We’ve tried all the new bottles from CamelBak, a company that until recently only did packs and reservoirs, but the new Podium is really impressive and presents a challenge to other bottle-makers.
Having used soft plastic, squeezable sport bottles for way too many years while exercising in clubs, running, biking, hiking and just traveling, we have our complaints about many, but the worst is when they leak. Ever had a bottle in your carry-on in the overhead compartment drip onto a fellow passenger? Yeah, we know. Doesn’t make seatmates happy. And while working out, riding or running, we get really sick of losing our fluids or getting ourselves gummed up if the liquid inside is not just water.
This bottle solves these issues with aplomb. The bite nozzle easily flips and locks into open and closed positions and eliminates any possible leaks. Plus the sleek nozzle doesn’t add huge, additional gadgets or switches to poke you in the back if you’re carrying the bottle in a pack, plus it won’t get in the way on a bike, or add weight. The switch is operated by two tiny wings sticking out the sides of the nozzle. We should point out that the water also doesn’t splash out if it’s opened; the lock just keeps it from dripping out if the bottle is turned sideways, squeezed or otherwise not upright.
This bottle is simple, it’s lightweight, it’s inexpensive, and its water remains tasteless. And everybody who uses bottles should have one.
Nonetheless we do have a couple of niggly comments:
- The wings that you grab to lock and unlock the flow could be a bit bigger because you don’t always want to put your grubby fingers on the nozzle that’s going to go in your mouth. Although we’re sure the R&D team thought through this, it seems that the wing-like levers could be bigger, which would allow a person to grab them more easily without the nozzle getting in the way.
- It’s a bit difficult to grab the bottle and pull it out of a cage or bottle carrier quickly (just like most other sport bottles, we must point out). We know, we know, a loop would clutter it up and could poke again, but getting a hold of it can be a bit tricky, especially from behind your back or if your hands are slippery. We’ll leave it up to the bottle engineers to figure out that one.
Despite a couple of issues, we suspect this bottle will be a part of our permanent collection.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $9
For more information:www.camelbak.com