Hydro Flask bottles are great at keeping drinks cold/hot and they are a fashion icon. However, they are expensive.
You may have seen cheaper options out there that you know are likely counterfeits of the original brand but they are so. much. cheaper!
You might be asking yourself “should I buy a fake Hydro Flask?”
It can be a difficult decision to make. I personally own 3 real Hydro Flasks and 2 fakes ones (that I bought for research purposes). So I feel I can provide some insight into whether or not your should buy a fake Hydro Flask or a real one.
Fake Hydro Flasks will save you some money and will still keep drinks cold/hot for ages, but you can tell they are fake so it doesn't feel great owning one. I recommend buying a real Hydro Flask on sale or opting for a cheaper similar brand.
You Can Tell They Are Fake
There are definite ways to tell a fake Hydro Flask apart from a real one.
Hand me any Hydro Flask and ask me if it's real and fake and I can tell you almost instantly simply by looking at the logo text as well as the text on the bottom of the bottle.
I did a full detailed article on how to tell if your Hydro Flask is fake where I talk about each of these characteristics. So if you want to learn more about that then check out the article.
But I say this to highlight the fact that these are perfect copies of the original.
You're not getting the exact same product.
You're getting a completely different bottle that is shaped and painted to look like a Hydro Flask, but it's made by a completely different company.
Also, if you show your Hydro Flask to someone who already owns one they are going to be able to tell that you bought a fake. Which honestly, just doesn't feel very good.
If you're tight on cash I personally think you're better of buying a real Hydro Flask on sale. Often they have discontinued colors or sizes or sales like Black Friday where you can get bottles for up to 25% off.
They Work Just As Well
Interestingly the fake Hydro Flasks performed extremely similar to the real Hydro Flasks when it came to how long they could hold ice for.
I did a 3 day ice test and while the real Hydro Flask did win the competition it only won by a tiny fraction.
This means that the fake Hydro Flasks are still vacuum insulated just like the real brand and they work basically as well.
So they aren't completely useless and they will keep ice for days or keep drinks hot for hours.
People Who Don't Know About Hydro Flask Won't Know They Are Fake
I obviously know A LOT about Hydro Flasks. I know what they look like, what sizes and colors come in. I even know all the old and discontinued colors and when they were released and in what sizes.
But I'm not normal. I review these things so it's my job to know them inside and out.
When I bought the fake Hydro Flasks to test them against the real ones and to also help people see the differences I showed them to my kids, my partner and my dad.
None of them knew which ones were fake or which ones were real just by looking at them.
Also, when I told them they were fake they didn't really care. They asked if they worked just as well and I said yes. Then they asked well what difference is there?
If You're Buying It As A Status Symbol Don't Get a Fake
In schools and universities and other communities all around the country Hydro Flasks are seen as a status symbol.
Sure you could get a no-name insulated water bottle for one fifth of the price, but it's cool to have a Hydro Flask and it's not cool to have a generic bottle.
If you're in this situation and you want a Hydro Flask because your friends have one or you want the feeling of owning one (trust me, from experience it feels good). If that's you then you will NOT want to buy a fake Hydro Flask.
You can tell they are fake, people who know the brand can tell they are fake and overall they just don't give me the same excited feeling that my real Hydro Flasks give me.
I am proud of my real Hydro Flasks. My fake ones sit in a cupboard and I only use them when it's the only obvious practical choice. They don't give me the same good vibes.
This may sound silly to some people and if that's you then sure get a fake one. But for me knowing it is real is important to me even if my partner, kids, friends or anyone else has no idea what the difference is.
If you want to save some money then Hydro Flasks do have sales on discontinued colors and bottles. Click here to see the Hydro Flask sales page.
Health Concerns With Fake Hydro Flasks
I personally have minor health concerns when it comes to fake Hydro Flasks. I wrote a full article on if fake Hydro Flasks are safe if you want to learn more.
I know that most insulated bottles contain trace amounts of lead and thus use a protective base to hide this and to protect people from coming in contact with it.
I also know that Hydro Flask's don't use lead in their manufacturing process and as far as I am aware they are the only company that doesn't use lead. This is why they don't need to have the protective base layer that other brands have.
Even big name brands like Yeti, Klean Kanteen and S'well all have that protective base.
The issue I have with fake Hydro Flasks is that it is completely unknown who makes these bottles. Do they come from the same factory as Hydro Flask? Are they from some generic factory in China? What are their standards like?
Then you see that fake Hydro Flasks DO NOT have a protective base layer. They only have some paint covering the vacuum seal spot.
While I haven't done tests and haven't seen any lead tests done it's possible that if this paint was to scratch off the bottom then you may expose yourself to trace amounts of lead.
However, this is on the outside so it's a tiny health risk. The inside is 18/8 stainless steel just like the real Hydro Flask and shouldn't cause any problems.
Real Hydro Flasks Have a Lifetime Warranty
One of the cooler things about real Hydro Flask bottles is that they come with a lifetime warranty.
If anything happens to the Hydro Flask and it stops working through no fault of your own then Hydro Flask will fix or replace it free of charge.
This isn't something you get with a fake Hydro Flask. In fact, fake Hydro Flasks will have no warranty at all.
If you buy a fake one and it sucks and doesn't insulate properly then bad luck, you've lost your money.
Should You Buy a Fake Hydro Flask?
Ultimately it is up to you. You should consider buying a fake Hydro Flask if:
- If you want to save yourself some money
- You're happy knowing that your Hydro Flask isn't authentic and doesn't look quite right but it's good enough
- You don't mind about the ethics of buying a counterfeit product
- You realise you won't get any warranty
You Should Buy a Real Hydro Flask If:
I personally prefer to buy real Hydro Flasks and I don't agree with buying fake ones and ripping off the brand.
I like the safety and warranty of having a real one and I like how it makes me feel knowing that I own the best brand water bottle out there.
You should buy a real Hydro Flask if:
- You want to own the authentic brand
- You want the status symbol of a REAL Hydro Flask
- You want the lifetime warranty
- Safety is important to you
- You don't ethically agree with buying a counterfeit