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  1. #1
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    Better quality water bottles

    I saw a post about this a few months ago but can't find it anymore. I'm just looking to replace a couple of my 15+ year old bottles and wanted to see if there is something better than the $10 bike store bottle. I will use it for xc races, training rides and fun rides. I don't think I want to get a complete fancy new system, just a bottle fitting a cage. ... Unless I'm really missing the boat here. Are there any bottles that are a bit of a step up in quality without adding weight?

  2. #2
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    I like my camelback podium chill, not fancy but keeps my water cool in socal.
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  3. #3
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    I've seen those but wondered about the bite valve. It seems like it might take a bit more time and effort since you can't just squeeze the bottle into your mouth. Not sure I'd want to have to bite while riding down a trail @ race speed. Am I overthinking it?

  4. #4
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    Lol, I never drink bombing down a trail but, its pretty easy to use. It does have an open and close option, but I open it before removing it from the cage.
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  5. #5
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    Oh, didn't realize it could be open/closed. Thought it was only open while biting like their bladders.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    I like the Podium Chill and carry one on my road bike, but that 21 oz bottle won't fit on my fully-suspended Farley EX8. OTOH, the 12 oz Polar insulated bottle on a side-loading carrier works fine on that bike, so that's the one I carry one the trails. So depending on your size requirements, consider a side-loading carrier and an insulated bottle...either a 12 oz Polar or a 21 Camelback Podium

  8. #8
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    I ride with aluminum bottles, or backpack.
    The downside of the aluminum is that you can't squeeze, and weights a little more.

  9. #9
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    I've been using a Polar insulated bottle for 10+ years. No complaints. Mine developed a bit of a leak after being dropped, but the bottle has a lifetime warranty. They shipped me two tops no questions asked.

  10. #10
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    Now looking more @ the CamelBak bottles I think they're perfect! I'll need to measure height as they are taller than my old bottles. Thanks all!

  11. #11
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    27 oz clean canteen stainless steel and a proper holder.

  12. #12
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    I also like the polar insulated bottles for shorter rides. I've tried the stainless steel canteen types but I prefer squeezing the bottle.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
    I also like the polar insulated bottles for shorter rides. I've tried the stainless steel canteen types but I prefer squeezing the bottle.
    With the Polar bottle, I like that I can handle it one handed...grab the bottle and pulling the valve out with my teeth. The Camelback Podium bottle is harder and more awkward to handle with one hand.

  14. #14
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    I own both polar and podiums (2sizes) and my preference is the podiums.

    Like stated you can open before grabbing it, or open with teeth while holding.. just twist bottle.

    Podium is better overall quality for me.

    Sierra Trading post usually has some good deals on these.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conspearasea View Post
    ...
    Like stated you can open before grabbing it, or open with teeth while holding.. just twist bottle.
    ...
    Wait, what? People are twisting the lock between drinks?! No need - the lock is only for when the bottle is, say upside down in your gear bag. Once on the bike you leave it open. The JET VALVE(tm) ( not bite valve) responds to the bottle being squeezed- but is sufficiently closed to resist dripping if held upside down.

    That said, +1 Podium bottles. The chills are good but do hold a little less than the non-insulated versions. I have some of each and use based on ambient temp and ride duration.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by abevern View Post
    Wait, what? People are twisting the lock between drinks?! No need - the lock is only for when the bottle is, say upside down in your gear bag. Once on the bike you leave it open. The JET VALVE(tm) ( not bite valve) responds to the bottle being squeezed- but is sufficiently closed to resist dripping if held upside down.

    That said, +1 Podium bottles. The chills are good but do hold a little less than the non-insulated versions. I have some of each and use based on ambient temp and ride duration.
    I have a good reason to close it, but I do on my gravel bike too.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper33 View Post
    I've seen those but wondered about the bite valve. It seems like it might take a bit more time and effort since you can't just squeeze the bottle into your mouth. Not sure I'd want to have to bite while riding down a trail @ race speed. Am I overthinking it?
    It's not really a bite valve, hold it to your mouth and squeeze. I've had one for years, never had to bite on it.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I have a good reason to close it, but I do on my gravel bike too.
    And what is that? Have you actually looked at what closing it does? It's all on the inside, closing it isn't keeping crud out from being under the down tube.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by abevern View Post
    Wait, what? People are twisting the lock between drinks?! No need - the lock is only for when the bottle is, say upside down in your gear bag. Once on the bike you leave it open. The JET VALVE(tm) ( not bite valve) responds to the bottle being squeezed- but is sufficiently closed to resist dripping if held upside down.

