Last year we brought you the best water bottles of 2015. Now that 2016 is in full swing, what changes have we seen in the world of water bottles? In this article, we’ll take a look at the most promising rising stars and tried and true favorites from our selection of the best water bottles on the market to get a first hand look at what the best option for water bottles is in 2016.
Update: Take a look through the new-and-improved Best Water Bottles 2019! You can also click here to check out 2017’s Best Water Bottles!
Exploring the Best Water Bottles of 2016
Just like we did in last year’s best water bottle article, we’ll be splitting up the bottles into three separate categories based on the material used to construct them. We’ll explore Plastic, Glass, and Stainless Steel water bottles all by themselves, before crowning the overall champion: the Best Water Bottle of 2016.
But before we get into that, first we need to pay our respects to last year’s winner. Let’s dig in!
Last Years Winner: Hydro Flask, the Best Water Bottle 2015
In last years best bottle round up the ultimate winner was the esteemed and highly popular Hydro Flask. The Hydro Flask has proven itself to be the reigning champion of insulated stainless steel water bottles by boasting a brilliant design, an eye-catching look, a whole ecosystem of accessories, and supremely high quality double walled vacuum insulation which keeps liquids hot for up to 12 hours or cold for 24.
We have given the Hydro Flask plenty of attention here on Hydration Anywhere (check out our complete review of the Hydro Flask, our feature Hydro Flask vs. Klean Kanteen, or our piece on Hydro Flask Lids, or Hydro Flask accessories.) Yet there is good reason for this: through 2015 and on into 2016, it remains our go-to choice for day to day use as a water bottle.
But out with the old, in with the new! The Hydro Flask is still just as awesome as bottle as it was in 2015, but now let’s examine some new bottles and crown a different best bottle for 2016.
(UPDATE: Since this article first came out, Hydro Flask has offered a new generation of their bottle, available in some snazzy new colors and incorporating their new innovation: the Flex Cap Lid. The Flex Cap incorporates Honey Comb Insulation Technology and a flexible carrying strap to make the Hydro Flask even better than the model which claimed Best Bottle 2015. Read our feature on the new Hydro Flask Flex Cap or visit the Amazon listing to learn more about these new developments from Hydro Flask.)
Best Plastic Water Bottles of 2016
Plastic water bottles are often a great and simple option for an everyday, reusable water bottle. Inexpensive, lightweight, and durable, modern plastic bottles can include a ton of features, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and high quality plastics can be extremely sturdy and ready to handle the abuses of daily use. While concerns with BPA and other potentially harmful or toxic materials have been concerns with plastic water bottles in the past, in 2016 water bottle manufacturers are all well versed in the troubles of toxic components and any reputable company is sure to use 100% non-toxic BPA free plastics in their bottles.
Here are our top three picks for the best plastic water bottles in 2016.
Brimma might not be a company many people are familiar with, yet they came up on our radar when we took notice of their remarkably affordable and well-designed Preimum Sports Water Bottle. Made from 100% BPA free plastics, the Brimma features a leak-proof flip-top lid which gives you easy access to your water whenever you want it. Combined with a fast-flowing spout, a lightweight design, and a handy carrying strap, the Brimma truly earns its distinction as a “sports” water bottle – perfect for toting with you on the go or at the gym.
At just 18 ounces, the Brimma is on the small side, but provides an ideal amount of water for those concerned with keeping the weight down while also minimizing footprint. And at about $15 on Amazon the Brimma might be a little pricey compared to similarly sized plastic water bottles, but considering the well-designed and highly functional leak proof flip top lid and overall quality construction, we feel it is well worth the pricetag.
Compared to the petite sports water bottle we looked at above, the CamelBak Chute is a juggernaut with its impressive 1 liter (33.8 ounce) capacity. Yet despite its substantial capacity, the design of the bottle allows this CamelBak to tote a maximum amount of water with a minimum amount of space. Made of lightweight, durable Tritan plastic, the CamelBak boasts durability and excellent portability.
