The 9 Best Water Bottles and Carriers for Hiking of 2021

Stay hydrated while on the go

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Our Top Picks
This heavily-insulated Hydro Flask keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours.
It provides a hydration option that won’t become uncomfortable and burdensome on a long hike.
The straw lid encourages easy sipping, and it turns into a leak-proof bottle when the straw is placed down.
A filter improves the taste of the water and eliminates odor, making that refill something you can enjoy.
The lightweight bottle, weighing only 1.3 ounces, is so small that you can fold it up and put it in your pocket when it’s empty.
The easy-to-reach water tube means you don’t have to waste time taking breaks to unscrew a water bottle lid.
This double-wall vacuum insulated bottle from Yeti will keep your water cold until the very last drop.
Includes motivational markings on the side that help individuals track how much water they’ve consumed during the day.
The slim design can easily fit into cup holders and backpack pockets, while the wide mouth lid twists off quickly.

There’s nothing like spending a day hiking in the great outdoors. Whether you’re a fair-weathered hiker or a seasoned pro, hiking is an enjoyable way to meet your cardio goals as you explore some beautiful scenery. While every hike will vary in the equipment you should bring (overnight gear, boots, or the right backpack), there’s one thing that should always be at the top of your priority list—water. 

While hiking may not seem like a strenuous activity compared to running or joining your gym’s HIIT class, it still requires your body to move consistently and possibly more uncomfortably depending on the hike’s terrain. Hills, for instance, may not be taken at the same pace as your spin class, but they still add resistance to your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes, ultimately increasing your heart rate.

To combat the fatigue that comes from hiking, staying hydrated is key. It will also protect you from headaches, nausea, and cramps, as well as heat-related illnesses (like heat strokes) that are more likely to occur in the warmer months. Forgetting your water bottle may not seem like a big deal, but staying hydrated is the best thing you can do for your body.

Here are the best water bottles and carriers for hiking.

Best overall: Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle with Straw Lid 2.0

Thistle Hydroflask
Pros
  • Dishwasher safe

  • Heavily insulated

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons
  • Heavier than most

  • Does not fit in cup holder

  • Lid not compatible with hot beverages 

This 32-ounce vacuum insulated water bottle from Hydro Flask keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours, all while remaining a low maintenance addition to your outdoor gear. The BPA-free, phthalate-free, and leak-proof stainless steel bottle is dishwasher safe, meaning that cleaning up after a long day on the trail can be done in a matter of seconds.

The wide mouth cap with a straw lid makes stopping to hydrate quick and easy. The lid can also be swapped out for other compatible "Wide-Mouth" Hydro Flask lids.

Capacity: 32 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Style: Straw lid

Best lightweight: Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle - 16 oz

Pear Nalgene
Pros
  • Easy-to-read measurements

  • BPA-free

  • Dishwasher safe

Cons
  • Not insulated

  • Smaller bottle

This 16 ounce, wide-mouth bottle from Nalgene is a great lightweight option for novice and seasoned hikers alike. Weighing only 3.125 ounces, it provides a hydration option that won’t become uncomfortable and burdensome as your hike continues. Additional measurements on the outside of the bottle help you keep track of how much water you’ve consumed, and the bottle’s leak-proof promise means you can confidently toss it in any bag you’ve brought along.

The BPA-free co-polyester is tough, guaranteed to remain impact-resistant even if you have a tendency to drop things on your way up the mountain.

Capacity: 16 ounces | Material: BPA-free Eastman Tritan co-polyester | Style: Wide-mouth lid (no straw) 

Best for kids: AceCamp 2-Pack Kids Water Bottle

Pros
  • BPA-free

  • Shatter-proof

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Smaller than most

  • Not made for hot drinks

Hiking can be a fun family outing, assuming everyone stays hydrated! Let the kids carry their own water in these 12-ounce silicone bottles from AceCamp. The bottle is BPA-free, making it a safe, non-toxic option you’ll feel good about. The straw lid feature encourages easy sipping, and it turns into a leak-proof bottle when the straw is placed down.

