5 Easy Ways To Stop Condensation On Your Water Bottle

While condensation build up on a water bottle is completely harmless, that doesn’t make it any less annoying to deal with.

If you’re sick of dripping water across your desk and having water run down your arm whenever you take a sip, stopping condensation from building up on your water bottle is actually pretty easy.

To stop condensation on your water bottle, you just need a way to manage its exterior temperature. The easiest ways are to use an insulated bottle or an insulating sleeve that will slow condensation and absorb any that still occurs.

Drinking room temperature water and keeping your bottle sealed in an airtight bag can also help, but aren’t nearly as convenient. 

Before I show you the best ways to prevent condensation on your water bottles, it’s important to better understand what exactly causes it to happen.

More or less, the air around us always contains water vapor. The hotter the air, the more vapor it’s able to hold. 

When you introduce an ice cold water bottle to hot, humid air, the air immediately surrounding the bottle cools down, dropping that air below its ‘dew point'. 

When air is cooled below its dew point, it’s unable to hold as much vapor, so some of it converts back to liquid water — which clings to your bottle in the form of droplets. 

So to prevent condensation from forming, we essentially just need a way to manage the exterior temperature of our bottle, keeping it at room temperature, or keep it from being exposed to the warm humid air

For more info on why condensation forms on water bottles, check out my deep dive on the topic

1. Use An Insulated Bottle

Insulated water bottles use dual-wall vacuum insulation to keep the water inside cold all day. Vacuum is the best insulator and because the inner and outer walls don't touch this means the exterior walls don't get cold from your drink.

Because the exterior walls of well insulated bottles don’t change temperature when filled, you don’t have to worry about condensation forming — no matter how ice cold the water inside your bottle is.

Vacuum-insulated bottles in particular are great at preventing condensation because a vacuum seal is by far the most effective insulator.

I constantly leave my Hydro Flask full of ice cold water in my steaming hot car on humid summer days and have never had an issue with sweating, aside from occasional minor condensation build up around the lid

Cheaper non-vacuum insulated bottles are likely to slow condensation, but aren't always able to fully prevent it in particularly harsh conditions. For example the Camelbak Podium Chill is dual walled but not vacuum insulated. It will prevent a lot of condensation but not all condensation.

If you notice your vacuum-insulated bottle sweating, the vacuum seal is probably compromised.

2. Insulate Your Bottle With A Neoprene Sleeve 

Nalgene Cool Stuff Neoprene for 32 Oz Bottle, Black/Blue

Adding insulation to a non-insulated bottle will help slow condensation build up. The easiest way to accomplish this is to pick up an insulating sleeve for your bottle. 

For example, Nalgene bottles are not insulated so you need a sleeve on them to stop condensation from happening. There are a variety of good sleeves available for Nalgene bottles that help to stop condensation from happening as well as keeping your drink colder for longer.

While any sleeve will help at least a bit, neoprene sleeves tend to work the best. After all, it’s the same stuff wetsuits are made of, so you know it’s a great insulator and handles moisture well. 

I’ve been using a Sok It sleeve for my Nalgenes lately and it works great, but really any neoprene should do the trick. 

Sok It Botl Sok Neoprene Insulating Sleeve (Fits 32 oz Nalgene)
$15.99

Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns this insulating sleeve will keep your Nalgene bottle cold for longer. Made from a durable no-scent 4mm neoprene with thick stitching this cover will stop sweating and keep your drink cold for hours.

Buy Now at Amazon
03/06/2024 11:32 pm GMT

While a sleeve won’t completely stop sweating, it’ll slow it down considerably and absorb any that still occurs. 

3. Make Your Own Sleeve/Wrap Up Your Bottle

If you’d rather go a more DIY route, you can insulate your bottle with something you probably already have laying around the house. 

I find tea towels are a great option as they are lightweight, easy to wash and help to both insulate your bottle and absorb any sweating or condensation that does occur. Paper towels, socks or even sweaters can also work.

It won’t insulate and slow condensation quite as well as a neoprene sleeve would, but it’ll do just as good a job at absorbing any condensation that still occurs. 

Here are a few of the many things you could use as a DIY bottle sleeve. Just use your imagination. 

  • A (clean) wool sock
  • A tea towel 
  • A microfiber cloth hand towel 
  • A piece of neoprene cut from an old wetsuit
  • A sweater

4. Drink Room Temperature Water

This Nalgene has room temperature water and so isn't sweating despite it being a warm humid day.

The only way to completely prevent sweat on a non-insulated water bottle is to avoid putting it in the conditions needed for condensation to form. 

Or more simply put, don’t drink cold water from your bottle in hot, humid temperatures. 

Room temperature water won’t create condensation because the temperature of your bottle will be so close to the temperature of the air surrounding it — meaning that the surrounding air won’t drop below its dew point and all that water vapor in the air will remain vapor.

But realistically, those hot, humid days are when we want ice cold water the most, making this a less than perfect solution for most of us.

5. Keep Your Bottle In A Ziplock Bag

If you’re keeping your bottle in a backpack or bag and want to prevent all your other stuff from getting soaked, you can seal your bottle in an airtight ziplock bag. 

Not only will the ziplock bag catch condensation, it can actually help slow it down too — by keeping humid atmospheric air away from your cold bottle. 

However, if your bottle is touching the ziplock bag then condensation can still form on the outside of the bag itself.

The more air you keep in the ziplock with your bottle, the more condensation will be slowed. Stick a folded paper towel inside as well to catch any condensation that still happens.