too mIt is critical for athletes to remain hydrated during their exertions; this applies to cyclists no less. After consulting customer reviews from REI and Amazon as well as recommendations from popular cycling blogs, we’ve compiled the following list of the best water bottles for cyclists. All of our choices are BPA-free and come in various colors.
1. CamelBak Podium Ice Insulated Water Bottle (21 oz)
The CamelBak Podium Ice Insulated Water Bottle is the best water bottle for bikers. It has very high ratings with tons of great reviews on both Amazon and REI. It claims to keep water cold four times as long as regular sport bottles. It’s lightweight, easy to squeeze, and has a wide-mouth opening that makes it easy to add ice cubes.
2. Elite Nanogelite Thermal Bicycle Water Bottle (17 oz)
The Elite Nanogelite Thermal Bicycle Water Bottle hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but we think it deserves some. It’s a squeezable thermal bottle insulated with Nanogel, which Elite claims is the best and lightest solid insulating material in the world. Elite claims that this bottle maintains temperatures for up to 4 hours with cold liquid.
3. CamelBak Podium Big Chill Insulated Water Bottle (25 oz)
The CamelBak Podium Big Chill Insulated Water Bottle is a good choice relative to the Podium Ice if you’re willing to trade some insulating ability for four more ounces. CamelBak claims that the Podium Big Chill will keep your water cold only twice as long as an non-insulated bottle.
4. Specialized Purist Insulated Bottle (23 oz)
The Specialized Purist Insulated Bottle is probably one of the more popular insulated water bottles currently available to cyclists. It’s a squeeze bottle with a 100% leak-proof top (the watergate cap) and a microscopic layer of silicone bonded to the inside of the bottle. The silicone layer prevents odor, taste, and stains and also makes cleaning simple and easy. If you don’t need an insulated bottle for your bike rides, the Specialized Zipp is a fantastic option.
Insulated “Backpack” Water Bottles (For Biking)
There are really only two water bottles that make the cut for this list. Our recommendations of “backpack” water bottle are either the 21oz Hydroflask or the 26 oz Yeti Rambler. Both will last forever and provide you with predictable temperature management. As long as your kids don’t lose them, you may also be able to pass them on as a family heirloom one day.
5. Hydro Flask Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel
Where to begin? My love affair with Hydroflask began nearly 10 years ago when I found an abandoned Hydroflask bottle on a soccer field near the Hydroflask HQ in Bend, Oregon. I still use my 10-year old dented, red narrow neck Hydroflask regularly along with 6 other Hydroflasks. Hydroflasks are powder coated with Tempshield insulation, they fit perfectly in your palm and they keep your ice (or hot chocolate) at the right temperature for a full day. Hydroflask is also a stand up company who provides phenomenal customer service.
6. YETI Rambler 26oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle
The 26 oz Yeti Rambler is one well designed bottle. Yeti is known for the quality of its coolers, but the high ratings, elegant design and off-the charts aesthetics of this steel insulated bottle put it in a class of its own. In many ways, this bottle reminds me of the early Hydroflask cap design with its threaded finger-grip design. Yeti refers to this design as a “Triplehaul Cap” and I can only say I wish Hydroflask stuck with their finger-grip caps. Add the double-wall vacuum insulation and 18/8 stainless steel construction and you might as well start planning your trip now into the Mojave Dessert with this modern marvel on the top of your packing list. Do keep in mind it’s a little bigger than a 21 oz bottle, so you may want to review the dimensions before you make your purchase.
7. Camelbak Podium (24 oz)
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What to look for in insulated water bottles for cycling
If the list above didn’t cinch it for you, here are some tips you can use as you continue your search for the right bicycle water bottle.
In many cases, the extra insulation used to keep your water cool also adds to the overall weight and girth of the bottle. In some cases, this can cause problems for you if you’re trying to fit your water bottle in a standard water bottle holder; especially since most water cages don’t flex very much. Consequently, you may want to consider whether you need to also purchase a water bottle cage that is flexible (and strong) enough to hold a 1 or 1.5 liter bottle. Check out this one from Pro Bike Tool. It’s rocking more than 500 5-star reviews and is both affordable and sleek.
Typically, the more money you spend, the more temperature retention you’re going to gain with your bicycle water bottle. If you’re willing to carry a small backpack in lieu of using a bicycle bottle cage, you eliminate any constraints imposed by the size of your bike water bottle cage. If that’s your preference, consider purchasing a relatively lightweight, steel Hydroflask.
As seen in the different lids in the bottles above (like the watergate lid), each company uses a different design to keep their lids on tight and manage temperature. The best-designed bottles are rely on a shape and materials that facilitate grasping the bottle while on the run (or roll). Because of these important factors, when testing which bottles retain their temperature most effectively, lids factor in heavily. S’well is another “backpack bottle” that is known for its distinctive lid, which also helps manage temperature better than most other water bottles.
We hope you found a water bottle that’s suitable for you. As we approach 2019, we’ll take our favorite 2018 bicycle water bottles and update it with any new options for bike water bottles that emerge in 2019 and 2020.
If you’re planning on taking your bottles on a car camping trip, check out our top 20 recommendations for car camping gear or our car bike rack review. If you’re committed to having cold water at the end of your bicycle outing, you may want to consider purchasing a Hydroflask and tucking it into a backpack. If you’re planning a longer trip in a really warm area, consider using an insulated water bladder in a hiking backpack.
We often use several different options for our own trips, which has additional benefits from time to time. In one case, when downhill biking at the Grand Targhee in Wyoming last summer, I landed on my back after getting air on a series of jumps. Although I broke my shoulder, my Hydroflask absorbed some of the blow as it sat neatly in the outside pouch of my venerable Deuter 20 backpack. So. one never knows just how a water bottle (or backpack) will come in handy!
After you’ve decided on your water bottle (or bladder), you may want to purchase some helpful bike accessories such as a bike bottle holder, bike bottle opener, wide mouth bottle holder or even a personalized water bottle. Whatever you choose, stay cool and enjoy the ride!