Product Review: Camelbak Podium Water Bottles

I've tried all kinds of water bottles over the last few years and after using the Camelbak Podium water bottle, I've learned that not all water bottles are created equally.  The complaints I've had about the standard cycling water bottle are that they leak, they affect the taste of the water and the minor inconvenience of opening and closing the valve cap.  Camelbak's Podium water bottle line eliminates all of these problems.

The Podium line of water bottles comes in two sizes, a 21 ounce and a 24 ounce and fits in any bike water bottle cage.  For me, the 21 ounce bottle is a perfect fit and provides plenty of clearance for easy access due to the tight front triangle of my mountain bike frame.  If you prefer an insulated bottle to keep your water cold longer on those hot days, there is the Podium Chill (21 oz.) and the Podium Big Chill (25 oz.).  Each bottle is made from a proprietary blend of  BPA-free polypropylene and lined with CamelBak's HydroGuard to prevent bacteria buildup.  No more plastic taste or odor to affect the quality of your water or sports drink.

Besides taste not being affected by these bottles, my favorite feature of the Podium is the self-sealing Jet Valve.  With this valve there is no more opening, closing or leaking like on the pop-top style bottles when hydrating on-the-fly.  With a simple squeeze of the bottle, the Jet Valve opens and provides a high flow of water and immediately closes when you are finished.  Simply place the nozzle between your lips, open your mouth and give it a squeeze.  No more dripping down the front of your jersey or shirt.  For storage there is a rotary valve under the nozzle that can be used as a secondary lock out.  Keep it in the closed position to prevent leaks and spills in your bike bag, cooler, etc.

Twist the rotary valve to lock for storage.

The Camelbak Podium is easy to clean, each bottle is top-rack dishwasher safe.  Or if you prefer to wash it by hand, simply put a drop of dish soap in it and fill with hot water, give it a shake and squeeze.

When it comes to price on the Camelbak Podium bottles, they're going to cost a little more than the standard pop-top water bottle, but the design and convenience of the Jet Valve cap and the taste-free polypropylene construction more than make up for it.  The 21 oz. bottle usually runs around $9 and the 24 oz, $10.  The insulated Chill versions cost a little more with the 21 oz. at $12 and the 25 oz. at $14.

In conclusion, the Camelbak Podium water bottle line is a welcome change from the old.  These bottles, in my opinion, are the best I've used.  Since buying a couple of them, I have a cupboard full of old water bottles that I no longer use because they just don't compare.  I highly recommend them for anyone from the casual cyclist to the serious racer, they're just that good.

Disclosure:  Camelbak did not supply these bottles, I purchased them on my own to try them out and had no intention of writing a review, but I was so impressed by how they performed I decided to.

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