Looking to buy a flask. For those that have tried several different brands, which work best and why? Any to avoid?
The Hammer flask … you are talking about a gel flask? I’m sure there are others yet I’ve always gotten my Hammer’s for free with purchases of gel bottles. They never leak and are easy to clean.
Yes, gel flask.
I’ve tried the Nathan flasks*. They are ok but if the gel is thick flow is not so good. Plus, I could really only get about 2/3rds of the contents squeezed out ever.
I tried just re-using the EFS liquidshot ** flasks. I thought they worked well even for a thick gel but they don’t hold too much & really aren’t made for re-use. Not a bad option. If the gel is thick, you can’t really get more than 75% of it out of the flask.
I tried these off-brand flexible flasks*** & they would be just about perfect except you can barely get a SIS gel to flow through the opening. It will flow but you gotta really squeeze it. Actually I remember you have a pretty good grip so it might not be a problem for you. Or you might just destroy it when you sqeeze! So be careful if you purchase. Good capacity on these & you can get out almost every last drop. (I’m not kidding about the grip thing. These are solid but they won’t stand up to a real solid grip. You’ll make a mess and be out of calories.)
These flasks from PlanetX might be my favorite****. Cheap. Reusable. Good flow. Who cares if you drop one. Only downside is not much capacity.
The PlanetX one looks really interesting… and while my grip strength is good, relatively speaking, not likely to make a CoC list!
I did not like the Hammer or EFS flasks. Too hard to get the last little bit (or third, for EFS) out. Lots of problems with leaks too. I like the HydraPak SoftFlask. It’s easy to actually get every last drop out, and the bite valve keeps it from leaking when it’s not up to your mouth. Easy to fill, carry, and clean.
I remain partial to the Hammer Flask. Used exclusively by our race team. Very easy to single handle open top and close with teeth, can store upside down in jersey pocket w/o leaks, and can consume at full speed even in the drops (as I did during road races). 4 parts gel/1 part water for easy mixing. [as mentioned earier] comes free with [bottle size] gel purchase.
I just tried soft Gu flask for the 1st time this weekend. Overall, it was fine, but flow out of it is a little slow.
Third for the Hammer flask. It’s worked well for me with multiple brands and consistency of gels (Hammer, SiS, and Honey Stinger). No leak issues, normally upside down in my jersey pocket. Flow is fine. Inexpensive so when it gets gross I don’t have any issue tossing and replacing. All in all, way more convenient than individual packets.
i have not had that issue - i just let soak in a small container of soapy water for a while; and then shake and rinse
Yes, that’s what I do, but after a season or so the rinsing and cleaning doesn’t cut it anymore and I just fork over the $3 for a new flask or two.
I’m with @matthew.weigel for the HydraPak SoftFlask. I’ve used it for maple syrup and applesauce (hey, I do what works for me!), and it’s worked really well for both. I was worried about cleaning the bite valve but it hasn’t turned into an issue. Run water through it when I get home, then put it in the dishwasher, let everything dry before putting it away.
Thought both sizes had a bite valve… might be packing the larger size (for bite valve) on outdoor rides.
Now I need a recipe - off to search other threads and the Internet!
I tried using the HydraPak soft flask 150ml and didn’t have good results with training rides. I found the valve (a screw top) difficult to open with my mouth (while cycling) and the first time the lid came off and half of the flask ended up on my jersey and bike . It has a design flaw where the valve and the lid opens up in the same direction. Suffice to say, it doesn’t come along for any races.
I would be interested to hear how the bigger one works out.
Oh weird! They’ve changed the valve on the 150ml. Mine has a bite valve!
Since it seems like you already got the answer you’re looking for. I’m just going to throw this out there is the best flask for the other types of rides
hmm, but it doesn’t hold a bottle of beer
the two SoftFlasks have identical 28mm openings, and so the bite valve can go on either one
A can is a built in flask
All right, headed to store to pick up some cans of Revision Disco Ninja IPA for the long holiday weekend!