New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Ranked: Water bottles

We have to drink water to survive, so why not make it fun?
Alisha Goel
(Alisha Goel for WSN)

A water bottle is more than just a vessel for drinking water — it’s a statement. People decorate their bottles with stickers and make them reflections of who they are. If you’ve been online recently, or even just wandered around Bobst Library, you’ve probably seen the recent Stanley cup craze, which is very similar to the Hydro Flask obsession of 2019. 

Not all water bottles are made equally, though. From FreeSip spouts to all-day insulation, the ideal water bottle is designed with peak hydration and optimum aesthetic in mind. If you have a bottle that you like, you’re going to want to drink more water — it makes staying hydrated fun.

6. Plastic

A plastic water bottle with “AQUAFINA” written on it, against a white background.
Plastic bottle. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

It’s 2024 — there is really no excuse for using a plastic water bottle. It’s fine for certain occasions, like concerts or traveling when there may be no other option. If it’s a last resort, then go ahead. But think about the turtles.

5. Stanley

A light pink water bottle with a white lid and a white handle, with “STANLEY” written on it, against a white background.
Stanley cup. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

This water bottle is hands down the most inconvenient on this list. It’s bulky and clunky. Impracticality at its finest, the Stanley is unable to fit into any backpack or tote bag, which is why you see people carrying them everywhere. Yes, the Stanley tumbler survived a car fire, but that doesn’t matter if it’s not leakproof. For its relatively expensive price tag — ranging from $35-50 — it’s not worth it.  


A yellow water bottle with a black lid with the “YETI” logo against a white background.
YETI. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

A staple water bottle, the YETI rarely disappoints. With its leak-resistant design and temperature retention, you honestly can’t go wrong. However, it is on the pricey side, ranging from $22-55, and you could get a similar water bottle for a cheaper price. It’s great for people who partake in outdoor activities, like camping, because of its ability to insulate your beverage for hours. It’s a great feature, but I don’t think as a college student who spends all day in Bobst that I need a water bottle this intense. 

3. Brita

A clear water bottle with a blue and white lid with “BRITA” written on it, against a white background.
Brita-filtered water bottle. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

The Brita water bottle tricks us into thinking that a tiny filter makes the already-safe tap water taste better. I’ll admit, I’ve fallen for it, but it always feels safe to have an extra layer of water filtration. This water bottle is also the cheapest on this list, ranging from $20-40, which puts it just a bit above the more durable YETI. 

2. Hydro Flask

A large black water bottle against a white background.
Hydro Flask. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

After its rise to fame on TikTok, it seemed as though everyone owned a Hydro Flask. It was a status symbol to own one and walk around school with it in hand. Known for its simple solid colors, the Hydro Flask also comes with many different variations, like a Flex-Sip lid mechanism and a straw cap. It is also known for keeping your water cold for a long amount of time and being leak-resistant. Though some may say it is overrated, I’d argue some of its praise is deserved. Long live the VSCO girls.

1. Owala

A pink water bottle with a red and blue lid against a white background.
Owala water bottle. (Alisha Goel for WSN)

Within the past few months, the Owala water bottle has taken over, seemingly dethroning the Stanley cup. Claiming the title as one of Time’s Best Inventions of 2023, the Owala FreeSip water bottle reiterates the idea that having a fun and colorful water bottle will encourage you to reach for it more. The water bottle comes in a multitude of color combinations, with the body, lid and spout each a different color. Most are wacky but still charming, like the hot pink and sage green variation. Plus, it is among the cheapest of the reusable water bottles, ranging from $25-30. It has two drinking methods, a straw and a FreeSip spout, depending on your preference. As an Owala owner myself, I can safely say this water bottle has turned my go-to drink from Diet Coke to good old H20.

Contact Pritheva Zakaria at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Alisha Goel
Alisha Goel, Photo Editor
Alisha Goel (she/her) is a junior majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Integrated Design and Media. When she is not at WSN, she is developing video games/apps, reading a long book, or creating mildly disturbing art with her photography. You can find her at @03alisha17 on Instagram.

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