There are so many travel water bottles out there. Choose based on the kind of travel, the amount of room in your bag, and your preference for plastic, glass, or metal.
When you’re traveling and without ready access to drinkable water, your first instinct is to reach for bottled water. Pretty soon, your wallet is suffering from that expensive bottled water. And you’re not feeling much environmental love with the plastic bottles you discard.
The solution? A sturdy, travel water bottle. As trusty and loyal as your best backpack, a water bottle serves as an eco-conscious investment in the earth and your health (Exhibit A: staying hydrated will help stave off jet lag).
Best Water Purifier Bottles for Travel
If you’re traveling to a destination where the tap water isn’t drinkable, a purifier water bottle is the best option for your trip. It’s the best way to reduce your carbon footprint around drink consumption and avoid using plastic water bottles that aren’t likely to be recycled.
Grayl is my purifier water bottle of choice — sleek, sexy, and with a purifying method akin to a French press (which creates my other favorite beverage of choice).
Fill up the interior of this bottle with water, any water at all, slowly press down for 15 seconds, and ta-da, you have purified and filtered water.
No need to carry an extra water filter and pour your water over it, then wait, while you’re dying of thirst.
Grayl is a complete system in a design that looks a lot like a to-go coffee mug.
The full-spectrum filter is 99.9999% effective against viruses, bacteria and protozoan cysts. And if you get the purifying cartridge, it filters the water of sediments, so you don’t have to start off with clear water. Fill ‘er up from a stream or murky water source, press and drink.
Grayl offers two different kinds of filters depending on your purifying and filtering needs:
- Purifier for the really uncertain water sources that cleans water of sediments and pathogens
- Tap filter to remove sour tasting chemicals and create potable tap water
Each cartridge is good for 40 gallons or 150L.
The only small downside is the water bottle’s small capacity. The Grayl is a one-person-only water purifier and filtration bottle. But the fix is easy. Pair the Grayl with a 32-ounce or larger water bottle to store your clean water — like the Klean Kanteen (further down on this list) — and you’ve got a winning combo.
LifeSaver is a purifier and filtration combo device.
The purifier looks a lot like a normal water bottle, but it removes all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi, and other microbiological waterborne pathogens without using any chemicals. This water purifier bottle filters out bacteria to a minimum of Log 6 (99.9999%), viruses to Log 4 (99.99%) and cysts to a minimum of Log 3 (99.9%). Also, it doesn’t use any batteries, power, or UV light.
Perfect for trips way off the grid. Fill up the 750mL capacity with water, pump two or three times, and drink clean water. One filter treats about 6,000 liters of water.
Dave Dean at Too Many Adapters high-fives the thoughtful design of LifeSaver’s filter and cartridge: “I’m a big fan of the failsafe filter and cartridge, which won’t let you pump water after they’re used up. That’s a much better approach than trying to remember how much water you’ve used, or using your stomach as a petrie dish to find out.”
This bottle is high tech, classy, snazzy looking and the secret sauce is the UV-C light that provides the purifying and self cleaning magic.
No need for batteries, no need for cleaning, a USB cable for recharging is included.
Lift and activate the purification mechanism with one hand. But note that this bottle is quite heavy, which might matter if you’re packing light.
Stacey, from Tortuga recently used her Larq water bottle while traveling locally in San Diego. “While the light technology is awesome, the weight of the bottle (even without water) feels quite heavy. The bottle is sleek, pretty and excellent if you’re not concerned about contaminants in your water. Due to the weight alone, I’m not sure this is the one I’d take on a longer journey.”
This fabulous 2-stage filtration system, including an odor/chlorine reducing carbon filter, easily filters 1,000 liters of water through the hollow fiber membrane. The carbon capsule filter has to be replaced after every 100 liters.
Leak proof, BPA free, splash-free, straw included, this bottle measures 10 x 3 inches and holds 7.3 oz.
As a bonus, for every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child receives safe drinking water for a year. That’s cool.
Best Insulated, Metal Water Bottles for Travel
A metal water bottle, and specifically a stainless steel water bottle, will keep your water cold for days and hot for hours. They are a particularly great water bottle option for trips to warm-weather destinations. These stainless steel babies have double-walled chambers for drinks that provide insulation for your precious liquids. Plus, they’re pretty much indestructible!
