Keeps water cold • VSCO girl approved • Variety of pleasant colors • Convenient carrying handle
Very loud • On the pricey side • Ubiquitous • if that matters to you
The Hydro Flask isn’t just a VSCO girl gimmick: It’s a solid, dependable water bottle that’s convenient to transport and easy to use.
By now, it’s fairly easy to assemble a VSCO girl starter pack: A thick scrunchie, a Fjällräven Kånken backpack, a bottle of Mario Badescu rose facial spray. And, to go with your stainless steel straw, the most iconic VSCO accessory of all: the HydroFlask.
The stainless steel water bottle is ubiquitous among the teenage VSCO set, and it’s easy to see why. They’re bright. They’re cheerful. They’re the perfect blank canvas for stickers, and they’re easy to tote around between classes. And since they’re a more sustainable alternative to plastic, they’re a perfect fit for VSCO girls’ environmentalist aesthetic. (Hydro Flask donates to a slew of conservation nonprofits as part of its Parks For All initiative.) But are they good beverage receptacles? The answer, in my non-VSCO opinion, is an emphatic yes.
Hydro Flask water bottles come in two styles — wide mouth and standard mouth — and in capacities ranging from 18 ounces to an enormous 64 ounces. I opted for the 18-ounce wide mouth option in a light blue, excited at the prospect of putting ice cubes in there for extra coldness. (Sadly, I cannot fit ice into the tiny opening of my beloved 32-ounce Nalgene.)
One oft-repeated comment about Hydro Flasks is that they’re loud. Like, if you accidentally drop yours on a hard floor, everyone within a mile radius will know you’re trying to Drink More Water. I regret to inform you that these jokes are absolutely rooted in reality — this bottle is loud as hell.
When I dropped ice cubes into my Hydro Flask’s stainless steel interior, I felt less like I was putting ice in my water bottle and more like I was PUTTING ICE IN MY WATER BOTTLE! Packing my backpack for a trip one early morning, I feared briefly that the aggressive ice sounds would wake my neighbors. And the clanging in my backpack? In a quiet room, it often felt like a lot. If you’re pursuing a career in spying or work in a silent office where people already don’t like you, this might not be your water bottle of choice.
At the end of the day, though, the loudness is just a minor inconvenience. (If you want everyone around you to know how hydrated you are, maybe it’s even a plus.)
For me, the first mark of a good water bottle is that I actually find myself using it throughout the day. Here, the Hydro Flask succeeds: It’s light, so I don’t mind carrying it around; it has a nice handle, so I can hold it like a little purse while I walk down the street; its opening is large enough for ice cubes, but not so big that it sloshes all over me when I take an overambitious sip.
If you want everyone to know how hydrated you are, the clanging is a plus.
While a larger option would probably be good for someone who can’t refill their Hydro Flask regularly, I like the 18-ounce Flask because it’s the perfect size for another VSCO girl mainstay: a stainless steel straw. Putting a metal straw inside a metal water bottle is, in my opinion, the ideal hydration experience. The water is cold, the straw is cold, the bottle is cold (but not too cold); the turtles are not in danger because of you, specifically. Who could ask for more? And if you thought your Hydro Flask couldn’t get any louder, try putting a metal straw in there. You’ll essentially ring a cowbell every time you take a drink!
Most importantly, the Hydro Flask keeps water cold all day, and ice cubes stay intact inside for hours when the bottle is sealed. Since I prefer the ice from the own fridge to the ice at the office (it’s a shape thing, nothing personal), I like to fill my Hydro Flask at home and cart it to the office in my backpack. It works like a charm. Plus, like many other stainless steel bottles, the Hydro Flask doesn’t form condensation, which means that it won’t moisten your paperback copy of Normal People during your commute.
It’s worth noting that the Hydro Flask is an investment even at its smallest size. An 18-ounce wide mouth bottle costs $29.95, which is not unreasonable but still fairly steep for a water bottle. If you’re looking for an option that costs less, the brand Contigo makes stainless steel bottles a little less pricey. They don’t come with VSCO cred, though — or, more importantly, handles.
So if you’re in the market for a new water bottle, the Hydro Flask is a high-quality, easy-to-use, and frankly very cute option. Worried it’ll make you look basic? Oh, buddy. You’re probably not ready to face our eventual VSCO girl overlords.