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One of the most important ways to prepare for any outdoor excursion is to carry enough water, and the most efficient way to do that (besides bringing water filters) is to use collapsible water bottles. The standard rule is to bring 1 liter for every two hours of hiking, but it’s never a bad idea to pack more, especially if the forecast is hot and you’ll be sweating more than usual.

However, the sheer bulk and weight of bottles can be a limiting factor to how much water you bring along. Sure, you’ll need 3 liters of water for that 10-mile hike, but now most of your pack space is stuffed with heavy, clanking bottles–and when they’re empty, they continue taking up room and jabbing your back at awkward angles. Even if you trade out a stainless steel bottle for a lighter weight plastic rigid bottle, it’s still using up valuable real estate inside your backpack.

This is where collapsible water bottles save the day. Typically made of silicone, nylon, and plastic, they are more lightweight than traditional bottles. Plus, once they’re empty, gone is the bulk; they fold into themselves to free up space in the pack. So whether you’re going for a short hike or compiling camping gear for your next backpacking trip, consult this list of the best collapsible water bottles so you can hydrate properly.

How We Picked the Best Collapsible Water Bottles

Living in the Front Range of Colorado with its variety of trails, I go for a hike almost daily and need to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated in the dry climate. Most of the time, I carry a small daypack to hold water bottles and snacks, but sometimes I’ll just tote a bottle by hand if I want to forgo a pack.

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle rolled up
Packability is an important feature of collapsible water bottles, like the Nomader. Paige Triola

To test these collapsible water bottles, I went on short, casual hikes carrying the bottles by hand and longer outings with the bottles stowed in a backpack. I made judgments based on:

  • Ease of carry and use
  • Water taste
  • Weight
  • Space-saving capabilities
  • Leak-proof performance

For good measure, I performed a drop test to see how the bottles could hold up to rough treatment without springing a leak. This entailed dropping each of the bottles on the ground while walking (twice on a paved trail and once on a dirt path), then jogging for a quarter mile with the bottles stuffed in a backpack. With these methods, I was able to fairly rank and review these collapsible water bottles.

Best Collapsible Water Bottles: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Vapur Wide Mouth Anti-Bottle

Best Overall


  • Volume: 1L
  • Materials: Polyethylene and nylon
  • Weight: 2.3 oz
  • Dimensions: 5.5”W x 11”L


  • Handy carabiner for carrying or attaching to outside of backpack
  • Easy-to-use snap cap on drinking spout
  • Packs down very small and light (can even fit in a pocket)
  • Costs less than $10


  • Water did not stay cool
  • Material is not puncture-proof

The Vapur Wide Mouth Anti-Bottle earns the best hiking companion award for being easy to drink from and convenient to carry by hand or by pack. It also boasts a minuscule weight and size when rolled up. This bottle features a sleek pouch with a basic snap-top drinking spout that is a breeze to open and use. With the capacity to hold up to 1 liter of water, the lightweight Vapur can be held by its handy top carabiner or clipped to your belt loop or backpack for hands-free hiking.

Once I finished drinking all of the water inside, I quickly rolled the Vapur up into a compact little scroll and folded the carabiner down to hold it tightly in place. The rolled up bottle is roughly the size of a hardshell taco, and nearly as lightweight. Slide it into a pocket or inside your pack—it’s practically as unobtrusive as it gets.

Hiker holding Vapur Wide Mouth Anti-Bottle
The Vapur has a surprisingly large capacity when fully opened. Paige Triola

While the water inside got a bit warm from the sun as I carried it on the trail (the black color may have contributed to that), I was pleased to find that the taste of the water wasn’t affected at all. My main concern with the Vapur arose during the drop test, when tiny droplets emerged from a pinhole after the bottle was tossed twice on a paved trail. However, the bottle didn’t leak nearly enough to get my backpack wet, and I was able to easily patch it with a small piece of duct tape.