Below are the best stainless steel water bottles for travel:
In my research for this post, this Klean Kanteen water bottle repeatedly appeared as best travel water bottle. Handsome in its shiny stainless steel, this 32-ounce insulated water bottle is begging for an adventure.
Leak-proof and easy to clean, this travel water bottle keeps your steaming coffee hot for 24 hours or your iced tea cold for 90 hours. (And yes, you can fit ice cubes through its nearly 2-inch wide mouth.)
- Keeps liquids cold for 24 hrs and hot for 6 hrs
- Variety of choice in tops including twist off, flap lid and drinking straw
- One handed easy access
- Flip cap, silicone grip and locking mechanism
- Cold water only
Hydro Flask 21 oz. Standard Mouth ($22-36)
If you’re looking for a very simple, versatile bottle with a loop handle, and is easy to clean, this could be it.
Durable, reliable, dependable, accessible and user friendly, it’s also nsulated, leak proof, and has an opening wide enough for ice cubes.
Hydro Flask offers a variety of cap options which just adds to the versatility.
- Great insulation
- Easy design for ice cube addition
- Rubber lid/coating for easy gripping
- Handles ice, odor free and slim design fits most backpacks
- Leak proof cap, NOT dishwasher safe
24Bottles Clima Bottle ($35)
If you’re looking for an eco-conscious option this is it!
Not only are the bottles double-walled insulated stainless steel, they’re also 100% Carbon neutral. Reforestation projects manage to offset the entirety of CO2 emissions from production line to shipping methods
- Loop cap for ease and access
- Fills and holds ice easily
- Carabiner and backpack friendly
- Fits a variety of cap options
SIGG Classic Thermo, .3L (20-25 EU)
- Not great for cold water drinkers (only fits crushed ice)
- A tea drinkers friend – includes built in/removable metal filter
The Best Collapsible Water Bottles for Travel
Compact, lightweight, and ulta-packable, these collapsible water bottles are the best for quick trips and travelers who want to save on precious packing space. Whether you’re on a quick business trip or traveling to yoga retreat, these lightweight water bottles pack a huge punch.
The Wirecutter tested 14 collapsible bottles. They found that this 25-ounce Platypus collapsible water bottle is the best folding bottle for most people.
“This leak-proof, shatterproof bottle holds a reasonable amount of water, and compared with all of the other collapsible bottles we tested, it provides a drinking experience that feels closest to sipping from a rigid bottle.”
The upper and lower halves screw together at a wide opening. That wide opening is awesome.
You can add ice cubes, attach a filter, or use a UV purifying pen. Or easily clean it by hand, when you don’t feel like throwing it in the dishwasher. (It is dishwasher safe.)
Back to The Wirecutter and their extensive review:
“The dual-purpose Platypus Meta Bottle can be converted into a cup or collapsed when space is limited. This squishable, leakproof bottle offers a drinking experience that’s as close to that of a hard-sided bottle as we’ve been able to find in a collapsible vessel. Once it’s empty, you can roll it up and stash it away.”
Unlike other collapsible bottles that require two hands to drink from them, so you don’t end up with a wet lap, this water bottle’s stiff midsection ensures it keeps its shape.
Here are other collapsible water bottles to consider for travel:
- Silicone, BPA free, dishwasher safe
- Leak proof, shatter proof and fabric strap included
- Sealed twist cap
- Easily collapsible and storable
- Works with both hot and cold liquids
- Weight 7.16 oz.
- Dishwasher safe/freezer safe
- Lightweight water bottle
- Minimalist friendly
- 70 oz capability
- Weight 1.3 oz, stats 13.8 inches tall/7.5 inches wide
- Securing screw top
- BPA free soft plastic
Best Glass Water Bottles for Travel
Want to ditch the plastic, the metal taste and never be worried about those chemical reactions – then the glass bottle is the one for you! With these bad boys you can see your liquid levels and pick your favorite color silicone sleeve but keep an eye out for condensation from that change in temperature.
