The best part about summer 2021 has been taking my laptop to the roof and basking in the sun while I get some work done. The worst part has been witnessing the bottle of water beside me go from ice cold to lukewarm in 20 minutes flat. And listen, summer is my favorite season, so I’m completely willing to accept its pros—long days, great hair, block parties—along with its cons—sticky everything, the Mr. Softee jingle, the smell of hot trash. But drinking lukewarm water in 90 degree heat (with 80% humidity) is something I will no longer voluntarily do. I need an insulated water bottle that will keep my drink cold for the long haul.
Thankfully, my colleagues at BA tested the best insulated water bottles for keeping cold bevs cold—even on the hottest days of summer. And since insulation cuts both ways, they also tested each bottle’s ability to keep hot beverages hot, too. Because, no doubt, as soon as winter rolls around, I’ll be griping about how quickly my coffee goes from hot to tepid. (A word to the wise: If you’re going to use the same insulated bottle for water and coffee, make sure to clean it properly or you’ll be drinking dank coffee water forever.)
We polled the Bon Appétit staff on the insulated water bottles they love most, from the aesthetically pleasing Jolly Rancher–colored options on display at spin class to the utilitarian models ready to be strapped to a backpack with a carabiner.
Most companies claim that their insulated bottles keep water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. We started our tests with water that was either iced—four cubes per bottle—or boiling hot and then measured the temperature every few hours with a trusty, super accurate Thermapen thermometer. Which contenders rose to the top? To find the best insulated water bottle for you, peep the results below.
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