If you’re at all familiar with the Takeya ThermoFlask, you can probably see how the comparison with it’s better-known competitor the Hydro Flask is somewhat glaringly obvious. In the design, the look, even the name, Takeya has taken a few cues from the massive success of Hydro Flask. From our first encounter, we felt the Hydro Flask vs. ThermoFlask debate stewing in our gut.
And why not? As it turns out, we’re pretty glad they did. But we’ve been comparing the ThermoFlask to the Hydro Flask pretty much the entire time we’ve had a ThermoFlask. We even referred to the Thermoflask as a “budget Hydro Flask alternative” in our complete review of the Takeya bottle. As it turns out, the ThermoFlask is a bottle that has been making quite an impression on us. We even updated our Best Insulated Water Bottles Guide to include the ThermoFlask in the #3 spot.
In the process of doing that, we ignited our ThermoFlask vs. Hydro Flask debate in a big way. Let’s see how it turned out.
Pitting Hydro Flask against ThermoFlask
- Constructed from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel
- Double-Wall Vacuum Insulation advertised to keep liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12
- Wide-Mouth opening for easy loading of ice cubes or foodstuffs
- No-sweat, easy-grip exterior
- Doesn’t impart any flavor to the contents of the bottle
At the core, both the Hydro Flask and the ThermoFlask are among some of the best insulated stainless steel water bottles we’ve come across. In terms of the essential ingredients for a quality insulated water bottle, neither of these options will lead you astray. But which one gives the best bang for your buck?
To find out, we decided to assess the two competitors head-to-head on five different criteria: Price, Insulation, Accessories, Durability, and Form Factor. Let’s see what we found out.
The Price Factor
When it comes to price, ThermoFlask has a serious advantage. For around $30, you can get a two pack of 40-ounce Takeya ThermoFlasks. To compare, you would get a single 18 ounce Hydro Flask for roughly the same price.
Yet despite this substantial reduction in price, the ThermoFlask does not seem substantially cheaper in build quality or materials, certainly not half as good as a Hydro Flask. We do admit the Hydro Flask has a bit of heft and a certain polish to bottle that the ThermoFlask isn’t quite up to par with. But this is a negligible difference at the end of the day. For those on a budget, the choice is clearly ThermoFlask.
The Insulation Factor
This one shocked us. When we set up our ThermoFlask vs. Hydro Flask insulation test, we kind of expected the Hydro Flask to come out ahead. After all, that doubling of the price tag must be going into the final product somehow. We thought, this being an insulated bottle, that the insulation test might win make the differences in manufacturing quality which aren’t so obvious on the surface more apparent.
We were wrong.
Our standard insulation test has two phases: cold and hot. In the cold phase, we fill up both bottles with 40 degree Fahrenheit water with chunks of ice and let them stand at room temperature on our kitchen countertop for 24 hours. To our surprise, after 24 hours, we had a perfect draw in our cold test. Both the Hydro Flask and the ThermoFlask showed an increase of 8 degrees F.
In the heat test, we filled the bottles with 150 degree Farenheit water and let them sit for 12 hours. This time the Hydro Flask did prevail, but just slightly. The Hydro Flask registered 98 degrees, a reduction of 52 degrees, while the ThermoFlask registered 95 degrees, a reduction of 55 degrees.
Ultimately, we feel insulation on both these bottles is superb and close enough to be considered more or less identical. This one is a tie.
The Accessories Factor
Verdict: Hydro Flask
For this one the Hydro Flask is the clear winner. While the ThermoFlask is a great bottle that performs well, the bargain pricing and the comparatively unknown brand make the options available for it much less diverse than Hydro Flask. Hydro Flasks are available in a huge variety of sizes and colors and you can even create custom Hydro Flasks with the My Hydro program. This is just the options available for your stock Hydro Flask. If you want to change up the Hydro Flask you already own, there is a whole catalog of accessories including different lids, handles, bottle holders and much more, all designed specifically with Hydro Flask in mind.
In contrast, options for the ThermoFlask are relatively spartan. Both the ThermoFlask and Hydro Flask are available in a range of sizes, though Hydro Flask still offers more variety in size. There are no lid options for the ThermoFlask other than the including twist-off cap.
For this one, Hydro Flask is light years ahead.
The Durability Factor
For stainless steel water bottles, “durability” mostly comes down to manufacturing quality. A properly built, non-defective stainless steel bottle isn’t likely to come up against too much in normal usage scenarios that is really going to put its durability to the test. It might pick up a few dents, dings, and scratches along the way, perhaps the finish will get ruined and it won’t look as snazzy as it did fresh out of the box, but otherwise they aren’t very fragile.
Both the Hydro Flask and the ThermoFlask meet these standards of ruggedness that we’ve come to expect from a stainless steel bottle. Nothing in our testing has given us any indication that either of these bottles are likely to fail, so we call this one a wash. A friendly tie.
The Form Factor
Verdict: Hydro Flask
At the end of the day, the form factor of these two bottles is nearly identical. We routinely have people mistake our ThermoFlasks for Hydro Flasks as the latter is more popular and well-know, but this just goes to show how close the two are.
However, despite it being a very close match, we do have to give this one to Hydro Flask. Like we mentioned above in the Accessories Factor, the truth is the ThermoFlask is available in a very limited number of colors and four sizes. Meanwhile, Hydro Flask has an ever-increasing palette of colors and interesting designs, along with a selection of sizes ranging from 16-64 ounces.
Winner: Hydro Flask
This was a close one. We very nearly called it a tie, but a by-the-numbers accounting of our verdicts lends the crown to Hydro Flask. The main reason for the final verdict is simply the wealth of options, accessories, colors, and sizes the Hydro Flask is available in, combined with its slightly more appealing look and feel.
But ultimately, perhaps the most important consideration here is to remember that the ThermoFlask is half the price of the Hydro Flask. And day in and day out, it performs nearly identically in all of the most important ways. The two even look similar enough to be confused for each other. So if you don’t care too much about any of the features offered by Hydro Flask accessories, and if you could care less what color your water bottle is, the Takeya ThermoFlask offers some substantial savings for more or less the same thing.
You can learn more about our winner the Hydro Flask and check current prices at the Amazon listing.
To see more on the awesome budget Takeya Thermoflask or get yourself one view the Amazon listing.
Check Out Some Other Water Bottles
If this competition between Hydro Flask and ThermoFlask only left you thirsty for something else, don’t despair. We’ve got all sorts of water bottles for you to choose from! Have a look through our Best Water Bottles of 2017 Guide for a wealth of great suggestions. If you want more insulated stainless steel bottles, head over to our Stainless Steel Water Bottle Reviews Section. Happy hunting!
(UPDATE: Also don’t miss the best water bottles of 2019 for a ton of the latest and greatest bottles.)
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We take an in-depth comparison, pitting ThermoFlask vs Hydro Flask to find out which is the best insulated water bottle.
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.