Science has brought us a long way in the past few centuries. Where once we huddled around fireplaces and lit our homes with burning wax candles, now we have portable heaters and flashlights in our telephones.
While technology hasn’t yet managed to negate our need for water, it’s made huge strides in the fields of portability and convenience. All you have to do is grab a camping water bottle, fill it with H2O, then head out to enjoy the great outdoors.
Good camping water bottles strike a balance between tough construction and lightweight design. You want something that can withstand a few bumps and bruises on the trail, but you don’t want it to weigh as much as your first born child.
There are hundreds of solutions out there, some of which work better than others. Below are some of our favorite camping water bottles that will let you stay hydrated without resorting to plastic jugs tied to your belt.
Yeti knows a thing or two about staying hydrated. The company offers a massive array of bottles, containers and drinking accessories for camping and hiking, everything from 10 oz sipping mugs to gallon drinking dispensers.
Each one is made from tough, no-frills stainless steel that can withstand being kicked and crushed through countless camping trips. There’s also easy carry caps that clip onto any backpack for portability. The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps cold things cold and hot things hot for hours on end, which means you might be able to get away with a bit of campfire coffee halfway up the trail.
Accessories are what make Yeti’s products really come to life. Most of their product lines come with several different lid styles, letting you choose from simple screw-on chug caps to straw-friendly openings for smaller sips on the go. There’s also an array of holsters and mounts, just in case the included loops aren’t enough for your outdoor needs.
Hydro Flask takes the simplicity and usability of ordinary outdoor equipment and adds a little bit of flair. The company’s line of bottles is split between tumblers, thermoses, and even beer and spirit cups, all made with durable stainless steel and BPA-free plastics. You’ll get temperature protection thanks to sealed insulation, guaranteeing your cold drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours.
You’ve got a few choices when it comes to Hydro Flask’s functional options, including several different sizes with lid styles ranging from widemouth to standard fits to sport caps with drinking spouts. Things get a little more interesting when it comes to visual appeal, however.
Hydro Flask offers as many as 14 color designs for some of its products, a far cry from the usual “gray or slightly less gray” options most outdoor drinking containers provide.
RTIC is a cooler company by trade, but their foray into camping and outdoor drink ware has started to turn some heads. Their products are simple, inexpensive, and stubbornly functional.
Every bottle is made from high quality stainless steel and BPA-free plastics and includes vacuum insulated interiors for excellent temperature control. There’s cups for camp coffee, thermoses for trail water, even slim and sleek bottles made to slide into pockets or sit in cup holders while you drive.
You won’t find the massive variety of sizes and styles as some water bottle manufacturers, but what you will find are straightforward products that do their job without all the fuss.
Water Bottle Parka
Why carry a specialized insulated bottle when you can carry, well, anything you want? The water bottle parka from Outdoor Research transforms just about any non-thermos container into a portable temperature controlled camping containers.
Slip a sports drink or a bottle of water into the parka, drop it in your bag or clip it to a carrying strap, then head to the campsite. Cold drinks will stay nice and frosty inside this nylon pouch, and anything warm will stay that way for hours on end.
The parka has the distinct advantage of being lightweight and compressible once your container has been emptied, which will shave several ounces and a lot of bulk off your carry total. Oh, and there’s even a model the Outdoor Research group says is perfect for carrying burritos on your camping trips. Because, you know, priorities.
Take a look at Outdoor Research’s water bottle parka for a clever solution to the portable liquid problem.
This is the eternal question for hikers and campers alike: how much water do I bring? On the one hand it’s heavy and annoying to tote, even with a good bottle. On the other hand it’s necessary for staying alive, so maybe a little frustration is worth it. I’ve run out of water more times that I’m prepared to publicly admit, which is why creative solutions like portable filters always hold a special appeal to me.
There are a few different types of filtration systems put out by Sawyer, but the camper-tested favorite is the Squeeze. This lightweight product lets you turn most water sources into drinkable H2O. All you have to do is fill the bag, attach the filter, squeeze it into your bottle, then pack it away. It’s designed as a companion to your usual bottle, not a replacement, but you’ll be amazed how useful it is on camping trips where you do a lot of hiking.
Check out the Sawyer Squeeze so you don’t have to lug around gallons of water every day.