Best for Travel: Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

Best for Travel


  • Volume: 0.65L
  • Materials: Silicone
  • Weight: 7.2 oz
  • Dimensions: 2.9”W x 10.4”L


  • Smaller size makes it easy to fit in pack even when full
  • Twist cap offers extra confidence that bottle won’t leak
  • Easy to refill and clean (dishwasher-safe)
  • Convenient carrying strap
  • Keeps its shape for one-handed drinking and can stand on its own


  • Heavy when full
  • Less compact when collapsed than other options we tested
  • Clasping mechanism for keeping bottle folded is not secure

This innovative foldable water bottle by Nomader features a screw cap cover on the drinking spout to prevent leaks, a cylindrical shape that can stand on its own, and a slidable hard grip sleeve that makes it easier to drink with one hand. It also has a thin carry strap, which made toting it by hand extra convenient.

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle sitting on dirt trail
The Nomader is one of the most durable water bottles we tested. Paige Triola

During the drop test, the Nomader performed admirably–while the plastic lid got scuffed on pavement, the soft bottle was not affected, and I was happy to see that no leaks had sprung. When the last sip of water was drained, I rolled the bottle up to about half of its original size, which makes it a good fit for even small backpacks.

Female hiker drinking from Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle
The sleeve provided ample grip for one-handed drinking on the trail. Paige Triola

The Nomader was slightly heavier than the bottles featuring light pouch construction, even when it was empty. Rolling it up was a bit tough, and while I appreciated that the carry strap doubled as a clasp to keep everything folded in place, the tiny metal loop was not secure and popped loose when I dropped the bottle on the ground. Regardless, the Nomader is ideal for short hikes or staying hydrated on-the-go when traveling.

Best with Filter: LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Bottle with Filter

Best with Filter


  • Volume: 1L
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
  • Weight: 3.9 oz
  • Dimensions: 4.7”W x 12.1”L


  • Filtration device allows you to refill from water sources along the way
  • Tough and durable, even when dropped


  • Does not have handle or convenient shape for carrying by hand
  • Water taste is plasticky when the bottle is first used

Thanks to the built-in water filter, this LifeStraw Peak Series bottle offers an advantage that many bottles can’t: the ability to safely refill and drink from water sources along the trail. It also proved its durability during our drop test. The plastic top got a couple of scuff marks, but it simply bounced on impact and showed no signs of leaking.

Female hiker holding LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Bottle with Filter
The LifeStraw collapsible water bottle held up to abuse during our testing. Paige Triola

On first use, the water in the LifeStraw bottle had a strong plastic taste, which is apparently common with these. However, after rinsing more thoroughly and using it a second time, the taste of the water was perfectly normal. While the hard plastic top of the bottle offers some support when drinking with one hand, I found the slouchy nature of this pouch-like bottle makes it better suited to carrying in a backpack rather than by hand.

LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Bottle with Filter rolled up in pocket
The LifeStraw collapsible water bottle rolls up very small. Paige Triola

When the bottle is empty, the soft and flexible pouch can roll up or lie flat to save more space in your pack. It’s lightweight and easy to carry without adding bulk.

Best Budget: Platypus SoftBottle

Best Budget


  • Volume: 1L
  • Materials: Polyethylene and nylon
  • Weight: 0.9 oz
  • Dimensions: 6”W x 11”L


  • Clear pouch lets you see water level
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Folds down easily to take up minimal space


  • Drinking nozzle cap was hard to open
  • Edges of bottle were a bit sharp
  • No handle for carrying by hand

The Platypus SoftBottle is nothing fancy, but it’s durable and offers great value for its low price. The clear pouch comes in some eye-catching designs and offers the benefit of letting you see how much water you have inside instead of needing to guess. While it gets floppier as water level decreases, it helps that its shape narrows at the middle for easier handling.

