What’s The Best School Day Water Bottle?

Aug 22, 2019, 8:42 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2023, 11:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Whether your student is a big kid, a tween or a teenager, a water bottle for school has become a must. Experts say staying hydrated gives kids better concentration and cognitive function. There’s a lot more to consider when you’re choosing a water bottle besides style and price.

KSL put five water bottles to the test:

  • Ozark Trail Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 24oz – $8.47
  • CamelBak Eddy Kids Insulated Water Bottle 12oz – $14.99
  • Contigo AUTOSEAL Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle 24oz – $16.99
  • Thermoflask Kids Stainless Steel, 14oz 2-pack – $16.99
  • Hydro Flask Kids Wide-Mouth Vacuum 12oz – $29.95

We asked five, thirsty kids to compare each bottle on its ease-of-use, how much water it lets spill out, how well it keeps the water chilled and its durability.


The kids found the bottles with straw lids – the Hydro Flask, Thermoflask and CamelBak – fairly easy to open and operate. The Contigo’s AUTOSEAL function added an extra step, holding the seal button down while drinking. At first blush, the Ozark Trail’s screw cap should be relatively easy to open but our kid testers found the cap would get stuck easily, making it a bear to open sometimes.


  • 1st – Hydro Flask, Thermoflask and CamelBak
  • 2nd – Contigo
  • 3rd – Ozark Trail


Our kid team flipped their bottles upside down to see how much water their open lids let spill out. The Contigo’s AUTOSEAL function worked well. It didn’t let a drop of water sneak out. The straw lids of the HydroFlask and CamelBak bottles did let some water escape while the Thermoflask let out the most. The Ozark Trail’s screw cap didn’t leak any water out. However, if your student knocks an uncapped Ozark Trail bottle over, it could lose a lot of its contents.


  • 1st – Contigo
  • 2nd – Hydro Flask
  • 3rd – CamelBak
  • 4th – Thermoflask
  • 5th – Ozark Trail (when uncapped)


After filling each bottle with ice water, we measured temperatures eight hours later to see which bottle kept the water the coldest.


  • 1st – Ozark Trail – 56.1 degrees
  • 2nd – Thermoflask – 59.6
  • 3rd – Hydro Flask – 60.8
  • 4th – Contigo – 64.7
  • 5th – CamelBak – 68.6


In our durability test, our kid testers got the drop on each bottle. The full bottles were dropped twice onto a concrete sidewalk. While no bottle suffered catastrophic damage in those drops, the Ozark Trail appeared to have the most damage with several noticeable dents. Both the Contigo and Thermoflask had slight indentations while the plastic CamelBak had very noticeable scratches. The bottle emerging the most unscathed was the Hydro Flask.


  • 1st – Hydro Flask
  • 2nd – CamelBak
  • 3rd – Thermoflask
  • 4th – Contigo
  • 5th – Ozark Trail

Bottom Line

After four tests, the Hydro Flask came out on top with the most number one wins. This was also the most expensive bottle at $29.95. But, our runner-up, the Contigo, did an admirable job and at $16.99, it runs about half-the-cost of the Hydro Flask. While the cheapest bottle our kids tested, the Ozark Trail at $8.47, fared worst in the most categories, at least it did keep the water the coldest.


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What’s The Best School Day Water Bottle?