It’s been hotly debated, so let’s get to the bottom of this: Yeti vs Hydro Flask vs Swell—who makes the best insulated water bottles, tumblers & coffee mugs?

Let’s face it, we all enjoy having a hot drink at hand when the mercury drops. And even better, a cold drink to refresh us under the beating hot summer sun.

Whether you are exploring the wild outdoors or just heading out on the daily grind, having insulated insulated drinkware is the perfect companion to keep your drinks hot (or cold).

Plus, as they are ultra-durable, they make one hell of a trusty water bottle when traveling around the world.

But I’ll be the first to admit, there are tons of insulated bottle choices out there. That’s why I’ve taken upon myself to delve into the heated territory of who makes the best insulated water bottles, tumblers, and growlers.

How To Find the Best Insulated Bottle

When it comes to finding the right insulated drinkware—bottles, tumblers, coffee mugs, growlers—there are some key factors to consider.

The good news is that there are tons of insulated bottles on the market in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Not to mention brands—what’s the difference between Hydro Flask vs YETI? What about Swell or Hydro Flask?

As you see, the difficult part is sifting through all the different options.

This guide and reviews are here to help you understand the key differences between brands and models to help you find which bottle is right for you.

You can jump ahead and dive into a more in-depth buying guide, but this quick overview should do the trick if you are in a rush.

Function. Where and when will you be using your bottle? If you’re on the go, grab a bottle that secures tightly with a leak-proof lid with a rubber gasket. For convenience coffee mugs and tumblers come with an easy sip lid or you can go lidless and enjoy a cold brew.

Size. How much liquid do you want to carry? Coffee or tea? A 12-16 ounce will likely to the trick. Need to stay hydrated on a long day hike? 20-40 ounces is a good place to start. Filling up your growler or keeping a backup water supply in your truck? You can find insulated bottles in 64 ounce and one gallon sizes.

Durability. Almost all insulated bottles these days are made from food grade stainless steel. To insulate the liquid in side they are constructed with a double or triple walled design. Not only does this keep your drink hot or cold, but it makes the bottle durable as hell. The bad news is that they will dent, but you’ll be hard-pressed to break one.

Shape. What does it feel like in your hand. Bottles these days come in all shapes and sizes, so if you have smaller hands you may want to go with a narrower design. Alternatively, if you are not concerned about holding in it one hand, you can find some super stout bottles out there, like the Hydro Flask 40 oz wide mouth bottle.

Color & Texture. Do you want a flashy bottle or keep things classy. There are endless color choices when it comes to insulated bottles and tumblers. You’ll also need to consider the feel that you are after. Both Hydro Flask and YETI use a powder coating that feels slightly textured to the touch. Or you can get a smooth feel, which is found on Swell bottles.

Price. Although most insulated drinkware does cost a pretty penny, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good quality product. They way to look at it is, are you looking for a high-quality bottle that you will take care of a keep for years (because it will last!). Or are you looking for a cheap water bottle to throw around and not be worried if you loose. You’ll have to decide how much you want to spend, but consider it a one time purchase (as long as you don’t loose it.)

Yeti vs Hydro Flask vs Swell: Reviewing the Best Insulated Drinkware

We’re going to compare the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to ranking Hydro Flask vs YETI vs S’well.

All of these bottles are worthy of keeping your liquids hot or cold, but there are some important differences to consider when choosing the right bottle.

In these reviews we’ve laid it all out on the table and hope that it helps you decide which bottle is best for you.

We’ll cover the differences between each bottle when it comes to:

  • Materials
  • Sizes
  • Performance
  • Colors
  • Bottle shapes
  • Durablity
  • Lid, caps & accessories
  • Anything else essential you should know!
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Insulated Bottle Reviews

Insulated water bottles are ideal for anyone who wants to keep their drink hot or cold over a long period of time.

For chilly outdoor adventures or icy commutes they are your best friend. Alternately, an insulated bottle is the best way to keep a drink cold when you don’t have a cooler with ice around.

Their vacuum double wall insulation works wonders. These bottles are rated to keep drink hot for up to 12 hours and cold up to 24 hours. Simply put, they are pretty damn amazing at their job.

You can find insulated water bottles in all shapes and sizes, which is one of the main factors to consider. A small bottle typically is around 10 ounces and you can go as large as 40+ ounces.

Yeti Rambler Bottle Review

YETI is best known for producing some of the highest quality coolers around. But it doesn’t end there, they are just as adept at designing drinkware to keep your liquids hot or cold.

But the proof is in the pudding, and the YETI Rambler is just that. It’s a darn good looking, tough-as-nails bottle that will keep your drink ice cold or steaming hot.

