Living, Opinions

Hydro Flask vs. Nalgene

Which one is better?

words by: Alee Kwong
Apr 16, 2021

The temperatures are rising, people are starting to go outside again, and it’s becoming more crucial to stay hydrated. While there are plenty of reusable water bottles on the market, two stand out as the most popular in the bunch – Hydro Flask and Nalgene. While both have their pros and cons, it’s economically not feasible to own both. Let’s break down the details of both water bottles and help you find the perfect one for this upcoming summer.


Here are some key factors to consider when deciding whether you should get a Hydro Flask or Nalgene reusable bottle.

  • Insulation
  • Maintenance
  • Weight
  • Water safety
  • Durability
  • Price


1. Insulation

To keep things short, Hydro Flask wins hands down, no competition. Nalgene does offer thermal bottles but are more widely known for their convenient, lightweight plastic bottles. Hydro Flask keeps your drinks hot for up to 12 hours and drinks cold for up to 24 hours.


2. Maintenance

Now, this one is really up to the individual and hinges on how much effort is considered “a lot” when cleaning your bottle. Hydro Flask bottles are not dishwasher compatible and require you to hand wash them every so often whereas Nalgene bottles are dishwasher-friendly. That being said, because Nalgene bottles are made of plastic, their lifespan is significantly shorter than that of a Hydro Flask metal bottle. Again, this is mainly up to the individual, but for the sake of convenience, let’s give this one to Nalgene.


3. Weight

Another one for Nalgene. The math isn’t hard on this one. Plastic versus metal.


4. Water safety

Hydro Flask is made of stainless steel and Nalgene has been proven to use BPA-free plastic. However, most people feel more comfortable knowing that they are definitely safe (especially in warmer temperatures) drinking water out of a stainless steel bottle. Hydro Flask can take this one.


5. Durability

It’s hard to argue that a plastic bottle is more durable than a metal bottle. While it’s pretty tough to crack a Nalgene bottle, one of the larger pros is that you can ruin a Nalgene bottle and not have to stress out about the cost of replacing it. But again, you really can’t compare durability against a metal-constructed bottle.


6. Price

This is another detail that is fairly subjective. Hydro Flask is the more expensive product, however, you are paying for durability and insulation. If neither of those things are concerns for you, then I would go with Nalgene – the lighter, cost-effective, still relatively durable option. Yeah, let’s give this one a tie too. It really depends on the person and what they are looking for in a reusable bottle.



  • Insulation – Hydro Flask
  • Maintenance – Nalgene
  • Weight – Nalgene
  • Water safety – Hydro Flask
  • Durability – Hydro Flask
  • Price – Hydro Flask and Nalgene


It was close but Hydro Flask wins. While Nalgene is is more cost-effective and easy to replace, having that cost add up over time will eventually put it at a higher price than a Hydro Flask. It will cost a bit at first but will certainly last you a long time.