The reusable bottle market is booming, and it’s not hard to see why. Everyone’s learning that disposable bottles cause a lot of damage to the environment. Their sluggish decomposition pace means these hazardous effects will persist for centuries.
In fact, plastic bottles take 450 years to decompose. That’s 20 to 45 times longer than plastic bags. When it comes to reusable bottles that can last you a lifetime, Yeti and Hydro Flask are two of the biggest names out there.
Some might even call them arch enemies like Apple and Samsung, or Coke and Pepsi. Corporate rivalries aside, picking the bottle you’ll be drinking out of for years to come is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
So today, I’ll go over the Yeti & Hydro Flask’s similarities, surprising differences, and alternatives. That way, I can help you find the right bottle for you. Without further ado, let’s get right into the product comparison!
When comparing two products from industry leaders, you’re bound to find some similarities. The apparent similarities are the bottle’s materials, insulation method, and available accessories.
Getting acquainted with these shared traits will show you some of each product’s core benefits and help you decide which option is ideal for you. As a reminder, just because they use the same material, that doesn’t mean that durability will be equal.
Both of these bottles are made out of 18/8 stainless steel, which means it’s a pretty even playing field on the material side of things. Stainless steel bottles are fantastic. Many benefits come with using stainless steel over glass or other materials.
First of all, you’ll never have to worry about rust. Stainless steel is resistant to rust but also fights bacteria and odors. So, you won’t have to worry about your bottle smelling progressively worse as time goes on. Beyond smell, there are also certain taste-related benefits to consider.
Using a stainless steel bottle means that water, juice, coffee, and other beverages won’t change flavor if you leave them inside for too long. That’s a big plus in my eyes since nothing upsets me more than a corrupted cup of joe (which can happen with plastic).
You’ll be happy to know that Yeti and Hydro Flask bottles share one key feature: double-wall vacuum insulation. Suppose you’re familiar with reusable bottles. In that case, you already know that this type of insulation will help your beverage of choice stay at your preferred temperature.
This is because it prevents heat transfer by keeping your drink away from other molecules that may influence its temperature. We could delve deeper into how kinetic energy is the main factor in heat transfer, but why worry about physics when bottles work this well.
Besides keeping your drinks hot & cold longer, double-wall bottle construction also improves durability. This double layer of steel makes punctures far less likely (nearly impossible, really). I’m glad this is the case since broken gear is heartbreaking, and I’m prone to dropping things.
If you’re a fan of sporty accessories, then you’re bound to like the slings and upgraded lids available from these two brands. I personally love the sport cap from Hydro Flask since it makes taking a quick sip of mango juice that much more comfortable while I’m on long hikes.
Hydro Flask’s accessories provide more color options. Still, if you’re a black-or-nothing type of guy like me, then you shouldn’t have any issues with Yeti’s preferred shades. The soft coolers and ice packs from Hydro Flask are genuinely useful, though, so be sure to look at them.
You’ll notice that Hydro Flask sells cleaning accessories like brushes while Yeti does not. This is because Yeti bottles (or at least the newer ones) are dishwasher safe and don’t need any brushes. I’ll give you a closer look at the cleaning aspect in the next section.
All in all, they both have a substantial selection of accessories. Check out which company offers the tools you crave and go for it.
While these competitors have some similarities, the differences are more important in picking a winner. Ease of cleaning, warranty duration, and overall durability are the three major ones here.
None of the differences in this section are deal breakers for either bottle, but they may help you make up your mind if you’re still on the fence. If not, you might prefer the third alternative that I’ll detail towards the end of this article.
One of the most significant differences between these two bottles is the method with which you clean them. The Yeti is entirely dishwasher safe, which means you can just chuck it in and wait until your bottle is squeaky clean. This will definitely save you a lot of time in the long run.
In contrast, Hydro Flask bottles’ powder coating would be stripped away if you try to clean it with a dishwasher. That being said, it’s actually relatively easy to clean it manually, so that’s not the worst drawback in my mind. It’s also worth noting that Hydro Flask lids are dishwasher safe, so you’re OK there.
You might’ve heard that some older Yeti models were not fit for dishwashers, but it was found to be caused by quality control issues. Either way, the new models are totally cleared, so you probably have nothing to worry about.
When buying a product like a reusable bottle, you’re essentially making a long-term investment. Although a bottle isn’t that expensive, you’ll likely be using this thing for five or ten years.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the warranty. In a perfect world, you’d never even need to rely on the product’s warranty. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a utopian paradise, and stuff happens, so keep an eye out for reliable warranties.
The Yeti has a five-year warranty attached to its products — already impressive. However, Hydro Flask puts that coverage to shame with their lifetime warranty. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their bottles are more durable, but it does mean they have more confidence in them.
An unlimited warranty is always nice to see, yet you have to remember that it won’t cover negligence. If you clumsily drop your bottle and destroy it in the process, then you can’t expect a free replacement (trust me, I’ve tried). That’s why durability is arguably more important than warranty duration.
Seeing as warranties aren’t total guarantees, I decided to test out the durability of both bottles. I dropped them both when they were empty and full, alternating between dropping them on the bottom and the top.
Both bottles suffered dents in the process, but that’s expected. They aren’t exactly made to survive nuclear fallout. However, I found the dings on the Hydro Flask were much more severe than the Yeti.
The lid of the Hydro Flask was also more likely to fly off during these drop tests. I suspect it’s because it doesn’t have as much treading as the lid on the Yeti bottle. This means that you run a higher risk of spills when using a Hydro Flask bottle.
I also did a scratch test on both bottles, and neither coating stood up to my house keys. The damage was only at a surface level, though with the structural integrity enduring. It’s clear that the Yeti is more durable, but you’ll be OK with either one since I was a bit aggressive towards them.
The Third Alternative — Klean Kanteen
If you’re planning to go on a long trip, then you might actually prefer the Klean Kanteen over the Yeti and Hydro Flask bottles. In a battle of capacity, Klean wins by a landslide with its sizing options going up to 64 oz — more than enough for even the thirstiest adventurers.
It’s made of the same 18/8 stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about rusting or other issues of that variety. I prefer to take the smaller options from Yeti and Hydro Flask on most days, but I’ll always break out my Klean Kanteen if I’m going for a long-distance hike.
Those who end up buying a Klean Kanteen should really check out its bike-attachment accessory. This will save you a lot of trouble if you plan to go cycling without leaving your favorite drink behind.
At the end of the day, there’s no going wrong with the Yeti or Hydro Flask. Both bottles are excellent options. If you want my advice, then clumsy campers such as myself will benefit from Yeti’s superior durability.
When you couple that with the convenience of it being machine washable, I think that really gives it the edge over Hydro Flask. However, suppose a lifetime warranty makes you feel more confident in your bottle’s quality. In that case, you know which competitor to buy from.
No matter which bottle you buy, you’ll be happy and hydrated for years to come.