The ultimate questions – Hydro Flask vs Yeti – which one is the superior brand?
Originally seen as a go-to accessory for many athletes and the staple of sporting goods stores, vacuum insulated water bottles and travel coffee cups have recently exploded in popularity. In today’s society, you don’t have to be a serious competitor to take advantage of one of these containers.
Everyone from a child to the person sitting beside you at work typically owns at least one, if not more. So the question becomes, with so many options, which brand of vacuum insulated water bottle should you choose?
The two brands that have gained major popularity in the market are Hydro Flask and Yeti. So, let’s discuss the importance of using these bottles, and how Hydro Flask compares to Yeti on different criteria such as initial impression, features, functionality, durability, and price.
Note: I won’t just be looking at water bottles for this post, but many other products in both the Yeti and Hydroflask line. Both brands have expanded well beyond water bottles and have made other awesome products.
Hydro Flask vs Yeti – Which Brand is Better?
The Need for Vacuum Insulated Water Bottles and Products
Some of you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal with vacuum insulated water bottles? Isn’t my normal water bottle good enough?”
To be completely honest, regular water bottles are great and convenient products, but only do a decent job of keeping drinks cold for an extended period. Vacuum insulated water bottles, on the other hand, utilize a design that acts as two bottles in one. Those two bottles are formed by a deliberate gap between the outer and inner layers that are then vacuum sealed to create a double barrier between your drink and the outside world. In essence, you can forget your bottle in the car, and when you come out to get it the next day, there’s a good chance that it will still be fairly cold.
Vice versa if you have a travel coffee mug and are storing hot coffee in your thermos. I’ve had instances of leaving my coffee in my mug for hours while snowboarding only to return to the car to hot coffee still!
The other primary difference between vacuum insulated water bottles and regular water bottles is the material they are made of. Millions of people every day drink from plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, that plastic water bottle is a one-time purchase, definitely not an eco friendly product. After you use it, you throw it away and must buy another the next time you are thirsty. Over the course of a year, people tend to spend upwards of $500 or more on plastic water bottles!
Stainless steel water bottles like the Hydro Flask and Yeti, on the other hand, cost as little as $29 and can be reused for years, as long as they are properly maintained. I don’t encourage anyone to buy single use water bottles unless it is absolutely necessary for both the environmental and financial reasons.
This makes vacuum insulated water bottles the superior product compared to single-walled water bottles. They also allow you to maintain the internal temperature of both hot and cold drinks inside the container. Looking at the big picture, that means no more worrying about your ice melting 20 minutes after you take the bottle outside on a hot day!
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Initial Impressions
At first sight, it’s easy to tell why both the Yeti and Hydro Flask bottles are the top two sellers in the marketplace. Both are visually appealing and have multiple color options. They also appear to be of higher quality when compared to other products on the same shelf in the store.
One of the noticeable differences, however, is the feel of the two bottles. A quick comparison revealed that the Yeti water bottle feels heavier and gives the perception of a more durable product over the Hydro Flask. On the other hand, the Hydro Flask bottle does come with better tops (and BPA Free) for the water bottles and coffee tumblers. We’re also big fans of the matte finish on Hydroflask water bottles.
We’re on both Yeti and Hydro Flask newsletters and it seems like Hydro Flask is much more proactive about new products, new colors, and even cool designs on their products. Every summer they even come out with fun National Parks inspired designs for their water bottles.
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Features
One of, if not the most important criteria for choosing a product is its features. Both the Hydro Flask and Yeti come with an extensive amount of features that customers will surely love. Let’s take a look below at a comparison of the features that each bottle offers.
When comparing the two, there seem to be several similarities in features, such as the ability to customize your bottle with a variety of sizes and colors. However, Hydro Flask does edge out Yeti in the number of color options – 20 to 11. Another trait that’s common between the two is the 18/8 stainless steel, double-wall insulated construction.
For those of you with children, it is important to note that the Hydro Flask bottle has the option of both wide-mouth and standard-mouth. Yeti, however, only offer wide-mouth bottles. The wide-mouth option is easier to clean than the standard but can be prone to spilling more easily if you’re not careful. If you want to clean more narrow bottles I suggest getting a water bottle cleaner.
