Last Call: Making Sense Of The Ever-Expanding Universe Of Water Bottle Options

Welcome to June, the kickoff of Hydration Season. This is the time of year in which we all talk about getting hydrated, staying hydrated, and the ideal temperatures at which we should be hydrating. Drinking plenty of water is foundational to good health all year round, but in the summertime, you'll start hearing that recommendation turn into a more urgent plea. And since we can all agree that bottled water is best avoided, the question becomes: What's the best vessel for carrying all that tasty, oh-so-hydrating water around wherever you go?

Somehow over the last ten years, our economy has allowed for greater and greater reusable water bottle cost inflation while the average salary has remained stagnant at best. Remember the humble Nalgene? Those indestructible suckers would run you somewhere between $10-15. Now, Hydro Flask, boasting a temperature regulation function typically reserved for museum collections and a vacuum seal more appropriate for spaceflight, is the go-to water bottle among Millennials, starting at $30 and only growing more expensive as you choose more exclusive colors and caps. S'well bottles are the sleeker, sexier, somehow even more expensive counterpart to Hydro Flask, with 17 ounces of faux teakwood metal starting at $35.

I don't mean to penny-pinch here. A water vessel is something you use every day of your life, and one that can make all the difference during Hydration Season. When you consider all that, then a $40 investment doesn't seem so bad. Except... what if you're a forgetful person who tends to misplace things and/or leave them on the roof of your car as you enter your vehicle? Is Hydro Flask or S'well the right bottle for you? What if you have a small purse and a big thirst? Is there a more svelte reusable bottle option that might serve you better? And washing the bottle is a huge consideration, too. There's just so much to think about in the lifelong quest for optimal hydration.

If you have any recommendations, send them along! If not, well, sorry to have dragged you down into this cool, refreshing rabbit hole.