In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Best Water Bottle for Kids

We tested kids' water bottles from top brands like YETI, CamelBak, Hydro Flask, and more to find the best.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
By Molly Bradac ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Wednesday September 15, 2021
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Need a kids' water bottle? To determine the best 13 products of 2021, we dove into the world of water bottles for kids, researched the market, then purchased more than 30 promising contenders for testing and side-by-side comparisons. Keeping your child hydrated while on the go is essential, and a water bottle will greatly help with this effort. With various bottle types available, some being more convenient and healthier than others, our testing focused on necessary factors, like kid-friendly usability, ease of cleaning, and eco-health. We are confident that a water bottle in our lineup will meet your needs and budget. So, take advantage of the insider details to make an informed decision.

Top 13 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 13
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $25 List
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$9.99 at Amazon
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$19.99 at Amazon
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Pros High-quality, easy to clean, carry handleSlender design, user-friendly straw accessMagnetic top design, minimal parts makes it easy to cleanDurable, includes Flex Boot for added protectionDishwasher-safe glass vessel, no leaching concerns, silicone protector adds grip
Cons Heavy, straw not easy to flip, may not fit cup holderParts can wear out, multiple parts makes hand-washing more involvedCost, lid most suitable for older childrenExpensive, minimal carry handleHeavy, glass increases chance of breakage
Bottom Line A heavy-duty, insulated kids water bottle that keeps contents cold and is dishwasher-safeA double-walled steel insulated bottle with a sleek design and convenienceVacuum insulated steel option with a magnetic lid that keeps the cap out of the way for easy drinkingA top-of-the-line stainless steel option that is easy to clean and keeps drinks cold with double-wall insulationWhile heavy and perhaps not suitable for school, this dishwasher-safe water bottle is eco-friendly, inert, and most suitable for older children
Rating Categories YETI Rambler Jr. Thermos FUNtainer S... CamelBak Chute Mag Hydro Flask Kids Wi... Lifefactory with Ac...
Ease Of Use (40%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ease Of Cleaning (40%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
Eco Health (20%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Specs YETI Rambler Jr. Thermos FUNtainer S... CamelBak Chute Mag Hydro Flask Kids Wi... Lifefactory with Ac...
Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Glass
Volume Tested 12 oz 12 oz 12 oz 12 oz 12 oz
Empty Weight 0.9 lbs 0.5 lbs 0.5 lbs 0.6 lbs 0.9 lbs
Insulation Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated No
Sleeve No No No Flex Boot Silicone Bottle Sleeve


Best Overall Kids Water Bottle


YETI Rambler Jr.


86
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 9
  • Ease of Cleaning 8
  • Eco-Health 9
Volume: 12 oz | Weight: 0.9 lbs
High quality
Carry handle
Wide mouth vessel
Keeps contents cold
Potentially challenging spout
Suggest handwashing

At first glance, the YETI Rambler Jr. appears similar to other contenders, but this option jumped to the top with minor differences that give it an edge. YETI is known for its high quality and durability, and this contender is downright durable. Considering that kids frequently drop items (perhaps hundreds of times a day!), we think this factor matters. With powder-coated contenders or those with thinner material, falls onto hard surfaces can cause paint chips, scratches, dents, or even damage. Although nothing is bullet-proof, we think YETI's solid stainless steel base is noticeably strong among the lineup and most likely to survive falls and still be looking fine. We appreciate that this insulated option helps keep contents cold, so your child can enjoy a refreshing drink during the school day or while adventuring outside and that the carry handle is more significant than others, making it easier to carry. We also appreciate that the vessel's mouth is slightly wider to ease the task of handwashing and inspection.

The flip and sip hard spout is a little stiff to open and close, hindering younger users' ability to use this bottle independently. But, older children will likely not find this to be an issue. The manufacturer says the vessel is dishwasher-safe; however, we suggest handwashing it to prolong the YETI's insulation quality. Also, you will need a small straw brush to clean the lid thoroughly. Overall, we think this product will last years, and if it meets your needs, we highly recommend it.

