Hydro Flask bottles are great, durable insulating bottles that can keep drinks ice cold for 24+ hours and can keep drinks hot for 12+ hours. But as with every product they aren't perfect and they do have some problems.
While I don't think any of these problems are huge deal breakers (except maybe the expense) I do think it's important to be aware of these issues before investing your hard earned money into a Hydro Flask bottle.
I've Learned This Through Experience
I personally own 2 Hydro Flask bottles – an 18 oz bottle as well as a 12 oz kid's bottle. I am also currently in the market for either a 32 oz or a 40 oz bottle as I'm pretty sure my kids are going to steal my 18 oz one permanently soon. They love taking it to school.
I also own bottles from other brands like Yeti, Klean Kanteen and Thermos as well as cheaper insulated water bottles I just bought from my local supermarket.
Some of these problems are things I've personally experienced myself. Some are problems my friends with Hydro Flasks complain about and some of these problems I have learned through research but are yet to experience.
Regardless of the below issues I actually think Hydro Flask are the best insulated bottles on the market. The main reason being they don't use lead in their manufacturing process while many other brands use lead welding to create the vacuum seal.
Yes…lead as in the poisonous type that has caused so many issues in the past with children and lead paint and car and leaded petrol/gas. Click here to read about whether or not Hydro Flask bottles cause cancer.
Anyway, these are still my favorite bottles despite their short comings so if you're interested in buying one click the link below or any links in this article to see them on Amazon.
1. They Are Expensive
Hydro Flask bottles aren't cheap, in fact they are one of the most expensive insulated bottles on the market.
I wrote a full article on why Hydro Flasks are so expensive if you want to learn more by below you can see some of the most popular sizes of hydro flask and how much they cost at Amazon:
- Hydro Flask Kid's Bottle 12 oz: INSERT PRICE
- Hydro Flask 18 oz Standard Mouth: INSERT PRICE
- Hydro Flask 20 oz Wide Mouth:
- Hydro Flask 32 oz Wide Mouth:
Well these are great bottles and they work really well they use the basic technology that isn't patented. This means that other companies can make the same or similar bottles for a fraction of the price.
Ozark Trail by Walmart Is a popular alternative which works just as good, if not better, then but cost just a fraction of what Hydro Flasks sell for.
- Ozark Trail Kid's Bottle 12 oz: INSERT PRICE
- Ozark Trail 18 oz Standard Mouth: INSERT PRICE
- Ozark Trail 20 oz Wide Mouth: INSERT PRICE
- Ozark Trail 32 oz Wide Mouth: INSERT PRICE
2. They Don't Work in the Fridge/Freezer
One of the annoying thing about these bottles is that the insulation works so well that putting your bottle in the fridge or freezer will not cool down the drink inside.
So you can't fill up your bottle with water from the tap and put it in the fridge to cool down because the vacuum insulation will actually keep the water at room temperature.
This means you need to pre-chill your water in a different bottle and then pour it into your Hydro Flask to take with you. You can also use ice to cool down room temperature water in your bottle.
This isn't a massive deal but I have found it annoying at work when I finish my bottle of water I can't just fill it up and put it in the fridge for drinking later. I need to make sure I bring a second bottle to cool my water down or something to make ice in.
3. You Can't Put Them In The Dishwasher
Hydro Flask Bottles are not dishwasher safe. Putting them in the dishwasher can compromise the vacuum seal and can cause them to not insulated properly any more.
Putting them through the dishwasher can also change the colour of the powder coated paint and make your bottle look weird.
This means you always have to hand wash your hydro flask bottles which is less convenient than being able to put them in the dishwasher.
Currently the only vacuum sealed insulated bottles that are dishwasher safe are the Yeti bottles. Not other brands are able to be put in the dishwasher.
4. They Scratch and Dent Easily
The powder coated paint on the exterior of the Hydro Flask bottles, while durable, is not scratch resistant and can actually scratch quite easily.
It only took a couple of trips to work or school for the bottles to end up in situations where they got scratched. So while they look beautiful and pristine when you buy them it won't be long before they look scuffed and used.
Denting is also extremely common, especially on the base of your bottle where you are constantly placing it down on the floor or on the table.
It won't take long for the base of your bottle to be scratched, chipped and have lots of little dents in it.
Dropping your Hydro Flask or banging it against something can also easily cause dents which can be hard to get out due to the fact the bottle has both an inner and outer wall. There is one way to get a dent out of your Hydro Flask.
