Just like everyone else in the world, I have a lot of opinions. I think that winter is superior to summer, road trips are always a good idea, and salads taste better at restaurants. Despite all of the opinions I have, I only consider a few of them personal facts. I believe that Christmas is the most magical holiday, if you don't like dogs you're wrong, human-induced climate change is real and a problem, wolves are a keystone species that should be left alone, and Hydro Flask makes the best insulated bottles.
That's it. That's my list of personal facts that I will defend until my last breath (though I do understand that while they are facts to me, they are nonetheless opinions). Today I'm going to focus on just one of these; Hydro Flask.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the brand, I'll give a little overview. Hydro Flask is a company founded in 2009 and based in Bend, Oregon. They originally made just insulated bottles but have since expanded to include four main lines; hydration, coffee, beer, and food. Their motto can pretty much be summed up in this quote from their website, "We don’t hold back when at work or at play, and we don’t accept "lukewarm" - in our attitude toward life...or in the temperature of whatever we happen to be drinking." Their products are designed to keep icy things icy and hot thing hot, for longer than any other comparable product. In my experience, they've more than succeeded.
In addition to their amazing products, Hydro Flask has recently founded a program called "Parks for All" that will award cash grants to various groups dedicated to building, restoring, and maintaining parks of all kinds. "Why parks? Because for us, parks represent a place we can all go to recreate, relax or be inspired. From urban park excursions with our family to national park adventures in the backcountry, parks of all sizes help make us healthier, happier and more fulfilled. Parks For All is our way of sharing the love we have for green spaces, and ensuring these special places get the attention and protection they deserve." (www.hydroflask.com)
I'm most familiar with the hydration line, so that's what I'll be reviewing. I have put my Hydro Flask to the test. A full day spent kayaking under the unrelenting Wisconsin sun (and humidity) is no match for the Hydro Flask! I frequently have to leave the lid off near the end of the day so the ice will finally melt and give me something to drink, otherwise the ice will last well into the next day. On the other extreme, I've spent many nights in the snow, watching those spectacular winter stars, waiting for my tea to cool off enough so that I can drink it. A hot beverage prepared in the wee hours of the morning will last through miles of snowshoeing and even an accidental bath in a freezing stream.
It may seem like a rather inconsequential piece of gear compared to other things, but there is so much comfort in having an ice cold drink at the end of a long summer hike or a steaming cup of tea while on a snow covered summit. Not to mention that it can be used in everyday life as well. Why not have a hot cup of home-brewed coffee in your eight a.m. class or ice-cold lemonade at the neighborhood picnic?
I have used numerous different thermoses and none of them stand up to Hydro Flask. These things are unstoppable and they will always be a part of my kit, so if you're looking for a thermos that'll get the job done, look no further.
Above Photo: Upper Nashotah Lake, Wisconsin, United States - Photo taken with Canon EOS 60D, f/5.6 @ 18 mm, 1/1250, ISO 100, No Flash