If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and love to explore the backcountry, you know everything about the importance of hydration. You also know that easy access to water is something you simply can’t count on when you’re deep in the wilderness. And that’s precisely where stainless steel water bottles come in.
Durable, easy to use, and capable of keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end, the double-wall insulated stainless steel bottles are now used by millions of nature lovers around the world.
There are dozens of different brands that design, manufacture, and sell these kinds of bottles, and two of such brands are Hydro Flask and Fifty/Fifty.
While it’s true that Hydro Flask is the pioneer in this technology and one of the world’s most well-known water bottle brands, a lot of people are looking for alternatives – they want the same quality and performance at a lower price.
Can Fifty/Fifty provide something like that? Let’s compare the two brands and find the answer to that question.
A Bestseller – Hydro Flask 40 oz Stainless Steel Bottle
- Comes in two different sizes – 32 oz and 40 oz
- Hydro Flask’s proprietary TempShield technology – the bottle keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours on end (12/24 hours)
- Made out of high-quality, BPA-free 18/8 stainless steel – pure taste and exceptional durability are guaranteed
- Wide mouth with a wide mouthpiece (non-leak proof) lid & flexible cap
- Proprietary powder coating ensures a sweat-free grip
- Accompanied by a lifetime guarantee
- Available in 10 stylish colors
When it comes to double-wall insulated stainless steel bottles, Hydro Flask is undoubtedly one of the industry’s biggest names.
Almost all of their products are made out of high-quality 18/8 stainless steel. Not only does this make Hydro Flask bottles incredibly durable and tough, but also provides the user with a better taste – you never have to worry about flavor transfer.
The brand claims that its stainless steel bottles keep drinks cold for about 24 hours. When it comes to hot drinks, on the other hand, Hydro Flask promises that their bottles maintain the temperature of such beverages for up to 12 hours.
The main culprit behind this impressive performance is the so-called TempShield technology. In simple terms, this is a vacuum-insulated, double-walled technology that “shields” the drink’s temperature from going up or down.
Furthermore, Hydro Flask guarantees that their bottles do not transfer the drink’s heat to their exteriors and that they never cause the appearance of condensation.
As you can already guess, this doesn’t only prevent potential slippages but also makes these bottles easier to carry around.
Another great thing about Hydro Flask bottles is that they’re phthalate and BPA-free. In other words, they contain no harmful chemicals that could end up in your water and cause health problems.
For the popular 40 oz model I’ve featured above, one can choose either the standard or wide-mouth lid. The wide-mouth lid is the perfect option for active folks as it allows easy hydration on the go, i.e. while you’re running or cycling. You can also go with a straw lid, but keep in mind that this option is not leak proof.
One of the biggest disadvantages of the Hydro Flask 40 oz Stainless Steel Bottle is that it’s not dishwasher-friendly. Trying to wash this model with your dishwasher could damage it severely. To preserve the bottle’s quality and functionality, use a non-abrasive soap and wash it with your hands.
- Durable, heavy-duty, BPA-free stainless steel construction
- Double-walled vacuum insulation effortlessly maintains the temperature of your drinks
- A leak proof non-straw lid allows you to carry this bottle in your backpack
- Easy, sweat-free grip
- Not a dishwasher-safe reusable water bottle
- Some users have reported problems with lid alignment
A Bestseller – Fifty/Fifty 40 oz Insulated Sport Bottle
- Comes in two different sizes – 34 oz and 40 oz
- A double-wall vacuum-insulated bottle that maintains the temperature of cold drinks for 24 hours and hot beverages for 6 hours
- Comes with a pressure fit slide lid, which allows the user to release the steam’s pressure without removing the entire lid
- The silicone ring on the lid prevents leaks and ensures a snug fit
- No condensation, no heat transfer, and no odor or taste retained
- Accompanied by a lifetime guarantee
- Available in 15 vibrant colors
Reusable stainless steel bottles made by this company are designed to be carried around and used as easily as possible. The model I’ve featured here – the 40 oz Insulated Sport Bottle – is available in two sizes (34 oz and 40 oz), but Fifty/Fifty also has a lot of 64 oz, 34 oz, 25 oz, 18 oz, and 12 oz bottles in their lineup.
Although this depends on your personal needs, all Fifty/Fifty bottles offer something unique to their buyers. However, one feature that is common to most of this brand’s bottles is that they come equipped with special lids that allow users to either tie these bottles to their bags or just carry them around.
