Hydro Flask recently released a new series of lightweight insulated water bottles called the Trail series. They are a bit different to the regular Hydro Flasks in a few key ways and it's important to know the differences before deciding which version you should buy.
I own a variety of both regular and Trail series Hydro Flask and have put them through a variety of tests and every day uses to see which is the best and which one I recommend.
The Hydro Flask Trail is 20-25% lighter than a regular Hydro Flask but has the same ice retention. It's just as durable and has a brushed metallic finish and taller/narrower form factor. Trail series are $5-$10 more expensive but worth the extra cost.
I personally would recommend the Hydro Flask Trail over a regular Hydro Flask if someone was asking me which they should buy. But I think both are great and if you want bright colors or a certain size then going with a regular Hydro Flask is still a great option.
Hydro Flask Trail
Sizes: 21, 24, 32 oz
Colors: Brushed metallic colors, limited options
Ice retention: 1-3 days
Lid Options: Wide Mouth
25% Lighter Than a Regular Hydro Flask
The main draw of the Trail series is the fact that they offer the same ice retention performance as a regular Hydro Flask but are 25% lighter.
This makes them ideal for hiking, camping, flying or anyone who just wants to cut down on weight.
I own both a 32 oz regular Hydro Flask and a 32 oz Hydro Flask Trail and when I weighed them here were the results:
- Hydro Flask Regular 32 oz – 440.7 grams (0.97 lbs)
- Hydro Flask Trail 32 oz – 352.7 grams (0.77 lbs) 20.03% lighter
While this isn't quite the 25% lighter Hydro Flask claim it is still a decent amount lighter.
Real World Use Case
Since owning the Hydro Flask Trail I find I rarely if ever choose to take the regular Hydro Flask with me in my bag.
Why carry that extra weight when I really don't need to? It just doesn't make sense to take my regular Hydro Flask with me anymore.
Recently I went on a plane and I only got 7 kg (15.4 lbs) of carry on luggage. What water bottle am I going to take? Obviously the lighter Hydro Flask trail.
I ended up taking my 24 oz Hydro Flask Trail as this weighs just 288 grams (0.63 lbs) when empty or around 1kg (2.2 lbs). I emptied the bottle so they could weigh my bag then filled it up before I got on the plane…sneaky sneaky.
Unless you absolutely want a regular Hydro Flask with it's bright color options then for most people, especially adults, the Hydro Flask Trail is going to be a better option.
It just makes sense to have a more lightweight bottle.
But what about price? How do the prices of each bottle compare and is one version cheaper than the other?
As you can see there is a little bit of a price difference but the difference isn't huge.
You're looking at a $5-$10 difference max with strangely the 24 oz being the most different in price.
It actually so happens that the 24 oz Trail (in my personal opinion) is THE SEXIEST Hydro Flask of the entire lineup. With the 20 oz regular coming in a close second.
So you can get a bit of a saving by going with the regular Hydro Flask but the saving isn't that big so I personally would still go with the Trail series.
However, there are other things to think about as well such as colors, design/shape and ice retention.
Let's talk about performance first and then talk about colors and design. Because if the Trail doesn't work as well as the regular Hydro Flask because of the lighter weight then I wouldn't really want them.
So I went and did a head-to-head ice test comparison between the Hydro Flask Trail 32 oz and the regular Hydro Flask 32 oz.
The ice test lasted 3 DAYS! before it finished.
Can you guess which one performed better? Go on have a guess…
They performed EXACTLY THE SAME!
I was actually really shocked by this regular. I fully expected the regular Hydro Flask to last a little bit longer than the Trail but they were basically identical.
Throughout the ice test I couldn't even tell which was winning and it the end the performance was so ridiculously close I had to call it a tie.
So you can rest assured knowing you can purchase either of these versions of the Hydro Flask and they will perform equally as well.
Apart from weight and a slight difference in form factor this is where you see a MASSIVE difference in the 2 types of Hydro Flasks and for a lot of people this will be the deciding factor as to which Hydro Flask version they decide to purchase.