Rounding off the package are a few nice features, such as the spout cap which snaps into the handle for easy drinking, and the ability to give the cap a simple half-turn in order to access your water. The sport cap has also cleverly incorporated the screw-on threads internally, meaning you’ll never have to put your lips to the screw threads to get a drink, unlike many other bottles. But what perhaps stands out the most about the CamelBak Chute is its bargain pricetag of just about $13 on Amazon. An exceptionally well designed, high capacity bottle for the price, and definitely one of the best plastic water bottles of 2016.
We are no strangers to collapsible water bottles. Back in September of 2015, we ran a whole piece on them: “Best Collapsible Water Bottles.” Yet when we were writing that, we regarded the collapsible bottle as something of a novelty, and probably not best bottle of 2016 material.
But we had yet to meet the Nomader. Although the Nomader is more or less the same idea as most collapsible bottles on the market, the execution is especially top-notch. Made from a highly durable, flexible silicone, the Nomader collapses up small enough to put into your pocket but expands readily to hold up to 22 ounces of water. The bottle can be folded, frozen, hold liquids hot or cold, and includes a snap-on cap for a leak-proof seal. Definitely a bottle worth checking out!
Best Glass Water Bottles of 2016
As we have explored at length, there are plenty of reasons why glass water bottles are a great idea. Environmentally friendly, debately the best option for your health, affordable, available in a huge variety of styles and sizes, and offering plenty of options for bottles which are “shatterproof” or even supposedly ““unbreakable”.
Yet even if the glass water bottle you select does not come with something like these shatter-proof containers, there is a good chance it is made from borosilicate glass. Unlike normal glass such as the type you might get a soft drink in, borosilicate glass is some much tougher stuff. Formulated for use as laboratory glassware, borosilicate glass is designed to stand up to all kinds of punishment and is far less likely to break. Still, be cautious! Treat your glass bottle well and it will return the favor.
Not long ago we did a complete review of the MIU COLOR bottle with fruit/tea infuser and in the process we became somewhat enamored with the simplicity and top-notch execution of the bottle. Although the version we reviewed included the infuser, MIU COLOR also offers the bottle sans-infuser for those who wouldn’t make use of it. Fitted with a stylish nylon sleeve, the MIU COLOR is a great looking and easy to carry bottle.
Made from strong borosilicate glass and featuring a stainless steel lid, the MIU COLOR is undoubtedly made from quality materials and feels sturdy and durable when in use. For anyone looking to embrace the minimalist simplicity of an elegant glass water bottle, the MIU COLOR is a worthy option to investigate. Also, MIU is nice enough to include a set of handy bottle brushes with each MIU COLOR, which prove extremely helpful in keeping a clean water bottle.
The Calibre Conscious is a good looking water bottle. Just look at it! Sleek, eye-catching, simple yet almost futuristic, there is no doubt it is a nice piece of eye candy. However the good design does not stop at looks: this is also a remarkably functional and exceptionally well-built water bottle. Equipped with a flip-top lid, the Calibre Conscious is much easier to access than many of its glass water bottle competitors. Initially we were concerned that this would prove a leaky design, yet the Calibre Conscious bottle goes above and beyond to create a totally leak-proof design, which really works brilliantly.
The bottle itself is made from tough borosilicate glass and includes a silicone sleeve which adds a bit of cushioning as well as a hint of insulation. Another very handy piece of silicone is employed as a handle, making the bottle easy to carry. At 18 ounces, it is lightweight even when full and always extremely portable. Available in Green and Blue for about $19 on Amazon.com.
So far you may have noticed a common theme in our best glass water bottles this year: they all are on the small side. Generally speaking, glass water bottles don’t tend to have the huge capacity of some of their plastic or stainless steel competitors (unless you don’t mind being the guy drinking from the gallon glass jug.) Yet this Kanrel offers something of an exception with a sizable 32 ounce glass water bottle.
