Hydro Flasks for the Cold, the Hot, and the Snuggly

I have a history with the Hydro Flask lineup of double-wall vacuum-insulated reusable water bottles. They’ve been there for me through the thick and thin of every snowshoe outing, every summer hike, and every camping trip.

My love affair with the Hydro Flask started with the 21 oz. Standard Mouth Insulated Water Bottle. Over the years, my Hydro Flask family has expanded. It includes the 18 oz. Wide Mouth Flask (Hydro Flask now offers an upgraded 20 oz) and the 64 oz. Wide Mouth Growler.

three Hydro Flask bottles sitting next to each other against a wall

The author’s Hydro Flask family. Photo: Ryan Alford

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True Workhorse

In my review of the Standard Mouth Water Bottle, I described it as a “workhorse.” The flask contained it all (before and after the trail): hot coffee, a cold energy drink, and some runny Cream of Wheat. It kept it hot, and it kept it cold—whatever the purpose.

Beyond using the flask for its sole purpose, I used the butt-end of the bottle to hammer in some tent stakes. It left a few marks on the flask’s non-toxic powder coating, but nothing that won’t prevent it from doing its job in the future.  Plus, my flask is covered in stickers—a personalized approach I take when most things have a blank slate. It was begging for some stickers, honest.

Read More: Standard Mouth Insulated Water Bottle Review: Hydro Flask is a Workhorse

The Comparison to Plastic

Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that most plastic water bottles have become a nuisance.

The lids tend to become misplaced—if they’re not attached—altogether disconnecting from the bottle and rendering it useless as a sippy cup.  Or, worse, the dishwasher machine melts the bottles beyond recognition (because I’m too lazy to hand-wash them). Then, they find their way into my recycle bin.

While every Hydro Flask is entirely recyclable, there’s no reason for it to find its way to the bin—unless it’s been used as a hammer and it’s damaged. So be kind to your Hydro Flask, for it will return your kindness by keeping your hots hot (for up to 12 hours) and your colds cold (for up to 24 hours). No plastic water bottle can compare!

Read More: The Waste-Free Solution to Trail Snacks: ECOlunchbox Splash Box Review

chart indicating the difference in mouth sizes for Hydro Flask water bottles

The Wide Mouth is approximately 1 cm wider than the standard size. Photo: Hydro Flask

Specific Uses

While the Standard Mouth Hydro Flask has multiple purposes, including, of course, snowshoeing, the two new Wide Mouth additions to my flask family have a more specified purpose.

The Wide Mouth Flask

The 18 oz. Wide Mouth Flask is my new go-to coffee mug. My Wide Mouth Flask has a Hydro Flip Lid, but the most recent 20 oz model includes the Flex Sip Lip. While it’s not quite as tall as the Standard Mouth—and has no metal opening that can scald your lip when drinking hot liquids—the 18 oz Wide Mouth flask is just right. It fits in most cup holders and doesn’t become top-heavy when full.

My one complaint is that my Hydro Flip lid doesn’t sit flush with the flask’s opening (upgraded in the newest model). This design means that coffee (or other liquids) can get lodged between the lip of the flask’s mouth and the cap—in essence, slightly dripping down your chest when dislodged. To prevent unwanted shirt stains, I only wear dark colors when drinking from a flask with the Hydro Flip lid in place.

Read More: Upgrade Your Camp Kitchen With These 6 Great Items

side by side: Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Flask 2012 and 2022

L: The blue version of the 18 oz flask in my Hydro Flask family. R: The upgraded 20 oz Wide Mouth. Photos: Hydro Flask

The Growler

The 64 oz. Wide Mouth Growler is a hoss. I wouldn’t consider it a water bottle; it’s more like a milk keg (and functions like one).

And why is it called the Growler? It’s simple: It can carry a growler of beer (half a gallon… or 64 ounces). Sure, you can put other liquid refreshments in the growler, but why would you? Use it for beer. Use it for its sole purpose. You can even take your Hydro Flask Growler winter camping or for an overnight snowshoe outing for a tasty apres beverage!

The first beer to enter the bowels of my Hydro Flask Growler was 64 ounces of Tommyknocker Brewery’s Imperial Maple Nut Brown Ale. So tasty! Yes, please have some. And have it in a Hydro Flask Growler.

Read More: Beer Review: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

product photo: Hydro Flask 64oz Growler

The most recent version of the Hydro Flask 64 oz Growler. Photo: Hydro Flask

Do you own any Hydro Flasks for your snowshoeing adventures? What is your favorite? Please let us know in the comments below.

This article was first published on December 10, 2012, and was most recently updated on January 12, 2023.

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About the author

Ryan Alford

Ryan Alford is the founder of Snowshoe Magazine and River Sports Magazine. He now spends his days in Texas working for Lockheed Martin but dreaming of being back in the mountains of his home state of Colorado.

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