Paul has been testing out a special new kid on the block from one of the world’s most popular drink bottle manufacturers. Now, after many litres drunk and shared days out together, his findings are available in the following Hydro Flask Trail Series Review. We hope you find it useful.
We’ve been avid fans of HydroFlask drink bottles for many years. The products are beautifully crafted and perform superbly. They are everything you want in a rugged outdoor flask. But we are also fans of the brands commitment to sustainability and protecting the natural environment. Initiatives like their Parks For All Program and their support of grass roots environmental initiatives make them really stand out in our book.
Of course, we’ve benefited greatly from their generous support too. For the last 5 years HydroFlask have supported our Pick & Play litter collection events and we are so proud to have them on board. So, it could be said that in reviewing another of their products I’d be rather biased. I would say not. I always look at products and make a judgement about its functionality and suitability for purpose without letting brand relationships cloud my view. So, I am very happy to say this is my untainted opinion – even if I let slip straight away that I think the product is awesome!
Hydro Flask produce a broad range of insulated drink bottles, cups and now even a range of food containers. They are all renowned for their robustness, performance, styling and, very importantly, their reusability.
The new trail series is designed to offer all these same qualities in a bottle 25% lighter than their standard equivalent bottle. The bottle I tested was the larger 32oz model. Whereas the standard version of a 32oz weighs in at 440 grams, the equivalent Trail Series bottle weighs 330 grams.
The trail series is constructed from 18/8 grade stainless steel. As with all insulated Hydro Flask bottles, the trail series incorporates TempShield insulation designed to keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours.
The bottles feature a flexible perforated strap with aluminium pivots. All features designed for weight loss. They will fit most back country filters and are BPA and Phthalate free. The Trail Series bottles come in the tested 32oz and a smaller 24oz version. They come in three colours (clay, obsidian and slate) and come with Hydro Flask’s lifetime warranty against manufacturing faults. The cost for the smaller bottle is £47.00 and the larger version comes in at £49.00.
I have probably used at least 20 Hydro Flask drink bottles, mugs, cups and even their beer growlers and wine tumblers. I have found all their products to be extremely well designed and beautifully manufactured. Infact, I have never had a single breakage or failure of any kind.
So, I was interested to see if this pattern would continue now they are making lighter products. Generally, the simple equation I have found for outdoor equipment is that lighter can mean less durable. I was also fascinated to see how well the lighter product would cope with keeping things hot and cold over long periods.
The first thing to consider is the styling of the Trail Series. I received a test sample in the size 32oz and Obsidian colour. The first impressions were of a very stylish and sleek product. 32oz gives a volume of about 950 ml. This makes this a great size for a longer day in the hills. The smaller 24oz size gives about a 710 ml capacity.
I did think that, given the rough and tumble of life in a rucksack, the bottle would start to show war wounds quite easily. It has started to get suitably scratched. Any bottle is going to do that of course, but I have always found their powder coating on other bottles has endured the knocks really well. I figure it is like getting your new car though. You previously protect the paintwork until that first scratch. You firstly get mad but eventually relax and figure it is inevitable. The war wounds start to tell the story of your adventures.
The lid of the bottles is a really neat and low profile design. There is a flexible strap that pops up or, when needed, lies flat. This means you could clip the bottle onto a harness, rucksack or even fasten it to your mule if you wish. When it isn’t needed you can leave it tucked out of the way.
The lid itself screws open or closed easily and yet feels extremely secure when fastened. There is no question that it will stay sealed at all times and I’ve had absolutely no issue with leakage of any kind. If you want an alternative lid, the Trail Series is also compatible with both the Coffee Flex Sip Lid and Wide Mouth Straw Lid. I am happy to use the bottle as it comes, but for more of a drink on the go option the Coffee Flex Sip works great. I haven’t tried the Straw Lid yet, but it is nice to have this as an alternative option.
One of the key features of a decent drink bottle is whether it is comfortable to drink from. These bottles are great. The wide mouth and the rounded metal edge of Hydro Flasks make them a pleasure to slurp from.
The other reason for using an insulated bottle is, of course, to keep your drink hot or cold. This needs to be a key consideration of my Hydro Flask Trail Series review. On the very first Hydro Flask I received I did a long term temperature test. The results were very impressive. I have plans to do something similar with the Trail Series bottle. I will do it, but admit I have taken a more subjective approach to insulation testing at the moment.
The insulation in any Hydro Flask insulated bottle comes the same way. The double wall vacuum construction allows a gap between the layers and that, in a nutshell, is their TempShield System. It means you get a highly insulating flask that is extremely light.
Over the summer I used the bottle almost daily for carrying cold drinks and. As it has recently become colder I have switched to taking a flask of hot drink on my adventures. Either way, the bottle has stood up to the temperature test with aplomb.
I took to adding some ice cubes on really warm days and the bottle’s wide mouth makes this simple. With some cubes added I enjoyed a really cold drink all day. By afternoon the cubes would typically have melted, but the drink remained well chilled.
My recent move to autumnal hot drinks has been just as impressive. On chilly days I found my drink stayed plenty warm enough. It is always a pleasure to enjoy a hot drink right through the day. That’s not to say the temperature doesn’t drop slightly over the day, but it has certainly stayed plenty hot enough to be a pleasure to drink.
The Trail Series is a superb addition to the line up and I loved doing this Hydro Flask Trail Series review. It is very noticeably lighter and yet it performs just as well. You can use it for hot or cold drinks and either way it will keep you suitably hydrated and on top of your game.
There is a clear price penalty to pay for the weight decrease, but a durable and well constructed bottle like this will last you years. For my money, that’s a price well worth paying.
On top of that, the Trail Series bottles are extremely stylish. You can use it on the mountain and yet it will be smart enough for the office as well. In every way I think Hydro Flask have made a superb addition to their range and I have nothing but good word to say about the Trail Series products. Full details on the Hydro Flask range can be found on their website here and details about the Trail Series bottles is here. Please also have a watch of the sunny little video below.