Updated: Jul 20, 2018
With so many refillable water containers available, it's easy to stay hydrated on the go (and not worry about contributing to excess plastic waste in our landfills). Refillable water bottles mainly come in either glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic, and are available in pretty much every size and color imaginable, all the way from basic 25 oz CamelBak bottles to Yeti's 1 gallon jugs. Admittedly, I am a bit of a water bottle hoarder (I guess it might be that whole "working outside" thing), and have to say that the insulating capability of the HydroFlask bottles has made me into a huge fan--not to mention, they come in lots of fun colors.
But, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. Why choose stainless steel over plastic?
Stainless steel is known for its durability and great insulation. HydroFlask and Yeti make amazing containers from re-cycled materials that can be re-recycled in the future. In addition, stainless steel is crazy durable--it can withstand drops and bumps without puncturing, and are easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. HydroFlask containers keep hot liquids warm for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks cold for an impressive 24 hours.
One drawback of toting water in a stainless steel bottle is that it is heavy. A Nalgene 32 oz. wide mouth bottle, made of Tritan polymer, weighs 6.25 ounces, whereas a HydroFlask 32 oz. stainless steel bottle weighs in at 15 ounces. Quite a difference, especially if you're concerned about pack weight. Environmentally, plastic bottles have come a long way, with many manufacturers committing to safe and sustainable production of BPA-free water bottles.
The bottom line? If you're not too worried about the extra weight, the insulation offered by metal containers like the Yeti Rambler or HydroFlask bottle, is hard to beat. But if you're worried about the weight of your backpack, a CamelBak or Nalgene bottle might be your best bet.