Fifty Fifty vs Hydro Flask: two of the biggest players in hiking water bottles. They make expertly-insulated products that are capable of keeping your liquids both cold and hot. In this article, we’ve taken an extensive look at both companies’ flasks, to see which one might best suit your needs. If you want reviews of Fifty/Fifty and Hydro Flask water bottles, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on for your perfect bottle!
Why Fifty Fifty vs Hydro Flask Brands – Two of the Best
Both companies craft their products from double-wall vacuum insulated stainless steel, and they are two of the highest-quality products on the market. But why is this great design so useful? For a number of reasons:
- Stainless steel is much more durable than plastic or wood, so these flasks will last longer – and they can withstand the lumps, bumps, and bangs they might take along a hefty hike. You don’t want to be left with a smashed plastic bottle in the middle of a tiring trek. Stainless steel offers great drop protection.
- Both of these bottles will keep your hot drink hot and your cold drink cold.
- Cheaper bottles can sweat, making your bottle slippery. Neither of these bottles will sweat, so there’s no condensation on the bottle.
Aren’t These Two Bottles Exactly the Same?
No. Fifty/Fifty and Hydro Flask bottles are very similar, and they use the same technology. And rumor has it that they might be made by the same creators. But there are small differences. Here’s what both bottles offer:
Hydro Flask Design and Features – Our Review
The Hydro Flask team has gone all out on customization, which means you can get your hands on (and mouth around) whatever type of water bottle works best for you. Through the official Hydro Flask brand site, you can create your very own bottle. Your options are:
- Size: you’ve got seven to choose from: 12oz, 16oz, 18oz, 20oz, 32oz, 40oz and 64oz.
- Mouth size: your options are standard and wide.
- Lid type: here you have two choices; one with a carry handle, and another which prioritizes the flow of drinking.
- Colors: you can customize the color of your lid, the color of your bottle and the color of your bottle boot (more on that later), allowing for thousands of different color combinations.
The flask will keep your cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and your hot ones hot for 6 hours.
Another useful feature of the Hydro Flask is the new boot offering, which sticks to the bottom of your flask to stop it from slipping – and from getting damaged. It’s like a silicone sleeve for the bottom of your bottle.
Fifty Fifty Design and Features – Our Review
Again, this one is massively customizable:
- Size: you have seven options again. This time, your choices are 120z, 18oz, 25oz, 34oz, 40oz, 64oz and a 25oz wine growler.
- Lid: most sizes come with two lid options, either a grip handle or a flip-top. With the flip top, you then have a further two options – a straw or a pouring hole.
- Colors: lots of color options, but nowhere near as many as Hydro Flask.
Fifty/Fifty also offers straw lids and paracord handles for their flasks, but these are sold separately.
Annoyingly, Fifty Fifty lids occasionally have a slight flaw – the rubber gasket inside can wear away and break over time, which could be a frustration. That said, Fifty/Fifty offer free replacement lids.
Again, The Fifty/Fifty flask will keep your cold drinks cold for 24 hours, and your hot ones hot for up to 6 hours.
Has Anyone Tested These Temperature Claims?
Yes, in the test, performed in 2017, they filled many bottles with cold water measured at 47 degrees Fahrenheit. They then measured these temperatures every hour for a period of ten hours. Two of these bottles were the Hydro Flask 24oz and the Fifty/Fifty 25oz.
There were tiny differences in the temperature shifts over the ten-hour period, but both bottles basically performed the same. Although a thermometer could pick up tiny differences in the temperatures, your mouth would never be able to. So as far as their ability to keep cold water cold, both bottles perform equally.
In a nutshell, all top-quality insulated bottles perform basically equally when it comes to keeping water cool.
Though they didn’t perform an experiment in keeping drinks hot, it’s fairly safe to assume that both brands will perform equally well. The technology used in keeping drinks hot is exactly the same technology that allows them to stay cold. So there’s no reason why either bottle should perform better at keeping hot drinks hot.
Hot drinks in these types of bottles typically stay hot for around 6 hours.
That said, if you’re looking for a bottle EXCLUSIVELY for hot drinks, you’re better buying something built specifically for that purpose.
How Do Insulated Bottles Work?
If you want to buy a bottle from Fifty/Fifty or Hydro Flask, you might be wondering how these insulated bottles work. There are a few different things going on here. Let us take you through the different ways heat is transferred:
- Conduction: if two things of different temperatures touch each other, these temperatures can be transferred. If your cold bottle touches your hot hands, for example, your water will get warmer over time through heat transfer.
- Convection: when something hot cools through exposure to air. You make a hot cup of coffee, and it, over time, becomes cold. That’s convection.
- Radiation: as molecules in the liquid move around inside your cup, they start to change temperature.
Cold liquids become room temperature through these three processes, and hot liquids become room temperature because of these processes. And that’s how these flasks stop you from having room temperature water – at least for a while.
Thanks for the Science Lesson. But Which is the Better Bottle? And do Either Have Any Major Flaws?
It depends on what you’re most concerned about. Do you want a large range of colors? What size are you looking for? What type of lid would you like? What’s your price range?
If the price is your concern, Fifty/Fifty flasks are a little cheaper, making them the better option for those looking to save a buck or two. They also offer slightly bigger bottle sizes.
For customization and perhaps reliability, Hydro Flask might be your best bet. And All Outdoors Guide seems to agree, making it their top pick from the two options.
In terms of flaws, we’ve mentioned the slight chance that the rubber inside your Fifty/Fifty bottle might erode over time. But neither bottle has any major shortcomings. However, without brushes, cleaning can be an issue, I use the Oxo Good Grips Water Bottle Cleaning Set.
Are There Any Other Good Brands on the Market?
Yeah! There are plenty of them. Although Fifty/Fifty vs Hydro Flask two of the leading competitors – and the preferred choice of many hikers everywhere – there are plenty of other brands worth checking out. These include S’well, Takeya, Klean Kanteen, Yeti, Eco Vessel, and more. Many of these are excellent picks too.
There are a few great things about both Fifty/Fifty and Hydro Flasks. Firstly, they’re both super adaptable and customizable – you can alter colors, sizes, lids and more. Depending on what type of hike you’re venturing out on, you’ll have different needs.
If it’s a short hike, you might want a small bottle with a simple lid that will keep your coffee hot. If you’re on a more epic trek, you might want a huge bottle with a carry handle that’s easy to grip. So the best thing about choosing between Fifty/Fifty and Hydro Flasks is that, between the two of them, you’ll absolutely be able to find a flask that fits both your style taste and your hike type. You can even buy several types of flasks if you like to do hikes of different types.
In terms of differences, Fifty Fifty flasks are slightly more affordable, while Hydro Flasks are more customizable and marginally more reliable.
But the most important thing here is the type of hike that you want to do. Think about where you want to hike, how long your hike is, and what you want your bottle to look and feel like. Then you’ll be able to make the best decision about which bottle you should go for.
But whether it’s a Fifty Fifty Flask or a Hydro Flask, you can rest assured that your drinking vessel will be up to the job. They’re both fashionable, durable, easy-cleaning, and insulated. Both brands offer great products that give you exactly that for good hydration on a good hike!
If you want to get a Hydro Flask, but are not sure which one, check out my post on different Hydro Flask sizes.
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.