The Best Water Bottles For Travel

It should be no surprise that having the best water bottle for travel is important to us.  It’s easy to neglect your body when you’re on the road, but that doesn’t mean you need to forget something as basic as drinking plenty of fluids. If you haven’t read our tips on travel and health we suggest you do so now!

As with all things travel and in life there is no one size fits all travel water bottle. Everyone moves around in different ways and has their own approach to travel.  That means what may be the best water bottle for hopping around the globe for us, maybe terrible for another traveler.

One thing we are certain of is that everyone and we mean everyone, should be carrying a water bottle with them to reduce plastic waste and stay hydrated.  We have two things on us at all times that’s our water bottle and our travel camera.

Best Water Bottles For Travel

Travel Water BottleSizeRatingAverage Cost
Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier16 oz4.5*$60
Hydro Flask Wide Mouth18-64 oz4.5*$30
GSI Outdoors Microlite Water Bottle24 oz4.5*$30
Hydrapak Stash 1L Water Bottle32 fl oz4.25*$25
Lifestraw Go Water Bottle22 oz4.25*$39
Klean Kanteen20 oz4.5*$25
Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle22 oz4*$25
Yeti Rambler Water Bottle26oz4.5*$40
Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle22 oz4*$25
United by Blue Insulated18-22 oz4.25*$28 – $38
Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle24. oz4*$20

1.) Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier

Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Travel Water Bottle

I love the design of this water bottle! Like the Lifestraw Go, this bottle also features a filter. However, the filter design is entirely different from Lifestraw’s. Most importantly, this water bottle system purifies water vs. filters, which removes viruses and virtually all threats of waterborne illnesses.

The design is sleek and innovative. The futuristic bottle filters water similar to a french press. It’s a genius bottle. It allows sediment to sit at the bottom and filter the water in one go. The result is a water bottle with a wide mouth top that can filter our bacteria and heavy metals. It beats the Lifestraw Go in every category, but the price. It’s the perfect water bottle for those spending significant time in developing nations with questionable water supplies. We love filtered water bottles because they save space in our daypacks on a hike.

This is the most expensive water bottle on this list, and it may make consumers think twice about purchasing. However, as avid travelers who’ve spent more than our fair share of time in developing nations, the Grayl Filtration Cup is our choice for the best water bottle for travel.

Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier

Hydro Flask 18oz Wide Mouth

Hydro Flask Travel Water Bottle

Hydro Flask water bottles are everywhere these days, and for good reason. They’re an excellent product. The container can keep drinks hot or cold. The double-wall aluminum construction does a great job keeping products at a consistent temperature without added weight. We’re huge on snowboarding, so a hot drink is appreciated on a cold day in the mountains or on the slope.

They come in a massive variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. My favorite water bottle of theirs is the 18-ounce with a wide mouth as it fits on the side of a backpack. The size feels perfect for staying hydrated, and the wide mouth allows for more versatility, such as carrying hot soup. We love multifunctional products when traveling, so this makes for the perfect travel water bottle. The company is also dedicated to giving back and has made a series of grants in its Parks For All project.

Hydro Flask Water Bottle

GSI Outdoors Microlite Water Bottle

Best Travel Water Bottles - GSI Lightweight

This is an excellent option for minimalist packers always seeking to reduce weight. I love it for backcountry touring and long treks where it’s crucial to save on weight. It’s one of the most lightweight insulated water bottles on the market and keeps fluids warm for 12 hours or more.

Combining it with a small cup is perfect for having a cup of coffee or tea on the go, thanks to the spout mouthpiece. The lid functions well without leaks and breaks down, so you can easily clean it! The only drawback lies in how lightweight the water bottle weighs, leaving it slightly susceptible to drops.

GSI Outdoors Microlite Water Bottle

Hydrapak Stash 1L Water Bottle

Hydrapak Stash Travel Water Bottle

I’ve been obsessed with this water bottle ever since I got it. It’s an ultralight bottle that is made from flexible TPU so it collapses down into the lid. When collapsed it’s about the size of a hockey puck so you can slip into your backpack, purse, or even pocket.

Its design is for backpackers on the trail who need a lightweight and durable water bottle; however, the packability makes it tremendous for travel. It can also make a great spare travel water bottle you keep in your luggage.