An additional carabiner gives kids the option to hang their bottle on a backpack strap or belt loop, avoiding the annoyance of holding a bottle the entire hike. Though it isn't made for hot liquids (wait for them to cool to lukewarm before pouring), this two-pack is a great way to encourage younger hikers to drink up and stay hydrated.

Capacity: 12 ounces | Material: Silicone | Style: Straw lid with carabiner attached 

Best filter bottle: Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle - 26 oz

Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle
Pros
  • Water filter included

  • Leak-proof

  • Fits in a car cup holder

  • Dishwasher safe 

Cons
  • Filter needs replacement

  • Weighs more than other bottles 

Filling up your bottle mid-hike is not only annoying, but it can also be risky. Even if the water is safe to drink, it may not taste as good as water from your fridge. Brita’s water bottle solves this problem with a filter component that reduces chlorine. This improves the taste of the water and eliminates odor, making that refill something you can enjoy.

The bottle itself is crafted with BPA-free plastic and is able to hold 26 ounces of water. An easy-sip straw can make hydration simple and easier to avoid spills, while the narrow bottle shape fits in any standard car cup holder. For the best tasting water, the filter should be replaced after 40 gallons (approximately two months).

Capacity: 26 ounces | Material: BPA-free plastic | Style: Sip straw lid

Best collapsible bottle: Platypus 2-Liter Ultralight Water Bottle

Pros
  • Holds two liters

  • Lightweight

  • Fits inside a pocket when empty

Cons
  • No carrying strap

  • May attract mold over time

This two-liter collapsible water bladder not only increases the amount of water you’re able to carry at one time, but it grows more convenient the more water you drink. Even if you don’t need two full liters, you can fill the bladder halfway and the rest will collapse accordingly. The BPA-free soft plastic and food-grade polyethylene lining don't retain flavors, so you won’t have to worry about yesterday’s Gatorade impacting today’s water’s taste.

The lightweight bottle, weighing only 1.3 ounces, is so small that you can fold it up and put it in your pocket when it’s empty—you really only need room for the screw top lid. With a stable base that stands upright when filled, this carrying option makes staying hydrated easy. 

Capacity: 70 ounces | Material: BPA-free soft plastic | Style: Screw top

Best backpack: Water Buffalo Hydration Pack Backpack

Pros
  • Insulated

  • Padded straps

  • Lightweight

  • Easy-to-reach water tube

Cons
  • Does not collapse

  • Minimal extra storage

Hate carrying your water bottle in a backpack? Instead of adding extra weight to an uncomfortable backpack, opt for a water pack. This two-liter option ensures you stay hydrated, with an insulated bladder that keeps liquid cool for at least five hours.

It has an easy-to-reach water tube means you don’t have to waste time taking breaks to unscrew a water bottle lid—instead, just grab the bite-valve straw and take a sip. With padded straps that fend off chafing, the pack itself is comfortable to wear and it comes with a zipper pocket that's perfect for storing your keys and a granola bar (or two!).

Capacity: 70 ounces | Material: BPA-free plastic bladder (nylon backpack) | Style: Bite-valve straw

Best heavy-duty: Yeti Rambler - 36 oz

Black YETI Rambler
Pros
  • Heavily insulated

  • Shatter resistant

  • BPA-free 

  • Dishwasher safe

Cons
  • Heavier than most

  • Not made for hot beverages

This double-wall vacuum insulated bottle from Yeti will keep your water cold until the very last drop. The 36-ounce bottle is 18/8 BPA-free stainless steel, making it heavy-duty and rust-resistant. While this makes the bottle slightly heavier (1.65 pounds) than other options, the fact that it can fall down a mountain and survive still makes it a worthwhile choice.

With a chug cap lid that only requires a quick twist to open, hydration is quick and easy. That doesn’t mean you can put any sort of liquid in it though—let hot drinks cool to lukewarm before adding them to this Yeti. The bottle is also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Capacity: 36 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Style: Chug cap 

Best high-capacity: Bottle Bottle Large Half Gallon Water Bottle

Pros
  • Easy-to-read measurements

  • Large water capacity

  • BPA-free

  • Lightweight 

Cons
  • Not insulated

  • Straw design can be confusing

A little encouragement can go a long way, which is exactly what this half-gallon water bottle from Bottle Bottle is working to prove. The BPA-free plastic bottle can hold 64 ounces of liquid and includes motivational markings on the side that help individuals track how much water they’ve consumed during the day.

