We’ve all seen them, insulated stainless steel water bottles. They’ve become the newest water bottle craze and are popping up everywhere. They guarantee to keep hot beverages hot  and cold beverages cold for a particular length of time. That’s great and all, but what I really want to know is how hot is hot and how do they compare to each other.

Side by side comparison of the Hydro flask vs the thermoflask

Two of the big sellers are the Hydro Flask and the Takeya Thermoflask.

Both of these bottles are BPA free, insulated 18/8 stainless steel. The Hydro Flask weighs 17 oz and the Thermoflask weighs 12.8 oz. They both come in a variety of colors and sizes. The Hydro Flask guarantees 24 hours cold, 6 hot and the Thermoflask guarantees 24 hours cold and 12 hours hot.

I’ve been the owner of three Hydro Flasks (40 oz, 32 oz, and 18 oz) for almost a year now. As someone who can only drink warm/hot liquids (yay, cold urticaria), these water bottles have been a life saver for me. They’ve allowed me to heat up my water in the morning at camp and then carry the bottles with me all day. That’s a huge deal for an adventure junky with a cold allergy.

Then last week, I came across the Takeya ThermoFlask at Costco, which promised the same 12 hour hot, 24 hour cold guarantee as the Hydro Flask. They came in a two pack, with two 40 oz bottles for just $34.00, that’s roughly the same price as one Hydro Flask, and they’re also 4.2 oz lighter, which is nice for when you’re carrying 2-3 of them in your pack.

So I picked them up and decided to do a little experiment to see how they compare to the Hydro Flask.

Hydro flask vs thermoflask featured imageExperiment #1: How do these two compare with long term storage of a hot beverage?

Method: I filled each bottle with 40 oz of almost boiling water. I checked the starting temperature, the temperature after 6 hrs, 12 hrs and 24 hrs (I was sleeping at 18 hours). No liquid was removed during this test.

This mimics filling a thermos with hot cocoa in the morning to drink later, or with soup to have with your dinner.

Hydro Flask ThermoFlask
8:00 am 200 degrees 200 degrees
2:00 pm 180 degrees 180 degrees
8:00 pm 160 degrees 160 degrees
8:00 am 120 degrees 110 degrees

Summary: These two insulated water bottles were neck and neck until the 24 hour mark. At that point, the Hydro Flask was just ten degrees warmer. Still warm enough for me to drink, but still disappointing if you were expecting hot cocoa and got luke warm cocoa instead. That said, they only guarantee to keep hot things hot for 12 hours. At 12 hours they were both at 160 degrees. Deliciously hot. 

Experiment #2: How do these two insulated water bottles compare with regular use?

Method: I filled each bottle with 40 oz of almost boiling water. I checked the starting temperature and then removed 4 oz every hours for 8 hours. Each time I removed 4 oz, I also checked the temperature.

This mimics regular use of the water bottle, filling it up and then slowly drinking it through out the day.

Hydro Flask Thermoflask
8:00 am (start) 190 degrees 190 degrees
9:00 am (one hour) 180 degrees 180 degrees
10:00 (two hours) 170 degrees 170 degrees
11:00 am (three hours) 165 degrees 165 degrees
12:00 pm (four hours) 160 degrees 160 degrees
1:00 pm (five hours) 155 degrees 155 degrees
2:00 pm (six hours) 145 degrees 140 degrees
3:00 pm (seven hours) 135 degrees 130 degrees
4:00 pm (eight hours) 130 degrees 120 degrees

Results: Both of these bottles successfully kept the water hot for six hours, even with the bottles being opened every hour and cooler air being allowed to enter them. However beyond that, the Hydro Flask definitely our performed the Thermoflask. 

Overall Thoughts: Based on this, I would recommend the Thermoflask for people like me who are drinking from the bottle as their only water source.  Even with a 40 oz bottle, they’re unlikely to be using the bottle longer than 6 hours.  While the Hydro Flask is an awesome water bottle, the Thermoflask is lighter, cheaper and performs almost as well as the Hydro Flask, in both situations tested. If you’re wanting something to keep your coffee or hot cocoa hot while you’re out skiing or ice climbing all day, and it’s not your main source of hydration, then I’d recommend the Hydro Flask, as it performs better under those circumstances. 

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