Best reusable gel flasks

HydraPak SoftFlask won in a shootout of 6 different soft flasks. Spout stays easy to open on the bike. Others tend to firm up after a bit of use. I use it with thicker gels without an issue. Only one company sells gel in bulk, wishing Crank and SIS would as well. But interested to see what Jonathan comes up with here.

Which company sells gels in bulk?

did you have any success with this “bottle”?

I tried the HydraPak soft bottles for gels. Didn’t work as I anticipated. Tried the Hammer flash and that works a lot better even with thicker gels.

I buy maple syrup by the gallon.


I just bought a set of refillable travel shampoo bottles from Amazon to use for maple syrup while biking and running. First run with them yesterday and they worked perfectly, they are very secure, no risk of spilling. 60 ml capacity means they hold just under 60 g of carb if using maple syrup, so good for about an hour. Super cheap, won’t be concerned if I have to toss them away and probably will do this during a race next month.

Possible downside is that the hole under the flip cap is a little small, might make squeezing very thick gel out but it works perfect for maple syrup and you could put something thicker, just not sure how thick. And you can always unscrew the flip cap and use the bigger hole.

These are a good option:

I should add: I have been using the hammer flask and I liked it, but it always felt a bit bulky in my jersey pocket and was very hard to carry in my waist belt when running so I would just hold it in my hand. These refillable bottles are a much better size, comfortable in a packet

I filled one of these 100 mL GoToobs with three Maurten gels for Ironman 70.3 Boulder this weekend. It worked pretty well, it fit perfectly in my tri suit’s small back pocket, and it was very easy to flip the cap open with my thumb. The only issue is that because the tube is so thick and Maurten gels are so firm, it was hard to squeeze it all out, so I had some gel left over in the tube. I also got one of those HydraPak flasks; might give it a shot this weekend, but I sorta already hate the way the cap opens.

I’ve got two of these. They are great for the first 3 to 4 hits of gel and then they get more complicated. Also a bit fiddly on the valve, but roctane gu flows through without issue. Tried the one with the bite valve, and as mentioned elsewhere in the thread, viscosity becomes an issue.

Going to give these a try as they can be collapsed down.

Okay I bought and have used the collapsible bottles. The bottles are perfect, but the opening for dispensing is too small. I thought there would be more residue left in the bottle, but you can get 3 or 4 good squeezes of gel with the bigger opening.

I bought these and swapped the tops. The Timiuu have a much bigger dispener opening so when you squeeze you get a nice shot of gel.

I use hammer gel flasks. I buy hammer gels in big bottles which are really clean ingredients and I add agave syrup to it to get the Fructose:Glucose where I want it. It works great and is the cheapest solution i can find other than going all scratch. Every bottle of gel you buy from hammer they give you a flask.

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I don’t but the hammer gel, but I really like the flasks. Used 2 on the bike and 2 on the run during Ironman Canada (filled with maple syrup of course… :canada::joy:).

I thought someone mentioned these before, but I guess not.

I use the 5oz/150ml version of these when I race:

A couple notes:

— The bladder is soft but the ‘shoulder’ of flask (right below the nozzle) is hard, so it has a little bit of structure, which helps when handling them under pressure and duress.

— The dispenser is a bite valve. This is my favorite feature because it absolutely never leaks — I used to use the Gu flask and it leaked everywhere. Also, if you need to get your hands back on the bars rapidly, you can keep it pinched between your teeth until you have a free hand to squeeze again. I primarily race gravel and this is absolutely invaluable … calculating when to grab a bottle or a gel on gravel is an art all unto itself.

— I use SiS and NeverSecond gels exclusively. They are both isotonic and thus have less viscosity than something like a Gu gel. I could see the bite valve being an issue with something really thick.

— I only use them when I race because they are a bit of a chore to disassemble and clean, to be honest and I’d hate to do it after every ride.


I had a skim through and didn’t see anyone mention Gu flask. I find these the best as they hold 6 gels and being soft, once empty, they are very small in your pocket. Also being soft, you can squeeze out the last of the gel too.

tried them and do not like them or the hydro flask equivalent, hence my experimentation with alternative products. Even those ended up being hybrid with bottles from one set and caps from another.

The benefits of the hybrids I ended up with are…

  1. Easy to fill because they have flat bottoms and stand on their own as well as wide mouths.
  2. Caps are easy flip open and have big nozzles that deliver a lot of gel in one squeeze. Much better for thicker gels like Gu, Clif, Hammer, and the like. Not so much for SiS or NeverSecond.
  3. the do collapse, but not quite as much as Gu or Hydroflask.
  4. wide mouth also means much easier clean up. I can get a brush inside and get any residue out.
  5. Multiple colors! I load each one with a different flavor not to mention caffeinated/uncaffeinated.

Sure would be nice if we could just buy them this way instead of having to buy two different sets and swapping caps though.

Hi All,

I’m wondering if anyone has used energy gels in their hydration bladder?

Specifically the SIS Isotonic gels.

I’m wondering a) whether it’d be too difficult to get out of the hose, and clean after, and b) whether it’s a risky nutrition strategy.

I’ve been playing with different products recently and find I’m stopping to wee too much whilst using Maurten, or High5, or similar product mixed with water.

My most recent race was a bit of a battle for several reasons (mostly illness the week before), but I really struggled to absorb the mix of Maurten and Clif Bloks (too concentrated).

If my math is right, I could get four hours fuel (at 88g/hr) out of 16 SiS gels, in 960mL

Is it too risky to not carry any water? I should be freeing up four molecules water with every CHO used from my stores shouldn’t I?

(Paging @Dr_Alex_Harrison )

If you rely on just the gels - even though they are isotonic - I think you’ll be setting yourself up for a bad experience. You lose water that you need to replace also, beyond what’s included in isotonic gels. I used the SIS gels for a while. No way I could get by just with those and no water.


Thanks Dave.

That was definitely one of my thoughts. I’m wondering what the other 38mL per gel are? Is it water?

The problem is I have moved to almost exclusively water based fueling, with some top up to up the hourly tot. This has been great, but I feel like I’m leaving some low hanging fruit on the tree by constantly having to stop and carrying all that water weight.

My next race(s) in March are back-country esque. Requiring more mandatory gear to be carried. I could put jacket, blanket, thermal etc in the pack with gels in the bladder, and carry a 950mL bottle of electrolyte water on the frame :man_shrugging:.

You might want to give this one a listen… Are Gels Really That Bad? w/ Dr. Mark Hearris - The Science of Getting Faster Podcast Ep. 9 - #2 by webdev511

TLDR evidence suggests that one should start with solids, then move to gels and finally carb drinks. Skipping right to drinks leaves a lot on the table in terms of pallet fatigue.

Personally I was already sort of doing this, but I’m also flexible. If I get an eat prompt and not able to eat solid, I adjust and take in what I can. Gel from a flask or a hit from a bottle loaded with carbs. Staying fueled is job one. how we get there is a matter of practice.

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I’m late to your original request (by about 3 years) but my wife found these at target. They are 3 oz silicone “travel containers”. Has a flip top with a decent size hole for the nozzle. I’m going to give them a try!

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