Built from 18/8 Stainless steel the YETI Rambler is tough. That said when you compare the YETI vs Hydro Flask bottle, it’s equally durable as it’s constructed from the 18/8 same stainless steel. The bottle is nearly indestructible when it comes to punctures and rust resistance, however dents can occur due to the double wall vacuum design.

A double wall vacuum design works by creating dead air space between the interior and exterior walls of the bottle. As a result this means no heat transfer or condensation forming on the outside of the bottle, making it a sweat free drinking experience.

For color options YETI offers a more limited color pallet, but unless you’re after a bright color it’s easy to find one that fits your style. Both Hydro Flask Swell offer a much wider range of color choices.

The YETI Rambler does have a leg up on Hydro Flask bottles as it’s DuraCoat coating is marketed as dishwasher safe. I’ve thrown my Hydro Flask in the dishwasher several times and it does in fact discolor the powder coated color over time. If ease of cleaning is a issue for you, going with the YETI is a good choice.

YETI Rambler Bottle Comparison

 

YETI Rambler 18 oz Bottle

YETI Rambler 26 oz Bottle

YETI Rambler 36 oz Bottle

Sizes (oz)182636
Dimensions9.5"H x 3.0" W10.25" x 3.38" W10.75"H x 3.75" W
Weights (oz)16.318.321.9
Lids/CapsTripleHaul Cap, Straw Cap, Chug CapTripleHaul Cap, Straw Cap, Chug CapTripleHaul Cap, Straw Cap, Chug Cap
Colors666
Materials18/8 High-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free18/8 High-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free18/8 High-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free
ConstructionDouble Wall VacuumDouble Wall VacuumDouble Wall Vacuum
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Bottle Sizes

The YETI Rambler bottle is available in three size variations including 18 oz, 26 oz, 36 oz. This is a good range for a daily adventure or travel water bottle. I rarely find myself using anything below a 16 oz bottle.

When it comes to comparing YETI vs Hydro Flask vs Swell bottle size options, Hydro Flask takes the cake with seven different volume options of it’s bottle. Swell comes in last place with only three sizes (9, 17, 25 oz), most being too small for my needs.

The price of the smaller YETI Rambler models is comparable to those of Hydro Flask and Swell bottles. However, if you are looking for a larger volume insulated bottle you’ll pay more for a YETI than you will Hydro Flask. And Swell is out of the picture as they don’t offer a bottle larger than 25 ounces.

Lids & Accessories

The YETI Rambler comes with their 3-finger grip TripleHaul Cap which offers a substantial surface area for comfortable carrying the bottle even in larger sizes. This leak-proof cap is proven to be spill free and provide excellent insulation. We’ll also add that that cap on the YETI is much more robust than the flexible cap found on Hydro Flask bottles, which just seems flimsy on larger bottles.

If you want to customize your YETI Rambler bottle you can opt for different lid types. All are leak-proof, so depending on the your activities and drinking preference you can easily swap lids out. Plus, they are designed to fit all YETI Rambler bottle sizes, which is ideal if you have multiple bottles.

YETI Rambler Bottle Straw Cap

YETI Rambler Bottle Chug Cap

YETI Rambler Bottle Replacement Cap

Hydro Flask Water Bottle Review

Hydro Flask was the first to introduce a fully-insulated water bottle on the market in 2009. This quickly made them the industry leader when it came to vacuum insulated water bottles.

Even today, when you have to compare Hydro Flask vs YETI vs Swell, Hydro Flask is still in the lead when it comes to vacuum insulated drinkware.

All built from 18/8 stainless steel Hydro Flask offers the widest range of bottle sizes and shapes out there. And of course all their bottles and lids are BPA free.

The key difference between Hydro Flask bottles is there mouth opening size and dimensinos. Here is a quick comparison:

Hydro Flask Water Bottle Comparison

 

Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle

Hydro Flask Sippy Bottle

Sizes (oz)12, 18, 21, 2418, 32, 40, 6412
Diameter / Mouth Diameter2.87" / 1.91"2.91" / 2.28"2.91" / 2.28"
Weights (oz)9.3, 11.3, 11.3, 13.211.6, 15.5, 17.5, 32.19.6
Lids/CapsFlex Cap, Insulated Sports CapFlex Cap, Hydro Flip, Straw LidEasy Sip Straw Lid
Materials18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free & Phthalate-Free18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free & Phthalate-Free18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free & Phthalate-Free
ConstructionDouble wall vacuumDouble wall vacuumDouble wall vacuum
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Bottle Sizes

When it comes to the shear range of sizes, Hydro Flask offers the most options. With seven different volume bottles, including both narrow and wide mouth varieties, it’s easy to find the right size bottle from Hydro Flask.

In comparison size options are much more limited from both YETI and Swell.