Female hiker drinking from Platypus SoftBottle
The fact that you can see how much water you have left is very convenient while hiking. Paige Triola

Once it was empty, I rolled up the thin material tightly enough to fit in my jacket pocket, and it was so lightweight that I forgot it was in there. The SoftBottle passed the drop test with flying colors–although the paved trail left a small scratch on the pouch, not a single hole or drop of water appeared.

Platypus SoftBottle rolled up in hiker's pocket
The Platypus collapsible water bottle is small enough to tuck in your pocket when not in use. Paige Triola

The push-pull cap, while tightly sealed and leak-proof, took a good deal of effort to pop it open with my fingers or teeth. The edges were also a bit uncomfortable to grip, so it’s best to keep this bottle in a backpack while hiking.

Best Rated: Hydrapak Stash Collapsible Water Bottle

Best Rated


  • Volume: 1L
  • Materials: TPU
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Dimensions: 5.5″W x 8″L


  • Handle on top for easy carrying or attaching carabiner
  • Can stand on its own whether empty or full
  • Collapses into small, lightweight disc


  • Initial plastic smell and taste requires extra washing
  • Tricky to drink with one hand

This Hydrapak bottle is a top choice for its helpful carry handle, ability to stand upright on its own, and wide mouth for easy cleaning (and for adding ice or drink powders). The Stash is also loved for how well it twists and collapses down to about a quarter of its size, perfect for stowing into a pocket or bag without contributing much weight. Plus, its top handle makes for convenient carrying, whether you clip it to a backpack or carry it by hand.

It comes with a plastic smell and taste in the water, but a few washes will get rid of this. While the lack of rubber o-ring on the lid makes the bottle prone to leaking, you can resolve the issue by simply screwing on the lid extra tight. And if anything malfunctions or breaks, the lifetime guarantee ensures you’ll receive a replacement free of charge.

What to Consider When Choosing a Collapsible Water Bottle

Before choosing a collapsible water bottle, you’ll want to think about your hydration and hiking habits. Are you sensitive to taste? If so, steer clear of bottles that have been reported to contribute plasticky tastes to the water. Prefer to add ice or drink powders to your water? Choose a bottle with a wide mouth to make things easier.

Are you hoping to be able to refill at streams and rivers so you don’t have to bring multiple bottles? Make sure to get a bottle that has a filter (or else bring water purifiers) so your water is safe to drink. While the collapsible water bottles in this list perform well in a variety of settings, some are better than others for certain situations. For instance, what works well for travel may fall short on a lengthy hike.

As far as value goes, if you tend to put your gear through the wringer, check on the warranty. Some products come with a 1-year warranty, which may be better for lower-priced bottles that you don’t foresee taking a lot of abuse. But if you plan on bringing your gear along on high-intensity adventures, it’s always better to get a bottle that comes with a lifetime warranty.


Q: What is the best material for collapsible water bottles?

It could be argued that silicone, with its flexibility and resistance to punctures, is the best material for collapsible water bottles. While bottles made of thinner materials tend to be lighter in weight and roll up to smaller sizes, they typically don’t offer the durability, free-standing structure, and water temperature control that silicone bottles provide.

Q: How do I get rid of a plastic taste from a collapsible water bottle?

Before use, fill the bottle with warm water and some dish soap or a couple tablespoons of baking soda. Let it soak for a few hours or overnight, then rinse thoroughly. You may need to repeat this process a few times if the plastic taste persists. Be sure to first reference the bottle’s cleaning instructions, as they vary by model and materials.

Q: How long should you leave water in a collapsible water bottle?

Since bacteria begins to grow after two or three days, it’s best to empty your collapsible water bottle and let it air dry soon after your hikes or travels.

Best Collapsible Water Bottles: Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to bring sufficient water when hiking or traveling, and a collapsible water bottle can save you space and pack weight. The best collapsible water bottles contribute no strange taste to the water, fold up to a small size to fit in a jacket pocket or backpack, and are lightweight and durable. And after testing, we found the Vapur Anti-Bottle to be the top of the bunch. For your next hike or trip, bring along one of these great options.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.