The soft flexible material feels great in your hand and I love the wide mouth opening. A drawback that does affect use is that it can be difficult to drink one-handed as the bottle can collapse when gripped. I’ve found gripping the rigged lid can work one-handed, but still requires some effort not to end up wet. Either way, I love to store this in my carry-on and pull it out after I pass airport security for a quick refill.

Hydrapak Stash 1L Water Bottle

Lifestraw Go Water Bottle

Lifestraw Go Water Bottle

This is the original water bottle we started our travels off with. If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ve undoubtedly seen it sneakily hidden away in countless photos or on the sides of our backpacks. We love the design of the water bottle and have been proponents of it on our site for a while now. The bottle can hold 850ml and filters the water through a filter straw. With years of use, I have never been sick from bad water when using this water bottle.

It’s the filter that makes us love the Lifestraw Go. When traveling, it is common to come across some questionable water supplies. In the past travelers were forced to purchase bottled water, but with a filter, it’s possible to fill up right from the sink or river.

There are also a few design flaws we’ve noticed. The top of the bottle leaks when not directly upright and we would love it much more if the bottle wasn’t plastic. We had multiple instances using the Lifestraw where we ended up with a wet backpack. We still love it and consider it to be one of the best water bottles for travel on the market.

Another side note: the bottle is rated at 23 ounces; however, it holds closer to 18 ounces as the filter consumes some of the space inside it.

Lifestraw Go Water Bottle

Klean Kanteen

Carrying an insulated water bottle has its perks. The Klean Kanteen water bottle is a clear winner for us because of its ability to serve us a cup of warm coffee on the go. The dead simple design of the water bottle is great, there are no bells and whistles and nothing to go wrong or replace. They’re durable bottles with a reliable history of great customer satisfaction.

The bottle can keep drinks hot for six hours and cold for up to 24 hours. The bottle is lightweight so it won’t slow you down. It has a wide mouth that makes drinking, pouring, and filling up easy. I also like the all-stainless-steel design that is meant to last. All metal construction ensures that this bottle won’t break and that makes it one of the best water bottles for travel on the market.

Kleen Kanteen

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to determine why the Nomader Collapsible makes a great travel water bottle. The bottle or bag can be rolled up and clipped together when not in use. Its durable, functional, space-saving items are essential for worry-free travel.

It has various colors, a leak-proof cap, and a lifetime warranty. To top it off, the bottle is made of 100% food-grade materials, free of BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead, latex, and all those other harmful chemicals. I love this water bottle the most when traveling and trying to save on space.

When I finish my water, I can roll up the Nomader and stash it away in a small space. It’s probably the most basic “bottle” on this list. However, its minimal footprint makes it an easy addition to our list of best water bottles for travel.

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

Yeti Rambler Water Bottle

Yeti Rambler Travel Water Bottle

YETI revolutionized the market with their high-end coolers. Previously, the thought of dropping $300+ on a cooler was laughable, but no longer due to their quality. The same could be said for their ever-expanding range of products.

This now includes a vacuum water bottle. The construction is rock solid, and the bottle will keep a drink cold for days or a hot beverage for long hours. Like Hydro Flask, we like the large size and the wide mouth. This tough and temperature-maintaining vessel is an excellent water bottle for travel.

However, between the two, we’d go with Hydro Flask for their donations to the parks departments. Despite their very loyal brand following, we are not massive fans of the Yeti company.

Yeti Rambler Water Bottle

Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle

Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle

We love this colorful line of glass water bottles. Although glass is prone to breaking and heavier than metal or plastic bottles, it has advantages. First, cleaning a glass water bottle is easier and unlikely to leave any taste in your water. We’ve also seen several studies about the dangers of leaving plastic water bottles for travel in the heat/sun, so we must worry about that with glass.

Just because it’s glass, don’t mistake it for not being durable. With a heavy glass and outer rubber cover, it feels very sturdy, and it would take a big drop for the bottle to shatter, one that would likely damage metal ones as well. It comes in a 22-ounce size that is slim and fits in our packs with ease, along with a nice size wide mouth opening for drinking.

Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle

United by Blue Insulated

United by Blue Insulated Water Bottle

This is one awesome travel water bottle by a sustainable brand. We have many United by Blue products, but this stainless steel water bottle/mug is perfect for keeping my beverages handy in the wild. Not only are all the designs amazing, but it comes with a braided paracord for easy attachments to our packs – perfect for hiking!