    That said, +1 Podium bottles. The chills are good but do hold a little less than the non-insulated versions. I have some of each and use based on ambient temp and ride duration.
    LOL I thought the same thing while reading this thread. Mine have never been locked- no reason too.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    LOL I thought the same thing while reading this thread. Mine have never been locked- no reason too.
    Mine absolutely will leak unlocked... no matter whether old or newer. Cant say whether it's from elevation changes or just rough riding but it does leak for me. Still love the bottles.

    Seeing I put gatorade/monster/juice mixed up in there, my frame gets the sticky goo proving to me it leaked...

    YMMV


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    And what is that? Have you actually looked at what closing it does? It's all on the inside, closing it isn't keeping crud out from being under the down tube.
    I have, but on this bike I usually have a backpack and the water bottle is a back up; if I even bring it. Plus in that position on the down tube, it might leak. I don't see the issue w/having it closed, maybe on my road bike I will leave it open moving forward.
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  22. #22
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    Any time I go to a new bike shop I pick up a bottle so I have a cabinet full of all shapes, sizes, and brands. Out of them all my favorite is the purist bottle with heart valve cap. Works similar to the camelbak podium bottles but I just prefer the action of the valve a little more when I squeeze out a drink if that makes sense.

    The only complaint I have is that since there is a recess in the valve Dirt always finds its way in there so might have to give it a little squeeze to clear it out before taking a drink.

    Some bottles can give your water a plasticy taste of it sits in there a while but never had any issue with these. In the summer I use the insulated version and it does as good a job or better than any other brand Iíve tried.

  23. #23
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    FWIW: Podium bottle valve is not a bite valve. It's a petal valve that remains closed until a pressure difference threshold is reached and then it pops open, kinda like shock's platform valve. The pressure difference can be created by sucking or squeezing the bottle. I prefer squeezing and find the insulated bottles more difficult to squeeze so stick with the uninsulated variety. Another thing with these bottles is they're not as easy to hold onto with your teeth as the traditional poppet valve bottles, which is something I do if I have to quickly let go of the bottle with my hand to grab the bars.
    Do the math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    FWIW: Podium bottle valve is not a bite valve. It's a petal valve that remains closed until a pressure difference threshold is reached and then it pops open, kinda like shock's platform valve. The pressure difference can be created by sucking or squeezing the bottle. I prefer squeezing and find the insulated bottles more difficult to squeeze so stick with the uninsulated variety. Another thing with these bottles is they're not as easy to hold onto with your teeth as the traditional poppet valve bottles, which is something I do if I have to quickly let go of the bottle with my hand to grab the bars.
    The valve on the purist is the same, not a bite valve. Also, apparently the lid Iím talking about is called watergate and theyíve coined the type of valve as heartvalve. These guys have a name for everything I guess.

    As for the insulated version, while itís slightly stiffer than the original I would say itís minimal. Much more pliable than the polar insulated bottles Iíve used.

  25. #25
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    Tact bottles are really good, bite valve locks for no leak travel.
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  26. #26
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    I use the polar on my fs due to size limitations. Not bad, only complaint is the valve is not self sealing in the open position, it will leak upside down or sideways. The chill has zero leak unless you squeeze(as others mentioned its a squeeze not bite valve), even upside down. If the chill came in a smaller size I'd probably use it for everything. That being said the polar is super durable and half the price and has a loop which comes in handy for no look yanks out of the cage and for toting around.

    To clarify I do have both. I use the chill on my HT and around the house and such. Polar is mainly for the FS where I cant fit the chill.

  27. #27
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    For dirt riding I like a cap that has a cover over the drink valve. I got a stomach bug from a contaminated drink valve years ago and the lesson stuck! The Nalgene ATB bottle is my go to, though there are others around. It's easy to break the cover hinge-pin though so handle with care. Bonus, the Nalgene flip cap fits my Polar bottle (my go to bottle for non-dirt rides) so I can have both the stay-cold longer double walled Polar bottle AND the covered drink valve of the Nalgene if I want. Polar bottles are made in the USA too if that matters to you.

  28. #28
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    A couple of you mentioned non-insulated Camelbak Podium bottles. This is what I prefer, but can't find them anymore (only see the insulated version) and I'm looking to replace a couple OLD ones. Can anyone point me in the right direction or provide a link? Thanks


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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    A couple of you mentioned non-insulated Camelbak Podium bottles. This is what I prefer, but can't find them anymore (only see the insulated version) and I'm looking to replace a couple OLD ones. Can anyone point me in the right direction or provide a link? Thanks


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    are you serious ? just google it.

