Owala vs. Takeya: Which trendy water bottle deserves number one in my cup holder? (2023)

Over the years, as a product review writer, I've tried my fair sharewater bottles. In fact, by fair share I mean dozens, includingswelling,bkr, etc.

Of these manymanyWater Bottles, one was most often achieved: the Actives bottleTakeya. It stayed that way for years. But then I got two bottles from a brand calledHelle, which looked familiar to me from Instagram but wasn't known before. And, well, let's just say Takeya found his match.

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What is Owala?

Owala is a water bottle brand that launched in 2020. Since then, their stylish, streamlined merchandise has garnered legions of fans (or at least 50,000 of them, based on the brand's Instagram followers). I have two Owala bottles: TheFreeSipand theFlip. The FreeSip features a handle that flips over the lid and snaps into place to seal the bottle. After lifting the handle, a push of a button opens the lid to reveal a straw and pouring spout. The Flip Bottle features a handle that when pushed down opens the top to reveal a straw. I prefer the FreeSip so that reflects most of this review.

All Owala bottles are made from insulated stainless steel, which keeps water cold for hours, and Tritan, a clear, extremely durable plastic that's also used in water bottles like theCamel Buck Eddy. While the plastic doesn't keep the water cold, these bottles also have a colorful straw that adds a little extra pizzazz.

Owala's 25 ounce tritan bottles start at $14.99 and the stainless steel bottles start at $21.99 for a 19 ounce bottle and go up to $29.99 for a 32 ounce bottle.

What is Takeya?

Takeya is another popular water bottle brand that offers tritan, stainless steel, and glass bottles in various sizes. There are many different options to choose from and we've tested them allGlass variantin our detailed water bottle test. But theTakeya Active's stainless steelBottles are the top seller and my personal favorite of the brand. This is due to the bottle's ability to withstand hot and cold temperatures for up to 24 hours. Like Owala, all Takeya bottles have an integrated handle and offer options with straws and spouts.

Takeya Actives bottles start at $23.99 for a 16 ounce bottle and go up to $54.99 for a 64 ounce jug.

Which water bottle is more portable?

Owala vs. Takeya: Which trendy water bottle deserves number one in my cup holder? (5)
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One of the main reasons I've always loved Takeya water bottles is that they all come with built-in handles for easy carrying. And unlike the few other brands that offer handles, Takeyas are wide enough for an easy grip so you don't have to dangling your bottle by a finger or two. Well, until I discovered Owala bottles, I was convinced that Takeyas were the only bottles filling that niche. But Owalas too.

The FreeSip and Flip bottles both have handles that give these bottles extra points of portability. Now I prefer the FreeSip grip - very lightly - to the Takeya Actives grip. As silly as it may sound, the Owala FreeSip grip feels like it was specially crafted to fit the natural contours of curved fingers. It has the suggestion of a bow with a wider top handle, narrow sides and wide knuckles that hold it to the bottle. The Takeya Actives grip - as much as I've adored it over the years - is a skinny rectangle by comparison.

My choice:Helle

Which drinking bottle is more stylish?

Owala vs. Takeya: Which trendy water bottle deserves number one in my cup holder? (6)

I've always known that my love for Takeya Actives bottles was more for utility than looks. While I love the colors I own - which includesmint,lila,Cobalt, Andblue green– there is nothing about them that makes me smile at first glance, other than knowing that they contain ice-cold water (more on that later).

The Owala bottles, on the other hand, are really fun. Rather than embellishing bottles with prints and sayings that are likely to go out of fashion, Owala incorporates at least three colors into each of his jars (aside from the plain black and white bottles, of course). Of the four that I own, the"Hyper Flamingo" stainless steel FreeSip(including neon coral, peach and purple elements) and"Hint of Grape" Tritan FreeSip(with bright purple, teal, orange and neon yellow) have been in constant rotation since the day I received them.

My choice:Helle

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Which drinking bottle has better insulation?

As much as I adore my Owala bottles, I will admit that I'm not 100% confident in their insulation. While my Takeya Actives stainless steel bottles keep ice cubes frozen all day, my Owala stainless steel FreeSip doesn't have that longevity. However, as someone who enjoys everything from room temperature to ice cold water, that small speed bump doesn't put me off.

My choice:Takeya

Which drinking bottle is more functional?

Owala vs. Takeya: Which trendy water bottle deserves number one in my cup holder? (7)

With Owala, it's pure functionality that shines the most - and that's saying something considering how much I love the brand's colors. But I've never found a water bottle that fits my mouth better than the Owala FreeSip water bottle. It has a spout about the size of a quarter and I wasn't sure how to sip from it at first. However, the spout has a built-in straw, where the edge closest to your mouth when held directly in front of you is slightly higher than the back edge of the spout. This slant makes free sipping feel effortless; You don't have to wrap your lips around a small, hard, rectangular spout (like Takeya does). And believe me, I never thought twice about Takeya's straws because I was just thrilled to have one in my water bottle. But once I tried Owala, it changed the game for me.

Another thing I love about my Owala bottle is that the mouthpiece seems to be completely protected from germs thanks to its flip-top lid. Takeyas, on the other hand, folds into the bottle - but one edge of the straw is still exposed to the elements, as well as fumbling fingers when opening.

Finally, I love that the FreeSip is really leak proof thanks to the locking lid which has a silicone gasket on the inside to keep the water where it belongs. While the Takeya bottles claim to be leak-proof, I've encountered instances where a few drops leaked out of the straw's cracks.

My only complaint about Owala is that I wish the stainless steel bottle had either a built-in silicone coaster (like btwCorkcicle’sdo) or removable (like Takeya). That way it wouldn't rattle if you set it down or hit something with the ground. Is that enough of an accusation to make me drop the delightfully colorful and amazingly ergonomic bottle? No chance.

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My choice:Helle

Which water bottle is cheaper?

From a price point of view, both Owala and Takeya easily beat other, more expensive bottles. Owala's stainless steel bottles start at $21.99 and Takeya's start at $29.99; Owala's Tritan bottles start at $14.99 and Takeya's at $9.99 - so better value depends on the type of build you prefer.

Another highlight for both brands is that they offer pack deals (which I've noticed most other water bottle brands steer clear of). When you shop atSam's club, you can snag two 32-ounce stainless steel Owala FreeSip water bottles for $29.98; and if you go to Takeya's website you can choose from a variety of different sizesbunchab 32,99 $.

My choice:It's a tie

The best of the show: Owala

Owala vs. Takeya: Which trendy water bottle deserves number one in my cup holder? (8)

At this point, you've probably concluded that I have a new favorite water bottle, and you're right. For me, the Owala FreeSip water bottle - made of both stainless steel and Tritan - is absolutely second to none.

But hey, don't just take my word for it! The Owala FreeSip water bottle has received an amazing 10,948 reviews on their website, of which over 10,000 are perfect 5-star ratings. "This is by far the absolute best and most amazing water bottle I have ever bought," writes one reviewer. “I love the versatility of the hydration functions. Not only is it perfectly insulated, it is also easy to clean and disinfect.”

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If you need even more convincing, all you have to do is take a sip and see for yourself.

Shop Owala FreeSip Water Bottles at Amazon from $14.99

Shop Takeya Actives water bottles from $11.99

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.


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