One of the most obvious – and potentially annoying – differences between the two is that the Yeti water bottle is dishwasher safe, while the Hydro Flask bottle must be washed by hand. For some, this can be bothersome. However, the Hydro Flask does have a lifetime warranty on manufacturer defects, whereas the Yeti only provides five years of protection. (I personally don’t put either my Yeti products of Hydro Flask in the dishwasher)
Another difference between the two is that the Hydro Flask bottle utilizes a powder coat for its color, and the Yeti uses a DuraCoat. Also, the Hydro Flask does come with a flexible handle cap, while the Yeti features a sturdy three-finger grip design.
Winner: Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Accessories
One of the most exciting things about having your own water bottle is the ability to add and change accessories. The Hydro Flask and Yeti brands have you covered: both offer a range of options to personalize your bottle.
The Yeti bottle has different caps, holders, and sleeves that can be changed out to add your own style. Comparatively, Hydro Flask offers these options and much more, and they have really expanded their catalog in recent years. Honestly, if I’m just looking at tumblers and not water bottles I love Hydro Flask lids so much more than Yetis. Yeti have their standard “Magsafe” lids which are BPA Free and can go in the dishwasher, however they don’t keep my coffees hot for nearly as long as Hydro Flask lids which have Honeycomb Insulation™, and are still BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free. Trust me – we tested coffee in both of them. Hydroflask kept our drinks MUCH hotter than Yeti.
Hydro Flask even have fun sticker options to decorate the outside of your bottle, along with more convenient options like car cup holders to help with transportation. As new options are routinely added, there is no limit to how your Hydro Flask cup can be customized.
Winner: Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Functionality
Typically, when buying a product such as a vacuum-sealed water bottle, your only measures of functionality are customer reviews and your own intuition. Fortunately, both of our products have been through extensive testing to determine how viable and efficient each brand is at doing its job.
A study was conducted on both the Hydro Flask and Yeti bottles to determine which was better at keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Using a controlled environment, the testers established experiments and documented the performance of each bottle.
In the first trial, each bottle was filled with a liquid that was set to an internal temperature of 208 degrees Fahrenheit and left in a controlled room to observe results. After eight hours of monitoring, it was documented that the Hydro Flask performed better at keeping the drink warm: the final temperature was more than five degrees higher than that of the Yeti.
The second experiment was conducted to test the ability to keep cold drinks chilled for eight hours. Just like the previous experiment, the drink was sealed in the container and left in a controlled environment to observe results. Similarly, the Hydro Flask once again proved to be the winner in the experiment; it managed to keep the water cooler over the period. However, it should be noted that the difference in temperature was slight.
Lastly, both bottles were filled with ice and left in the controlled room to determine whether either would be able to keep the ice from melting over the course of 24 hours. Both still contained ice when we opened the containers after the time had expired.
Winner: Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Durability
It’s a sad fact of life, but you’ll likely end up dropping your water bottle a few times. This might be a simple tumble from it being knocked off the couch, or it could be something more drastic – such as falling off the top of your car when you forget to grab it before driving off somewhere. No matter the reason, odds are, your bottle is going to take a beating, and you want something that will hold up to the punishment.
Luckily for us, the team that did the previous temperature experiments also went to the extremes and tried to determine how much damage they could cause to both the Yeti and Hydro Flask.
After analyzing the data from a fall test in which each bottle was dropped lid-first from five feet off the ground, it was determined that the Yeti was better designed for protection.
Both were also tested to see how much scratch resistance each maintained when keys were dragged across them. Unfortunately, neither held up well: both ultimately sustained deep scratches that cut through the color coats and damaged the bottles’ exterior.
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Price
Price comparison is noted as one of the major determining factors when selecting any product. An item that is priced too high will not sell, and one that is priced too low can give off the impression that it is “cheaper” in quality.
For these two offerings, their prices for the 18-ounce water bottle are almost identical, with the Hydro Flask ($29.95) coming in just under that of the Yeti ($29.99). The difference in pricing becomes more drastic as you move further up in size, however. Hydro Flask bottles stay on a relatively linear pricing scale, while Yeti increases more rapidly with size.
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Maintenance and Care
No matter which option you choose, neither will serve your needs properly unless you take good care of it.
As we mentioned earlier, the Yeti is dishwasher safe, but they still recommend you wash it by hand so it will last longer (we have never put our Yeti in the dishwasher). The detergent and water pressure in the dishwasher will, over time, wear down the integrity of your bottle. If you do decide to wash either one by hand – which is also recommended for the Hydro Flask – make sure to wash the removable parts with hot, soapy water.
