Gear Review: Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle

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You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to stay hydrated at the park.

For our international readers, parks in the USA range from state-of-the-art – with modern facilities and readily available potable water – to not much more than a former pasture converted to fields.  So referees have to be responsible for making sure they enough fluids to cover a three (or four, or five) match day.

The problem with the large, traditional plastic water jugs is that they don’t keep water cold for very long, and they inevitably leak when turned over after taking a sharp turn on the way to the field with sports drink in one hand, a quick bite in the other, and the steering wheel in the other.  Oh, right.

So, an iTOOTR reader challenged me to find a water jug that met the following criteria:

  • will keep liquids cold
  • won’t leak when tossed around the floorboard of the car
  • will hold 64 ounces (about 2L) of liquid

After a bit of searching, I found the Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle, $45 via Amazon.  Not only does it meet the three criteria above, it’s also free of BPAs (owing to its’ stainless steel design), won’t sweat, and has a wide, comfortable drinking mouth.

The screw on/off cap is tethered to the vessel via a strong plastic neck band.  I don’t think there’s much risk of it breaking.

I filled the bottle and held it upside down (over the sink) in various positions, checking for leaks and didn’t find any.  I also drove it around the block a few times so it could roll around the floorboards: still no leaks.

The double wall construction prevented any sweating (condensation) on the outside.  The manufacturer says the Hydro Flask can also be used for hot beverages, though I didn’t test this.

Finally, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty that doesn’t cover “regular wear and tear” but does offer protection against such complaints as broken or leaking caps and flasks that no longer insulate.

What are the downsides?

The most obvious is the price.  At $45, it is much more expensive than a simple plastic jug.  And since I haven’t tested it long term, I’m not sure how it will hold up after a season of abuse in my car and on the field.  At the very least, I would expect the nice stainless steel finish to scratch and rough up.  I’ll report back on that after the end of Spring season.  But the lifetime warranty should ease concerns about the price of the flask.

The Hydro Flask is available in both stainless steel and matte black finishes in the 64 oz size, and in a multitude of colors in smaller sizes and is available via Amazon and other outdoor retailers.

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