYL UltraPress Water Purifier Bottle

This traditional-looking water bottle hides a clever secret: the GRAYL One Press design can transform dirty water into clean, drinkable water in around 10 seconds. How awesome is that?

The manufacturer claims their clever filter system can remove 99.9% of viruses, including hepatitis A, norovirus, and rotavirus, as well as 99.9999% of disease-causing bacteria that are responsible for E. coli, salmonella, and dysentery.

But the fun doesn’t end there — the filtering process also leaves no aftertaste, just cool refreshing water. This is the perfect investment if you’ll be traveling anywhere safe drinking water is hard to come by. Great for camping, hiking, backpacking, and hitting the open road, this clever bottle is a little pricey but could be a lifesaver.

What We Like

  • Creates great-tasting, purified water

What We Don’t Like

  • The lid is not attached to the bottle, so can be easily dropped

The 2 Best Plastic Water Bottles

1. Cheap and Cheerful Everyday Water Bottle

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

The Nalgene everyday water bottle is an American legend that’s still popular today. Made from BPA-free Eastman Tritan co-polyester, this popular bottle is incredibly impact-resistant. It’s also dishwasher safe on the top rack for a squeaky clean every time.

Made to withstand temperatures between -158 degrees to 212 degrees, you can use this bottle for all of your beverages. The wide mouth makes for easy cleaning, and the bottle can accommodate most water filters for crystal-clear refreshment every time you sip.

As the trailblazer of American-made water bottles, this one will keep you hydrated without leaking a single drop. The manufacturers are proud that their original design hasn’t changed in decades — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

What We Like

  • Easy to keep track of how much water you’ve drunk

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t fit standard water bottle holders, like in a car, for example

2. Best for Sporting Adventures

CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle, 32oz

The well-loved Chute bottle from CamelBak has been improved upon over time, and is now one of the most popular drinking bottles in the U.S. With a new magnetic top that easily stows the cap, and its ever-popular angled spout, storing and drinking on the go has never been easier.

Made from the highest-grade plastics that are free from BPA, BPS, and BPF materials, the makers of the Chute say you’ll “taste your beverage, not the bottle.” Without any nasty chemicals to leave a bad taste in your mouth, you can enjoy crystal-clear water wherever your journey takes you.

The unique spout design provides a high flow of water that won’t slosh or spill, and the durable, leakproof 32-ounce bottle is big enough to see you through the longest journeys between refills. Available in a selection of sizes and colors, the Chute is a great choice for sports, travel, or even just everyday commuting.

What We Like

  • Easy to fill with ice through the large opening

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t keep the water cold

The 5 Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles

1. Top Quality From a Family Business

Klean Kanteen Classic Single Wall Stainless Steel Bottle

The ethos behind this family-run business is to provide products that really last. The Klean Kanteen bottle embodies their values perfectly, and it’s made from a patented chip-resistant finish that is designed to withstand anything your adventures can throw at it.

Klean Kanteen also believes in prioritizing human safety in their drinking bottles, meaning they work hard to eliminate ingredients that could adversely affect people, as well as the environment. This particular bottle has a large opening that can fit ice cubes and is compatible with all of the Klean Kanteen Classic caps.

The easy-to-clean electro-polished interior doesn’t retain or impart flavors, and the stainless steel body keeps your water cooler longer. Available in a selection of sizes and bright colors, these are perfect for travel.

What We Like

  • Sturdy and solid if dropped

What We Don’t Like

  • The sports cap can be difficult to keep clean

2. The Not-a-Stainless-Steel Bottle

Sigg Traveller Water Bottle

These Swiss drinking bottles are in vogue at the moment — they may not be the most practical choice, but the Sigg bottle is beautifully designed!

Sigg is proud that each bottle is made from a single sheet of 100% recyclable aluminum, creating a uniform and seamless construction that looks and feels great. And with a solvent-free, eco-friendly, powder-based coating, you’ll certainly have all your carbon footprint credentials checked with this bottle.

