HidrateSpark TAP review and comparison to other ‘Apple Water Bottles’

HidrateSpark TAP Apple Smart Bottle NFC Tag

Apple has recently started selling HidrateSpark water bottles within their stores. These smart bottles automatically record your water consumption and track it within an app, which can also be displayed on an Apple Watch.

I put a lot of value on the benefits of staying hydrated and have been happily using HidrateSpark Smart Bottles for several years. For others, the $60-$80 price tag has been harder to justify. The newest bottle, the HidrateSpark TAP, is a much more budget-friendly option – though the savings do come at another cost. Read our review below to learn more.

Quick overview of the HidrateSpark TAP Smart Bottle

HidrateSpark TAP, the company’s newer line of smart water bottles, gives a lot of the company’s beloved tech to customers at a much lower price point. There is a great app-watch integration and glowing reminders. Water consumption tracking has been changed here to a simple smart device tap to the bottle via an NFC tag. This replaces the automatic bluetooth synching used by the more expensive HidrateSpark Pro.

HidrateSpark TAP specs

Size/Material OptionsStainless steel 20 oz.
Tritan Plastic 24 oz, 32 oz
Lid optionsChug, straw
Item weight
varies by lid type
20 oz bottle: 393-398g
24 oz bottle: 213-218g
32 oz bottle: 238-243g
Item dimensions
varies by lid type
20 oz bottle: 2.99”w x 10.51-10.79” h
24 oz bottle: 2.99”w x 10.51-10.79” h
32 oz bottle: 3.50”w x 10.55-10.83”h
Battery1 Lithium Metal (included and replaceable)
CompatibilityApple Health
Garmin Connect
Google Fit
Under Armor Map My Fitness
Withings Health Mate

Using the HidrateSpark TAP Smart Bottle

The HidrateSpark TAP comes in a variety of colors and sizes. You can choose from a stainless steel version at 20oz, or a Tritan (BPA-free) plastic at 24 or 32oz. I ended up choosing the 24oz plastic since I already own HidrateSpark smart bottles in stainless steel (HidrateSpark Pro) and silicon (HidrateSpark 3). You can read/watch my review on those here.

You can also choose between a chug or straw top. If available, I would suggest getting both tops as the each are useful in different situations. For this review, I went with the straw top, which I find easier to use when running.

I think the design of the 24oz HidrateSpark TAP looks great and is well designed to fit into almost any bottle holder. I had a few issues with the straw coming loose on occasion, but it wasn’t often enough for me to be too annoyed and only takes a few seconds to fix.

Light show

At the bottom of the HidrateSpark TAP is a light which you can set to glow throughout the day to remind you to drink more water. The TAP doesn’t connect to the app directly like the PRO (or Apple Water Bottle), so you’ll need to change the settings via buttons on the smart bottle itself.

Since there is no app control, the options here are very straight forward. There are several colors to choose from, and the glow reminders can be set to repeat once per hour for 12 hours on a daily schedule. You can choose to “snooze” an hour, which can extend the schedule a bit if you’d like.

Smart water tracker

In order for the HidrateSpark TAP to track your water, you’ll need to tap your smart phone to the NFC tag after you finish a bottle.

While this tap only takes a second or two, it feels like a big step back from HidrateSpark’s other smart bottles. I loved the fact that with the other versions, I didn’t have to think about tracking the water. I feel like it is more convenient to just manually track the water on my Apple Watch (with the free HidrateSpark app) than to take out my phone to tap it.

That’s really the only issue I have with the HidrateSpark TAP. Yes, it is a lot cheaper than the PRO, but at the cost of what I feel is its best feature.

HidrateSpark app

Regardless of how I feel about the HidrateSpark TAP, the app itself is great. Here you can see your daily hydration progress, as well as where you should be if you want to stay on track.

If you have friends who also use a HydrateSpark smart bottle, you can add them to see their daily progress as well to create more accountability.

There are badges to earn, monthly challenges to complete, and a very solid tracking system. You can set you daily hydration goal or follow HidrateSparks’ recommendation based on your activity level, weight, and local weather.

You can have all of this connect to Apple Health, FitBit, Garmin, Under Amour, and Health Mate as well which is great.

And best of all is the Apple Watch app integration. This allows you to add a visual reminder of your daily hydration progress to the face of your Apple Watch – likely a big reason Apple is now selling HidrateSpark in their stores.

Comparison to Apple Water Bottles – HidrateSpark 3 vs PRO Steel

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HidrateSpark TAP Smart Bottle final thoughts

I personally struggle with staying hydrated, and using HidrateSpark Smart Bottles has been a huge help to me for many years now. That said, the feature I enjoy most is having my water consumption tracked automatically. Unfortunately, this is what has been cut from the HidrateSpark TAP to bring its cost down.

Truthfully, tapping the bottle to your phone a few times a day doesn’t take a lot of effort. Maybe I am just spoiled from using HidrateSparks’ more expensive options. Then again, maybe that is what makes the bottle so useful compared to just tracking hydration manually via an app.

It’s a nice bottle at a very budget friendly price. But, if you can swing the cost of the HidrateSpark 3 or PRO versions instead, I strongly suggest doing so.

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