A fancy water bottle has become something of an accessory these days, everywhere you go people are sporting the latest and greatest water bottles. So, what’s all the fuss about?
The water bottle has gone through a major transformation in the last 10 years getting a better design and more durable materials. Both the Yeti rambler and the Hyrdo flask have risen to the top of their respective categories. We took a look at these two popular brands of water bottles which have more similarities than differences so you can make an informed decision.
What are vacuum insulated water bottles?
Vacuum insulated water bottles are liquid storage containers that increase the amount of time that the liquid inside maintains its temperature, hot or cold.
A vacuum insulated bottle, also known as a Dewar flask or thermos was invented in 1892 by Sir James Dewar in the course of his cryogenic research. It consisted of two glass flasks fitted inside of each other with a partial vacuum layer between them, creating the insulating layer (source).
The flask was originally designed to keep liquids very cool for his research and the technology (which was never patented) was later used commercially. Today it’s commonly found in water bottles used to keep water ice cold and hot beverages steaming hot for hours on end.
The actual time that the liquid maintains its temperature varies on the surrounding environment, but it’s safe to say that it maintains its temperature for way longer than a plain old single layer non-vacuum sealed water bottle.
Hydro flask vs Yeti tumbler
By far the two most popular water bottle brands today, both make their own version of vacuum insulated water bottles that are nearly identical. We’re going to cover the 30 and 32-ounce versions, however, each company makes larger and smaller versions, so there’s a size for everyone.
These water bottles are made of the same material and are extremely similar in design and performance. The differences that we’re going to cover are minimal at best, but we’re going to do our best to show you what makes them different from each other.
You want your water bottle to fit into the mesh pockets in a daypack and a backcountry water filter, otherwise, what’s the point? If you have an oversized water bottle you’ll have plenty of liquid and nowhere to put it, that gets annoying quickly. The 30-ounce versions of these bottles fit comfortably in the side pockets of backpacks and most portable backcountry water filters will fit inside.
- Hydro flask is 3.56″ 8.7″
- Yeti is 4″ x 7.875″
The cap of a water bottle may seem like it’s not a big deal, however, the cap design is the part that sees the most use and can be the most annoying feature when not done right. Both companies use BPA free plastics, however, they have slightly different designs for the cap of their bottles.
The Hydro flask is the winner in this category due to the fact they offer a number of variations of caps that you can choose from, however, there are aftermarket Yeti cap replacements you can find online as well.
- Hydro flask comes with a foldable straw lid. They also offer lid replacements that give you the flexibility to pick the cap that best works for you.
- Yeti has a transparent magnetic slider lid that lets you open it and drink from similar to a cup of water. The magnets make opening and closing the lid a smooth process and hold it firmly in place when closed, so there’s no chance of spills.
The volume of these water bottles are within a couple ounces of each other. The 30 and 32-ounce size is a good size for most types of beverages both hot and cold, they also make versions that are bigger and smaller as well. For this comparison, we’re using the 30-ounce models, but if you’re interested just google either bottle and you’ll find all different sizes available.
- Hydro flask is 32 oz
- Yeti is 30 oz
Both of these water bottles use similar materials in the construction process and are designed to handle falls and drops. They both use 18/8 stainless steel for the body. The 18/8 Stainless steel on both water bottles gives you a clean flavor with leaves metallic taste out of the box.
- Hydro flask uses premium grade 18/8 Stainless steel with a proprietary powder coating
- Yeti uses kitchen grade 18/8 stainless steel construction
Both bottles have a wide mouth size making drinking and cleaning the bottle easier when compared to other bottles. The Yeti does have a slightly larger mouth than the hydro flask, so if mouth width is important to you go with the Yeti.
- Hydro flask mouth size has a 2.28″ diameter
- Yeti mouth size has a 4″ diameter
The warranty a company offers is a vote of confidence in the durability and quality of their product. Both companies offer a 5-year limited warranty that protects against defects in material and workmanship. Hydro flask does offer a lifetime warranty, however, it only protects against manufacturer defects.
