Recently I conducted an experiment to find the best insulated water bottle for adults. The test was enlightening and I found that spending more money doesn’t always equate to a better bottle.
With summer looming, I decided to take on another experiment. This time I wanted to find the best KIDS insulated water bottle. The qualifications are: one that is durable, doesn’t leak, is easy to clean, fits in a car cup holder, and is simple for kids to use.
I polled my audience on Instagram to get their recommendations, and ended up with 23 of the most popular, highly-rated insulated kids water bottles on the market.
These are the water bottles I tested, with price and unfilled weight.
- Takeya Kids Insulated Water Bottle with Straw Lid – $19.99 – 10 oz
- Pogo 12oz Kids Vacuum Stainless Steel Water Bottle – $9.99 – 8 oz
- Klean Kanteen 18oz Stainless Steel Kids Bottle – $18.99 – 6.6 oz
- Zulu Chase 14oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle – $14.99 – 10.6 oz
- Zak Star Wars 19.5oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle – $9.99 – 5.85 oz
- Thermos 12oz FUNtainers Straw Water Bottle – $14.99 – 8 oz
- Thermoflask Kids Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel – $11-$15 – 9.4 oz
- CamelBak Eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle, Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel – $22.99 – 9.25 oz
- CamelBak Eddy+ Kids Insulated BPA-Free Bottle – $14.99 – 6 oz
- Snug Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle with Straw – $13.50 – 8 oz
- Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle with Straw Lid – $15.99 – 8.6 oz
- WaterFit Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle – $14.99 – 10 oz
- YETI Rambler Jr. Kids Bottle, with Straw Cap – $29.99 – 15 oz
- Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle – $18-$20 – 10 oz
- Contigo AUTOSPOUT Stainless Steel Kids Water Bottle – $13-$16 – 10 oz
- Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle – $29.95 – 9.75 oz
- GulpBliss Insulated Stainless Steel Sports Water Bottle – $12.99 – 8 oz
- Zulu Echo Kids Stainless Steel Water Bottle – $12.88 – 12 oz
- Pottery Barn Mackenzie Water Bottle – $24.50 – 8 oz
- Ello Stainless Steel Emma Water Bottle – $14.99 – 10 oz
- Bubba Hero Kids Insulated Water Bottle with Flip-Up Straw – $13.99 – 9.4 oz
- EcoVessel Triple Insulated Water Bottle with Flip Straw Top – $19-$25 – 9.4 oz
- Sendestar Stainless Steel Water Bottle – $14.99 – 9.65 oz
I filled each water bottle 2/3 of the way with ice and to the top with cold water. After 5 hours, I was super impressed that most were still between 30-35 degrees. The 3 that didn’t pass the temperature test were the plastic Camelbak, Zak, and Klean Kanteen water bottles. After the fact, I realized that the Klean Kanteen I purchased wasn’t the insulated version.
Next, I did several rounds of testing for leakage. That’s a HUGE consideration with kids water bottles in particular. Kids are tough on water bottles. They get thrown around, dropped, carried around in backpacks and lunch boxes, and need to be able to stand up to harsh treatment.
I tipped the water bottles on their lids and monitored condensation and leakage from the lids. Then I placed the water bottles upside down in a backpack with toys and blocks and jumped on a mini trampoline, threw it up in the air and shook it around.
The leak test really narrowed down the options. More than half of them leaked, but the ones left were some great options.
Ease of Use and Cleaning
I wanted to make sure a young child could open and close all the water bottles, so I had my 5-year-old do just that. There were a couple that were a little more tricky, but he was ablate figure out all of them.
There were also several different types of lid structure. The hard straw insulated water bottles are the easiest to clean. Most of the spout water bottles had a lot of nooks and crannies and were difficult to clean and had the potential to grow mold.
The soft straw insulated water bottles took a little practice to figure out how to clean, but weren’t too difficult.
Car Cup Holder Testing
There could be some variation in cup holder sizes, but most of these kids insulated water bottles fit well into mine. The Yeti, Contigo and Zulu didn’t fit all the way down into the cup holder. The Takeya and Hydroflask had a harder time fitting because of the silicone boot, but if you remove that, they fit great.
Taking all of those tests into consideration, I was able to narrow it down to the best 2 kids insulated water bottles. But before we get to that, here are some honorable mentions that I would absolutely purchase.
Hard Straw Kids Insulated Water Bottles
- Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle with Straw Lid
- Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle
- Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle
- Sendestar Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Soft Straw Kids Insulated Water Bottle
And the Winners Are …
The Takeya insulated kids water bottle hits all the check marks. It keeps water and ice cold for an extended period of time, it doesn’t leak under rough circumstances, it’s easy to open and close and clean, and it fits in a cup holder (depending the cup holder you may need to remove the silicone boot).
The little details that took the Takeya to the number 1 spot are that it came with a silicone boot (which helps protect the bottle from dings and scratches) and it has a textured silicone ring around the lid (making it easier for little hands to screw on and off).
The Snug insulated kids water bottle was one I hadn’t heard of before this test. But it rose to the top when it proved to be well-insulated, leak-proof, easy to open and close, has a lid that completely covers and protects the straw when closed, and fits into a cup holder.
The Snug and the Thermos were SO close. The Snug won out because I liked the ring handle on the Snug and it was a few dollars cheaper.
Shop the Honorable Mentions and Winners
I hope you’ve found this insulated water bottle experiment informative! If you have any additional tips to add, I’d love to hear them in the comments. I also have videos taking you step-by-step through this experiment on my Instagram page in the Water Bottles highlight bubbles.
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