Water Bottle Trends Over the Years

Students at LRHS have a wide variety of water bottles. Some water bottles are a part of the brand that is most popular, but not everyone participates in the trends. (Photo courtesy of Darcy Meehan)

Distinct reusable water bottle trends existed throughout elementary, middle, and high school. Each era had a different water bottle that every student had or wanted. 


In elementary school, S’well water bottles were trending. The bottles were usually decorated with a fun graphic. The kid who had the coolest bottle design was the kid everyone envied.

Ashley Stanziale, sophomore, used S’well bottles when she was younger. “Everyone had the S’well water bottles and everybody wanted one,” said Stanziale.

Madeline Carpenter, sophomore, also liked S’well. “It was fun that everyone had them and there were so many cool colors. I had one with rainbow stripes, and I think I still have it in my cabinet,” said Carpenter.

Kids collected different designs so they could mix up the bottles they brought to school. The variety of bottles allowed kids to express their personalities by choosing their favorite theme.

Eventually, the S’well trend dissipated. When kids started middle school, they aged out of the bottle’s design and moved on to something new.

Photo from Creative Commons

Hydro Flask

In middle school, Hydro Flasks emerged in popularity. The bottles were a different shape than S’well, but the fun design was not far off. Instead of built-in graphics, Hydro Flasks were one solid color that kids could customize with stickers. 

Alyssa Kaiser, sophomore, had a Hydro Flask in middle school. “They’re really durable and they insulate the water well. I really like the straw on top of it. I put stickers on mine and they were really cute,” said Kaiser.

The Hydro Flask era was also marked by the creation of the VSCO girl. 

VSCO girls had a lot of key characteristics, one being their eco-friendly mindset. Donning scrunchies and oversized shirts, VSCO girls vitalized the Hydro Flask, helping the brand become a huge internet trend.

People still own Hydro Flasks today, though their usage has declined. When kids entered high school, Hydro Flasks were overshadowed by a new reusable drinking implement. However, this new craze was not a bottle; it was a cup.


In high school, Stanley Cups took over reusable water bottles. 

The cup brand that was popular before the Stanley was Yeti, but that was mostly used among adults. People of all ages use Stanley Cups, even young children.

Colin Meehan, 5th grader at Sycamore Creek Elementary School, has seen the usage of Stanley Cups increase in his class. “Quite literally, every girl in my class has a Stanley Cup,” said Meehan. 

The trend took the world by storm, and Stanley took advantage of it. They released cup designs for each holiday, most recently for Mother’s Day. When Stanley released Valentine’s Day designs, people flocked to stores to add the pink cups to their collections.

Stanziale currently has a Stanley Cup. “I like that it’s big and I’m able to drink a lot of water throughout the day and I’m not having to constantly refill it. I also like that it has a straw instead of a cap,” said Stanziale.

The Stanley trend is going strong, but there is another popular water bottle that people notice less.


Among the various water bottles that have risen to fame and then become irrelevant, there has been one water bottle whose usage has stayed consistent over time: the Gatorade bottle.

Gatorade bottles are usually plastic, not insulated like the aforementioned bottles, and are most commonly identified by their iconic green color and orange lid. 

Athletes from recreational to professional levels use Gatorade bottles. They are easy to use because the water squeezes out, making Gatorade bottles invaluable for getting a quick drink before getting back to the sport. The Gatorade logo is present at almost every sporting event if you look hard enough.

What’s Next?

After the Stanley Cup trend dies down, a new water bottle craze will surface, but what will it be? Right now, more and more people are buying Owala bottles. 

Owalas have a lid that covers the straw and allows users to either sip from a straw or tilt the bottle back to take a big drink. Owala may soon challenge Stanley for the reusable water bottle crown because of their convenience and innovation, but only time will tell.

Shifts in water bottle trends have been happening for years, fostering a very diverse water bottle market. People can connect over having the same bottle, but may also become polarized because they want to fit in with the latest fad.

Meehan noticed this effect. “I think Stanleys are quite impractical, and that they are peer pressured into buying. I’ve seen people buying Stanley Cups just because their friends bought them. They don’t actually like using them; they just use them to seem popular and in the norm,” said Meehan.

Kaiser questions water bottle trends from an environmental standpoint. “I think it’s weird the water bottle trends. They’re reusable but people collect them, so it’s ruining the purpose of reusable water bottles,” said Kaiser. 

Whether or not you participate in water bottle trends, they are here to stay. When companies create new designs, consumers purchase them, creating a timeline of popular water bottles going back for years.


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