The regular Hydro Flasks come in all the different bright colors Hydro Flasks are famous for.
Bright pinks and greens and yellows or more chilled out whites, blacks and blues. Whatever your style and vibe there is a color for you.
I've even made a handy quiz on which Hydro Flask color best suits you or this article to help you choose the right Hydro Flask color.
A lot of people choose Hydro Flask over other brands because of their amazing colors so if you want a bright color go for it.
They are a little bit heavier but not a lot and you'll save a little bit of money and get a great color.
The Hydro Flask Trail bottles on the other hand are very different when it comes to colors. They have a brushed metallic finish which is a lot more subdued when compared to the bright colors of the regular Hydro Flasks.
For kids and younger people I can see them wanting a color that screams PERSONALITY, but as an adult I love having a water bottle that is just reserved and sexy, like the gentleman that I am haha.
There is also a difference in design between the Hydro Flask Trail and the regular Hydro Flasks.
The 24 oz Hydro Flask trail is one width the entire way up, much like the 20 oz regular Hydro Flask.
The 32 oz Hydro Flask Trail is taller and thinner than the 32 oz regular Hydro Flask and tapers less at the top.
Ultimately this just comes down to personal preference. My favorite is the 24 oz as I think it looks amazing and feedback from my friends and family are the same, they like this bottle size, form and design the best.
The lid of the Hydro Flask Trail has been edited to make it slightly lighter than the lid of a regular Hydro Flask.
The strap has holes in it to cut down on weight and the top of the lid is concave, removing a portion of plastic and also cutting down on weight.
When I weighed the 2 lids here was the results I got:
- Regular Hydro Flask Lid (wide mouth) – 74.2 grams (0.16 lbs)
- Hydro Flask Trail lid (wide mouth) – 47.6 grams (0.10 lbs) -26.6 grams or 36% lighter
26.6 grams isn't a huge saving in weight and but you can notice the difference holding the 2 lids side by side.
The Hydro Flask Trail Lid is the exact same size as a regular wide mouth lid and can be used on any wide mouth Hydro Flask. This also means you can get the different lids for the Hydro Flask Trail. The straw lid and coffee sip cap being 2 of the best options. Click here to see all the different Hydro Flask Lid options available.
One thing I was concerned about was the durability of the Hydro Flask Trail series.
If they are saving 25% of weight where is this coming from? Are they simply making the stainless steel walls thinner and thus the bottle is more likely to dent and break?
Is it made from titanium like some other lightweight hiking gear? No it isn't. Hydro Flask Trail bottles are made from the same stainless steel that they use to make regular Hydro Flask bottles. More on what a Hydro Flask is made from.
Luckily through my few months with the bottle I haven't noticed any real difference in durability and I haven't had any major denting occur.
My Hydro Flask Trail did fall out of my can and onto the road and the bottom dented a little bit. But this exact same fall happened to me with my regular Hydro Flask about 1 year ago and similar denting occured.
In fact the dent on my regular Hydro Flask was probably worse than the one on my Hydro Flask Trail.
I noticed NO noticeable difference in durability between the Hydro Flask Trail series and the regular Hydro Flask bottles.
Hydro Flask Trail vs Regular: Which Should You Get?
As you can see from this article both the Hydro Flask Trail and regular Hydro Flask are great options and extremely similar. So it can be difficult to know which one to get.
If I was starting again and only buying one then I would definitely get a Hydro Flask Trail IF (and it's a big IF) I liked the brushed metallic finish (which I do).
If however I preferred the bright colored Hydro Flasks then I would absolutely go for those instead and save a little bit of money.
I think the 24 oz Hydro Flask Trail is THE BEST HYDRO FLASK BOTTLE option for most people. It feels like the perfect size for a water bottle.
Not too big that it feel cumbersome and heavy to carry around and not too small that you have to refill it all the time.
On a lazy day I might drink 1 bottle and on a more active day I might drink 2-3 bottles. Click here to learn how many Hydro Flasks you should drink per day.