Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Product Review: CamelBak Podium Water Bottles

For the past several years since I've been a member of the Century Cycles family, I've been a big fan of the large-size version of our custom Century Cycles water bottles. The squeeze-and-squirt top is quicker and more convenient to use than the traditional pull-top style water bottles. In addition to making hydration on-the-go a little easier, it also provides a good defense against chasing dogs and other hazards of the road.

These basic water bottles do tend to have an issue with the cap leaking. This is especially annoying when they're filled with sports drink rather than water, when they leave streaks of bright red or green goo running down your nice bike frame. But, I always figured, what'dya want for $3.99?

The other day, I started thinking about upgrading to a higher-end water bottle, and so picked up a pair of the CamelBak Podium bottles. They come in clear and solic plastic with assorted color designs, for $8.99 each. I prefer the clear ones, because I like being able to glance down at the bottle in the cages on my bike and be able to see how much fluid I have left. They also come in an insulated version called the Podium ChillJacket for $11.99 each.

Both versions are made with BPA-free polypropylene lined with CamelBak's HydroGaurd to prevent bacteria build-up and resist retaining taste and odor. They feature a wide opening to make filling and cleaning easy. The cap screws on securely, and contains a locking mechanism to prevent spillage if say, for example, you want to stow your bottles in a duffle bag on the way to a ride, or to the gym.

The best part is CamelBak's high-flow valve with no moving parts. Just hold to your mouth and give the bottle a firm squeeze for a good shot of water or your favorite sports drink.

I took my new Podium bottles on a 56-mile ride Sunday morning. The bottles stayed securely held on my bike in my bottle cages, with no rattling. I experienced no leakage from either the caps or the valves. I also think that the nice, steady flow from the valve helped me drink more water than usual during my ride, which is always a good thing.

In conclusion, and this may sound like an exaggeration, but I never imagined that an upgrade as simple and inexpensive as a water bottle could make a ride so much more enjoyable! Stop by our stores to check out the CamelBak Podium and Podium ChillJacket bottles for yourself!

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