Everybody knows that you have to stay hydrated - it's the #1 rule of everyday living. Drinking water is not only good for hydration purposes, but it's also good for so many other things: skin health, digestion, alertness, and metabolism, just to give a few examples. To make sure I consistently get the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, I decided to invest in a proper water bottle. They make life easier, because you can make less trips compared to a standard glass, your drink stays cold, and they're durable enough for any situation.
I opted for the Owala FreeSip ($24.99) water bottle in the Very, Very Dark color at a size of 24-oz. What's unique about this bottle is that it has a built in straw and a regular spout to sip out of. Mine is stainless steel, however the bottle is also available in a "Tritan" configuration, which is a BPA-free plastic material. As you'd expect, the Tritan version is cheaper at $14.99 and only comes in a 25-oz size. The stainless steel version comes in three sizes: 19-oz, 24-oz, and 32-oz (a glass of water is equal to 8-oz, for reference). Let's get into the review to see if this should be your water bottle of choice.
The first thing you'll notice from holding the bottle is the stainless steel body. It feels premium, it's cool to the touch, and it has a grainy texture that gives it a decent amount of grip. The lid is made out of a combination of plastics and rubber, which don't feel as nice as the stainless steel, but are well constructed. The rubber material does catch micro dust particles unfortunately (more visible in pictures than real life), which is hard to avoid. The button used to open the lid is also made out of plastic and feels pretty solid. Considering that you'll be pushing it several times a day, it's important for it to last, which I think it will. I do wish it had a more satisfying "click" when pushing it - it feels a bit too mushy.
Let's just get this out of the way: this is a damn good-looking water bottle. And that's a big reason why I got it. It's got a clean look without any obnoxious colors and minimal branding. It's got indented sides for more grip. The handle is well-integrated into the top of the bottle and the silhouette looks premium. Also, something I realized after the fact is that the 24-oz size is the perfect balance between portability and quantity - drink this bottle just 3 times a day and you're well covered on your daily water quota. Lastly, the matte black color is just icing on the cake, since it fits into any environment.
What's the point of a good water bottle if it can't do it's job well? As I mentioned before, you can drink out of this bottle in two ways: straw or spout. I find myself using the built-in straw most of the time, because it takes the least effort. Initially, it looks a bit weird, because it a flat, wide opening instead of your traditional straw. However, this straw design makes drinking water a surprisingly smooth experience, which I didn't know I needed. The spout is great for when you're really thirsty and just need to chug a bunch of water. When you're chugging, no water spills out from the straw opening, which is nice.
The bottle is also leak-proof and keeps my water cold for most of the day, around 8-10 hours I would say. The handle also doubles as extra protection to prevent any inadvertent opening of the lid. My only gripe, and it's a small one, is that the lid doesn't open up instantly when you push the button. There's a 1-second lag between when you push the button and the lid opening up fully, which I hope will decrease as time goes on and the parts become less stiff. As a final point, you can use this bottle for more than just water - any drink that's not carbonated or hot will work.
If you're in the market for a new water bottle, this is up there in terms of the best ones. Obviously you have the big names like Hydroflask and Swell, which have carved out their places at the top, but they also come with huge price tags. In my opinion, this bottle from Owala beats both of those in terms of value. It's something you can use at home, at work, at the gym (once quarantine is over), or anywhere else you can think of really.