Budget-Friendly Option


Thermos FUNtainer Spout


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 8
  • Ease of Cleaning 8
  • Eco-Health 10
Volume: 12 oz | Weight: 0.5 lbs
Easy to clean
Good insulation
Decent quality
Parts can wear out
Requires lid to be leak-proof

The Thermos FUNtainer Spout is a double-walled stainless steel insulated water bottle that combines a sleek design and convenience. The insulation does an excellent job of keeping drinks cold for up to 12 hours (not for hot liquids), and the slender design is just right for little hands and nearly all cup holders. The lid button is user-friendly for straw access, and it closes easily without much pressure. The bottle uses quality materials and feels durable enough to last for several years.

The FUNtainer's lid has multiple parts, and you'll need to use a straw brush to clean them thoroughly. The task can be slightly time-consuming, but it isn't hard, and we appreciate a couple of features that make it easier, such as fewer nooks and crannies inside the lid and a clear straw so you can make sure it is free of grime. Even though we like the quality of the container itself, the straw can wear out over time, especially if your little one has a habit of chewing. Fortunately, replacement straws are available. Also, while it does an excellent job preventing leaks with a closed lid, water can leak through the straw with the top open, so if the button is pushed accidentally while in a bag, you could end up with a wet mess, and no one has time to deal with that. But, given its quality construction and ease of use with various optional kid-friendly graphics, this bottle is a popular budget-friendly choice.

Attractive for its Innovative Lid


CamelBak Chute Mag


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 7
  • Ease of Cleaning 7
  • Eco-Health 9
Volume: 12 oz | Weight: 0.5 lbs
Multiple sizes/colors
Magnetic handle lid
Didn't leak
Handwash
Expensive

The CamelBak Chute Mag is a vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle available in various fun, bright colors. The twist-on lid is excellent for preventing leaks, and it recently experienced some upgrades with improvements to the threads for leak prevention. This water bottle also showcases an innovative feature that others in the competition do not have. A magnetic lid connects to the bottle keeping it from flopping in your face while drinking; a practical design choice we appreciate. The kid version of this bottle is 12 ounces, but if your little one's thirst demands a large swig, bigger sizes are available.

The lid for the Mag is dishwasher safe, but the bottle should be hand-washed, and due to its shape and size, a bottle brush is the best way to ensure it is thoroughly clean. While handwashing isn't a deal-breaker, and we suggest hand cleaning for all bottles, it can be a bothersome step for some parents who are crunched for time and appreciate a quicker fix. This bottle is one of the more expensive options we tested, making it a poor choice for parents on a budget. However, it should last for years, and the cost is more reasonable when you consider the potential longevity of use. We were delighted with this water bottle's overall performance regarding leak prevention of this innovative lid design.

Our Favorite Glass Bottle


Lifefactory with Active Flip Cap


70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 5
  • Ease of Cleaning 9
  • Eco-Health 7
Volume: 12 oz | Weight: 0.9 lbs
Silicone protector
Easy to clean
No chemical concerns
Lid problems
Heavy

Available in multiple bright colors and various sizes, the Lifefactory with Active Flip Cap is a glass bottle with a medical-grade silicone sleeve that adds a layer of protection to the bottle and helps prevent breakage from accidental drops. The silicone sleeve provides a grip-able surface for young users. Glass containers are inert, so there are no worries about leaching chemicals or imparting flavor to the bottle's contents. It is also super easy to clean with a bottle brush or in the dishwasher.

There have been a few complaints about the Lifefactory, primarily related to lid issues. Over time, the lid struggles to stay closed, and the cap can be easily nudged open in a bag resulting in leakage. Also, this water bottle is one of the heftiest in the group. It could be difficult for some younger users to carry or lug in a backpack. But, if you are looking for an eco-friendly inert bottle, then the glass Lifefactory is a quality option.

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
86
$25
Editors' Choice Award
A heavy-duty, insulated kids water bottle that keeps contents cold and is dishwasher-safe
84
$19
Best Value Award
A double-walled steel insulated bottle with a sleek design and convenience
74
$23
Top Pick Award
Vacuum insulated steel option with a magnetic lid that keeps the cap out of the way for easy drinking
74
$30
A top-of-the-line stainless steel option that is easy to clean and keeps drinks cold with double-wall insulation
70
$23
Top Pick Award
While heavy and perhaps not suitable for school, this dishwasher-safe water bottle is eco-friendly, inert, and most suitable for older children
56
$23
A double-wall vacuum insulated stainless steel vessel with a silicone mouthpiece that is eco-healthier but harder to clean
54
$30
A stainless steel bottle best suited for older children given its size and big gulp mouthpiece, but o-ring issues reduced its score
42
$19
A single-wall stainless steel bottle for those looking for healthy materials with a lighter weight
42
$11
A plastic option that is lightweight and ready for biking cupholders, but the plastic body gives us pause
40
$14
If you don't mind cleaning multiple parts, this lightweight plastic water bottle offers kid-friendly, fun graphics
30
$17
While this stainless steel bottle comes in an array of powder-coated colors, we question its durability
28
$8
Although this plastic option has an attractive price, the challenging mouthpiece attachment is not worth the savings
22
$12
A lightweight plastic bottle with a lid designed to prevent leaks and spills but requires more coordination than the competition