We have reviewed Kanrel bottle before, however we had the 20 ounce version to look at. Regardless, the design appears to be pretty much the same, just beefed up a little for the 32 ounce version. Featuring high quality borosilicate glass, silicone carrying sleeve, and a BPA-free plastic screw-on lid, the Kanrel is a great contender for an everyday bottle. If you decide bigger is better for your glass water bottle purchase, take a look at the 32oz Kanrel on Amazon.
Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles of 2016
Stainless steel bottles come with quite a few nifty features. Virtually indestructible in normal usage, stainless steel is an ideal material to stand up to the abuses of the day. Easy to clean, not imparting any taste to its contents, and able to be made from the smallest bottle to the most massive growler, stainless steel bottles have become one of the dominating forces in the water bottle world.
One of the primary reasons for this is the fact that stainless steel water bottles, unlike the other types on this list, are capable of offering some truly world-class insulation capabilities. In our article Best Insulated Water Bottles we explore how stainless steel bottles can be made with a technology known as Double-Walled Vacuum Insulation which practically stops heat transfer from your bottle, allowing the contents to remain hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24. In addition to being insulated, this technology can mean your bottle will never be cold to the touch or too hot to handle on account of its contents, and it will also never “sweat” from condensation!
Stainless steel bottles are a perennial favorite here at Hydration Anywhere. The original Best Bottles article in 2015 crowned the Hydro Flask the winner. In 2016 we awarded the title to Klean Kanteen, and in 2017 the winner was S’Well Bottles.
Let’s look at what 2016 has to offer for stainless steel water bottles!
The Fifty/Fifty Bottle is an exceptional iteration on the stainless steel water bottle design which is rapidly becoming a classic. Packing in high quality vacuum insulation, the Fifty/Fifty will keep its contents well insulated for 24+ hours. Available in 18, 24, 40, and 64 ounce varieties in a selection of colors, the Fifty/Fifty line offers something for everyone. Wide-mouth construction makes it easy to fill and clean, regardless of what you’re putting in it.
Coming in at just around $25 for this 40-ounce version, the Fifty/Fifty manages to be cheaper than many of its similarly sized insulated stainless steel water bottle competitors while providing pretty much the same thing. Definitely a great pick.
You can learn a lot more by reading our complete review of the Fifty/Fifty Bottle.
2016 may prove to be the “Year of the Generic Hydro Flask” but we’re not sure if that is such a bad thing. Looking to emulate the gargantuan success of Hydro Flask the market has sprung up with a variety of generic Hydro Flasks – bottles which use practically the same design, yet often at a cheaper price.
An example of such a product is the FNova Bottle, a product which we did a complete review of awhile back. Though it might not be bringing anything original to the table, the FNova is super affordable and is overall a very well built bottle. The insulation performs just as well as more expensive insulated bottles, the construction is good, and overall we couldn’t find much to complain about with the Fnova. Our only real gripe is the lack of a wide-mouth option, because getting ice cubes into the narrow mouth can be something of a pain.
Already a steal around $20, the Fnova includes three changeable lids with every purchase: a straw lid, a sport cap, and a stylish bamboo lid. If you goal is to find the most value for the money, the Fnova is a worthy selection.
(UPDATE: FNova has also released a new version of their bottle, the 40oz FNova Flask. Learn more by reading our complete review of the FNova Flask.)
Typically when we look at insulated stainless steel bottles here at Hydration Anywhere we tend to focus on the ones such as we featured above: high capacity, ideally wide-mouth, rather bulky bottles. The Contigo AUTOSPOUT takes a departure from that trend, offering a super sporty, compact stainless steel bottle which still offers all of the exceptional insulation capabilites we’ve come to expect from a vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle.
The Contigo AUTOSPOUT offers easy drinking with the inclusion of a locking straw lid. A small button on the cap releases the straw for drinking – otherwise it remains sealed and leak-proof. The entire straw lid screws off to reveal a wide-mouth opening which has plenty of clearance for ice cubes or a bottle brush, making it easy to fill or clean. When the lid is on the bottle has a very cool futuristic look with its no-nonsense stainless steel finish.