The 1-liter water bottle is a practical size that works well in your backpack or messenger bag. Great looking and with an exterior as smooth as the hood of a sports car, these bottles are fantastic to drink from. The downside is that you cannot freeze them, and you can only hand wash them with warm, soapy water (or invest in some specialist SIGG cleaning tablets and a brush).

What We Like

  • Leakproof

What We Don’t Like

  • Bit of a pain to clean

3. Best for Fashion-forward Adventurers

Hydro Flask 18 oz Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

These brightly colored, funky drink bottles have a unique powder coat finish that works alongside the TempShield insulation to create a stainless steel bottle that is comfortable to hold and doesn’t suffer from condensation. Just what the world has been waiting for!

The eye-catching design is minimalist and cool, and the 18-ounce size is just right for your sports bag, backpack, or travel bag. Made using non-toxic BPA-free plastics and 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, this is a quality bottle that is also brilliantly practical.

The Hydro Flask’s double-walled, vacuum-insulated TempShield will keep your warm drinks hot for up to 12 hours, and cool drinks cold for up to 24 hours — perfect for whatever you’re drinking and wherever you’re headed.

What We Like

  • Double insulation keeps the water nice and cold

What We Don’t Like

  • The carrying strap is not the most durable

4. Built-to-Last Insulated Water Bottle

MIRA Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle

This rugged sports water bottle is made from high-quality food-grade 18/8 stainless steel and is built to last! Beautifully crafted and guaranteed not to rust (provided you care for it correctly), the Mira Insulated Water Bottle should stay with you for many years to come.

The lid is completely leakproof, and the bottle is free from BPA and phthalates, meaning both you and the environment remain protected. It has a larger opening at the top and double-walled vacuum insulation to keep your beverages cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours.

Great looking and practical, the Mira bottle will look as good as new with a hand wash, but it’s not dishwasher safe. Apart from that, it’s a cool-looking bottle that will keep you refreshed wherever you are.

What We Like

  • Can hold hot as well as cold liquids

What We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for the dishwasher

5. For Those Wanting Funky Bottle Designs

Healthy Human Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle

Designed to keep your drinks icy cold for a long time, a Healthy Human bottle will make you feel like you’re guzzling glacial meltwater. Made from 100% premium food-grade 18/8 stainless steel (and also BPA-free with no plastic lining in the bottle or lid), you taste exactly what you would expect: nothing but your drink!

This bottle also promises to be 100% leakproof and sweat-free, meaning you can stow it anywhere without worrying about messy leaks or spills. The double-walled exterior and vacuum-insulated interior will keep your liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours — perfect for long journeys in between refills.

The Healthy Human water bottle also comes with a variety of accessories, including a carabiner to clip onto your bag or stroller, a sticker, and a “Hydro Guide.” It also comes beautifully packaged, making it the perfect gift for your fellow adventurers.

What We Like

  • Available in 4 sizes and a range of colors and designs

What We Don’t Like

  • Chips easily

The 2 Best Collapsible Water Bottles

1. For Those Who Like To Travel Light

BULUNOW Travel Water Bottle

This ingenious water bottle collapses up to a fraction of its size when empty, making it perfect for long-distance travel. Made from 100% food-grade materials and completely free of BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead, latex, and other harmful leaching chemicals, this is a supercool drink bottle with a serious pedigree behind it.

Incredibly durable, you can throw this baby around without causing damage. The flexible, shatter-proof silicone body is designed to survive drops and knocks, while the triple leak-proof design for the lid will eliminate leaks and spills completely. The cap also doubles up as a spout cover to keep germs off the mouthpiece.

Dishwasher safe (unlike some of the other bestselling bottles we’ve mentioned), this collapsible silicone bottle can handle hot or cot drinks and is even freezable. What more to say? The Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle is perfect for every traveler.

What We Like

  • Compact to transport when not in use

What We Don’t Like

  • Bottle sweats a little on the outside

2. Best for Space-saving Travelers on a Budget

Hydrapak Soft Flask, 150ml

Designed to keep you fully charged on the go, this lightweight 150 milliliters (5.3 ounces) collapsible flask allows for instant hydration whatever you’re doing and wherever you are.

