Newly available gas analyzers based on off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) lasers have been advocated as an alternative to conventional isotope-ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) for the stable isotopic analysis of water samples. In the case of H2O, OA-ICOS is attractive because it has comparatively low capital and maintenance costs, the instrument is small and field laboratory portable, and provides simultaneous D/H and 16O/18O ratio measurements directly on H2O molecules with no conversion of H2O to H2, CO, or H2/CO2−water equilibration required. Here we present a detailed assessment of the performance of a liquid-water isotope analyzer, including instrument precision, estimates of sample memory and sample mass effects, and instrumental drift. We provide a recommended analysis procedure to achieve optimum results using OA-ICOS. Our results show that, by using a systematic sample analysis and data normalization procedure routine, measurement accuracies of ± 0.8‰ for δD and ±0.1‰ δ18O are achievable on nanoliter water samples. This is equivalent or better than current IRMS-based methods and at a comparable sample throughput rate.