Travel Water Bottles — Stay Hydrated and Reduce Your Environmental Impact!

Travel water bottles come in various guises. Some allow you to drink water from almost any source and others pack down super small when not in use. Occasionally reusable travel bottles are insulated, while others are ultra-lightweight.

Whatever type of reusable water bottle you opt for, you’ll reduce your plastic footprint and ensure you stay hydrated on the road! 

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Grayl UltraPress
Best Filtered Bottle for Travel
  • Purifier
  • Super Tough
  • Easy-To-Use
Vapur Water Bottle
Best Collapsible Travel Water Bottle
  • Collapsible
  • Super Lightweight
  • Durable 
Super Sparrow Tritan Sports Water Bottle
Best Plastic Travel Water Bottle
  • Heavy Duty
  • Easy To Use
  • Fits Easily Into Bottle Pockets 

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Reusable Water Bottles for Travel — Top Choices

Grayl UltraPress

Grayl UltraPress

  • Price Range: $$$$$
  • Best Feature: It purifies your water
  • Feature To Improve: It's bulky with limited capacity 
  • Purifier — The Grayl UltraPress purifies water from almost any source. Using a combination of electro-adsorption and activated carbon, the UltraPress safely removes bacteria, protozoa, minerals, heavy metals, sediment and viruses from your water. This means you can drink from rivers, streams, lakes and even from taps in countries with questionable water quality!


  • Easy To Use — To purify water, pull the bottle apart and fill the outer with dirty water. Slide the inner bottle into place and press down (ensure you open the cap half a twist). This forces water up through the filter, cleaning it on the way! It can take a bit of force to get the water moving but this is one of the fastest purifiers we’ve ever used!


  • Volume — The UltraPress only holds 500ml of clean water. You may find this nowhere near enough to get you through the day. We suggest pairing the UltraPress with a lightweight or collapsible travel bottle for the most effective setup. Use the UltraPress to clean drinking water at your accommodation before pouring it into another bottle to take out for the day! Over a long trip, this will save you a ton of money on bottled water!


  • Rugged — Grayl make all their filter bottles from tough food-safe plastics. Even while full of water, the UltraPress can survive a three-metre drop onto concrete. It’s built to be taken on hardcore expeditions so will keep going as long as you do!


  • GeoPress — If you find the limited volume of the UltraPress a turn-off, consider the Grayl GeoPress. This larger bottle holds an additional 200ml of clean water. Its increased size and weight make it more difficult to travel with but it’s excellent for hikers not wanting to carry an extra bottle! 
  • Makes water from almost any source drinkable 
  • Rugged
  • Easy to use 
  • Big and heavy for the volume of water it holds
  • The filter needs replacing every 150 litres
  • Expensive initial investment

Vapur Bottle

Vapur Bottle

  • Price Range: $
  • Best Feature: Collapsible
  • Feature To Improve: Hard to clean 
  • Collapsible — Vapur’s Anti-Bottles can all be rolled or folded when not in use. They compress down small enough to fit in your pocket and can be squeezed into any leftover space in your backpack!


  • Durable — The triple-ply plastic construction is much more rugged than you’d believe at first glance. Over time, it will show fold lines and scuff marks but much like an old pair of jeans or leather jacket, these tell the story of its use. In our experience, the weakest point of the bottle is where the thread is attached to the bottle itself and this can be prone to breaking if you drop the bottle when it’s full of water. Unlike other collapsible bottles, the Anti-Bottle is dishwasher-safe and freezable.


  • Range of Bottles — Vapur produce a range of collapsible bottles. These come in various shapes, sizes and designs. The 1-litre Anti-Bottle is our favourite but their bottles range in size from 500ml up to 1.5 litres. They even have a pet-friendly range and bottles built for carrying wine… what more could you want?!


  • Mouthpiece — The Anti-Bottle features a flip-top for easy drinking. The flow rate is very high, so can take some getting used to, especially with the soft nature of the bottle. There’s also a carabiner connected to the lid. This can be used to attach the bottle to your bag or used to secure the bottle in its rolled-up state. Top tip! Do not squeeze the bottle while drinking – unless you want to wear the contents!


  • Sustainability — As well as reducing your need for single-use plastic bottles, Vapur bottles can be returned for recycling at the end of their life in exchange for 50% off your next purchase.
  • Doesn't take up much room
  • Easy to fill
  • Lightweight
  • Hard to make stand-up when it's not full
  • Drinking from it takes some getting used to

Super Sparrow Tritan Water Bottle – TRAVEL WATER BOTTLES

Super Sparrow Tritan Water Bottle – TRAVEL WATER BOTTLES

  • Price Range: $$
  • Best Feature: Easy to use and drink from
  • Feature To Improve: Water leaks through the air hole if you don't hold the bottle right
  • Capacity – The Tritan Sports Water Bottle from Super Sparrow is available in a range of sizes, from 350ml up to 1500ml! This means, no matter your requirements, there’s a bottle out there for you. We recommend the 1-litre model for travel. It fits easily into backpack bottle pockets and holds enough water for a day out. The 1500ml model is excellent for hiking or days out but only if your backpack has big bottle pockets. It’s too large for most standard side pockets.


  • Leakproof – Super Sparrow’s Tritan Sport bottles all feature leakproof but easy-to-open lids. To fill the plastic water bottle, it’s best to take off the lid completely, so you have access to the wide mouth. To drink, undo the catch with one hand, which pops the cap, revealing the spout. When done up, the catch prevents the bottle opening, ensuring your water stays where it’s supposed to be – inside the bottle! It’s also worth noting that you need to drink with the bottle relativity straight, otherwise, water leaks out of the air hole and can spill down your face…


  • Rugged – The Tritan plastic used to make Super Sparrow’s Sports Water Bottles is super tough. It’s BPA and BPS-free, as well as impact and shatter-resistant. This means your bottle can take a lot of abuse without failing. The weakest point of the bottle appears to be the catch that keeps the lid in place though – if you drop the bottle onto this, it may break and leave you unable to keep the cap closed.


  • Design – As well as being available in a range of sizes, the Tritan Sports Bottles come in a range of colours and in either clear plastic or a matte finish. They have a matching carry strap which can make moving the bottle easier, although it’s not detachable, so is hard to keep clean. Super Sparrow also has a range of other bottles made from metal or plastic. Some have straw lids and some do not. 
  • Range of colours and sizes available
  • Wide mouth makes it easy to fill and clean
  • Can be opened and closed with one hand
  • Water can leak through the airhole while drinking
  • The carry strap isn't detachable

Polar Bottle

Polar Bottle

  • Price Range: $
  • Best Feature: Lightweight insulation
  • Feature To Improve: More capacity would be welcome
  • Built for Cyclists — Polar Bottles are built for cyclists. This means they’re rugged, lightweight and easy to drink from while moving!


  • Insulation — Polar Bottle produce both single-skin and insulated bottles. The insulated bottles are slightly larger which is to be expected. That said, Polar Bottle’s proprietary Tri-layer insulation system is much thinner and lighter than traditional vacuum insulation! It’s also much more durable, able to survive the knocks and bangs of cycling as well as travel!


  • Volume — Polar Bottles are available in a range of sizes. The smaller 440ml bottles aren’t all that useful for travellers but the larger 710ml and 880ml versions are more suitable. The 880ml bottle is only available in a non-insulated single-skin model.


  • Sports Cap — Built for cyclists and athletes, Polar Bottles all feature some form of sports cap. The Surge Cap is completely leakproof, requiring you to squeeze the bottle to get liquid out. The standard sports cap allows you to get to your water just by sucking. Either option makes getting to your water easy, even while on the move!


  • Lifetime Warranty — Polar Bottle stand by their products. They promise to repair or replace any bottle that malfunctions due to manufacturing defects! Note that this warranty only stands for the ‘practical lifetime’ of the bottle. 
  • Lightweight insulation
  • Durable
  • Well priced 
  • Limited volume options
  • Some models must be squeezed to get liquid out

Platypus Soft Bottle

Platypus Soft Bottle

  • Price Range: $
  • Best Feature: Packable
  • Feature To Improve: Can be hard to clean 
  • Collapsible — The Platypus Soft Bottle is one of our favourite collapsible water bottles. The thin plastic construction allows it to be rolled, folded or squashed down super small when not in use. This makes the bottle easy to hide in the nooks and crannies of your backpack!


  • Capacity — The Soft Bottle can hold 1 litre of water which is ideal for travelling. It’s enough water to keep you going but isn’t so big that it weighs you down while on the move!


  • Standard Thread — The Platypus Soft Bottle uses a standard thread on the cap. This means that although the lid is quite easy to lose, it can be replaced with a cap from most other drink bottles. It’s worth being aware that other lids may allow water to leak out. The standard thread also means the Soft Bottle is compatible with water filters like the Sawyer Squeeze or Platypus’ own QuickDraw Microfilter.


  • Well Priced — It’s fair to say that the Platypus Soft Bottle is better than well priced — it’s a bargain. Available for around $10-$15USD, this bottle can last for months of backpacking if looked after!


  • Other Bottles — Platypus also produce a range of collapsible bottles in different volumes ranging from 750ml to 6 litres! If the 1-litre Soft Bottle doesn’t appeal to you, check out the rest of their range. They even produce a bottle specifically designed to carry wine… 🍷
  • Super lightweight
  • Packs down really small
  • Durable 
  • Hard to clean
  • Can be hard to hold
  • The lid is easy to lose

Hydro Flask Trail Series

Hydro Flask Trail Series

  • Price Range: $$$
  • Best Feature: Very light for an insulated bottle
  • Feature To Improve: Dents easily
  • MetalPlastic bottles can leach chemicals into your water whereas metal ones do not. If this concerns you, this metal bottle is a great pick. As the Hyrdo Flask Trail bottle is made from stainless steel, it requires less washing than its plastic counterparts – although we still recommend washing your water bottles often!


  • 1-litre — Okay, it’s not quite a litre but with a capacity of 946ml, it’s close enough! This is enough water to get you through without being too cumbersome in your bag. If you’re after a smaller travel bottle, there’s also a 710ml and 620ml version in this range.


  • Wide Mouth — The two larger Hyrdo Flask Trail bottles feature a wide mouth. This makes them easy to clean and allows you to insert ice cubes or fruit slices for a cool refreshing drink! The bottle is compatible with Hydro Flask’s Hydro Flip Lid and Wide Mouth Straw Lid if you prefer those to the standard screw top.


  • Insulation — Hydro Flask’s own Tempshield Insulation keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and hot drinks hot for 12. It’s also 25% lighter than traditional Hydro Flask insulation!


  • Lightweight — All Trail Series bottles have been engineered to be as lightweight as possible. As well as super light insulation, the bottles are made from thinner materials to reduce weight while maintaining strength. The cap features honeycomb insulation, as well as a perforated carry strap and aluminium pivot points. When empty, the bottle weighs just 350g! 
  • Lightweight
  • Insulated
  • Dents easily
  • Pricey 

LARQ Bottle Movement

LARQ Bottle Movement

  • Price Range: $$$$$$ 
  • Best Feature: Cleans your water
  • Feature To Improve: The price
  • Clean Water — The LARQ Bottle Movement PureVis features an innovative cap which bombards your water with UV-C light. Ultraviolet light in this wavelength (180-280 nanometres) kills or inactivates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in your water. This means you can make tap water safe to drink while travelling, saving you from the need to buy any water while on the move! The UV-C light also helps to keep your bottle smelling fresh and reduces the need to wash your bottle after each use.


  • No Insulation — The Movement PureVis Bottle from LARQ has no insulation, allowing you to carry more water! The total volume of the bottle is 950ml. 


  • Multiple Bottles — If you’re keen on having an insulated bottle for your travels, LARQ produce the LARQ Bottle Movement. This insulated version holds roughly 200ml less water and weighs 100-150g more, depending on the size you opt for. Both the insulated and non-insulated models come in two sizes: 500ml/740ml for the insulated bottle and 710/950ml for the non-insulated version. LARQ also produce a filtered bottle but the filter doesn’t remove viruses or bacteria – instead, it deals with minerals and particulates.  


  • Mouthpiece — LARQ bottles have a wider mouth than your standard drink bottle. There’s just enough room to squeeze ice cubes into the bottle if you wish. However, it’s not as wide as a proper wide-mouth bottle, so you’ll still need a bottle brush to give LARQ bottles a deep clean.
  • Cleans water
  • Durable
  • Has a cool futuristic vibe
  • Expensive
  • Needs to be kept charged
  • Only cleans clear water

Katadyn BeFree

Katadyn BeFree

  • Price Range: $$$
  • Best Feature: Ultralight Filter
  • Feature To Improve: Filter can clog if not looked after
  • Filter — Katadyn’s BeFree takes collapsible water bottles one step further by including a filter in the bottle’s lid. While this filter won’t remove viruses, making it unsuitable for cleaning tap water, it’s more than enough for cleaning water from fast-flowing streams or rivers. When new, the bottle can filter up to two litres of water per minute!


  • Soft — Unlike other collapsible water bottles on this list, the BeFree feels almost soft to the touch. The silicone-like construction compresses easily but isn’t built to be folded or rolled. Instead, you can squash it down and find a home for it in your backpack! It won’t compress quite as small as other bottles due to the filter but it’s still much easier to pack than a rigid bottle.


  • Wide Mouth — The wide mouth on the BeFree makes it easy to fill, even if your only option is a small stream or trickle of water. The sports cap makes drinking while on the move easy enough and the fast flow rate means you don’t get the frustratingly slow trickle offered by some filters.


  • Volume — Our favourite version of this filter bottle is the 1-litre model. It also comes in a 600ml version which is slightly cheaper but less practical unless you’re willing to decant clean water into a larger bottle.
  • Filters your water
  • Ultralight
  • Easy to clean 
  • Not a purifier
  • Not the most durable bottle
  • Filter needs to be replaced every 1000 litres

Why Should You Travel With a Reusable Water Bottle?

  • Eco-Friendly

Reusable water bottles reduce the amount of single-use plastic flooding into our oceans. It’s estimated that plastic bottles make up 14% of all litter. A countless number of these find their way into our oceans, causing havoc for sea life. If we lose enough of these aquatic organisms, all life on Earth will be impacted.

Water bottles in daypack
Travelling with your own bottles reduces your plastic footprint!
  • Saves You Money

Bottled water can take up more of your travel budget than you’d expect. During my first backpacking trip, I spent over $500USD on bottled water alone! By travelling with a reusable bottle, you can save huge amounts of money. 

Filtered travel bottles can allow you to drink from any source but you don’t need one of these to save money on water! Any travel bottle can be filled up at refill points while travelling. In Thailand, a litre of water from a refill point costs just 1THB (3 cents)! 

  • Helps You Remain Hydrated

Water is always important. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue and even confusion. Even being a bit thirsty is uncomfortable — especially in hot climates. Staying hydrated will ensure you’re well enough to get the most out of your travels! 

A reusable water bottle ensures you have access to drinking water when you need it!

What to Look for in a Travel Water Bottle


Almost all reusable water bottles are made from metal, plastic or glass. Each material comes with advantages and disadvantages.

  • Metal

Metal travel bottles are durable AF. A good quality metal water bottle will easily last years before it needs to be replaced. Much like a good pair of jeans, a metal water bottle tells the story of its life through the knocks, scrapes and dents! 

LARQ Bottle on table 2
Metal bottles are the most durable option!

However, metal bottles weigh slightly more than plastic options and if insulated, tend to hold much less water than you’d expect from looking at them. 

Metal bottles are best for travellers who are hard on their gear but aren’t concerned about how much their backpack weighs. 

  • Plastic

Plastic travel bottles are the most common. They’re cheap, lightweight and relatively durable — although not as durable as metal bottles. They come in a vast range of shapes and styles, so you’ll always be able to find a suitable option for your trip.

Plastic bottles are rarely insulated, so your water will quickly warm up if you’re exploring on a hot day! But the biggest downside of plastic bottles is that they’re plastic and as we all know, plastic is a huge problem. When they reach the end of their usable life, most plastic bottles end up in landfill, taking thousands of years to break down. But using a single plastic bottle for the length of your backpacking trip is much better than buying fresh, single-use plastic bottles every day! 

The low weight, good price point and relative durability mean plastic bottles are best for most travellers – especially if you’re trying to reduce, rather than eliminate, the amount of plastic you use! 

  • Glass

Reusable glass bottles are common in day-to-day life but we don’t recommend them for travel. They’re heavy and far less durable than the plastic or metal varieties. 

We don’t recommend glass bottles for travel!

Filters & Purifiers

Some reusable water bottles come with filtration systems built-in. Depending on the type and quality of the filter, these can allow you to drink water from lakes and streams or even from hotel taps!

If you’re buying a filtered water bottle, ensure you know whether it’s a purifier or filter. 

grayl ultrapress filtering water
The Grayl UltraPress is our favourite filtered bottle for travel!

Water filters remove minerals, particles, protozoa and even bacteria from your water — this makes them excellent for drinking from lakes or streams away from human populations. 

Purifiers remove the aforementioned nasties as well as viruses from your water — this means they allow you to drink tap water no matter where you are in the world. 

Size and Capacity

Most of the bottles on our list hold around a litre of water. Honestly, there’s not much point in carrying a bottle that’s a lot smaller. They’re not that much easier to pack and will leave you constantly searching for a refill point — especially if you’re somewhere hot! 

A litre bottle generally fits comfortably into a daypack and holds enough water to get you through most activities.

Bottle Mouth

The mouthpiece and caps can vary wildly in water bottles for travel. Your travel style and personal preference will play pivotal roles in deciding which is best for you! 

Drinking from LARQ bottle 2
Make sure you like the mouthpiece on your bottle!
  • Wide-mouthed bottles are easy to clean and refill. However, the wide mouth makes spills much more likely — especially if you’re drinking while walking or in a moving vehicle!  
  • Built-in straws are relatively common in travel bottles. The mouthpiece on these bottles can usually be secured when not in use. When needed, they flip open with ease, saving you from fiddling with screwtops. However, they’re often harder to clean. 
  • Tethered lids are chronically absent in travel bottles. However, if you find a bottle with one, it’s worth holding onto. The tether prevents you from losing the cap and rendering your bottle useless. My biggest complaint with Grayl’s UltraPress is the untethered cap! 
  • Sports caps are a great invention! They don’t need to be unscrewed and can easily be opened with one hand. They’re perfect for hikers and travellers who don’t want to stop moving each time they take a drink! 
  • Sipper lids can be similar to those found in bottles with built-in straws but without the straw itself — so you’ll need to tip the bottle to get at your water. Less sophisticated sipper lids are very similar to those found on reusable coffee cups. These are great if you find sucking through a straw just too much effort… (I include myself in this lazy group of travellers! ?)Much like bottles with built-in straws, sipper lids can be harder to clean due to small, hard-to-reach areas! 


Let’s face it, price is important. While some water bottles on our list seem extortionate, they will save you money throughout your backpacking trip. The longer your adventure, the more money a reusable bottle will save you!

You’ll find reusable water bottle prices range from $10-$200USD depending on the quality and features. If you’re looking for a bog-standard bottle, spending more than $10-$20USD is unnecessary. However, if you want a bottle packed full of amazing features, expect to spend upwards of $100USD. 


If you want to keep your drink hot or cold all day, an insulated bottle is for you. Often, insulated travel bottles will maintain the temperature of what’s inside for 12-24 hours! The downside of these bottles is their size and weight. 

Travel Water Bottles – A Round-Up

Travel water bottles help you stay hydrated, save money and reduce your plastic usage. Our favourite bottle for travel is the Platypus Soft Bottle, closely followed by the Vapur Anti-Bottle. If collapsible bottles aren’t for you, the Polar Bottle or Super Sparrow’s Tritan Sports Bottle is a great choice. However, if you need a bottle to clean tap water, the Grayl UltraPress can’t be beaten! For hiking trips, the Katadyn BeFree is a great choice.

Tim Ashdown | Gear Specialist

After a life-changing motorcycle accident, Tim decided life was too short to stay cooped up in his home county of Norfolk, UK. Since then, he has travelled Southeast Asia, walked the Camino de Santiago and backpacked South America. His first book, From Paralysis to Santiago, chronicles his struggle to recover from the motorcycle accident and will be released later this year.

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