The compact dimensions of the Soft Flask mean it fits easily in most hydration vests, belts, or pack pockets for easy transportation, and the soft material will conform to any pocket. As you drink, it immediately shrinks — making it even easier to stow away between refills.

Loved by many athletes and adventurers, the UltraFlask’s durable TPU compound can stand up to pretty much anything you throw at it. Being 100% BPA and PVC-free, it doesn’t have any weird taste or harmful chemicals. This is a neat little bottle that’s great if you want something practical yet reasonably priced.

What We Like

  • Can be filled with energy gels

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires 2 hands to open

The 2 Best Infusion Water Bottles

1. The Budget Infuser

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Infusion Pro Water Infuser – 24 oz Fruit Infused Water Bottle

This affordable infuser bottle is great for anyone who wants to add a little bit of pizzazz to their water. Made from 100% Eastman Tritan BPA-free plastic, you can fill this fruit infuser with a flavor of your choice for great-tasting refreshment on the go.

Simply pop some fruits or veggies into the extra-large infuser basket and wait for the flavor to fill the water. The strainer stops seeds, pulp, or ice from clogging the drinking spout while giving you an awesome-tasting healthy beverage that’s a little more exciting than just plain water.

The addition of an insulating neoprene sleeve and carry strap means you can take your flavored water anywhere you want, and it will still be nicely chilled when you get there. Great for anyone wanting to detox or lose weight, as well as those who want to stay refreshed while they travel, this bottle makes drinking water taste just a bit better.

What We Like

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don’t Like

  • The flip lid is quite fragile

2. Best for Healthy Drinkers

Live Infinitely 32 oz. Infuser Water Bottle

Infusion bottles give you the unique opportunity to naturally flavor your water with any combination of fruit you can think of. With dual hand grips and a dedicated sports spout, this is the perfect bottle for staying hydrated on the go.

Another bottle made from durable Eastman Tritan, these bottles are BPA-free and FDA approved to be safe for use with food and beverages. The water infuser is also leakproof, and the locking lid means you never have to worry about spills. It is also easy to clean and dishwasher-friendly.

This bottle offers a full length infuser rod, meaning you can plenty of fruit to flavor your water. It’s great for anyone adding natural nutrients to their daily lifestyle, while still drinking all the H2O they need to function well and stay healthy.

What We Like

  • Sports spout for easy drinking

What We Don’t Like

  • Small bits of fruit or herbs can get through the large infuser holes

Final Thoughts

Your water bottle is so much more than just a vessel to hold your refreshment. Modern refillable bottles are not only on-trend and practical, but they also help save the planet with their impressive low carbon and eco-friendly manufacturing credentials.

Water bottles can also save your life! If you’re traveling to the far-flung corners of the earth, a built-in filtration system can give you safe, clean water to drink when you need it most.

Invest in the bottle that best suits your requirements, and go for quality overlooks to ensure that your bottle lasts for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you travel with a water bottle?

There are many reasons! Traveling with a water bottle helps you save money, stay healthy and hydrated, drink clean, and support the environment.

What is the best filter water bottle for travel?

There are hundreds of different types of water bottles on the market. Make your choice based on your own needs and preferences, but pat yourself on the back for choosing to step away from environmentally damaging single-use plastics. These are a few of our favorites:

  • CamelBak Chute Mag Water Bottle
  • GRAYL UltraPress Water Purifier Bottle
  • LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles
  • MIRA Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle
  • Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle

Can you bring a stainless steel water bottle on an airplane?

Stainless steel water bottles are permitted to be taken on board an airplane. The water bottle must be empty when you pass through TSA.

What to consider when buying a water bottle for travel?

When buying a new water bottle, you should consider the following:

  • Materials
  • Design
  • Capacity
  • Free of chemicals
  • Easy to clean
  • Filters and purifiers
  • Insulation
  • Weight
  • Opening

Are there water bottles for hot and cold beverages?

Vacuum-insulated bottles can keep your water super cold all day long or your beverages hot for up to 5 hours straight.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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