The 100 percent leak-proof, wide-mouth lid makes the bottle easy to fill, while the removable straw cap can be accessed with a one-click open lid. An additional waterproof strap provides an extra carrying option for the bottle.

Capacity: 64 ounces | Material: BPA-free plastic | Style: Removable straw cap with wide-mouth lid for easy refills

Best insulated: Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle - 24 oz

Hydro Flask Lightweight Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle
Pros
  • Heavily insulated

  • Life-time warranty

  • Leak-proof

  • Fits in a car cup holder

Cons
  • Heavier than most

  • Must purchase other lids separately

This new and improved lightweight bottle from Hydro Flask weighs 25 percent less than previous iterations of the 24-ounce bottle and still maintains that same Hydro Flask insulation. The bottle will keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours, thanks to its stainless steel makeup and vacuum insulation.

The slim design can easily fit into cup holders and backpack pockets, while the wide mouth lid twists off quickly when you need to refresh. If you prefer a different Hydro Flask lid, simply switch it out. This bottle is compatible with the Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Straw lid, Wide-Mouth Flex Sip lid, and Wide-Mouth Flex caps.

Capacity: 24 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Style: Wide-mouth lid

Final Verdict

Vacuum insulated and durable, the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Straw Lid 2.0 bottle (view at Amazon) is an ideal size for many hikers. The bottle is designed to keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, and the lifetime warranty ensures it will keep you happy for many hikes to come.

If you're looking for a lightweight option that will still stand the test of time. Nalgene's Wide Mouth bottle (view at Amazon) is an excellent choice. With clear markings that help you keep track of your water intake and a trusted leak-proof lid, it can be thrown in any bag no matter how rugged your hike gets.

What to Look for in Water Bottles and Carriers for Hiking 

Capacity 

Your water bottle needs to carry enough water to sustain you throughout the entire hike. You still might need to fill your bottle on longer hikes, but choosing a bottle with a liquid capacity that doesn't require frequent refills (and won’t be too heavy to carry) is always the best option. 

Material

A water bottle’s material will impact its weight, and often how cold it keeps your water. You’ll have to carry the bottle and drink from it – consider how the weight and temperature of your water will impact your hike. 

Style

If you prefer to drink from a straw instead of a wide-mouth bottle, it's important to consider style. Ones with straws make sipping a breeze, but if they aren't crafted properly, they may increase the chance of leaks. Screw-top bottles are easy to fill and can accommodate ice (if you wish to put ice in your water), but accessing your water on a hike will require both hands. Choose a water bottle style you’re most likely to drink from. 


FAQs

Why is water important when hiking? 

Even light exercise can deplete your body’s water supply. Having water on a hike ensures that you’re able to meet your body’s need to hydrate. The American Hiking Society recommends consuming water slowly over the course of your hike to avoid dehydration. 

How much water should you bring on a hike? 

This answer will largely depend on how long your hike is and the terrain you’ll be covering. In general, plan for about a half-liter of water per hour of moderate exercise. If you’re hiking in warmer temperatures or higher altitudes, you may need to increase this amount. 

It’s not always possible to pack the exact amount of water you’ll need—that can get heavy and uncomfortable to carry. For longer hikes, have a plan for refilling your water bottles (like using a water filter) so you can stay hydrated without the extra weight. 

How do you keep water cold on a hike? 

The easiest way to keep water cold on a hike is to choose a water bottle that is designed to seal in the temperature of the liquid you pour into it, like a Hydro Flask (view at Amazon). Another tactic to keep water cold in more traditional bottles is filling half the bottle with water and freezing it the night before your hike. It’s important to only fill the bottle halfway before sticking it in the freezer, as the water expands when it solidifies to ice and may break your bottle.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a previous fitness coach, long-time wellness enthusiast, and current health editor, Lily Moe understands the importance of equipment that is made to help you reach your fitness goals, whether outside or in the gym. Most importantly, Lily always looks for research and first-hand reviews when it comes to deciding on a product. 

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