Do you stuff your plastic water bottle full of ice cubes just before a long hike in the hopes of having a cold drink sometime farther down the trail? You may not expect much from your water bottle, but then you’ve never met the Hydro Flask. The makers of this handsome lightweight stainless steel bottle claim it keeps liquids hot for 12 hours or cold for an astonishing 24 hours or more. So to test out these claims, I began by taking the 18-ounce Narrow Mouth model to a corner gas station and loading it with Gatorade straight from the fridge (after paying for it, of course), and hiked out into the Sonora Desert. Later in the day, it came as a pleasant shock to be hiking the desert drinking a cold beverage out of a container I had filled hours before with a cold beverage using no ice whatsoever.
To test the 24-hour cold claim, I filled the bottle with eight standard icemaker cubes and water, and found that the Hydro Flask met and exceeded this claim, with a remarkable amount of ice still in it after 36 hours. What’s more, my bottle has the dent-resistant powder coating on it (no extra charge), which meant I didn’t get a shiver down my spine from picking up a metal bottle full of cold liquid.
The hot-for-12-hours claim didn’t hold up quite as well, but the Hydro Flask performed adequately. I filled the bottle with coffee in the morning and 6 hours later it was just better than lukewarm, and a little bit of coffee spurted out, which means the “vented cap” did not work for me. I tested it again, this time filling it with piping hot tea, and at the 6-hour mark steam rolled out of the flask. Interestingly, the tea did not spurt out as the coffee did previously, so either the cap got better or the operator was more careful. After 12 hours, the tea was like the coffee after 6 hours, just north of lukewarm but certainly drinkable. So if you want your hot beverage to stay hot for a long time, you really need to make sure the liquid you fill it with is piping hot.
The double wall insulated vacuum flask is made of 18/8 non-porous food grade stainless steel so it will not absorb odor, flavor or bacteria. I washed out my morning coffee with a bit of soapy water and didn’t taste it in my ice water later in the day. Patented features include the non-dribble opening and the vented insulated cap that works fine, again as long as you open it carefully. I recommend the optional dent-resistant powder coating, which is available in several colors (such as Everest blue and green zen), and it comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.
Prices starts at $19.99 for the 12-ounce model, and sizes range all the way up to a monster 64-ounce “growler,” enough to tempt you to take ice-cold beer on the trail with you. Additionally, five percent of your purchase goes to a charity you choose at www.fivepercentback.org by entering a serial number on the bottom. Keep your beverage cold and bring about positive change in the world, how do you beat that? Maybe by knowing you don’t have to shove an iceberg into your water bottle to keep your beverage cool on the hot trail when just a few cubes will do. Hydro Flask: 888-584-9376, www.hydroflask.com.