Insulated Water Bottles Keep Drinks Warm

Insulated water bottles battle it out to keep drinks warmStandard water bottles and insulated water bottles line up to do battle again—this time to see which can keep your drink warm the longest. Last year on a 90-some degree (F) day, we lined them up and the CamelBak Podium Ice came out the winner at keeping drinks cold. But how will the results shake out keeping a beverage warm in cold weather?

We waited for a good Iowa winter day with temps in the single digits (°F). We lined up seven bottles, heated water to make some Skratch Labs Apples & Cinnamon exercise hydration drink, and set them out in the cold.

The Contenders

Insulated water bottle contenders are anxious to beginThe reigning champ from the summer battle is the 21-ounce CamelBak Podium Ice. CamelBak advertises that this bottle can keep water cold four times as long as regular sport bottles, but how will it perform in these conditions?

The second bottle up is the 21-ounce CamelBak Podium Chill, advertised as being able to keep cold drinks cold twice as long as regular bottles and also able to keep warm drinks warm. It came in second place in our summer contest.

Also up for a rematch, is the 24-ounce Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle. It uses double-wall construction and foil insulation to keep cold liquids colder and warm liquids warmer longer than uninsulated bottles.

Our fourth bottle is new to the temperature testing circuit: the 24-ounce Polar Bottle ZipStream Insulated Water Bottle. This is the same bottle as above but with a self-sealing valve. The valve’s design prevents the bottle from leaking even in the open position.

The 23-ounce Specialized Purist Insulated Watergate is also joining the competition. It has double-wall construction and a proprietary insulating liner that provides a radiant barrier, advertised to keep your water colder for 20% longer than other insulating bottles.

In the non-insulated corner, our standard Specialized 24-ounce Big Mouth bottle is wearing the Kyle's Bikes logo (instead of the Discount Tri Supply name we used to use for our website), but is still the same great bottle.

Our second non-insulated contender is the 26-ounce Zipp Specialized Purist Watergate Bottle. This is large squeezable bottle with Purist infusion to shield the bottle from odor, stains, and mold. It has a Watergate top for easy, non-spill drinking.

The Competition

We boiled water on the stove at an employee's house. We let the water cool to 200°F before adding it to our bottles of Skratch. Then we capped them and took them outside, setting them upright on the shady deck.

The temperature was tested at the same depth every ten minutes, taking the caps off and on as quickly as possible. The temperatures are recorded in the table below under "The Results."

The air temperature was between 7 and 9°F for the entire hour of the experiment.

Insulated Water Bottles Keep Drinks Warm in the Cold

The Results

CamelBak Podium Ice won again!

By ten minutes, the drink in all seven bottles was down from the initial temperature and into the 160–185 range where coffee is frequently served. By 20 minutes, it became clear that the insulated water bottles would outperform the non-insulated bottles.

At 40 minutes, the drink in the CamelBak Podium Ice was staying noticeably warmer (139.5°F) than the other insulated water bottles (126.1, 123.1, 117.5, and 116°F). The non-insulated bottles were already below 100°F at this time.

Even after an hour, the CamelBak Podium Ice had kept its contents at 121.2°F!

TimeAir TempNon-insulated
Bottle1
Non-insulated
Bottle2
Polar Bottles
Insulated
Polar Bottles
ZipStream
CamelBak
Podium Chill
Purist InsulatedCamelBak
Podium Ice
Start200°200°200°200°200°200°200°
10 min7.6°162.7°163°163.9°168°175°176°180°
20 min133°133°147.7°151.4°155.1°155.1°165.1°
30 min8.2°110.4°113.5°129.8°133.9°139.5°142.8°151°
40 min8.6°92.9°92.9°116°117.5°123.1°126.1°139.5°
50 min8.6°76.4°80.3°106.1°104.5°110.3°115°129.1°
60 min8.9°65.7°69.5°97.9°98.3°101.3°105.8°121.2°

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Heating water for insulated water bottlesAdding Skratch Apples and Cinnamon to insulated water bottles
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Katherine is our Content Champion. She has done triathlons in the past, and now focuses on cycling and mountain biking. She loves weird multi-sport events that don't involve running, like aquabike and bikeathlon.