It's no secret that water bottles aren't just water bottles anymore. They are a full-on accessory, a status symbol, a beacon out to the world that you know what's trendy and cool. And for the last few years, the water bottle to have clunking against your keys is the Stanley Quencher tumbler, specifically the 40-ounce size. But times are changing. There have been Gen Z and Alpha whispers about it being — *gasp* — cheugy. And there's already talk about what brand is in line to take the Stanley's place. Enter the Owala water bottle.

What is the Owala water bottle?

If the water bottle brand Owala doesn't ring a bell, allow me to introduce you. The company was founded in 2020 when a group of businesspeople wanted to create a better water bottle. Since then, the line has grown to offer over six different types of hydration vessels in many colors and sizes. In 2023, the brand really exploded when consumers started looking for a water bottle brand that was more affordable than the Stanley and would leak less

As a recovering HydroFlask girly and a Stanley appreciator myself, I was interested to see how this new brand, Owala, would stack up to the Stanley. So, Owala sent me two of their water bottles to try and review: the 40-ounce tumbler (to compare to the 40-ounce Stanley Quencher) and Owala's premiere product, the FreeSip (review coming soon).

Felicia LaLomia

Is the Owala 40-ounce tumbler better than the Stanley Quencher tumbler?

In short, yes. Here's why. 

1. It's cheaper. But not by much. The Stanley 40-ounce Quencher is $45 and the Owala tumbler is $38. Both charge shipping based on geographical location, but for me, Owala shipping would be $4 and Stanley would be $7.

2. The rubber stopper around the straw hole does a slightly better job of stopping leaks. Let's be honest with ourselves. If we want to drink from a water bottle with a straw, it's impossible to make it leakproof (Owala calls its lid "splash-resistant"). The rubber stopper helps and prevents leakage when tipped over, but neither brand completely prevents leaks when tipped all the way over. (Btw, they both keep water cold and ice unmelted for more than 24 hours.)

Felicia LaLomia

3. The colors of the Owala are better. The Stanley does have more color options — at time of writing, 17 are available online with 6 of those sold out — but the Owala's six color options are prettier. When you pick out a Stanley color, you choosing the color of the body of the water bottle and the slider on the lid. The straw and lid are either white or black. When picking a color of an Owala, the lid, handle, straw, and body are all different colors. The color called candy store has a pink body, peach handle, orange lid, and yellow straw. The color splash zone is a blue body, navy handle and lid, and black straw. Personally, the Owala colors look more fun and vibrant because of the variety. All of the colors are available, too.

4. The design of the lid is slighty more ergonomical. The lid of the Owala slightly curves out to meet your lips, should you decide to use slide opening instead of the straw. On the Stanley, the lid is straight.

5. The onsite accessories are cooler than Stanley. If you want to deck out your Owala, the brand sells bottle boots in 10 colors and a sticker bundle. Stanley also sells accessories but they are more functional than fun, like replacement straws and lid variations. 

All of these might not seem like major differences between the two water bottles. But when you stack them up, especially in the competitive and fast-moving world of trendy water bottles, it makes all the difference. You can officially call me a convert, I'm now a proud Owala-carrying water bottle girlie.