Whether you’re pedaling to the grocery store to pick up food or cruising to work at the start of the day it’s smart to ride with a water bottle. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short or long ride I pack a bottle of water in case I get thirsty. Most of the time I fill it up with water. For longer rides I’ll bring a bottle of an electrolyte drink, and for cold morning commutes I pack a thermos of coffee. It’s nice to have a drink to quench thirst.
I put together a list of the best cycling water bottles on the market. They’re either functionally superior to the other products out there or they’re the most aesthetically pleasing bottles compared to 1,000s of others. At the end of this article I give tips on how to keep your bottles clean and how to get rid of the plastic taste and smell that some bottles have.
The Characteristics of a Great Water Bottle for Bicycling
You’ll want a bottle that keeps you and the planet healthy. You should be looking for a bottle that is made of BPA-free and FDA approved materials. Generally speaking most bottles are made of either plastic or metal. A metal bottle will obviously be more durable than plastic, but will be more weight to carry on the bike.
Style & Shape
Style isn’t everything, but it makes a difference. Too many water bottles are so boring. I love bottles that get creative with their art, and enhance the look of my bicycle. In addition, you should consider the shape and size of the bottle. Will it fit on the bottle cage on your bike? Do you want a bottle that is easy to squirt water into your mouth or are you looking for a bottle that requires you to suck the water out? You’ll have a hard time squeezing water out of a stainless steel bottle. Keep the shape & style in mind.
Bottles range in sizes. If you’ve got a longer bike commute or ride in a place that gets hot hot hot you should consider purchasing a larger bottle for extra water.
Backcountry Byway Bottles from The Radavist
First off – if you never have visited the biking website THE RADAVIST than go now. Seriously – one of the best all things cycling website out there. Epic photography. Great write ups. All-around A+ site. They’re selling this rad water bottle that was inspired by desert roads outside of Death Valley. Anyone want to purchase me a pair? I absolutely adore the look of these things. Buy the bottles here.
CamelBak Podium Big Chill
Here’s the good things about this bottle.
- It comes in a variety of colors
- It’s designed that you can either suck water out of the nozzle or squirt it out
- You can keep your water cold for a decent amount of time. It won’t keep it icy if you’re riding in heat, but will insulate it more than your average bottle
- Holds 25 oz. of water, but you can choose a smaller model that will hold 21 oz
- If you put the lid on correctly and use the lockout on the cap it won’t leak water
- It has a lifetime guarantee by Camelbak
- Good price
The negatives on the Camelbak Podium bottle.
- The mouthpiece must be cleaned regularly to prevent mold and is not as easy to clean as the manufacturer says
- It insulates better than a regular plastic bottle, but isn’t going to hold the temperate as long as metal vacuum sealed bottles
All in all, a good water bottle that gets the job done. It’s a great bottle to drink from while riding, because you can easily squeeze it for water while you pedal. Get the Camelback Podium bottle on Amazon.
I love the colors of these bottles. Bright and bold! These 22 oz. bottles come in red, black, cyan, and purple. Bring some color to your commuter bike with these bottles! View the bottles here.
Why Hydro Flasks are amazing
- Made of metal. Unless you’re slamming it with a hammer it’s going to outlast you
- They don’t “sweat.” Ever have a bottle of water that has condensation on the outside. With the hydro flask you’ll never have to deal with this due to its genius design
- Hot drinks will stay hot up to 6 hours. Cold drinks can keep cold for up to 24 hours. I’ve filled mine with ice water for refreshing sips during my bike commute, and I also have filled it with coffee on colder days
- Multiple sizes and multiple colors
- Easy to clean
- The lid is made of BPA-free plastic
The reasons why a Hydro Flask might not be for you
- It’s made of metal and heavier than other bottles. If you’re looking to carry less weight on your bike than it may not be the bottle for you
- The lid is a screw off which means that it will never leak, BUT is not conducive to riding and drinking at the same time. While other bottles allow you to squirt water into your mouth while pedaling, you won’t be able to do this with a Hydro Flask. You will need to stop and unscrew the lid to get a drink
My family is a big hydro flask fan. We bought one for water and another for hot drinks. On short bike commutes I don’t mind carrying the extra weight, but when I know I’ll be pedaling for a long time I opt for a plastic bottle. Most commutes to work I bring along a hydro flask full of coffee so that I can sip hot drink when I get to work. Get the Hydro Flask on Amazon.
Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle
The Polar Bottle comes highly recommended by bicyclists. It’s 100% BPA-free and Phthalate-free. It fits most standard bottle cages on bikes, and has a wide mouth to easily put ice inside to keep liquid cool. The wide mouth also makes it very easy to get a brush inside to keep it clean. The good news about this bottle is that it’s also dishwasher and freezer safe. This means you can fill it up with water and freeze it before a long bike commute to have a cold drink while you pedal. You can get this bottle in various sizes and colors. Compared to the Camelbak bottle it’s definitely easier to keep clean from mold. You can get the Polar Bottle on Amazon here.
Zefal 164 Water Bottle
The difference between the Zefal and the Polar is that it can hold 9 ounces more water. It’s the same physical size, but because the Zefal isn’t insulated it can fit more liquid into it. The advantage of this bottle is that you can carry more although it won’t keep it cold for long. This bottle will not leak, and has a nozzle that is easy to open and close. The mouth is not as big as other bottles, but it still will allow you to fit in cubes of ice. It’s easily squeezable, and has a soft bite valve on it. Great bottle if you’re looking to carry lots to drink. Get the Zefal Bike Bottle on Amazon.
How to Clean Your Cycling Water Bottle
The best way to clean your cycling water bottle is by hand. Rinse your bottle out with warm water and soap after rides to keep them fresh and clean. Get yourself a bottle brush (eco-friendly brush here on Amazon), and give it a good scrub. You’ll need to make sure you get a brush that can fit through the bottle opening. A good scrub from a brush will remove any residue and mold on the bottle.
Make sure to clean the caps and nozzles of your water bottles. It’s recommended that you squeeze warm soapy water through your nozzles to help clear and clean out residue. Some bottles can be placed in the dishwasher, but check with the manufacturer to ensure the bottle will survive the heat. The heat of the dishwasher can warp and degrade the integrity of some bottles.
How to Get Rid of the Plastic Taste from Water Bottle
Even if a bottle is 100% BPA-free it’s still made of plastic. Ever taken a swig of water that tasted or smelled like plastic? Not the best taste out there. To remove the plastic taste and smell you’ll need to fill up your bottle 3/4 with warm water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Let it sit for one hour. After you rinse it out the taste and smell should be gone.
We hope this article helped you choose the right cycling water bottle for you. If there’s a bottle that we missed and should have recommended than let us know. You can contact us here. Now that you can keep hydrated get out there and ride!
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