5. They Are Hard To Fit In a Cup Holder
These bottles are wide and even the thinnest sizes available are still 2.87 inches (7.23 cm) which is wider than many car cup holders.
I tested both my 18 oz and 12 oz bottles in multiple different car cup holders and while they fit in some they didn't fit in all of them. Click here to see the results of whether or not my Hydro Flask bottles fit in my cup holders.
Larger cars and newer cars tend to have wider cup holders than smaller cars so you should have more luck but the 32 oz and 40 oz bottles are so wide you need a cup holder extender in order to put them in a cup holder.
6. The Lids Can Get Mouldy
There are a variety of different Hydro Flask lids available from the screw cap lids for both the Standard and Wide mouth to the Sport Cap lid, straw lids as well as the coffee flip cap lid.
All of these lids have the potential to collect mold, given the fact they are constantly exposed to moisture.
The worst mold generally occurs under the gasket which is the pieces of rubber that helps to make the lid completely water tight. Inside the straw and in the sports cap are also places mold can easily grow and go unseen.
If you fail to clean this properly then you can be introducing mold into your bottle which is obviously not good to be drinking.
So it's extremely important you stay on top of this and clean both your bottle and your lid properly on a regular basis.
7. They Use The Same Technology as Cheaper Alternatives
The technology that makes Hydro Flasks so good at keeping drinks cold (and hot) has actually been around for over 100+ years.
I talked about this in my article about why Hydro Flasks are so popular, but basically they took already existing technology and just applied it to cold drinks, when in the past it has only really been used to keep things warm.
This insight as well as their fun nature and good marketing caused them to become the big name brand they are today.
But the technology is simple and available to all companies. It's just two walls of stainless steel with a vacuum in between. It is the vacuum that does the majority of the insulating.
Pretty much all vacuum sealed stainless steel bottles use the same technology and many sell for cheaper or work even better than Hydro Flask (usually just slightly better).
8. They Don't Even Hold Ice As Well As Cheaper Alternatives
Hydro Flask bottles are NOT the best insulating bottles on the market.
They work really well, but there are some other brands that work even better.
This difference is small and most people won't even notice it, but if you're after the water bottle that insulates better than any other brand Hydro Flask isn't the bottle for you.
Below you can see a video comparision showing Hydro Flask performance compared to many other popular brands like Yeti, Klean Kanteen, Thermo Flask as well as other brands you may not have heard of:
9. They Can Lose Their Vacuum Seal and Effectiveness
This is pretty rare and it is covered by their lifetime warranty, but it is possible for Hydro Flask bottles to lose their ability to insulate.
They work so well because most heat needs particles to move through. The vacuum in between the inner and outer wall of a Hydro Flask has no particles, so there is nothing for the heat energy to use to transfer through.
But it only takes a minor hold or an issue with the seal to allow air to get in and fill up that vacuum. Once this happens the bottle will no longer be a great insulator and it won't keep drinks cold or hot for long periods of time.
It's also difficult to tell if this is the issue with your bottle just by looking at it. But there are some tests you can do if you feel this has happened to yours. Click here to learn how to test whether or not your Hydro Flask has stopped working.
As I mentioned this issue is covered by the lifetime warranty if it's caused due to a manufacturing default. So if it happens to you make sure you get in contact with Hydro Flask for a replacement bottle.
10. They Can React To Certain Drinks Making Them Taste Funny
My girlfriend hates stainless steel bottles and cups. She is certain that the stainless steel makes all of her drinks taste funny.
While I disagree with her on this and will happily drink out of my insulated bottles and cups it is true that stainless steel can react with some organic materials, especially when they are hot, and give the beverages a different taste.
Some customers have complained their coffee tastes weird in a Hydro Flask and it has a metallic taste to it while others (like me) have no problem at all.
But given these bottles can keep coffee and tea hot for 12+ hours and the fact that stainless steel seems to be less problematic for our health than plastic I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff.
I did look into whether or not Hydro Flask bottles cause cancer and it appears they don’t which is great news. But they can potentially add nickel and chromium into your beverage and some people get allergic contact dermatitis from this
None of These Problems Are Deal Breakers
While Hydro Flask bottles aren't completely perfect and they do have some problems, I actually don't see the problems above as deal breakers. In fact, many other insulated water bottles have the same issues as Hydro Flask.
I think it's important to be aware of these things and to know exactly what you're buying. But even with these issues I still think Hydro Flask bottles are a great buy.
I own 2 of them and will likely buy more in the future.
If you're interested in buying a Hydro Flask bottle or seeing the latest prices click the links below: