About a year ago I came across a great 18oz coffee flask from a local Oregon company called Hydro Flask that was insulated well enough to keep coffee hot for up to 12 hours. I looked into the company and found that they had an expanded line of products ranging up to 64oz Growlers for the MicroBrew Market. All are insulated to keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours as well as keeping them warm for up to 12.
From an idea born out of frustration on the beaches of Hawaii with sweaty water bottles that held tepid water and were caked with sand came one of the best insulated beverage container designs I have ever used. The result was the first Hydro Flask, incorporating double-wall vacuum insulation, BPA-free materials, food grade stainless steel, a range of fun, durable colors and a charitable arm called 5% Back. And with great quality comes great commitment, so Hydro Flask created its lifetime warranty to stand behind its products.
Available in a wide range of sizes and styles, the one thing the larger bottles have in common is a large flat wide-mouth lid which screws on and off. While this is normal for large beverage bottles, it makes it harder to drink from because you need both hands to open and close the bottle. In addition, because of the volume of these bottles many will find them hard to hold with one hand. A common fix for many is to purchase the optional HydroFlip lid. While this solves the ease of use problem it introduces another....carrying such a large bottle. An enterprising gentleman from Hawaii designed a solution and ran a successful KickStarter campaign earlier this year to solve this problem. Called the JugLug, his product is a hard plastic handle which is held in place by the lid, giving you a safe and easy way to carry your bottle with you wherever you go.
Now ranging in size from 12oz to the 64oz growlers, Hydro Flask has a product for everyone. I use the 18oz Coffee and Tea Flask almost every day, as well as the 40oz and 64oz flasks for water. Some days I even have been known to use the 40oz for coffee if I have had a hard time sleeping the night before. I love that they never sweat with condensation in addition to the great insulation. This week I recieved the latest versions of their 40oz and 64oz flasks, and am just as impressed as I have been with the other products I already owned.
Previously I had the stainless steel version of the 40oz, and I recieved the matte black variation of the newest version. Aside from color you would be hard pressed to notice a difference between the bottles, but there is a minor change. They added a small lip at the bottom of the cap. It appears that this change was made to help improve the seal (although my old one never leaked). Otherwise the bottle is unchanged. I must say that I prefer the pebbly texture of the matte finish over the smooth stainless of my old flask. It feels like I have a better grip and it is less likely to slip out oft hands, especially if it were to get wet.
The other flask I recieved this week was the largest in Hydro Flask's lineup, the 64oz "growler" pictured above. This thing is HUGE! The same height as the 40oz, it's larger volume is all accounted for in width. While I have pretty large hands and can get ahold of this (barely) with one hand, it will clearly be too large for most people to do this. Bend, Oregon is the corporate home of Hydro Flask, and like any other city of moderate size in Oregon is home to several Micro Breweries. Part of the Micro Brew culture here is the "Growler", allowing visitors to the tasting rooms or restaurants of smaller brewers to take the beers that they often become passionate about home with them. The traditional size for these "Growlers" is 64oz, or four imperial pints, hence the sizing of this particular flask. At this point I have only used it to keep larger amounts of water cold when away from the house, but I plan to test it for it's intended purpose soon and will update this review when I do.
If you are in the market for a hot or cold beverage container, you can't go wrong with anything in the Hydro Flask lineup.