Reusable water bottles are a modern must-have, but most popular options don’t hold enough water to get you through the entire day without refilling. And if you’re out on a hiking trail, a 32-ounce bottle often isn't going to cut it. Enter: the gallon jug. The
best gallon water bottles will keep you hydrated on the go during a twelve-hour day or during what feels like a twelve-hour HIIT class.
Yet, not all water bottles are created equal. To find the right one for you, consider the following factors.
Materials: Plastic Vs. Stainless Steel
The two most popular materials for gallon water bottles are
plastic and stainless steel. (I searched for glass options but came up empty, likely because the larger size just makes them too prone to breaking.) Many people like plastic because it’s lightweight, budget-friendly, and surprisingly long-lasting. However, it has come under fire for leaching chemicals into water. To be extra-safe, you’ll want to opt for a plastic gallon bottle that is specifically labeled BPA-free. Stainless steel has gained steam as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic that’s nonreactive, meaning it won’t leach chemicals into the water or chemically react with your drink. While this is a heavier option, it is also more indestructible. Other Things To Keep In Mind
Many larger water bottles include measurement markings on the side. You can choose from ones with motivational quotes or simple time markings to help you pace your intake. For the cleaning adverse, you might also want to look for options with a wide-mouth opening, which has the inherent benefit of being easy to clean without a specialized brush. However, if you aren’t thrilled about hand-washing, several of the options below are dishwasher-friendly. And if you’re seeking to keep your beverage cold for hours, opt for a bottle with double-walled vacuum insulation capable of keeping a chill.
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The Best Value: This Simple Yet Pretty Bottle That Comes With A Cleaning Brush
gallon water bottle gets high marks for looking cute while also boasting several important functional details. For starters: It's actually slightly larger than a gallon with a hefty 132-ounce capacity. There's a handle and a wrist strap for easy carrying, and seven hour markings on the side to show how far along you should be to meet daily hydration goals. Since this bottle has a relatively small mouth compared to the others (and is notably not dishwasher safe), Life Bottle also includes a flexible cleaning brush to make the process as painless as possible.
PETG plastic used for the bottle is heavy-duty and free of DEHP (a kind of phthalate) and BPA. A helpful review: "I really love this bottle! I hate how some plastic water bottles feel really thin, this one does not. It’s an awesome bottle to have to meet your water intake goals."
A Motivational Bottle That Comes With A Straw For Easy Sipping
motivational water bottle keeps your hydration on track with some time-stamped encouragement every two hours (that is welcomingly low-key). Plus, the colorful plastic bottle is semi-translucent, so you can still see how much water is left. This picks holds exactly one gallon (128 ounces) when filled to the brim. The small yet sturdy carrying handle is attached to the leakproof double lid, and it even includes a removable straw. It has a fairly wide mouth so you can add ice, and wash it by hand since the lightweight plastic isn't dishwasher safe. A helpful review: "Definitely big but helps so much! I get excited actually seeing me hit those marks."
The Best For Precise Measuring Of Your Water Intake
If you want more exact tracking (and less personality), a
gallon water bottle with milliliter and time measurement helps you stay on target and hit your daily goals. The maximum capacity is 128 ounces for this BPA-Free plastic pick. It has an ergonomic handle, as well as a sturdy wrist strap, for easy carrying or hanging, and the flip-top cap makes it ideal for on-the-go drinking. The one caveat: You'll want to hand wash this one to keep it in mint condition, and the narrow mouth means you'll need a bottle brush handy. A helpful review: "Love, Love this bottle it is not heavy as the picture makes it looks. Even when I fill it it is not heavy. I love the fact that the sides have the time to start and the time to end. [...] Awesome, healthy, and instructive."
The Best Investment: A High-Quality Steel Bottle That Will Last Forever
If you need a
heavy-duty gallon water bottle, the YETI Rambler is worth the splurge. Backed by a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, it's made of kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel that will survive almost anything and features double-wall vacuum insulation to keep drinks cold for hours. It also has a “No Sweat” design that prevents condensation from forming. The MagCap is a feat of engineering that attaches magnetically to the side of its lid in a designated “docking station” — so you’re never going to lose your cap. The cap also features a wide base with a narrow “chug” opening, so you can easily fill it with ice and then drink with abandon, instead of sipping carefully to avoid an avalanche. All of this is dishwasher safe and backed by a five-year warranty. A helpful review: "My main use for this is to make sure I drink a gallon of water a day, and I prefer my water cold. I dump a tray of ice in this, fill it with water, and it's cold all day. It's very tough, the magnetic cap is simple and yet brilliant, and it holds a ton of whatever you want at a temp you want. Forewarning, if you've left the lid on for a couple days, that sucker is going to seal really tightly and it'll be difficult to get off; I personally do not consider this a downside, because I know I can take this sucker camping and I'm not going to lose water if it gets knocked over. I'm honestly considering getting another one for a present."
This Budget- & Eco-Friendly Insulated Stainless Steel Option
If you want a
stainless steel water bottle but aren't ready to shell out for the high-end version above , this budget-friendly option packs a lot of similar features at a much cheaper price point. Boasting more than 2,000 Amazon reviews, this fan favorite is made from durable 18/8 kitchen-grade stainless steel, with double-walled insulation that keeps drinks cold for hours. The lid has a flip cap with a narrow mouth opening and a sturdy metal handle attached, and the whole thing unscrews to reveal a wide-mouth opening so you can easily add ice or reach inside to clean. Unlike the Yeti, this pick is not dishwasher safe. A helpful review: "The quality of RTIC is fantastic, comparable to YETI! The design of this jug is perfect for easy travel, not too bulky. The wide mouth is great for putting ice and fluids into the jug, for easy use. My husband loves to take this jug to work to keep his ice water cold all day long on the construction site."
The Classic: An Affordable 1-Gallon Cooler
This original campfire
gallon water jug is seriously tough, lightweight, and thanks to Coleman's ThermOZONE insulation, capable of keeping drinks cold even in a heat wave. Oh, and it’s dishwasher safe and almost indestructible. (I carried one for almost a decade of Girl Scout camps, and it still lives.) It has an extra-wide mouth with a flip-up spout, plus a classic bucket handle that's easy to carry (though not great for attaching to backpacks). As a few reviewers noted and I can confirm, this does have a tendency to leak unless screwed on just right. Despite that, shoppers agree it's a hardy workhorse that is perfect for outdoor adventures. While it's not specifically stated, this pick is BPA-free, according to customer service Q&A responses. A helpful review: "Perfect size for going out to the beach for the afternoon for two. Keep the beverage very cold"
You Might Also Love: A Neoprene Bottle Holder With Pockets
I hate schlepping my water, phone, and chapstick from the locker room to the yoga studio in a delicate balance. These neoprene
water bottle insulator sleeves are the answer. They're available in large range of sizes to fit water bottles from 24 ounces to one gallon, and they work to keep drinks insulated. But, what you’ll really love them for is that they come with a handy shoulder strap and a zippered storage pocket to keep essentials both handy and out of your hands. They come in so many cute colorways and patterns that aren’t found on most plastic bottles or jugs, and they're machine-washable to boot! Just note that the larger sizes aren't available in every color.