With reports from Jennifer Blair
In the first round of Parch Madness, BestReviews narrowed a Sweet 16 of popular water bottles down to eight. Now, these Elite Eight face off in the second round, taking a step closer to revealing the best water bottle on the market today.
The second round continues our bracket-style competition with four water bottle pairings. Based on real-world testing from the BestReviews Testing Lab, the bottles are compared based on key criteria to identify a winner in each matchup.
What makes a great water bottle?
When evaluating the 16 water bottles included in Parch Madness, the BestReviews Testing Lab scored the participants on a scale of 1 to 5 in seven essential categories.
The Testing Lab started by considering how leakproof the bottles are and how easy it is to sip from them. Their ability to keep water cold is another crucial feature, but the Lab also paid attention to whether the bottles fit in most car cup holders, are durable enough to withstand wear and tear, allow easy cleaning and are reasonably priced. The bottles with the highest combined score across all these categories move on to the next round.
Takeya Actives Insulated Water Bottle vs. Larq Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
These water bottles both feature stainless steel construction and a fully leakproof design, making them ideal for taking on the go.
Takeya Actives Insulated Water Bottle: This water bottle stands out for its leakproof construction with multiple rubber cylinders in the mouth to ensure a tight seal. It has a small opening that prevents accidental spills but is still easy to drink from. It’s also highly durable, well-insulated and dishwasher-safe, though it may not fit in smaller cup holders. It retails for $26.39. In earlier action: defeated HydroJug. Sold by: Amazon and Home Depot
Larq Self Cleaning Water Bottle: This high-tech self-cleaning water bottle allows you to get rid of germs and sanitize your water with the press of a button. Its lid is easy to screw on to prevent leaks, while the narrow opening makes it easy to drink from even when on the move. It may not fit all budgets, though, retailing for $99. In earlier action: defeated Hidrate Spark Pro. Sold by: Amazon
Who won: The Takeya won this match-up. It earned higher marks both for its durability and its reasonable price, costing over $60 less than the Larq. It can also retain ice for up to 24 hours, keeping water cold all day.
HydroFlask vs. Owala FreeSip
These water bottles both feature insulation to keep your water cold all day. They also offer leakproof sipping and are easy to clean.
HydroFlask: This water bottle is made of 18/8 stainless steel and has a tight seal at the lid to prevent leaks. It can keep water cold for more than 24 hours and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. It may not fit well in all cup holders, though, so there’s a risk of it tipping over. It costs $24.49-$31. In earlier action: defeated Healthy Human Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Sold by: Amazon
Owala FreeSip: This durable water bottle features a unique design, boasting a flip-top lid with a button for easy opening and spillproof sipping. It also comes with a straw, fits easily in a car cup holder and stands up to wear and tear without visible damage. Cleaning the straw is sometimes tricky, though. It costs $21.99-$37.99. In earlier action: defeated the Yeti Rambler. Sold by: Walmart
Who won: The Owala has the edge. It’s more affordable than the HydroFlask and doesn’t get dents or dings as easily. Its built-in straw makes it easier to sip without spilling, too.
Nalgene Sustain BPA-Free Water Bottle vs. Stanley Cup Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler
These large commuter water bottles are ideal for drinking on the go. They are some of the easiest bottles to clean, too.
Nalgene Sustain BPA-Free Water Bottle: This plastic water bottle has a fully leakproof design that’s especially impressive, considering its reasonable price. It holds up to wear and tear well, so it’s ideal for hiking, camping and more. It only fits some cup holders and won’t keep water cold as long as other models, though. It ranges from $16-$17. In earlier action: defeated the Brita Insulated Filtered Water Bottle. Sold by: Amazon
Stanley Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler: This well-sized tumbler has three lid positions, making it extremely easy to sip from. It works extremely well to keep water cold, too, holding onto ice for up to 10 hours. Those with a metallic finish can pick up scratches somewhat easily, though. It retails for $40-$66. In earlier action: defeated Simple Modern Insulated Tumbler. Sold by: Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon
Who won: The Stanley was the victor. It does a much better job of keeping water cold, can fit in most cup holders and isn’t as prone to spilling while sipping.
Contigo Ashland 2.0 Water Bottle vs. W&P Porter Glass Water Bottle
While the Contigo is made of lightweight crackproof plastic that’s perfect for an active lifestyle, the W&P features glass construction that helps maintain the pure taste of your water.
Contigo Ashland 2.0 Water Bottle: This durable sports water bottle has a one-handed spout, making it easy to sip from in any situation. It keeps water cold nearly all day and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. It may be too tall for some cup holders, though. It retails for $14.99. In earlier action: defeated Zulu Swift Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle Sold by: Amazon
W&P Porter Glass Water Bottle: This glass water bottle isn’t prone to leaks and fits easily in most cup holders. It has a good-sized opening that makes it easy to sip from without spilling. It isn’t insulated, though, so it doesn’t keep water cold that long. It retails for $25-$30. In earlier action: defeated Bkr Little Smooth Glass Water Bottle Sold by: Amazon
Who won: The Contigo takes this match-up. It keeps water cold much longer than the W&P and is easy to sip from without spills, even when working out. It holds up to wear and tear better, too.
Next Monday, these excellent water bottles will go head-to-head in Final Four matches. The two winners there will head on to the Championship Round, where the best water bottle will be crowned.
Here’s the full schedule. Return to this page for each update.
- Thursday, March 16 – Sweet 16: Round 1 winners.
- Monday, March 20 – Elite 8: Round 2 winners.
- Monday, March 27 – Final Four: Round 3 winners.
- Monday, April 3 – Championship – and the best water bottles by category.
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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