    https://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Podi.../dp/B00PUDLGW8

    https://www.rei.com/product/866303/c...ottle-24-fl-oz

    https://www.ebay.com/p/CamelBak-Podi...d=382147657666


    and I haven't even started checking bike specific stores
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    For dirt riding I like a cap that has a cover over the drink valve. I got a stomach bug from a contaminated drink valve years ago and the lesson stuck! The Nalgene ATB bottle is my go to, though there are others around. It's easy to break the cover hinge-pin though so handle with care. Bonus, the Nalgene flip cap fits my Polar bottle (my go to bottle for non-dirt rides) so I can have both the stay-cold longer double walled Polar bottle AND the covered drink valve of the Nalgene if I want. Polar bottles are made in the USA too if that matters to you.
    You can get a cap for the Podium bottles if you want
    https://www.camelbak.com/en/bottles/...BoCeMwQAvD_BwE
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  31. #31
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    I feel like a complete jackass for putting myself through the torture of closing and opening my podium bottle haha.
    I'm not sure why I thought i needed to twist it back to the lock position after drinking out of it. Lol never again.

  32. #32
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    Another vote for the Podium here - I like that you can buy a new cap for a reasonable price when the old one gets too manky.

    It's never occurred to me that I could leave the valve open during a ride, despite being aware of the sealing mechanism. I wouldn't get away with it if I tried though, as the electrolyte tabs I drop in there are slightly fizzy. The open/close valve provides such a good seal that the fizzy pressure builds up during a ride, and when opened the bottle spits a good ten feet or so. I have to be careful when opening not to have it pointed at my face (I learned that early on) or at innocent bystanders.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by abevern View Post
    Wait, what? People are twisting the lock between drinks?! No need - the lock is only for when the bottle is, say upside down in your gear bag. Once on the bike you leave it open. The JET VALVE(tm) ( not bite valve) responds to the bottle being squeezed- but is sufficiently closed to resist dripping if held upside down.
    That's hilarious. No, I didn't know that, but rode my Crossrip a couple of hours today with the Podium unlocked and it didn't leak a drop. LOL.

    Doesn't help me fit the thing on my FS fatbike though, so Polar rules in that arena.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I saw that product on amazon but it didn't look like the standard diameter. It looks too short and wide. Especially the amazon photo. This is my 10 yr old podium and it seems like smaller diameter.


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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    I saw that product on amazon but it didn't look like the standard diameter. It looks too short and wide. Especially the amazon photo. This is my 10 yr old podium and it seems like smaller diameter.


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    the one on amazon link I pasted is the same as yours, just the shorty 4oz less water.
    I use big bottles and a small one. on my fatbike the seat tube bottle has to be short
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  36. #36
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    Another +1 for the Podium's! I've since gotten rid of all my 'standard' water bottles.
    I'll use 'em even if I carry a hydration bag - plain water in the bag & GU Roctane Energy or Gatorade in a 21 or 24oz Podium bottle (for electrolytes). In the winter or short rides, it's just water in the Podium (no hydration bag).
    They did a test between the Podium Chill & Polar a while back & if I remember correctly, the Polar actually kept the water colder for longer. Regardless, I'll stick to my Podiums - not having a bite valve to pull open w/ my teeth just works better for me & they keep cool long enough for a typical ride duration.
    But I do need to get that mud cap TwoTone posted... I've had my Podium valves gunked up with mud before.

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  37. #37
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    So I got to use my two new podium bottles over the weekend. A few comments.

    First off, I forgot to open the bottle on my first time using it. Dropped it trying to open it while riding and had to go back to get it. . Whoever thought you could do that while riding... I'm impressed!

    The large chill bottle does fit my specialized z cage side loader. Barely, but it does just fine.

    I also got a normal podium shorty for shorter races and such. I'll never go back! I love these bottles.

    I do wish they had some "normal" colors though. I thought 3/4 of the color options were girly, and the remaining ones were ... Umm... Odd. I find it funny that they make something like 15 different patterns and almost all were disappointing. Lol. Oh well. Maybe next year they will have better designs? Maybe I should stop being a snob about what my bottles look like.

  38. #38
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    Fill them 1/3 with water and freeze them before the ride. Even on a hot day, the ice will last close to 1.5 hours. Better yet, freeze a sports drink for a slow release with strong ramp up at the end.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    Fill them 1/3 with water and freeze them before the ride. Even on a hot day, the ice will last close to 1.5 hours. Better yet, freeze a sports drink for a slow release with strong ramp up at the end.
    Like that idea, I will pass on the sports drink though.
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  40. #40
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    FYI, the lids on the camelbak bottles and the polar bottles are interchangeable. Swap as needed.
    The popular Specialized style bottles that many companies rebrand with their logos do not have the same threads and can't be swapped.

