Hydro Flask on a porch

Ozark Trail vs Hydro Flask

If you’re currently shopping for a new water bottle and your choice has boiled down to Ozark Trail and Hydro Flask, you’re in the right place. To help you make the final decision, I’ll take a closer look at the two most popular bottles designed by these brands and see how they stack up against each other.

Ozark Trail 24 oz Wide Mouth Bottle 

Black Ozark Trail bottle

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1 lb  
  • Material: Stainless steel 
  • Colors Available: 3

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Due to its low price, this stainless steel water bottle is a great choice for those on a budget. Although not as durable as its rival, it provides awe-inspiring thermoregulatory performance that is on par with the Hydro Flask model. 

Furthermore, this Ozark Trail bottle is relatively lightweight, has a convenient handle and a pop-open lid, and is very easy to fill with ice due to its wide mouth. For other alternatives to Hydro Flask, you may want to check out our Hydro Flask vs Swig Savvy comparison.

Pros:

  • Surprisingly impressive thermoregulatory performance 
  • Pop-open lid & carrying handle 
  • Easy to fill with ice

Cons:

  • Not very durable

Hydro Flask 24 oz Flex Cap Bottle

Clementine Hydro Flask

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1 lb  
  • Material: Stainless steel 
  • Colors Available: 3

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One of Hydro Flask’s best-selling products, the 24 oz Flex Cap Bottle looks and works just as advertised. This exceptionally stylish product effortlessly maintains the temperature of one’s drinks for a long time, while also sporting a straightforward design that makes using it a breeze. 

Moreover, the model is durable and resistant to dents and scratches. If you’re looking for genuine sturdiness, excellent performance, and simple construction, this is the bottle to go for. 

Pros:

  • Keep drinks hot and cold for a long time 
  • Simple but stylish design 
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • More expensive

The Comparison 

The Construction Quality

Orange Hydro Flask with a flex strap

One of the main reasons why more and more outdoor enthusiasts choose to go with stainless steel instead of plastic bottles is because the former type is longer-lasting. Furthermore, these kinds of bottles provide far better durability and lower weight than their glass-made cousins. 

Regarding durability, it’s pretty easy to see why the Hydro Flask bottle costs more than its rival. While it may not look like the most hard-wearing product of this type (due to its colorful, not-so-serious design), it is actually among the toughest water containers you can get for your money. During my drop tests, the bottle suffered virtually no dents – only a few very small scratches. 

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Ozark Trail 24 oz Wide Mouth bottle. After all, this is a budget-oriented model, and the fact that it’s made of stainless steel doesn’t mean that much: the model is quite susceptible to punctures and scratches. However, this shouldn’t be a big issue if you’re careful with your outdoor gear. 

In summary, the Hydro Flask is a clear winner in this department. This is the model to go for if you want your stainless steel bottle to be genuinely durable. The Ozark Trail bottle, on the other hand, should be bought only by those who are very careful with their outdoor gear. 

The Performance

Hydro Flask in a gym

The other big reason why more and more hikers opt for refillable stainless steel bottles is the fact that they can keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end. This thermoregulation capability gives insulated flasks a serious edge over other kinds of bottles and is the main reason behind their massive rise in popularity. 

This part of the comparison had me completely surprised. As it turned out, the Ozark Trail bottle performs very similarly to its rival, even though it costs significantly less. I came to this conclusion after conducting a simple water temperature test, for which I used two instant-read thermometers. 

I filled each of the two bottles with ice water, placed the thermometers inside of them, put the lids on, and, finally, placed both bottles outside in the sun. For the Hydro Flask bottle, the starting temperature was 43°. After 24 hours, it was 41°. For its competitor, the starting temperature was 36 degrees. After 24 hours, iw was 34 degrees.  

Not only is the performance very similar, but both bottles also managed to cool the water down even more. This proves that both Hydro Flask and Ozark Trail bottles feature phenomenal insulation and are incredibly good at keeping one’s beverages cold. I’d say that the Ozark Trail model wins in this department, though – its thermoregulatory performance is as good as that of its rival but it costs significantly less.   

The Weight 

The weight of a refillable water bottle is not something most people think about when they’re shopping for one of these products. However, if you’re an ultralight hiker, the bottle’s weight is a factor you’ll undoubtedly want to consider. 

This category goes to the Hydro Flask model – there’s no doubt about that. Due to its narrow width, sleek shape, and relatively small capacity, the 24 oz Flex Cap Bottle has a much lighter feel than many other HF drinkware I’ve tested so far. So, if you’re an ultralight trekker, you definitely won’t make a mistake by going with this model. 

Although it weighs more than its rival, the Ozark Trail model is still a relatively lightweight piece of drinkware that won’t really slow you down even when it’s full. After all, this is not a 64 oz bottle, but a much smaller one that provides its owner with quick and easy one-handed hydration on the go. But iI should still point out that it weighs more than its rival. 

In conclusion, the Hydro Flask model weighs less and is a better choice if you’re looking for low weight. However, if you’re on a budget and want to save some money, go with the Ozark Trail model – it weighs just a tiny bit more than its competitor. This minuscule difference in weight shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing between these two bottles. 

The Features

Asian woman with a hiking bottle

These particular bottles aren’t as feature-rich as some of the other bottles I’ve tested in the past: the Ozark Trail bottle due to its low cost and the Hydro Flask model due to the brand’s “the simpler the better” philosophy. 

However, there is one relatively interesting feature on the Ozark Trail bottle – its convenient pop-up lid. Not only does this part allow easy drinking on the go, but it also allows the user to take the lid down altogether and make refilling and ice-filling as easy as it gets. The much wider mouth of this bottle is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages it has over its rival. 

As I mentioned above, Hydro Flask likes to keep its products simple. Once we combine this simplicity of design with stylish colors, we get a brand that was always bound to become as popular as it is. There aren’t many special features on the HF bottle, besides the titular Flex Cap (a leakproof lid) and the Flex Strap (easy carrying). 

So, suppose you’re searching for a genuinely feature-rich refillable water bottle. In that case, you’ll have to look elsewhere – the two bottles featured in this comparison are quite simple and have a clean, minimalistic design. But that’s precisely what makes them so great. After all, not all hikers care about the bells and whistles; most just want their outdoor gear to do the job.

The Ease of Use

Girls holding water bottles

“How hard can it be to use a water bottle?” – you might be asking. While it’s true that these products are inherently simple in design, some of them are easier to use than others. That’s because the drinkware manufacturers race to make their bottles as easy to use as possible by giving them a lightweight construction that makes them easy to hold with one hand.

Both of the bottles featured in this comparison are pretty good in that regard. The Ozark Trail model, for example, comes with a convenient handle that allows easy transportation. Moreover, it features the aforementioned pop-open lid, which is not something you’ll find on other bottles in this price category. The only thing that stops the model from winning in this category is that it weighs more than its rival. 

The Hydro Flask bottle, on the other hand, is a simple drinkware product from top to bottom. It consists of only two parts – the body and the cap – and is, therefore, as easy to use as it gets. You won’t have to worry about any intricate parts that could break and render your bottle useless in the middle of the scorching wilderness. 

Those looking for genuine simplicity won’t make a mistake by going with either of these two models. But I’d still say that the Hydro Flask bottle is a better choice in this regard: it weighs less, it has no complicated parts on its lid, and it sports a narrow profile that makes one-handed drinking on the go as painless as possible. To put it simply, it’s the best minimalistic water bottle on today’s market. 

The Value

Woman holding a black bottle

Are these two stainless steel bottles worth their prices? As far as I’m concerned, they are. 

The Ozark Trail 24 oz Wide Mouth bottle has everything that a budget-oriented product of this type needs to have. The most impressive thing about this bottle is undoubtedly its thermoregulatory performance, which is almost on par with that of the Hydro Flask. Besides that, it is relatively lightweight and sports a convenient pop-open lid. 

The higher price of the Hydro Flask bottle is completely justified, even though this is a relatively simple product. Its design is pretty much flawless: everything is right where it needs to be and it works just as advertised. This straightforward yet highly functional design is precisely what gave Hydro Flask millions of loyal followers all over the planet. 

So, each of these two bottles is a worthwhile investment in terms of value for the money. One of them is a great buy for those looking to save some money, while the other provides simple design and top-notch functionality at a relatively reasonable price. 

The Verdict 

So, which one of these two reusable water bottles is a better choice? The popular Hydro Flask model featured in this comparison is still one of the world’s best bottles and one that easily beats its rival – the Ozark Trail 24 oz Wide Mouth – in almost every department. 

However, if you’re on a budget, the Ozark Trail model is undoubtedly a great buy: it offers thermoregulatory performance that is rarely found in its price category.

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