Just like Hydro Flask’s bottles, the ones made by Fifty/Fifty are also vacuum-insulated. Obviously, this allows them to maintain the temperature of both cold and hot drinks. In the case of cold drinks, most Fifty/Fifty bottles can keep them cold for 24 hours.
In the case of hot drinks, on the other hand, the results aren’t as nearly as impressive – inside a Fifty/Fifty bottle, your coffee or tea will remain hot for only about 6 hours.
One important thing to point out here is that the material out of which Fifty/Fifty bottles are made – stainless steel – is recyclable. In other words, if you ever notice that there’s something wrong with your model and decide to get rid of it, you’ll be able to do so in the most eco-friendly way possible.
But still, Fifty/Fifty bottles come accompanied by a lifetime guarantee – the company has your back when it comes to potential defects.
The wide-mouth opening present on the Fifty/Fifty bottle I’ve featured here, as well as on many other bottles made by the same company, is extremely convenient.
Not only does it make cleaning much easier, but it also allows the owner to take advantage of the insulation and place things like hot lunches, soups, and ice cubes into the bottle.
Moreover, the exterior of the Fifty/Fifty 40 oz Insulated Sport Bottle is not prone to condensation. It also prevents the heat from hurting your hands, allowing you to hold the bottle for longer.
Finally, those who want to express their personality or creativity will be pleased to know that most Fifty/Fifty bottles, including the 40 oz model mentioned above, can be obtained in a number of vibrant colors.
- Good insulation properties
- A budget-friendly option – great if you want to save money
- Ideal for day to day activities but also for backcountry escapades
- Lots of separately sold bottle accessories
- The lid of the bottle is sometimes hard to remove
- A very standard design – nothing too fancy about it
Other Popular Hydro Flask & Fifty/Fifty Bottles
Hydro Flask 64 oz TempShield Bottle
- A high-capacity insulated bottle
- 18/8 kitchen-grade stainless steel
- Fresh Carry System
Hydro Flask 24 oz Alloy Steel Bottle
- TempShield technology
- Slip-free powder coating
Hydro Flask 12 oz Stainless Steel Bottle
- Ideal as a coffee mug
- Phthalate-free & BPA-free construction
- Limited lifetime warranty
Fifty/Fifty 64 oz Growler Bottle
- Double-walled insulation
- 18/8 food-grade stainless steel
- Custom designed 3-finger grip lid
Fifty/Fifty 25 oz Sport Bottle
- Perfect for exercise enthusiasts
- Exceptionally slim & portable
- Retains no odor or taste
Fifty/Fifty 12 oz Café/Water Bottle
- Ideal for hot beverages
- Wide mouth & flip cap
- Available in 13 colors
Hydro Flask vs Fifty/Fifty – The Verdict
Truth be told, there aren’t that many differences between reusable stainless steel bottles made by Hydro Flask and Fifty/Fifty. In most cases, the only differences will be the number of available sizes and colors, as well as the lid design.
Fifty/Fifty has a few more sizes available when compared to Hydro Flask, which turns it into an attractive choice for travelers looking for a wider choice. However, the brand’s main rival also offers its bottles in many different sizes – not finding a Hydro Flask bottle of a suitable size is next to impossible.
One thing that helps Fifty/Fifty find popularity in a (very) crowded market is its exceptionally wide range of reusable bottles that are quite affordable. Obviously, this is good news for all outdoor enthusiasts who want a good stainless steel bottle but want to save as much money as possible.
Even though the design of this brand’s bottles is nothing to write home about, they certainly deliver on the hydration front and are more than capable of keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours on end. In the end, that’s the most important feature of every good bottle of this type.
However, Hydro Flask has one significant advantage over Fifty/Fifty – their proprietary TempShield technology. As I’ve already mentioned, this is an innovative solution that helps Hydro Flask bottles maintain the temperature of hot drinks for longer (12 instead of 6 hours).
On the downside, Hydro Flask bottles are notorious for their flimsy lids. And while it’s true that the company is always ready to replace these easily breakable lids, getting this done is a bit of a hassle. The bottles sold by both companies can be obtained in dozens of stylish colors.
Even though I’m happy to recommend either brand, I think that the winner of this “battle” is Hydro Flask. The brand’s reputation is well-deserved – their reusable stainless steel bottles are among the best you can buy on today’s market.