Is the Quality of Name Brand Water Bottles Fake News? (Part One of Three)

June 27, 2018

Is the Quality of Name Brand Water Bottles Fake News? (Part One of Three)

Name brand water bottles such as S’well®, YETI®, and Hydroflask®, have flooded the market in recent years. These stainless steel bottles are the highest in demand and, as such, are the bottles most of our customers reference when purchasing custom insulated water bottles. These companies have marketed their bottles as the best in the business, and come with the highest price tag. Because of this, consumers often assume that the quality of knock-off brand stainless steel water bottles fall below that of name brand insulated water bottles. I set out to determine whether this train of thought is fact or fiction, and the results may surprise you.

* From left to right: YETI®, Hydroflask®, Hydroflask® Type Bottle, S'well®, Twist Top Insulated Bottle, S'well® Type Bottle

In beginning this experiment, I chose six water bottles, three household names and three knock-offs, and I conducted two separate tests. I first tested the temperature regulation of cold substances in a controlled environment (inside, around 76 degrees). Then, I tested the temperature regulation of hot substances in the same environment. This blog will discuss the former of the two experiments while an upcoming blog will discuss the latter. Each temperature measurement was taken via Thermapen® Mk4 Thermometer, which boasts "the world's best in speed and accuracy."

In the table below I have listed the brand name, the starting and ending temperature, and the change in temperature over the 24-hour period, for each water bottle. The results are ordered from least effective to most effective.




Starting Temperature (°F)

Final Temperature (°F)

Change in Temperature (°F)








S’well® Type Bottle












Twist Top Insulated Bottle












Hydroflask® Type Bottle





* It is important to note that the bottles were kept indoors, out of direct sunlight. It is also important to recognize that the starting temperatures of the bottles are not equal. This is a cursory experiment, only seeking to compare this small sample size.



The S’well® Bottle is arguably the most popular stainless steel bottle on the market right now. And, according to the results of our experiment, the claims made by the company are legitimate. Finishing in second place, the S’well Bottle exhibited little change in internal temperature over a 24-hour span of time.

However, S’well® was not the best bottle we tested. The top finisher in this experiment was the Hydroflask® Type Water Bottle. The knock-off water bottle was as successful, in this case more successful, than its popular competitors. With an overall change of 3°F the Hydroflask® Type Bottle exhibited the least change from start to finish, proving that name-brand and higher prices don’t always reflect quality.

The results of this experiment prove that expensive name brand bottles do not outperform cheaper knock-off insulated water bottles. In fact, they underperform them!

What consumers often don’t consider is the fact that most knock-off companies are using the same insulation technology as name brand competitors. For each household name, PROMOrx offers a cheaper and a more effective alternative.

Of the top three finishers in this experiment, two of them were 'off brand' bottles! In addition to saving money, you will be maximizing branding space.

Brand name bottles allow you to add your company logo, but you are required to share this space with the water bottle companies’ logo. If you choose a 'no name' water bottle, your logo won’t have to compete with another. Your brand will be, singularly, front and center.

Don’t sacrifice quality and marketing space for a brand name bottle; instead, provide your target market or staff with the best in the business when it comes to custom stainless steel water bottles.


CREDIT: Rachel Schmitz, sophomore at Wake Forest University, experimented with and analyzed these products.   

* She subsequently ditched her YETI®