    Quote Originally Posted by boots View Post
    I saw that product on amazon but it didn't look like the standard diameter. It looks too short and wide. Especially the amazon photo. This is my 10 yr old podium and it seems like smaller diameter.
    I have one like your photo and one like the link, both 24oz. They hold the same volume but are slightly different shape. Your photo is a little skinnier and fits cages like traditional old-school bottles do. The link is ever so slightly fatter and shaped a little different around the "neck" where the back spine of a cage typically locks in. It fits but is definitely more snug than the old bottle. Can be finicky around the "neck" to get it in the cage solid. This can be good or bad depending on your cage.

    Specialized side loading cages do not agree with the new fatter style. It works but is not great.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington View Post
    Another vote for the Podium here - I like that you can buy a new cap for a reasonable price when the old one gets too manky.

    It's never occurred to me that I could leave the valve open during a ride, despite being aware of the sealing mechanism. I wouldn't get away with it if I tried though, as the electrolyte tabs I drop in there are slightly fizzy. The open/close valve provides such a good seal that the fizzy pressure builds up during a ride, and when opened the bottle spits a good ten feet or so. I have to be careful when opening not to have it pointed at my face (I learned that early on) or at innocent bystanders.
    Just leave the valve open. As those tabs dissolve, having the valve open will allow the bottle to slowly relieve the pressure, but the liquid won't squirt out.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    FYI, the lids on the camelbak bottles and the polar bottles are interchangeable. Swap as needed.
    The popular Specialized style bottles that many companies rebrand with their logos do not have the same threads and can't be swapped.


    I have one like your photo and one like the link, both 24oz. They hold the same volume but are slightly different shape. Your photo is a little skinnier and fits cages like traditional old-school bottles do. The link is ever so slightly fatter and shaped a little different around the "neck" where the back spine of a cage typically locks in. It fits but is definitely more snug than the old bottle. Can be finicky around the "neck" to get it in the cage solid. This can be good or bad depending on your cage.

    Specialized side loading cages do not agree with the new fatter style. It works but is not great.
    Thats exactly what I have, the Spec side load cage. My bottle in the picture is already snug and why i was worried about the new fatter style. Why did they increase the diameter i wonder.


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  43. #43
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    Has anyone done a test on the insulated bottles to see if either works better than the other?

    I've got 3 or 4 Polar bottles and here in the AZ summer heat I can fill the bottle with as many ice cubes it will hold and then top of with cold water, not warm-ish tap water.

    Inside of an hour the ice is melted.

    I wish Hydroflask made a bottle with the "bike cage" profile so I could actually keep something cold.

  44. #44
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    Just an idea, not sure if it's reasonable, but I would try the smaller insulated ones so you go through the water faster. Put a second one filled w ice and water in a backpack inside an insulated soft lunchbox w an ice pack in it. After the first one is done, the one in the pack should still be good to go. ... In theory.

    Only brainstorming.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington
    Another vote for the Podium here - I like that you can buy a new cap for a reasonable price when the old one gets too manky.

    It's never occurred to me that I could leave the valve open during a ride, despite being aware of the sealing mechanism. I wouldn't get away with it if I tried though, as the electrolyte tabs I drop in there are slightly fizzy. The open/close valve provides such a good seal that the fizzy pressure builds up during a ride, and when opened the bottle spits a good ten feet or so. I have to be careful when opening not to have it pointed at my face (I learned that early on) or at innocent bystanders.
    Just leave the valve open. As those tabs dissolve, having the valve open will allow the bottle to slowly relieve the pressure, but the liquid won't squirt out.
    I'll still be keeping them shut as my bottle is wrapped in a plastic sandwich bag to protect it from the mud and dog eggs. If I kept it open it would fizz out and get all sticky, which is what used to happen with my old non-Camelback bottles that didn't seal very well. Besides, I get a little kick from the ten-foot spit when I open the valve.

    I took apart my Podium bottle cap to give it a bit of a clean the other day, and I had a look at the valve mechanism while I was at it. It's just a rubber membrane with a cross cut in it, but it's engineered so well that it works beautifully. This design also makes it easier to clean with a little bottle brush, though I do have to dismantle it from time to time to clean under the silicone teat bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big0mike View Post
    Has anyone done a test on the insulated bottles to see if either works better than the other?

    I've got 3 or 4 Polar bottles and here in the AZ summer heat I can fill the bottle with as many ice cubes it will hold and then top of with cold water, not warm-ish tap water.

    Inside of an hour the ice is melted.

    I wish Hydroflask made a bottle with the "bike cage" profile so I could actually keep something cold.
    I fill mine halfway, then freeze so the ice is a big block, which is more effective than ice cubes.

    In summer I fill my big 24oz one and freeze that. I leave it in the car for after ride. It doesn't get as hot here, but it is still cold water, usually with a small block of ice still, after 4 hours in temps over 90.

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

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