This bottle keeps our stuff extra hot as it’s 100% stainless steel, has a vacuum-sealed lid, and is double insulated, keeping drinks hot or cold for 12 hours. What I love the most about United By Blue is its sustainability. For every product sold, they remove one pound of trash from the ocean and waterways. To date, they have removed over 1,500,000 pounds of trash! 

They frequently host cleanups and are passionate about cleaning up ocean trash and plastic. Many of their products are made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and bison that the ranching industry discards.

United by Blue Insulated

Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle

I just purchased a Polar Bottle for cycling and mountain biking and love its design. Not only is it great for outdoor adventures, but it’s also perfect for traveling. The Polar Bottle keeps your water insulated for hours on end. It may not be your typical idea of a water bottle for travel, but it does get the job done affordably.

Their bottles are effortless, you really don’t have to squeeze much to get water out. On top of that they are pioneers in Tri-Layer insulation, meaning 2X longer insulation than original reflective technology. They have a ton of fun designs and they are affordably priced!

Polar Bottle

Purchase Considerations in a Water Bottle For Travel

lake o hara

With many products that we recommend on this website, there is no one size fits all. I can’t say what the best water bottle is because everyone has different needs. Below are some key points to consider when your shopping for a water bottle to bring on your travels.

Bottle Material

There are three basic materials used in most travel water bottles and you can choose from either stainless steel, plastic, or glass. They all come with their own pros and cons. I personally prefer stainless steel and plastic. Each for different reasons and for different trips. Here is a brief overview of the different materials in regards to water bottles.

Plastic Bottles
Hydrapak Stash Travel Water Bottle

This is the most common material used in construction. It’s easy to understand why since they’re durable, lightweight, affordable, and offer the widest selection of bottles. If you’re still worried about the environmental impact – the real problem lies in single-use plastics we’ve had several of our bottles for the last five years of travel. The downside of plastic water bottles is they offer no insulation and can carry hot water. There is also the risk of leaving the water bottle in the heat that leads to question water.

Plastic water bottles when are great for travel in developing nations because they offer several filtered versions. I’ve used both the Grayl and Lifestraw in Africa, South America, and Asia without ever getting sick. Plastic water bottles are also great when ultralight hiking in the mountains when you want to cut every ounce you can from your hiking pack.

Stainless Steel Bottles
Stainless Steel Bottles

Metal water bottles are likely the longest lasting of water bottles. They’re also pretty tough, but I find they dent and become damaged much easier than a plastic water bottle. I’ve dropped an insulated stainless steel bottle which causes the insulation to bow out the bottom making it unable to stand up — a similar fall would have been fine with plastic.

Stainless steel double wall insulated water bottles are my favorite for their ability to maintain temperatures. I love them for the winter time, particularly when snowboarding or snowshoeing as I can have a warm drink while out in the mountains.

Glass Bottles
Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle

This is a great option for some travelers. They carry no aftertaste have a great look, and they’re generally the easiest to clean. The only negatives come with their durability and poor insulation.


Most water bottles fall in the spectrum of 16 to 32 ounces. I love the middle of the road water bottles at 22 ounces in capacity. Small water bottles mean you’ll have to refill it more often especially if you like to drink a lot of water.

While large 32-ounce water bottles, like Nalgenes, are too large to fit in the side pockets of most daypacks which sucks to travel with as you’ll have to throw it in the main portion of your bag.

BPA Free

Always keep in mind of the chemicals that could be present in plastic water bottles. All of the bottles selected on this are BPA free; however, you can still find some of the water bottles that contain the questionable chemical.

Ease of Clean

It’s pretty easy for your water bottle to get funky while on the road. We like to clean our bottle regularly, but cleaning the traditional small opening, like those pesky single-use plastic bottles is almost impossible to clean. Seek out bottles that are dishwasher safe or have a large opening that allows for easy washing. Whenever you clean your water bottle make sure to use hot soapy water and allow the pieces to dry separately. If you seal the water bottle up immediately after it’s common for bacteria to grow if left for long. Some tips for properly cleaning water bottles are:

  • The best way to clean your travel water bottle is with a bottle brush. The second best way is to fill up the bottle with water and soap and shake vigorously, then let air dry. The dishwasher should be your last method as it doesn’t clean as well as the others.
  • Try putting lemon slices in your bottle with water overnight.
  • Dump out and replace any water that has been in the bottle for more than a few hours. Especially if it’s been sitting in the hot car.
  • To get rid of any smells pour boiling water into the bottle and let sit for a few hours before dumping out.

