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Hydro Flask vs Simple Modern

Nature lovers and backcountry explorers have been using reusable bottles ever since the 1950s. However, in the last few decades, many outdoor enthusiasts have stopped using plastic water bottles and decided to use stainless steel ones instead. 

While these double-walled, vacuum-insulated flasks certainly cost more than their simple plastic cousins, they’re definitely well worth the price. Not only are they much more durable, but they’re also capable of keeping one’s drink hot or cold for hours on end. 

Out of the massive range of different brands available on today’s market, the two I’ve decided to compare today are Hydro Flask and Simple Modern. The first brand is a pioneer of vacuum insulation technology and one that manufactures some of the market’s most highly rated bottles. The second is a chic alternative with well-designed but inexpensive and practical water bottles. 

Which one of these two brands is a better choice? Should you go with a safe bet – a Hydro Flask bottle – or should you simply buy a Simple Modern bottle and enjoy most of the perks offered by Hydro Flask but at a lower price? To find an answer to that question, keep reading. 

Popular Hydro Flask Bottles 

Hydro Flask 21 oz Stainless Steel Bottle

Hydro Flask Trail Series Bottle
  • Sleek & leak proof design 
  • TempShield double-walled insulation 
  • 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel 

Hydro Flask 40 oz Stainless Steel Bottle

Hydro Flask 40 oz
  • Slip-free powder coating 
  • Dishwasher-safe 
  • Limited lifetime warranty 

Hydro Flask 64 oz Stainless Steel Bottle

Hydro Flask 64 oz bottle
  • A durable high-capacity water bottle 
  • BPA-free kitchen-grade stainless steel 
  • Keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours 

Popular Simple Modern Bottles 

Simple Modern 24 oz Ascent Bottle

Simple Modern 24 oz bottle
  • Convenient handle lid 
  • Copper-coated insulation layer 
  • Premium stainless steel with a durable finish 

Simple Modern 32 oz Insulated Bottle

Simple Modern 32 oz bottle
  • Equipped with a leak proof straw lid 
  • Available in 36 colors 
  • BPA-free construction 

Simple Modern 64 oz Summit Bottle

Simple Modern 64 oz bottle
  • Leak proof chug lid 
  • Copper-enhanced vacuum insulation 
  • Wide-mouth opening – easy cleaning & filling 

The Price 

I think it’s pretty safe to say that one of the biggest differences between these two brands is in the cost of their reusable water bottles. These types of products – stainless steel, vacuum-insulated bottles – cost far more than their simple plastic-made counterparts due to materials and craftsmanship. 

If you’re looking to save some money, Simple Modern water bottles are undoubtedly a better choice. These bottles generally cost less because they’re not as durable or feature-packed as their Hydro Flask rivals. If money is no problem, on the other hand, go for a Hydro Flask model – you’ll be buying a reusable water bottle you’ll be able to use for years to come. 

The Safety

Two Hydro Flask bottles

As something you’ll be drinking out from, a water bottle needs to be made out of materials that are completely safe and pose no risk to one’s health. Just 15 years ago, a lot of products – including water bottles – were made with Bisphenol A (BPA), which is an organic synthetic compound whose hormone-like properties raised a lot of concern. 

Fortunately, both Hydro Flask and Simple Modern manufacture and sell water bottles that are BPA-free and, therefore, completely safe to use. However, I must admit that this is true for all of today’s major manufacturers of reusable water bottles, so it’s nothing I didn’t expect already. 

The Durability

Stainless steel water bottles are far more durable than plastic ones – there’s no doubt about that. They can take a serious beating and usually end up with a dent or two only when they’re dropped from a great height and onto sharp rocks. 

In terms of durability, both of these two brands manufacture stainless steel bottles that are very sturdy. However, Hydro Flask bottles (particularly the older models) have plastic parts that are quite prone to damage. On the other hand, the coating found on the Simple Modern bottles is not the most durable one out there – if you don’t take good care of your model, it will lose its color quite quickly. 

The Available Sizes

Thee Hydro Flask steel bottles

Both Hydro Flask and Simple Modern manufacture and sell reusable water bottles that are available in a variety of different sizes. The former brand’s bottles can be obtained in 16 oz, 18 oz, 20 oz, 21 oz, 32 oz, 40 oz, and 64 oz sizes. Simple Modern offers a much wider range of sizes – from 12 oz models all the way up to 128 oz bottles. 

Obviously, the lower-capacity reusable bottles work best for school-aged kids and folks whose outings are often short and not that physically demanding. You can pack a 16 oz model into your kid’s school bag or have it filled with hot tea and take it with you to work. A 40 oz reusable water bottle, on the other hand, will allow you to remain comfy on your road trip. In any case, both brands offer a large assortment of sizes and you’ll easily find one that suits your needs. 

The Taste 

Those who decide to switch from glass to plastic or steel bottles often worry about the taste. When you’re thirsty in the middle of nowhere and you want to quickly hydrate yourself, the last thing you want is sipping water that has an awful plastic or metallic taste. 

Fortunately, both Hydro Flask and Simple Modern produce stainless steel bottles that don’t impart a metallic taste to their contents, and that’s a huge plus in my book. So, no matter which one of these two brands you decide to go with, you won’t have to worry about the body of the bottle or its cap giving a funny taste to your water or any other drink. 

Another brand worth considering in this regard is CamelBak – the company’s bottles do an impressive job of resisting the flavors of the drinks you fill them with. Have a look at my comparison between CamelBak and Hydro Flask.

The Insulation 

Hiker holding a Hydro Flask

Besides durability, the most important advantage stainless steel bottles have over their plastic counterparts is that they’re insulated. Both Hydro Flask and Simple Modern design, manufacture, and sell bottles that feature double-walled vacuum insulation, whose job is to keep one’s beverage piping hot or ice-cold for hours on end. 

Both brands advertise their insulated bottles as products that are capable of maintaining the temperature of hot beverages for up to 12 hours. However, it’s a bit unrealistic to expect that Simple Modern’s bottles, which are more affordable than the Hydro Flask ones, can keep hot drinks hot for that long. 

In reality, reusable vacuum-insulated bottles made by Hydro Flask can maintain the temperature of hot drinks for about 8 hours, while the ones made by Simple Modern do so for about 6 hours. On the other hand, the bottles made by both brands are very good when it comes to keeping cold water (and other drinks) cold – they are more than capable of maintaining the temperature of these drinks for 24 hours and even longer in some cases. 

In terms of temperature control, Yeti is probably Hydro Flask’s strongest competitor. Have a look at my Yeti vs Hydro Flask comparison to see how these two drinkware industry giants measure up.

The Accessories 

A number of available accessories for a product sold by a particular brand show how much that brand cares about the functionality and practicality of the said product. Both Hydro Flask and Simple Modern offer an extensive array of accessories, such as different lids, for their stainless steel water bottles. 

Those who opt for a Hydro Flask bottle will be able to purchase a number of different accessories for it, including lid cleaning sets, bottle slings, insulated sport caps, small flex boots, medium and large press-in lids, wide-mouth straw lids, etc. Simple Modern sells accessories such as tumbler-style straw lids, silicone bottle boots, chug caps, screw lids with handle tops, and so on. 

The Customization

When a person who’s familiar with reusable water bottles thinks of Hydro Flask, he or she thinks of bottles that sport vibrant, attractive colors. It’s no wonder why – almost every product made by this company can be obtained in more than 10 different colors. 

While this is certainly admirable, it’s nothing when compared to the number of color options offered by Simple Modern. Some of their most popular stainless steel bottles can be purchased in 40 different colors, which is seriously impressive. In other words, not being able to find a Simple Modern bottle with a color of your liking is next to impossible. 

What is more, the company offers customers a chance to have their bottles engraved (you can even choose the font) for an extra 10$. Hydro Flask, on the other hand, allows customers to choose different colors for straps and caps, but that’s about it. Overall, Simple Modern is one of the market’s best brands for all those looking for a highly personalized water bottle. 

The Warranty

Besides the phenomenal functionality and durability of its stainless steel water bottles, Hydro Flask is also well-known for its limited lifetime warranty. If there’s something wrong with your Hydro Flask bottle, the company will gladly have it replaced with a new one. Another great thing about this brand is that it has exceptional customer service. 

Simple Modern, on the other hand, covers its products with a simple 90-day warranty. While it’s true that their stainless steel water bottles are very well-made and only a little bit less durable than the Hydro Flask ones, this 3-month warranty makes them look like they’re made out of cheap plastic. 

Hydro Flask vs Simple Modern – The Verdict 

Truth be told, both of the brands I’ve compared in this article are very reputable due to the fact that they manufacture stainless steel bottles that are well-insulated, durable, and also eye-catching. Because of the construction similarities between their products, deciding which brand is actually better can be somewhat tricky. But still, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Hydro Flask is a winner of this “battle”. 

The bottles made by this company receive more positive customer reviews for a good reason. Not only can they keep hot drinks hot for longer, but they’re also sturdier (hence the higher price) and there are more accessories available for them. If money is not a problem, go with Hydro Flask – it’s a decision you certainly won’t regret making.

For another comparison between Hydro Flask and a brand of similar quality, have a look at my Hydro Flask vs Klean Kanteen article.

About the author
Leslie Gilmour

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