How Hydro Flask Made Its Lightest Water Bottle Yet

We took a look at what makes the new Hydro Flask Trail Series lighter than ever and perfect for bringing along for any hike.

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Since Hydro Flask launched in 2009, it has developed a fierce fanbase thanks to its sleek design and unsurpassed insulation that can keep whatever you’re drinking hot or cold for long periods of time. Now, the brand is out with a new line of bottles that will be sure to inspire more people to pick up a Hydro Flask — and maybe go into the backcountry. Its new Lightweight Trail Series bottles are specifically designed to help lighten your load when hitting the trail.

Hydro Flask went back to its iconic design and shaved off as much weight as it could — without compromising quality. The new bottles are designed to be lightweight enough to easily come with you on anything from a few hour hike to longer backpacking trips. Hydro Flask was able to shed 25 percent off the overall weight of its standard offering with a new design — which is offered in 24 and 32-ounce sizes. The Lightweight Trail Series is just as durable as any other Hydro Flask and is ready for whatever you can throw at it. We sat down with Hydro Flask’s Design Director John Cupit to take a look at how the brand was able to accomplish such a feat of lightness.

Key Specs
Capacity: 24 ounces and 32 ounces
TempShield Rating 24 hours for cold and 12 hours for hot
Weight: 9.9 oz (24 ounce size) 12.5 oz (32 ounce size)

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Thinner Walls but Just as Durable

Insider Note: “We first started looking at both material thickness and how the bottles are constructed. We were able to maintain [the double-walled insulation] while actually reducing the wall, or the area, between the inner wall. The vacuum distance between the two walls is narrower. That meant we had to work with our factories to develop tighter tolerances which was much harder to do. It turns out that a little bit of all of those things helped us reduce weight. We optimized the size of the bottle so it’s friendlier to carry by hand.” — John Cupit, Design Director at Hydro Flask

One of the first places the designers looked to lose some weight was the walls of the Hydro Flask. Of course, it had to maintain the brand’s signature double-wall vacuum insulation technology which made this no easy task. After countless prototypes, drop tests and going back to the drawing board, the designers were finally able to shave down the space between the outside wall and the interior of the bottle. This, coupled with elongating the bottle to be taller, allowed for thinner material with the same great durable quality Hydro Flask is known for.

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Lightweight Flex Cap

Insider Note: “We gained a lot by looking at the flex cap. It’s also a reduction in materials and it doesn’t look like much, but coring out the pivots and then replacing stainless steel with aluminum, helped a lot. And then the benefits of a perforated carry strap also helped quite a lot. Everywhere we could trim weight and still maintain durability, we did. Our flex straps and our pivots are foolproof. They continue to be a really durable construction and we didn’t want to sacrifice that. And we feel really great about the end result here.” — John Cupit

Believe it or not, 40 percent of all the weight that was lost with the new Trail Series came from the flex cap. Doing small things like creating a divet cap instead of a flat cap and coring out the pivots of the carry strap went a long way to achieving the 25 percent decrease in overall weight. Even the flexible strap, a core piece of Hydro Flask design and functionality, was tweaked to help lighten the load with perforations that keep it strong without a need for extra material.

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The Same TempShield® as Always

Insider Note: “TempShield is our proprietary insulation technology. It’s a combination of the construction, the 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel and our double wall vacuum technology. There are various ways we can test the thermal performance, but it was our claim to keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours that we wanted to maintain with the Trail Series. We reduced material and still have the temperature performance that our customers love in our inline bottles.” — John Cupit

It wouldn’t be a Hydro Flask without its TempShield® technology. Keeping your beverages at your desired temperature was at the core of the design process for the Trail Series. All while still making a bottle that can go outdoors and not take up too much weight in your kit. This double wall vacuum insulation technology is a huge part of all Hydro Flask products, but getting it into the Trail Series was truly a feat of design and persistence. When you hit the early morning trail and still have ice cold water at the summit, you’ll know the Hydro Flask difference.

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Subtle Changes to Stay on the Trail

Insider Note: “Our inline bottles are friendly, accessible and do many things well. The Trail Series is designed to go into the backcountry. It’s supposed to look like a performance product. I think our cap and the perforated strap adds to that. That helps when you have sweaty hands and you’re in the backcountry for a couple of hours, your hands breathe a little better. There’s that friendly little nod to performance in that racing pinstripe that we have at the bottom of the cap as well. You often see that in performance products like shoes or outerwear. The shape supports its functionality, as well as its performance.” — John Cupit

You will notice right away that the new Trail Series is unmistakably Hydro Flask, but also has a few different features. Designed to get out on the trail as a performance product, The Trail Series is easier to handle and carry. The longer body of the bottles makes it easier to grip in your hand and fits better into a backpack or pocket thanks to a more streamlined silhouette. Even the perforated carry strap achieves both better performance and lightens the bottle. The racing stripe Cupit is referring to is a small red ring at the bottom of the cap that makes for a nod to the performance and the trails the bottle is destined to accompany.

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