The manufacturers also recommend cleaning the bottle by filling it halfway with warm water and soap, putting the lid on, and shaking it. This will ensure a nice clean bottle without the harshness of the dishwasher. If there are any spots that are giving you problems, you can try using a bottle brush to gently scrub the stained areas. If that doesn’t work, Hydro Flask also recommend frequently cleaning the water bottle with a combination of vinegar and baking soda to give it a nice shiny look and feel.
We clean both our Yeti and Hydro Flask by hand with soap and hot water and both have held up nicely for well over a year.
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Brand and Ethos
Both Hydro Flask and Yeti are both well known brands. Yeti built it’s brand of their signature cooler. To this day the brand still specializes in coolers, camp chairs, and outdoor living products. Their smaller products is the drinkware. The wine tumblers, water bottles, mugs, and ramblers.
Hydro Flask, however is a brand focused mainly on drinkware with a few other products like backpacks and coolers. That means Hydro Flask has been able to prioritize their drinkware more closely since it’s their core product.
In terms of ethos, Hydro Flask is the clear winner, focusing more on sustainability. They have a charitable giving program, Parks For All, that supports the development, maintenance and accessibility of public green spaces promoting outside time to all their followers.
Yeti, on the other hand has built a loyal base of followers that no doubt love the outdoors, but in a different way. Think less hiking and more duck hunting and fishing.
Winner: Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask vs Yeti: Winner?
Overall, both the Hydro Flask and Yeti look like solid options when it comes to picking out a vacuum sealed water bottle. However, after closer comparison, it’s easy to see why Hydro Flask is the superior model.
The Hydro Flask performed much better when put through testing against Yeti. It was better able to regulate the internal temperatures of the drinks and ice and held up better when dropped. So, next time you’re planning a hiking trip, going for a run, or simply need a drink to take to the office, make sure you have your Hydro Flask handy to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Keep checking back both Yeti and Hydro Flask sites, they release new products all the time!
Winner: Hydro Flask!
My Favorite Hydro Flask Products?
Hydro Flask Cooler Cup
I use my Hydro Flask cooler up literally every night. Not because I’m a huge beer drinker, but because I love a can of seltzer water every night. This cooler cup keeps my cans cool for HOURS on end.
Don’t get me wrong though, I still love beer and these cooler cup does a great job at keeping my beers cold in the summer. We got them for each of our parents and they love them!
Hydro Flask Tumbler
This is my go to tumbler for coffee. It keeps my drinks hot for hours. I typically use it before I go snowboarding, drink half my coffee, and leave the rest in the cup for when I return from the day and it’s always still hot.
Insulated Wine Bottle
You read that right – it’s an insulated wine bottle. Say you are going out to have drinks by the water. You bring a bottle of wine for you and your friends, but the only way to keep it chilled is if you also have a big cooler. This insulated wine bottle negates that cooler and makes it so you only have to bring this Hydro Flask product.
For those of you that would rather drink out of a coffee mug than a thermos this product is perfect. We just got a set of these and love them! We are drinking out of a coffee mug, expect it is insulated and keeps my coffee piping hot for hours!
Wide Mouth Bottle
One of the signature bottles from Hydro Flask is their wide mouth bottle. They come in so many fun colors and hold 20 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, and 64 oz of water.
Trail Series Water Bottle
This new product from Hydro Flask is designed for keeping beverages cold but without the weight. These bottles are 25% lighter than other Hydro Flask bottles and are made of stainless steel construction.
Insulated Lunch Box
I love these lunch boxes, they really keep items cool that need to stay cool. They are especially good in the summer when you have a lunch you want to keep cold and will be out in the hot sun all morning!
My Favorite YETI Products
Yeti Rambler Bottle
So good for keeping my water nice and cool. Never ever had this bottle leak or get damaged despite many drops.
Yeti Wine Tumbler
We use our wine tumblers all the time, especially in the summer (as you can see in the photos). It keeps our wine chilled for hours longer than a traditional wine class. I highly suggest this if you are a wino!
The perfect drinking glass for your cocktails. This glass keeps cocktails cool for hours with melting all the ice.
Yeti Rambler Jug
This is for those occasions when there is a big group looking for either hot coffee or a cold beverage. Since this thing holds 3.7 liters of fluid you better have a lot of friends!
Yeti Rambler Tumbler
Good for those times you have A LOT of drink to drink. I have this and have used it multiple times for extra large iced coffees. The ice lasts in this large tumbler for over four hours!
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