- Hydro flask offers a 5-year limited warranty (Hydro flask complete warranty information)
- Yeti offers a 5-year limited warranty (Yeti complete warranty information)
Nobody wants to carry around a water bottle that weighs 10 pounds and both of these water bottles are lightweight considering their durable construction. That being said, the Hydro flask is the winner in this department, weighing in at .4 ounces less than the Yeti.
- Hydro flask weighs 15.6 ounces
- Yeti weighs 16 ounces
Hydro flask 32 oz
The Hydro flask is a double walled vacuum sealed stainless steel bottle that has a delicate balance of style, durability, and simplicity. It does a good job of keeping liquids cold and warm, respectively. The bottle does not retain the flavor of the previous drink, so if you like coffee in the morning and iced tea for your afternoon workout, there won’t be any residual coffee flavor.
The powder coating is stylish and offers a wide variety of vibrant colors. However, the powder coating does scratch easily, so if minor imperfections annoy you plan on not dropping it, ever. The carrying loop folds down to the side of the bottle for safe keeping, but there is also the chance of breaking it off.
The Hydro flask is has a sleek and modern design with a variety of colors to choose from. They have a great warranty policy and this double insulated water bottle is definitely worth consideration.
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- Multiple lid options
- TempShield protected double wall vacuum insulated
- Keeps hot up to 6 hours and cold up to 24 hours
- Straw sucks air
- Powder coating scratches
- High price point
Yeti 30 oz
The Yeti rambler bottle is a double walled, vacuum insulated water bottle. This model has a 30-ounce capacity and a wide mouth that makes it easy to drink from, you won’t hit the bridge of your nose when you take a sip. The solid lid has a handle that you can easily fit three fingers through, making it comfortable to carry on the trail.
The wide mouth of the bottle makes washing it a simple task, you can easily get in there with a sponge and soapy water. Their water bottles are built with the durability of their coolers, in other words, they are made to last a lifetime. The stainless steel walls mean you can drop it repeatedly and not have to worry about holes or cracks in the bottle.
The simple design and durable build make this water bottle great for outdoor activities. The price is reasonable for a premium water bottle and if you are in the market for a durable double walled water bottle, a Yeti rambler should be on your short list.
- These Ramblers come standard with our YETI MagSlider Lid, the only drink lid that uses the power of magnets to keep your water, beer, or favorite drink on lock
- Our Ramblers are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and have a No Sweat Design to make sure your hands stay dry
- DuraCoat is a durable coat of color that won't fade, peel, or crack through extended field use and also provide additional grip to the Rambler's exterior
- We over-engineered these double-wall insulated tumblers with an 18/8 stainless steel body, which means your drink still keeps its temperature no matter how much of a beating this cup takes
- Wide mouth
- Easy to carry
- Keeps ice for 24 hours
- Surface scratches easily
- Weighs 1 pound
- High price point
Frequently asked questions about vacuum insulated water bottles.
1. Do the cups sweat with cold drinks?
There is no sweat with cold drinks, even if you fill the cup with ice water.
2. Does the outside of the cup get hot to the touch with hot drinks?
With a fresh cup of hot coffee the outside may get warm to the touch, but nothing that would prevent you from holding it.
3. Does the Hydro flask come with more than one lid?
The hydro flask only comes with the straw lid, however, there are other options available that are sold separately.
4. Are Yeti tumblers dishwasher safe?
Yes, Yeti states that the tumblers are safe to use in the dishwasher, however, the prolonged heat generated by the dishwasher can damage the insulation.
5. Are Hydro flask tumblers vacuum safe?
It is recommended to wash the Hydro flask by hand with soap and water. The dishwasher gets hot enough to affect the insulation of the water and discolors the powder coating.
6. Are these insulated water bottles safe for the microwave?
Absolutely not, you should never microwave metal.
7. Do these cups contain any BPS’a?
No, both cups are manufactured BPA free.
8. Can you put them in the freezer?
No, both companies specifically state to not put them in the freezer.
9. Are they leak proof?
Both companies do their best to make their products 100% leak-proof, however, manufacturing defects and long-term use may cause the cups to leak after time.
10. How easy are they to clean?
Each cup has a wide mouth with a large opening that makes them fairly easy to clean with warm water and soap.