Buying a brand new stainless steel bottle for your backcountry adventures is all but easy. There are tons of options on today’s market, and not two bottles are the same. Some cost less and some cost more, and this typically depends on the build quality of these products and the ease-of-use features found on them.
In this article, I’ll be comparing a stainless steel bottle made by Hydro Flask, one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of trekking drinkware, with a bottle made by EcoVessel, a Colorado-based company famous for making well-insulated drinkware that is also relatively affordable.
EcoVessel vs Hydro Flask – A Product Overview
EcoVessel Boulder Water Bottle
- Weight: 8.8 oz
- Material: Stainless steel
- Insulation: TriMax Triple insulation
- Sizes Available: 2
- Colors Available: 9
- Impressive insulation properties
- Durable stainless steel body
- Very lightweight
- The silicone bumper falls off easily
Even though it costs around $20 less than the Hydro Flask model, this bottle excels in almost every department.
Its TriMax Triple insulation works wonders when it comes to temperature retention, and the fact that this bottle is made to last is obvious right out of the box. After all, EcoVessel backs it with a 100-year warranty – pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?
Hydro Flask Trail Series Water Bottle
- Weight: 10.5 oz
- Material: Stainless steel
- Insulation: TempShield insulation
- Sizes Available: 3
- Colors Available: 3
- Simple design that just works
- Durable stainless steel body
- Stylish look
The stainless steel drinkware made by Hydro Flask is among the most popular in the world for a good reason. Just like the rest of the company’s bottles, this Trail Series model is durable, simple, and easy to use.
It is held in high regard by millions of outdoor enthusiasts all over the globe, even despite its hefty price tag.
EcoVessel vs Hydro Flask – The Comparison
One of the best things about the EcoVessel Boulder Water Bottle is how good it is when it comes to keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold.
The bottle uses EcoVessel’s proprietary TriMax Triple insulation, which is also its primary selling point. The manufacturer claims that this technology allows Boulder to maintain the temperature of hot beverages for up to 14 hours and cold drinks for up to stunning 72 hours.
In reality, the model is incapable of retaining the temperature of cold and hot liquids for that long, but it certainly beats Hydro Flask’s model in this department – even though it costs significantly less.
During my tests, the model managed to retain the temperature of cold water for about 36 hours, which is still very impressive.
The Hydro Flask Trail Series Water Bottle, on the other hand, provides standard HF temperature regulation performance – 12 hours for hot beverages and 24 hours for cold ones.
And while the model effortlessly keeps cold water cold for an entire day, it struggles to keep hot coffee or tea hot for more than about 8 hours. Therefore, EcoVessel Boulder is a clear winner in this category.
As I said, the fact that the EcoVessel Boulder was made to last is obvious right out of the box. Manufactured with 2 layers of kitchen-grade stainless steel, it feels very sturdy and rugged.
One extremely important feature that makes this bottle more durable than its rival is the protective silicone bumper, which is located at the bottom. Unfortunately, it falls off quite easily.
What about the durability of the Hydro Flask Trail Series model? Truth be told, this is one of the most hard-wearing and long-lasting products of this type you can get on today’s market. I dropped it onto a concrete surface from the height of about 4 feet and it didn’t end up with a single scratch or dent.
The Ease of Use
When it comes to the overall ease of use, Hydro Flask is the absolute king among stainless steel bottle brands. The HF model I’ve decided to feature in this article is no exception, as it sports an extremely straightforward design, with a slim shape and a convenient carrying handle.
And while this slim shape allows the Hydro Flask Trail Series Water Bottle to easily fit into car cupholders, it also makes cleaning a bit more difficult than it should be. The height of over 10” makes reaching the bottom of the bottle with a brush a bit tricky. Cleaning the gasket and the threads on the lip and the lid is as easy as it gets, though.
The EcoVessel bottle is just as easy to use. After all, this is one of those flasks that provide condensation-free comfort – your hands will remain dry no matter the temperature of the drink inside the bottle.
On top of that, the Boulder comes equipped with a dual-opening lid, which allows easy drinking and filling, as well as with an integrated carrying strap, just like its rival.
I think it’s pretty obvious that Hydro Flask saw hundreds of user complaints about the bulkiness of some of their bottles because this is the very first version I’ve tested of their newer and lighter models.
I can safely say that I’m impressed – this particular Trail Series bottle retains the insulating properties of its predecessors while weighing just a bit above 10 oz for a 24 oz variant.
However, the EcoVessel Boulder bottle weighs even less – only 8.8 ounces. This turns it into one of the most lightweight 24 oz stainless steel bottles you can buy on today’s market.
It is, in my opinion, a great choice for those who pack light and move fast. But still, the weight difference of just 1.7 oz shouldn’t be the deciding factor for those having a dilemma of which of these two bottles to go with – they’re both quite lightweight.
One major problem with these types of bottles is that we use them to store drinks with a powerful flavor, such as hot coffee and tea, while also relying on them to keep something as simple as water fresh and cool.
In other words, we expect quite a lot from our insulated stainless steel bottles – we want them to retain the temperature of our drinks while not retaining their flavors at the same time.
Truth be told, neither of these two bottles is particularly good in this regard. I’ve noticed a fair amount of lingering flavor from the drinks I filled them with, even after thoroughly cleaning them.
One interesting feature of the EcoVessel bottle is that it can be used with a removable strainer, allowing you to use the model as an insulated tea infuser.
The Hydro Flask Trail Series Water Bottle is all but cheap. Its overall performance and the quality of materials indicate that this is a great water bottle, but one that comes at a cost. It is, in my opinion, a great option for occasional hikes and daily use due to its versatility and simple design.
However, I find it hard to recommend this model as a one-quiver bottle to those who are not ready to pay a premium for this type of product. For the majority of people, the EcoVessel Boulder is a better choice – it’s as simple as that.
This bottle’s value for the money is quite hard to beat, as it outperforms its rival in several different categories while costing around $20 less than it. To put it simply, for the price it comes at, the EcoVessel Boulder is a steal.
EcoVessel vs Hydro Flask – The Verdict
In my opinion, the EcoVessel bottle has a better value for the money and stands as the winner of this comparison. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider Hydro Flask Trail Series Water Bottle for purchase – it’s just that its rival offers the same features (and even outperforms it in some departments) at a lower price.
Check out my post on the best Hydro Flask alternatives if you want to see what else the market has to offer. I’ve also done a Hydro Flask vs Contigo comparison and a Hydro Flask vs Healthy Human comparison. You may want to read my Hydro Flask vs RTIC comparison as well.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.