Overall a very handy bottle for anyone who wants a more sporty version of a stainless steel bottle. Easily fits in cupholders, making it ideal for everyday use or as a gym companion. The lid and straw are constructed from 100% BPA free plastics and the bottle itself from food grade 18/8 stainless steel. A pretty impressive design for about $16.
Finding A Winner
In addition to our top nine picks, there is, of course, the one winner. Well, this year, we have decided not to give it to a single winner per-se, but rather award the title of Best Water Bottle 2016 to a whole family of water bottles. If this seems like a cop out, well, we have selected one specific model for those of you who can’t live with the uncertainty.
Coming to this selection took us quite a bit of back and forth debating. Any of the options above all make exceptional contenders and will be sure to serve their owners well. However, we had to crown a winner. So without further ado….
Best Water Bottle 2016: Klean Kanteen 32 Ounce (~$27 on Amazon.com)
The winner for the best bottle of 2016 is one that made the list in 2015. The Klean Kanteen 32 Ounce is a 100% 18/8 foodgrade stainless steel double-wall vacuum insulated water bottle. It is one of a huge family of water bottles from Klean Kanteen, available in all sizes, colors, and a variety of different models.
We have explored Klean Kanteen a couple of times here on the blog. In our feature Hydro Flask vs. Klean Kanteen we pit the two reigning giants in the insulated stainless steel market against each other, and although Hydro Flask came out on top, we acknowledged the extremely high quality design and construction of the Klean Kanteens.
Klean Kanteen takes their winning design and reiterates it over a variety of different models. This means the high quality stainless steel construction and top-notch insulation capabilities which give Klean Kanteen its good name can be found on just about any type of water bottle you want. Whether you’re looking for a wide-mouth, a sport bottle, a travel coffee mug, or a huge reservoir for hiking, there is a Klean Kanteen to provide.
Perhaps one of the most rugged and durable bottles on the market, we explored how people have even demonstrated the ability to boil water in their Klean Kanteen in our review of the Jack Johnson Klean Kanteen.
A pretty remarkable tool, a Klean Kanteen is available for just about any job. Whether you want something for camping, for everyday use, something to fit into a cupholder or something to tuck into your backpack or bike-rack, Klean Kanteen has a model to provide. Explore their extensive catalog on Amazon.com
So far 2016 has proven to have some pretty awesome water bottles, making this best water bottle round-up a great guide for anyone shopping for a new water bottle. Of course, we have only taken a short look at we highlighted these nine selections from different categories, so keep in mind there is plenty more available on the market! Didn’t find what you are looking for in this list? Maybe you can find what you’re looking for in the best bottles of 2015 from last year, have a look at our selection of reviews, or just browse Amazon.
Thanks for reading! Keep checking back for the latest and greatest in water bottles. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get regular updates on what we’re up to.
The Future is Now!
There is no question we are still enamored with all of the awesome bottles which won the distinction of being the Best Bottles of 2016. Yet time has worn on, and in February 2017 we released our latest installment in our annual series: Best Water Bottles 2017. See what the new year has brought in the world of water bottles with over a dozen bottles in eight categories, including new categories Infused Bottles, Filter Bottles, Collapsible Bottles and more. You might also find something interesting in our piece Best Drink Tumblers 2017 which offers a great alternative way to carry your beverage.
We’re always eagerly testing year-round to find the best bottles to be featured in our reviews or in next years installment of Best Bottles. Have a favorite bottle you’d like us toe feature? Drop us a line and let us know which bottles you’d like to see us put to the test.
- Readers Rating
Rated 4.5 stars
4.5 / 5 (Reviewers)
- Your Rating
Looking for the best water bottle 2016 has to offer? Check out our in-depth guide of our nine favorite picks in glass, stainless steel, and plastic bottles.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.