- Easy flip cap (careful with closure – possible leaks)
- Rounded handle easy for carrying
- Limited/no odors
- Heavy design
- BPA free, dishwasher safe
Takeya Classic, 22 oz. ($15)
- Simple, clean lines
- Sturdy silicone sleeve
- Ease-filled open/close feature
CamelBak Eddy ($40)
- Straw and bite tech – no tipping bottle necessary
- BPA free (harder to clean with straw feature)
- Fits in most car cup holders and pockets of backpacks
- Loop top for easy carrying and clipping to carabiners
Best Reusable Plastic Water Bottles for Travel
Reusable, plastic water bottles are lightweight and inexpensive. If you’re looking for a travel water bottle on a budget, it’s probably going to be plastic. The above pictured one is the CamelBak Chute, .75L. At $27.99 it’s not the cheapest, but it’s a better plastic bottle option that is both durable and leak proof.
If you’re opting for a reusable, plastic water bottle, check for eco-friendly alternatives, beware of stinky odors, and find one that’s BPA free.
Below are the best, budget-friendly, reusable, plastic travel water bottles:
This 24-ounce water bottle is easy to hold thanks to its contoured, textured design. With a wide-mouth, you can easily drop in ice cubes.
The Wirecutter named this water bottle as their favorite plastic water bottle for the past two years:
“After screwing the lid on, the well-designed narrower spout regulates flow while drinking without causing a splash as you guzzle. It’s a winning combination. We found it to be leak-proof, leaving our test-bed dry as a bone after we left the bottle there lying on its side overnight. To ensure that no water escapes while it’s banging around in your backpack or on the rear seat of a car, it comes equipped with the most durable and easy-to-use two-step locking mechanism we tested.”
This plastic water bottle is also super lightweight at 6.6 ounces. So if you’re looking for a travel water bottle that’s easy to drink from, durable, and lightweight, look no further than the Thermos Intak.
Nalgene Wide Mouth, 32 oz. ($10.99)
Nalgene bottles are classic for a reason.
Wide mouth, large capacity, a lid you can’t possibly lose, and shatter resistant plastic are all features that have made this bottle popular and timeless. No, it’s not classy looking, but it’s utilitarian and gets the job done.
Dishwasher safe, BPA free, and a built in loop on the lid that’s tough enough to bear the weight of a full bottle, Nalgene is a great bottle at an affordable price point.
The leak-proof locking lid is a bonus.
A square water bottle that doesn’t roll off into dark corners or under dozens of plane seats when you drop it. Brilliant.
This plastic water bottle has a leak-proof seal and easy-to-clean design so you can bring a smoothie with you in the morning and drink lovely water in the afternoon without fear of smoothie-leftovers, like floating chia or strawberry seeds.
Alison Olmsted loves this water bottle for air travel. She has been using it while flying for almost two years. “It is great for travel. The big thing about being square is that it cannot roll – if you fly a lot, you’ve seen water bottles dropped and rolling down the aisle or under seats.
Square can’t do that. It is also pretty close to indestructible, so drop it all you want. But the other thing that is awesome about it is that it is the easiest bottle on the market to clean, a big drawback of many styles.”
Both the top and bottom come off, so you can clean every corner of it. You can put it in the dishwasher or hand wash. With either option, the water bottle dries thoroughly unlike smaller-mouthed water bottles that retain a gross smidge of water in the bottom.
Contigo Autoseal, 24 oz. ($11.99)
One-handed friendly (button to release drinking spout), this bottle is a simple solution at a great price.
Built in clip-on feature makes it easy to attach to the strap of your bag. If you throw it in the bag, beware that if the button depresses it will leak.
BPA free, this bottle is recommended for cold liquids only.
There are more options for travel water bottles than you ever expected. There are color choices, texture options, price points, activation alternatives, material consciousness, and more but the main purpose of them all is to stay hydrated on the go. No matter the category, the best travel water bottle will be the one you’ll use the most.
The best travel water bottles include:
- Stainless steel water bottle: Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic ($20)
- Reusable plastic water bottle: Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle ($10) or Square by Clean Bottle ($13)
- Lightweight, collapsible water bottle: Platypus Meta Bottle ($20)
- Purifier water bottle: Grayl Ultralight Purifier Bottle ($60) or LifeSaver Bottle Ultra Filtration ($119)