Trying to stay hydrated when you're on the go but don't want to keep your bag (or arms) weighed down? You can lighten your load with a container that rolls up or expands down when empty so you can easily tuck it away. The best collapsible water bottles are made of durable and leakproof silicone, but if you're looking for the lightest and most budget-friendly option, a plastic version will serve you well.
For the most convenience, the first thing you'll want to do when you start shopping around is to consider the material. While the two softshell materials below are all BPA-free, there are a few notable differences in their designs, each with their own pros and cons.
- Silicone: The squeezable material has thicker walls, which means it has a more substantial weight, but it's the most likely to be able to stand upright on its own when empty or full. It's also the most temperature-resistant so it's a great option if you also want to carry a hot beverage as well. Plus, it's tough and flexible enough to withstand drops and regular wear and tear without the worry of punctures.
- Plastic: These pouch-style bottles are affordable and can often provide a higher capacity while still being very lightweight. However, given the thin, plastic membrane they are the least durable and sturdy of the two.
A majority of these bottles are freezer-friendly, but a model with a wide mouth will make it easiest to drop ice cubes in, however, those kinds may not fold up as compactly. And considering the squeezable nature of collapsible bottles, a flip-top spout (versus a screw-on one) may make one-handed drinking easier and less messy.
Finally, one other handy feature to look for is a carabiner or strap. This will let you carry your water comfortably or attach it to a bag or bike (even better if that strap serves double duty and functions as a tie to keep the bottle rolled up when it's empty).
Now that you know what to look for, here are some of the best collapsible water bottles you can buy, below!
1. The Overall Best
- Capacity: 25 ounces
- Weight: 7 ounces
This Nomader collapsible water bottle has earned high praise from Amazon reviewers. Made of shatterproof, thick silicone, the bottle is free from harmful chemicals like BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead, and latex and has a sealing twist spout that keeps it from leaking, even when rolled up to its collapsible size. It's also freezer-safe as well as heat-resistant up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, the bottle's wide mouth makes it easy to fit ice cubes into it, as well as to clean with a dish brush. (You can also safely wash it in the dishwasher, too.) Because of its thick silicone material, the bottle is able to stand on its own, even when empty, and it's designed with a hand strap and a clip just in case you want to attach it to a backpack or belt buckle. However, keep in mind that that design features also add up in terms of the weight of the bottle itself. That said, with an easy-to-hold grip around its middle and multiple color options, it's no wonder that some Amazon reviewers have declared the Nomader water bottle "worth every penny."
Helpful review: “Nice bottle! It seals well, does not leak, doesn't get damaged like aluminum bottles if a little too much water is frozen in it, and folds to about 1/3 its size when empty, so as not to take up more space than necessary. Also, for whatever reason(s), it seems to better insulate the water than my aluminum or plastic bottles do, keeping the water, or other drink, colder longer. It's also very easy to drink from, and only takes about 1/4 of a turn to open the top for drinking, and neither the main fill cap nor the smaller drinking spout has ever leaked.”
2. The Most Affordable
- Capacity: 23 ounces (featured), 33 ounces
- Weight: less than 2 ounces
This Vapur gradient collapsible water bottle offers a lot of value for its price. Among its features are a flip-cap top with a tough seal that helps keep the bottle from leaking and a flexible BPA-free polypropylene plastic pouch body that can be folded, rolled up, or flattened to make it more compact and smaller in size when empty. Safe to put in the freezer and dishwasher to clean, this bottle also boasts a wide mouth and a carabiner to attach to backpacks and other gear. While it can't hold hot drinks or stand upright while it's empty, the lightweight and affordable nature of this bottle may be worth the trade-off.
Helpful review: “Such a fan of this bottle. I took it on a 6-week trek across Spain and it has held up perfectly. I've been using it for several months now and haven't had any leakage problems. I love the functionality of the carabiner and how easily this folds down for travel.”
3. The Most Compact
- Capacity: 25 ounces
- Weight: 6.3 ounces
This Hydaway bottle is a great choice for anyone who wants a dishwasher-safe, leakproof, durable option that's also extremely space-efficient. Constructed from BPA-free silicone and plastic materials, the bottle collapses down like an accordion (instead of rolling up) to a razor-thin circle that's only 1.5-inches tall. You can easily fit it right into your pocket or go for the upgraded version that includes a travel case and store it in there. Plus, it has a bale handle to make it easier to carry, as well as a wide mouth and a spout lid. That large center ring is also fixed, which means drinking water out of it won't be as messy because it won't flop around as you tilt it. In addition to the bluebird color pictured here, you can also choose from 10 other vibrant colors.
It's freezer safe and heat resistant, but keep mind that while it can stand heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the brand cautions that its single-wall construction may make it too hot to hold in your hands.
Helpful review: "This is my second Hydaway bottle, and I bought the first one without much expectation. Turns out, I use it all the time! I travel often, and it has saved me multiples of it's price in airport bottled water expenses. And unlike non-collapsibles, it packs so easily into the little side pouch of my backpack. No TSA questioning if it's empty, etc."
4. The Largest Capacity
- Capacity: 70 ounces
- Weight: 1.3 ounces
For a large capacity option that's still ultra-lightweight, look no further than this Platypus Platy water bottle. The softshell pouch rolls up to collapse, is free of chemicals like BPA, BPS, and phthalates, and contains a food-grade polyethylene lining. Plus, it's also freezable and dishwasher-safe. Several Amazon users reported how impressed they were that it could stand upright when full, however, a few pointed out that the one downside to the design was the skinnier screw-top mouth, which makes it harder to squeeze regular-sized ice cubes into the bottle. Also note, this pick is not compatible with warm liquids.
Helpful review: “These bottles are practically indestructible...I use them often when caving in addition to a hard water bottle (just in case) and love that you can fold them down as they are used to make more room in your pack. These bottles also fit easily onto the Sawyer water filter and are great on a backpacking trip. After nearly a year of using this product very roughly, I've yet to pop one.”