Filters and Purifiers

Best Travel Waterbottles

This all depends on where you plan to travel. Many developing nations do not have a clean water supply and you can not drink the water from the tap. That’s why we’ve named the top travel water bottle as one with a filter.

Understand the difference between purifiers and filters too! A filter like the Lifestraw removes most bacteria, heavy metals, protozoan cysts, and dirt. This eliminates a ton of waterborne illnesses, but it still leaves viruses as a threat.

A purifier and filter like the Grayl Ultralight filters and removes viruses from the water virtually eliminating the risk of any water in the world. I remember watching the owner pour soda in this thing and turn it into drinking water, drastic and questionable, but pretty cool.

Insulated or Non-insulated

This is a simple one here! Insulated water bottles or double-walled bottles keep your drink hot or cold. We love Hydroflask for these types of water bottles.  The downside of insulated water bottles is that they’re heavier than single walled plastic travel water bottles.

Mouth Size

Depending on your travel style and how you’ll be using the bottle, the mouth opening is critical. Be sure you know what the diameter of the bottle is when the top is removed. If you want to use your bottle for flavored water and need space to add fruit slices or berries, then you’ll probably want to go for a bottle with a wider mouth.

If you’re only putting water in it and don’t need it to be wide enough to fit ice cubes, then a narrow mouth is probably fine. The wider the bottle mouth, the more likely you are to accidentally spill when you’re drinking.


If you like to have a sipper or straw than a wide mouth water bottle is a great choice. We love the Hydroflask bottles and gave them the number two spot due to the number of accessories they make to accompany their products.

Type of Bottle

We’ve broken the bottles into basic categories already. It’s important to think about the bottles intended use and what you need from a water bottle. Do you want an insulated metal water bottle?

There are also options like collapsible travel water bottles that can be packed in your suitcase. Perhaps, you like to use a glass water bottle for the flight to your destination and then pull out the collapsible for hiking to save on weight.

Travel with a water bottle to save the planet!

If you’ve been to a beach in the last year you may have noticed a new addition to the beach — plastic. We’ve seen single-use plastic on just about every beach we’ve visited in the last few years from Mozambique to Costa Rica and even the Maldives.

It’s a grave problem we are facing in this world and the problem is only getting worse. It’s said that by 2050 that plastic will outweigh the fish in the ocean. Even now it’s estimated that around 100,000 animals die every year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic. Whales have washed up dead on beaches with stomachs full of trash. It’s all really horrific statistics — if we don’t begin to fix this problem every post-apocalyptic film may come true.

We have talked about how plastic is destroying our planet many times on our site, and take notice when hotels make a push to reduce plastic water bottles and opt for water filtration systems instead. However, we can not solely rely on businesses to make the shift to reducing plastic use, we as the consumer have to as well. That means carrying a great travel water bottle and you should check out more eco-friendly products.

This aimed squarely at the easiest way to reduce plastic use and that is bottled water. Bottled water has a massive impact on the planet and it’s beyond just the nondegradable water bottle. A study conducted by the Pacific Institute’s “Fact Sheet: Bottled Water and Energy” found that the process of creating these single-use plastic bottles burns up 17 million barrels of oil annually in the US alone. WOW!

Besides saving the environment from plastic waste, staying hydrated is essential when traveling. There are a plethora of reasons that you should be carrying a water bottle when you travel, but we’ll stick to a few key points.

Why should carry a travel water bottle?

In addition to making a conscious effort to reduce your footprint on the planet, a water bottle is great for a number of reasons.

  • Traveling with a water bottle saves you money. You’ll no longer feel the need to spend a dollar or two on needless plastic. We’ll go so far as to take our water bottle out to eat at casual restaurants and set it on the ground. This helps a lot in Europe where it’s common to purchase a water bottle for the table. C’mon Europe you’re supposed to be better than us in North America.
  • Not buying plastic water bottles helps save our environment, whether you’re on the road or not. This is one dead horse that’s worth beating, stop buying needless single-use plastic water bottles, seriously.
  • Water aids in keeping your joints lubricated and your muscles moving smoothly. We’re very active travelers and love to go diving, snowboarding, and hiking so we like to take care of our bodies by staying hydrated. It’s a great way to reduce injury risk.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids helps fight jetlag. Studies support that a well-hydrated person sleeps better and can better adjust to time changes.
  • It is proven to give you an energy boost and strengthen your immune system. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body, it’s like our most basic biological need.

About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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