Each kids&#039; water bottle in our lineup was purchased and experienced...
Each kids' water bottle in our lineup was purchased and experienced hands-on testing, as well as side-by-side comparisons.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Why You Should Trust Us


Leading our roundup is founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a board-certified pediatrician, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and a mother of two. This Mom-in-Chief uses her background, education, and experience to guide product selection and develop BabyGearLab's safety and testing standards. Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz, plays a significant role in our water bottle review. Wendy is a mother of two and holds a degree in biology with a concentration in chemistry. Her education provides a unique perspective on water bottle materials and potential concerns over plastics and associated endocrine disrupters. Wendy has been involved in our sippy cup and water bottle testing since our first water bottle review in 2014, contributing to the beginning stages of our testing development and review process. Since the beginning, Wendy has researched and reported on numerous cups and water bottles. She regularly performs background research on plastic use in products, particularly those containing food and liquid for human consumption. It is safe to say, Wendy's education, background, and Mom time influence product selection for testing with ease of use and eco-health in mind. Also contributing to our review is Senior Review Editor, Molly Bradac. Molly's 15-year career as a professional Nanny brings invaluable perspective. Over the years, she has extensively traveled and managed day-to-day life with the children under her care. Without a doubt, Molly is well-accustomed to the world of water bottles and can easily identify options that will make your life easier and earn a spot in your kitchen. So, whether you need the perfect water bottle for your child's school day or a travel-friendly product that's ready to roll, Molly is a "go-to" guru that can help lead the way.

Finding the perfect kids' water bottle took over 80 hours of research and testing. Our review team assessed each product for weight, durability, ease of use and cleaning, and more. Besides hands-on testing, we performed side-by-side comparisons to find the best performer.

The lid of the CamelBak Chute Mag was easy enough for little hands...
The Klean Kanteen Classic and Polar Bottle Sport Insulated feature...

Analysis and Test Results


Our analysis began with extensive research of over 60 kids' water bottles, and we narrowed down the selection to the top contenders for our review. During our extensive hands-on testing and side-by-side comparison, we used three key metrics in our evaluation. They include ease of use, level of difficulty cleaning the product, and eco-health.


Value


The Thermos FUNtainer Spout not only ranks high overall, but it is affordable and kid-friendly. This option will likely last years, and it is much easier to clean than some other contenders. However, if you're able to stretch your budget slightly more, the YETI Rambler Jr., which appears very similar to the Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth, but has a few characteristics that make it more user friendly and offers outstanding durability, increasing its chances to be passed on if you have multiple children, making it well worth the investment. We believe there can be value in a product that is well made and lasts for years, as opposed to a product that doesn't last more than a season.

The Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker is super lightweight but can be...
The Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker is super lightweight but can be challenging for younger users or children with weaker hands.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The water bottle you decide to purchase should be easy to use. While some younger testers preferred bottles in their favorite colors, the products that were easy to drink from eventually won their hearts. Those challenging to operate will likely be wasteful purchases and take up space in your kitchen cupboard. Factors that we consider to influence usability include a bottle's weight, durability, and a lid's level of difficulty to operate. Also influencing our ranks is insulation. Those that offer this feature scored higher than those that do not.


Our highest-scoring contender in this metric is the YETI Rambler Jr., with a score of 9 out of 10. What helped it reach a top score is a combination of user-friendly features, such as double-wall vacuum insulation, a larger carry handle that makes it easier to hold, and outstanding durability. Typically, a bottle's base is the landing zone for most fall incidences, and the YETI's base feels solid. Although no product is bullet-proof, we think this contender has the greatest chance of enduring falls onto hard surfaces yet still walk away looking fine. In contrast, powder-coated contenders may experience chipped paint or scratches.

The Simple Modern Summit did not score well in our sub-metric durability. We noticed chipped paint on the vessel while hand washing, which disappointed us, especially as we hadn't used it yet. This issue alone significantly lowered its score.

The Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker has an all-plastic option that makes it...
The Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker has an all-plastic option that makes it lightweight, but the operating system requires coordination.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our lowest-scoring product is the Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker, with a score of 3 out of 10, due to its material, lack of insulation, and its spout system that requires a child to push a button on the lid's back to open and release the liquid to drink. Although this design means no accidents or spills from a top that isn't screwed back on or leaking from a straw, it can pose a challenge for younger kids or those with smaller or weaker hands. The Klean Kanteen Classic also scores low in this metric due to a hard-to-use lid that is stiff and made us question if it was open and close.

The CamelBak Chute Mag is stainless steel and offers insulation.
The CamelBak Chute Mag is stainless steel and offers insulation.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight


Weight is a factor to consider, and it is often related to a bottle's material and whether or not it offers insulation. We suggest determining how you plan to use your kid's water bottle, and your child's abilities will change how much "weight" you place on the importance of a bottle's total weight. Some questions to ask yourself include: Is the water bottle going to school in a backpack already full of heavy books? Or will it mainly serve as a spill-proof solution around the house? Is it mostly for sports practice?


The glass Lifefactory with Active Flip Cap and stainless steel YETI Rambler Jr. are two of the heftiest options in our lineup and more troublesome to carry when full of water, which could potentially increase their chance of getting dropped. But, to justify the weight, the YETI provides insulation, whereas the Lifefactory doesn't, which may be a deal-breaker for those who don't mind the extra weight in exchange for insulation.

If weight matters, but you don&#039;t want to compromise on material, the...
If weight matters, but you don't want to compromise on material, the Klean Kanteen is stainless steel and worth considering.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Lightweight contenders tend to have plastic construction, such as Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker and Pogo Plastic Water Bottle. We are not big fans of plastic due to eco-health reasons, but we realize that plastic is lightweight and can come in handy when weight matters. But, if you don't want to compromise on material, the Klean Kanteen Classic is worth considering. This single-wall product is lighter, but it isn't insulated, so it won't keep contents cold, and it can "sweat."

The YETI Rambler Jr. is one of the heaviest contenders in our...
The YETI Rambler Jr. is one of the heaviest contenders in our lineup; however, it has outstanding durability and offers insulation.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Important:
We recommend that you take damaged bottles away from children and dispose of them properly as a precaution against lead exposure and other hazards. While we make every effort to choose durable products, all bottles can become damaged through regular use. Parents should inspect all water bottle components for wear and tear, chewed parts, chipped paint, and other signs of damage during each cleaning. Some items, such as straws and mouthpieces, might be replaceable depending on the manufacturer, so you may want to check before recycling them.

The Takeya Actives isn&#039;t difficult to clean as long as you use a...
The Takeya Actives isn't difficult to clean as long as you use a bottle brush, but the silicone o-ring is challenging to replace inside the lid.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Cleaning


The level of convenience to properly clean your kid's water bottle is a big deal. If it is time-consuming or requires too many specialized tools, you will not use it as often, or you might feel tempted to skip washing altogether. Therefore, we assessed the overall cleaning task, keeping notes of any hard-to-reach nooks and crannies that cause worry of mold growth and if products are easy to assemble and disassemble.


The truth is, each contender requires some level of effort to clean. Still, the highest-ranking product in this metric is the Lifefactory with Active Flip Cap, scoring 9 out of 10, as it has a dishwasher-safe glass vessel and lid with minimal nooks and crannies, making inspecting and handwashing cleaning easier.

Besides Lifefactory's glass vessel, we recommend handwashing most contenders, such as stainless steel containers with groovy paint or graphics, like the CamelBak eddy+ Stainless, to prevent peeling, plus plastic parts, which we believe minimizes potential plastic degradation and lessens the possibility of chemicals leaching into contents.

Most lids in our review require straw brushes to reach nooks and...
A thin straw brush will be needed to clean straws.


We also encourage you to hand wash insulated containers as they have a double-walled structure that could potentially trap water, making the insulation ineffective and increasing the opportunity for microbial growth.

The design of the Contigo&#039;s lid is challenging to clean.
The Pogo has a silicone mouthpiece that is incredibly challenging to...

Some low-scoring options in this metric include the Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker and Pogo Plastic Water Bottle, which both scored 1 out of 10. The Contigo's lid has openings that you can't easily access or inspect, and no finger gymnastics is gonna do the trick to clean it thoroughly. The Pogo has a silicone mouthpiece that is incredibly difficult to replace inside its lid, costing us frustration and time. This issue alone made us want to walk away and leave this product to collect dust in our kitchen cabinet.

Our review includes multiple options that vary in material.
Our review includes multiple options that vary in material.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Eco-Health


We believe materials matter, especially as your child will likely be frequently using this product. Therefore, we evaluated the material makeup of each contender, paying particular attention to the vessel and mouthpiece.


In general, we are not fans of plastic. We consider it less desirable than stainless steel or glass, given the potential of this material to leach chemicals into its contents. Also, given a choice, we prefer silicone over plastic as silicone is generally considered a healthier material option. Therefore, we took all of this into consideration when evaluating our lineup.

The Hydroflask has a stainless steel vessel with a hard plastic straw.
The CamelBak eddy+ Stainless also received a high score given the...

We gave credit to those with stainless steel construction and bonus points to those with silicone mouthpieces. A couple of high-scoring products that meet this profile include the CamelBak eddy+ Stainless and the Thermos FUNtainer Spout, scoring 10 out of 10. The YETI Rambler Jr., Klean Kanteen Classic, and Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth also ranked above-average in this metric but didn't score higher due to plastic mouthpieces. We prefer to steer clear of plastic whenever possible.

Unfortunately, Simple Modern did not score as high due to chipped...
Unfortunately, Simple Modern did not score as high due to chipped paint. Although we don't think exterior chipped paint will enter the vessel, we worry about kids consuming paint chips from holding the bottle and eating food.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Unfortunately, our lowest-scoring product is the Simple Modern Summit, scoring 1 out of 10 due to exterior paint chips. Although we believe the paint chips will unlikely come into contact with the water bottle's contents, we worry there's a chance that a kid holding the bottle and eating food could potentially consume paint chips. For this reason, we wouldn't recommend giving a product with chipping paint to a child. With any damaged product, it is important to remove it from use.

Hydro Flask capped the bottom of their water bottle to cover the...
The lead test on the left (yellow) shows a negative lead result...

Lead Concerns


We are aware that some parents have discovered lead in several stainless steel water bottles after performing tests on the bottles with at-home test kits. You should know that these results are not representative of all stainless steel bottles as steel does not contain lead. The problem appears to stem from a small solder spot on the bottom of some bottles that can become exposed due to the destruction of the bottle's parts (loose bottoms, chipping paint). While manufacturers paint or cap the bottles' bottom to prevent this spot from being accessible, children can potentially be exposed to lead if the base is displaced or the paint chips. As a result of these concerns, we tested all contenders in our review for lead. None of the exposed parts of the bottles tested positive for lead, and we did not remove the bottom caps or paint to test underneath.

It is important to help your children learn safe habits while...
It is important to help your children learn safe habits while drinking from their water bottles.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Safety Tip:

Since injuries related to leak-proof cups and bottles can occur, here are some best practices, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the ADA:

  • Children should only use bottles when stationary
  • Potentially avoid dental decay related to bottle use by only filling bottles with water, NEVER sweetened or carbonated drinks
  • To avoid potential issues with decay and dentition formation, limit water bottles for outings only
  • Parents should always provide a real cup when it is convenient

The CamelBak eddy Kids didn&#039;t score high overall, but it is a...
The CamelBak eddy Kids didn't score high overall, but it is a product worth considering if weight and usability is of importance.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


You may find yourself dizzy after surveying the various kids' water bottle options on the market, and finding one that meets your needs can be downright challenging. Thankfully, you can reap the benefits from our hard work as we dug through the details and completed hands-on testing of the top contenders to find the best. Our extensive review can streamline your decision-making process, so you can return to more important matters, like family time, coordinating activities, and running carpool. Plus, we are confident that our lineup will have kid-approved water bottles that may meet your needs and lifestyle.

Molly Bradac