Water Bottle Recommendations

I’m in the market for new bottles and curious what people recommend. Generally I prefer insulated bottles, and in the past I’ve used the polar sport bottles and more recently the older version of the podium chill. The polar bottle was hard to keep clean due to the dimples on the inside of the bottle and the podium was hard to keep the valve/nozzle clean. The redesigned podium seems to get negative reviews and I saw polar has a new cycling bottle called the Breakaway but I’m wondering if that has the dimples on the inside like their other bottles? Can’t seem to find any pics. Are there other insulated bottle options to consider?

I also have a couple of the older Podium bottles and love the shape function of those ones but hate the nipple design (gets mold in there and you can take it apart but it’s a pita).

Have an older polar insulated bottle with a regular cheapo bottle nipple. Bottle itself is fine but like those self sealing nipple ones better.

Recently bought a new style podium bottle and like how they updated the nipple to one that is more easily (it seems) to take apart to clean. But the shape is smaller than a standard bottle cage size diameter wise and also harder to squeeze the liquids out by hand compared to the older design. Will not be buying another one of these…wish a replacement top/nipple didn’t cost almost as much as a new bottle either. That one kind of pisses me off.

I think I want to try the newer polar bottle to see if it’s better shape wise to the current Podium bottle shape.

I have a weirdly strong preference for the Specialized Purist bottles. They’re strangely hard to buy online, but it seems like every LBS has a custom branded one.

They don’t hit your insulated request, I’m sorry to say, but still mentioning them just because I like them so much over every other bottle I’ve used.


I used to be stuck on insulated bottles. Then I got the purist bottle and I won’t be going back. So much easier to squeeze. And I was always disappointed in how poorly the insulated bottles did at keeping stuff cool/cold. The purist bottles are hard to find though.


Anecdotally, agree. I think I’m going to do a little experiment and test this… I’ve got a good kitchen therm and have a Polar insulated around here somewhere. It’s not supposed to be very warm this weekend, but I’ll give it a try.

Not my experience at all, but maybe in blank versions? I have over a dozen of them from various events, shops, advertising pieces etc. It seems that’s what everyone custom brands?

They make an insulated version of the Purist now. In fact, it looks like that is the only WB Specialized currently has in stock!


Try starting with them completely frozen…or maybe 3/4 of the bottle frozen and then top off with just a little bit of water before you ride. I have done 3+ hour rides in FL during Spring Break in 80*+ weather and still had cool liquids by the end. I found the Podium Chill bottles to be far superior to the Polar bottles.


The Purists are functionally very good, fairly expensive, but eventually will get mould in the areas of the nozzle that you can’t get to.

I moved to Elite Fly a couple of years ago. They’re dirt cheap and scratch up quickly, but you can squeeze out >99% of the contents and they’re easy to clean fully (no mould). Main issue is they are a quite leaky - after moving to 60-90g home made carb drinks in place of SIS powder, the leaking onto the frame is more sticky and unpleasant to feel with.

I’ll probably go back to Purists all things considered, so guess that’s a recommendation!

What part of the nozzle can’t you get to? Is this the Purist with that crappy valve that I don’t think they make any more? The regular cap can be taken apart to be cleaned. Mine are mold free after many years.

Ive never understood insulated bottles. I never actually want really cold drinks nor do the bottles keep things cold for any real extended amount of time.

Purist is by far my favorite bottle. Two sizes. You can’t beat them. Easy to clean. Stay fresh. Perfect squeeze. Perfect flow. If they came in 1L they would be all own. For real camel riding I use the Zefal Magnum for the extra water.


That was a couple of years ago, so may have been fixed in newer versions. Another reason to buy the Purist then. Although that valve stopped it from leaking in pretty much all circumstances, which was pretty cool.

The best of the worst from the ones I’ve tried are the Podiums. I just purchased a couple of the new ones and don’t feel that they are as bad as a lot of people say they are. Yes, they are slightly harder to squeeze, but that hasn’t been much of a problem for me. I will likely purchase more of these when I need to replace some of my older podiums.

They used to make a version of the Purist that was super-easy to squeeze…wanna say it was the Evenflo, but I l know that ain’t right! Still have one somewhere…I’ll find it and see what it was called. Dunno if they make it anymore, though.

For standard riding I love the purist as well.

The Elite Fly Bottle has always been my go-to race bottle… Lightweight and works great.

… Granted, almost all of my bottles have been retrieved by standing out when any pro bike race comes into town and picking up the tossed bottles. Have quite a collection by doing this, and don’t feel bad when I lose them.

While riding outdoors on long rides, I use the Zefal. Not necessarily the best nozzle, but nearly 1 liter of water, so I only have to stop every 3-4+ hours to fill up. Makes route choices a lot easier and gravel/MTB adventures much less stressful!

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Oh man…back in the day ('92ish), Blackburn used to make a cage that held a huge convenicen store WB. Worked great for trips to Moab. Would be just the ticket right now for long, solo rides so I don’t have to stop at stores to refuel. They should reintroduce it for gravel riding…would be perfect!!


ETA - I don’t know why the pics won’t post. tried two different ones…follow the link to an image of the cage.

Was it the hydroflow? That’s the version I use. 23oz and thin wall construction in a bit of a triangular shape instead of perfectly circular. Super easy to squeeze. I have a couple of the regular purist and the hydroflow is easier to squeeze than those too.

I actually didn’t have a problem with squeezing insulated bottles, until I went hydroflow. Now when I try insulated again I can’t stand them.

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The Pearl Jam edition.


Yup., that was it! well, technically “hydroflo”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

One of my favorite bottles…don’t know if they still make it or not.

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They do. It’s just hard to find.


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I just realised elite states their fly bottles shouldn’t be washed at mord than 40°C.
I always chuck them in my dishwasher at 50°C. Should i be worried?

I see this thread has been brought back up, probably by a salesman, but I like to use a bottle that I don’t have to bite/pull, it just makes things smoother and they seem to last longer. Mine are branded Rapha but I think Camelbak do them too and there’s maybe others similar.

Only annoying thing is when you’ve locked them close for transporting the bike in the car. Only to be half way through a ride before you realise. It’s easy to unlock them on the go but it catches you out for a second :joy: