Often plastered with stickers and marked by dents, Hydroflasks are glorified thermoses that keep liquids cold or hot for hours. However, the real question is if these thermoses are worth the expense.
Hydroflasks vary in size, ranging from 12 to 64 ounces, and the price tags may make possible consumers think twice about purchasing. Although a 22 ounce Hydroflask retails for $15, a 40 ounce version will set buyers back $40. Advertised as having a unique scratch-resistant powder coat, Hydroflasks appeal to many high school students who are on campus all day and need a reliable way to keep their drinks at the ideal temperature.
“Hydroflasks come in a variety of colors and mouthpieces so you can customize your own,” sophomore Mayvn Bolton-Bloom said. “On Christmas morning, I filled my Hydroflask with water and ice, and three days later, the water and ice were still in it.”
Hydroflasks (which cost $34 individually) retail for $28 for the pair, which is extremely pricey compared to $16 knockoffs sold on Ebay. An off-brand company called Hydro Cell sells its 24-oz thermos for $20 on Amazon.
“I put eight ice cubes in this bad boy, and I fill it to the full [up] with water,” junior Matthew Hancock said. “At the end of the day, lo and behold, there are still eight ice cubes in it.”
Along with sipping from their Hydroflasks, students can be seen donning Airpods. Although Airpods were first released in Dec. 2016, sales didn’t truly pick up until February 2018, likely caused by the removal of the headphone jack for the iPhone 7 and above. According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple sold 14 to 16 million Airpods in 2018 and sales are predicted to reach $50 to $55 million next year, skyrocketing to around $110 million by 2021.
“Airpods are Apple’s most popular accessory ever sold,” Kuo said in an article in UK Yahoo Finance. “We believe that there is a greater likelihood of legacy iPhone users buying AirPods than upgrading to new iPhone models.”
Other brands, however, can accomplish the Airpod’s seemingly impressive feats at a fraction of the cost. Companies such as MIZEPRO and CLOUDFOX sell similar Bluetooth earbuds for $20 to $40 depending on color and brand. Some argue that the quality cannot be compared to Airpods since the cost of these off-brand earbuds is so low. However, software engineer and Apple reviewer Forrest Knight estimates that the overall production cost of Airpods (case and cable included) is $55, meaning that Apple profits $103.35; conversely, low-priced off-brand earbuds profit less with similar production costs.
Whether it be strutting around with a Hydroflask in hand, blaring music into innocent ears without the nuisance of a cord or flexing both accessories at the same time, these expensive items are quickly becoming must-haves among this generation — for, at least, this year. For students looking for a good pair of Bluetooth headphones, many knockoffs come close to replicating the same quality product as the original. The price, in this case, does not complement the quality.