Lids & Accessories

For various activities you can swap out Hydro Flask lids to have easy access to your liquids. Most Hydro Flask bottles come with the standard Flex Cap, but you can also find wide mouth bottles that come with a Straw Lid and narrow mouth bottles with the Sport Cap. This can save money if this is the lid you are after.

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Bottle Straw Lid

Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Bottle Sport Cap

Hydro Flask Hydro Flip Lid

You can also add some useful Hydro Flask accessories to get the most from you bottle. These include a BPA-free silicone Flex Boot that adds grip and protection against dings and dents.

For keeping your bottle sparkling, Hydro Flask offers and circular Bottle Brush that fits into their bottles. This type of brush makes it easier to clean your bottle, but you can also find similar bottle brushes on Amazon.com for cheaper.

S’well Water Bottle Review

S’well founder Sarah Kauss knew that there was a need for a simpler and more stylish insulated water bottled. That’s exactly what the S’well bottle is: a clean, good looking water bottle that doesn’t look like you are going camping.

Although S’well is a newer water bottle brand on the market and has quickly become popular among urbanites heading out on the daily grind or to the gym. A huge selling point of S’well is are the trendy colors and design options—there are 50+ options to choose from!

A simple way to compare S’well vs Hydro Flask vs YETI is that S’well is much more geared towards daily life use and the two latter are ideal for outdoors.

Let’s get down to the big design differences between S’well, Hydro Flask and YETI. S’well bottles all come in one shape with the same mouth diameter. The difference is the volume capacity of the bottle, which is offered in 9 ounces, 17 ounces, and 25 ounces. Other than that the only thing to consider is what color you want.

The compact shape of S’well bottles allow them to fit into most car cup holders and easily slide into your bag or travel backpack. The shape is narrower than most other insulated water bottles out there. On the flip side, the bottles don’t come in a wide mouth version and you may run into problem trying to fit ice cubes into the bottle.

But don’t let the pretty patterns fool you, S’well bottles are just as tough as the others. Their bottles are constructed from tripled walled high-grade 18/8 Stainless Steel. And of course the are BPA-free, because no one wants that.

The triple wall vacuum design gives maximum insulation and is an additional wall over Hydro Flask and YETI. Will you notice a difference? Probably not in real life, but they will definitely do the job of keeping your drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for 24 hours.

For price comparison, S’well bottles run a bit higher than Hydro Flask of the same size.

S’well Water Bottle Comparison

 

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 9 oz

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 17 oz

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 25 oz

Sizes (oz)91725
Dimensions7.89"H x 2.64" W10.39" x 2.80" W11.81"H x 3.15" W
Weights (oz)8.011.416.0
Lids/CapsStandard CapStandard CapStandard Cap
Materials18/8 High-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free18/8 High-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free18/8 High-Grade Stainless Steel / BPA-Free
ConstructionTriple Wall VacuumTriple Wall VacuumTriple Wall Vacuum
Buy ItBuy ItBuy It

Bottle Sizes

In comparison to Hydro Flask and YETI, S’well water bottles come in a more limited size range. The bottle is available in 9, 17, and 25 ounces.

For my uses a 9 ounce bottle has extremely limited uses, apart from filling it up with a few espresso shots. The 17 and 25 ounce sizes are the right match for everyday use—whether you are using it around the house, taking it along to the gym, or packing it for the office.

The narrow shape of S’well bottles is perfect for sliding it away in a bag or backpack and the rounded edges helps wedging it when space is limited.

Lids & Accessories

Keeping with their minimalist design, S’well bottles only come with one lid option. The standard lid is clean looking and matched the color or pattern of the water bottle. And don’t worry, if you lose your lid you can get a replacement of the same style.

The only accessories S’well offers are bottle brushes, which are wood and have replaceable heads so you don’t have to get a whole new brush when it gets grimy.

Our Verdict: YETI vs Hydro Flask vs Swell

Who makes the best insulated water bottle? Even though we got down to the nitty-gritty in this YETI vs Hydro Flask vs Swell bottle comparison, you can see that all of these bottles are very good at what they are designed for—keeping your drink hot or cold for a very long time.

That said, there are some key differences that set them apart. When it comes to choosing our favorite it was an incredibly close call, but we went with our long-standing favorite Hydro Flask.

The compact size of S’well bottles make it them a great option for daily use, but they are not the best option for the backcountry. With endless colors to choose from, they are a stylish bottle option for those who want to sport a minimalist design.

The YETI Rambler is one heck of a bottle and we love the 3-finger grip TripleHaul Cap that comes standard on their bottles. In fact we prefer it over the Hydro Flasks Flex Cap. For a smaller bottle this is a great choice.

But given the wider range of size options and equally good insulating performance we feel that Hydro Flask bottles suit a much wider range of user. We love the 32 and 40 oz wide mouth bottles when you need to pack along more liquids and the narrow mouth bottles fit excellently into a bag or pack when traveling.