New bottle designs give hikers a lightweight Hydro Flask option.
Carrying water on hikes can feel like a necessary evil, but the bottle itself doesn’t need to weigh you down.
We asked ultrarunner (and lightweight gear geek) Scott Jurek what he thought of the new insulated water bottles, how he’s been using them, and what he has planned for the year ahead.
Hydro Flask Trail Series: What’s New?
The new bottle design saves weight in a few ways. The vacuum-insulated, stainless steel walls are thinner without compromising durability. Additionally, it shaves off a few grams from the Honeycomb cap, perforated flex strap, and the aluminum pivots used to anchor it.
The Trail Series bottles have a new look as well with three earthy, metallic tones: Clay, Obsidian, and Slate.
All the small changes in bottle design add up. Hydro Flask says the Trail Series bottles are 25% lighter than its standard bottles.
Trail Series Bottle Specs & Pricing
- Weight: 10 oz. (24oz. capacity), 11.8 oz. (32oz. capacity)
- Temperature claim: Keeps cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours
- Bottle material: 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel
- Availability: Now
- MSRP: $45 (24 oz.), $50 (32 oz.)
Who’s It For?
The Lightweight Trail Series bottles are intended for all-day hiking, backcountry skiing, or overnight camping. Really, for anyone looking to cut weight from their kit.
Available in two sizes, the wide mouth of both bottles will fit many popular water filters. That makes it easier to refill a bottle during long trips (when fresh water is available nearby) and means you can carry less of it while on the move.
And let’s be real, anyone considering a lighter bottle for outdoor excursions can appreciate its streamlined design during daily commutes and around town.
Company Background: Hydration Sidekick
Hydro Flask is based in Bend, Oregon, where the brand was founded in 2009 with the intent of becoming a staple hydration product.
The brand’s double-wall vacuum insulation and pro-grade stainless steel are designed to maintain drink temperatures for hours without altering the taste. Since then, Hydro Flask has expanded its product range to include multiple bottles, food flasks, and soft-sided, insulated coolers.
Scott Jurek on the Trail Series Bottles, Trails, and Family Trips
What do you like about the design of the Trail Series bottle and what surprised you the most?
I’m kind of a lightweight geek, so the improvements made on cutting the weight while still having the same insulating capabilities are huge for me. I’m also into the clean, modern design without veering too far from a classic look and feel that Hydro Flask is known for, so I love how the new Trail line was able to blend the two.
I was blown away by the weight. Sorry to repeat myself, but when you pick up one of the new Trail bottles, the weight is game-changing! Even though I was aware that Hydro Flask had a lighter-weight bottle in the works, I was very surprised with the first prototype.
You’re known for several running accomplishments. How does a lightweight, insulated bottle fit into your outdoor and everyday life?
Having an insulated bottle that is lighter in weight makes it easy for me to grab it for more outings and uses. To me, this is critical in simplifying what I bring — and knowing I won’t be sacrificing performance and ease of movement out in the woods, desert, or mountains.
Also with two toddlers, I am bringing more gear for family outings. Any way I can shave ounces is key. A product I can use for more activities is something I always strive for.
We biked around Japan for a month this summer, and these bottles saved us on those 90-degree days with 90% humidity (cold fluids) and the 45-degree days in rainy mountain passes (warm fluids).
You mentioned the family bike trip. How much water do you usually need, from your own running to family outings?
When I am working hard in hot/warm/humid weather, I can do 30-40 ounces per hour, but on average I am taking in 20-30 ounces per hour.
With family hikes, it seems like I sacrifice my intake for the kiddos (toddlers get thirsty), so I like to make sure we have 20-60 ounces on hand depending on the weather. Some of that is in their own bottles. Thankfully they are starting to carry their own mini backpacks and kid Hydro Flasks.
On our Japan bike trip, the kids were attached to their own Hydro Flask bottles, so we had to carry a little extra weight, and us adults used our Trail bottles. With kids, you have to keep them happy, psyched, and hydrated. Sometimes, going uber-ultralight isn’t the best for clan morale! Also, it’s a little easier to carry extra weight via bike.
Do you have any 2020 goals you can share? Are you branching out beyond running?
I had another big adventure run (like the Appalachian Trail) planned for this summer, but it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned, and hopefully all goes well for later this year — or most likely 2021.
I’ve been doing more bike touring with the kiddos since long multiday hiking trips aren’t feasible until my crew can carry weight and hike more on their own. It’s been fun getting into the biking again. It’s a great way to travel and see the world around you, much like running and hiking.
You’ve listed trail maintenance as a hobby. Tell us more about that “hobby” and whether you’ve taken it beyond your most widely used trails.
Trail maintenance is something I derive a lot of satisfaction from. There’s nothing like seeing the progress of simple manual labor —and it’s a great workout too!
When I run, hike on stretches of trail I’ve built or maintained, it’s hard to describe the feeling. I somehow feel more connected to the land and trail, and being part of connecting webs of trails that bring people and wild places into a closer connection. We need this more than ever today.
I’ve mainly stuck closer to home for trail maintenance, but I’m looking forward to doing extended wilderness trail work parties for long weekends or weeklong outings on our national scenic trails like CDT, AT, PCT, and Colorado Trail with the kids when they are older.
This article is sponsored by Hydro Flask. Learn more about the Trail Series bottles here.