Have you ever found yourself out on a run, thirsty, tired, and out of energy wishing for a cool glass of water? I have…many times, and to solve this issue, I started bringing a running water bottle along with me.
It doesn’t matter how short or long you run, it’s reassuring to know that you have fluids available…no matter the distance. Plus, each handheld comes with a storage pocket for items like phones, keys, gels, and credit cards.
Even more so, running water bottles are comfortable. That is, compared to their alternatives. Running belts and packs can create irritations and other problems over long distances…a running water bottle can be your solution.
So if you are considering trying a running water bottle, then you came to the right place. You are now reading the ultimate guide to choosing the best running water bottle in 2019. Read the tips, read the reviews, and then stop reading…and get out the door running with your new bottle. Are you ready to begin? That’s great…let’s start with learning some simple yet useful tips for choosing a running water bottle best for you.
Tips for Choosing the Best Running Water Bottle
I’ll never forget the time I fell on top of my running water bottle during a race. Not only did I take a mouth full of mud, but the lid projected like a bullet straight into my eye. Finishing the race with one eye shut, I felt more like a pirate than a runner…Argh!
The point: know your bottle and choose the best type for your style of running. Also, try to buy one made by a well-known manufacturer. Before I started using the Nathan Speed Draw religiously, I went through the run-of-the-mill…and the results weren’t pretty. I’ve had water bottle lids leak, valves break, and straps malfunction. So trust me when I say not all running water bottles are created equally.
Yet despite the issues I’ve experienced, I’ve also found some to work flawlessly. So that’s what I’m delivering to you, the best bottles of 2019. This will save you an enormous amount time from trial and error. With that said, when choosing the best running water bottle for you, there are some essential guidelines to follow. Keep reading to learn more.
- The Bottle
First, check how much fluid it can hold. Most running water bottles come between 16 to 20 ounces. I personally prefer a larger size. Here’s my thought process: if I’m going to carry a bottle anyway, why not maximize the fluid capacity? Yes, more fluid equals more weight, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to take. After a few miles, I hardly notice a difference. Now that’s just my opinion. Some trade ounces for less weight. The choice is yours.
Next, consider the shape of the bottle. Some bottles are traditional cylinder shapes, while others curve for easier handling. There’s also hard bottles and soft flasks. Hard bottles are bulkier yet more reliable and soft flasks are flimsy but prevent fluid from sloshing around.
Also, check if the bottle is insulated. An insulated running water bottle keeps your fluids cooler for longer. I’ve used insulated bottles many times, and when running on a hot summer day, the difference is apparent…TRUST ME, I’ve been there, 90-degree fluids in 90-degree temperatures aren’t much help. When running on a hot summer day, it’s refreshing to sip cold fluids deep into a long run. It can have a significant impact on your performance.
So once you decide on the bottle, it’s time to choose a lid.
- The Lid
The lid, also known as the spray nozzle, seems basic from the outside. But the inside is a bit more involved. You see, each lid contains a valve. And it’s the valve that allows the passage of fluid between the bottle and your mouth. Some valves lift up, some twist around, and others require a hard bite. They even make pressurized race lids that only require a quick squeeze of the hand. The pressurized lids not only make sipping fluids faster, but they help reduce the odds of experiencing malfunctions with the valve on race day.
Now that you know about lids, let’s discuss storage.
- The Pocket
I’m always surprised at how many items you can bring during a long run. Phone, money, keys, gels, powder, salt tabs, headphones, and suntan lotion is only the start. So consider the pocket size of your running water bottle as a critical component of your final decision. Does it provide enough room for your supplies?
The biggest worry that most runners experience regarding storage space is with their phone. They want to know if their phone will fit…and rightfully so. So if you carry your phone while running, then read the product description. Most will have a list of phones that fit. If not, compare the pocket dimensions to the dimensions of your phone. Some pockets stretch as well.
Once you confirm the running water bottle’s storage space, move onto its strapping system.
- The Strap
There’s no better or worse strapping system when it comes to running water bottles. It’s really based on personal preference. Some bottles use Velcro, others a hook-and-loop system, and I’ve even seen a glove style. And although one isn’t necessarily better than another, I do have a personal favorite. The hook-and-loop system has never let me down. Although it loosens up periodically, it’s simple, reliable, and can adjust quickly.
If you’re buying a bottle with a Velcro strap…be careful. Confirm if the strap fits your hand size. Unlike the hook-and-loop system, you can only tighten the Velcro strap so much until it maxes out. Have you ever worn a belt that was too long? Or lost a significant amount of weight? If the last hole on your belt doesn’t fasten your pants, then you are out of luck. Here’s the point: if it’s Velcro, dig a little deeper into the product description.
Once you’ve chosen a strapping system, consider the price.
- The Price
Prices are pretty standard with running water bottles. But I want to make sure you are aware of the averages. This was you don’t pay more than you need to.
Most running water bottles range from $20-$40. This price should give you a bottle and holder. Anything less, I’d be skeptical of the quality…and anything more, I’d be cautious of the seller. Rest assure, all the bottles on this list are within the 20 to 40 dollar price range.
Now that you know how to choose the best running bottle for YOU, let’s go ahead and choose one. Continue reading for the best running water bottles in 2019.
Reviews of 5 Best Handheld Running Water Bottles on the Market
1. Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask – Best Choice for Running In The Heat
There’s nothing better than going for a run on a warm sunny day. I know, I’m a runner myself, I celebrate the first warm spring day of the year with an afternoon long run. But you know what? I have to remind myself to hydrate. The hotter the day, the more cool fluids your body demands. Well, that’s where the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus comes in. Besides its lightweight construct and easy handling due to its curved shape, this bottle is also built with a double insulated wall. That means your fluids stay cool 20% longer than most other bottles. You’ll find this thermo-effect remarkably refreshing when running in the heat.
It’s convenient too! The SpeedDraw Plus comes with a large expandable zipper pocket to carry supplies. Whether that’s your phone, keys, credit cards, gels…the pocket is large and fits multiple items. I’ve personally even stuck suntan lotion, anti-chafing lubrication, and headphones inside of it… and that’s on top of my basic fueling items.
Also, have you ever used a standard water bottle? You know, where the valve on the lid requires pushing and pulling to open and close it? Well, this lid is pressurized. All it takes is a squeeze on the bottle, and your fluids explode out from the spray nozzle. Overall, it’s a convenient and easy-to-carry running water bottle super beneficial for running in the warm water. I use this bottle personally and recommend it to everyone.
- Comfortable and reliable handgrip for a better handling experience.
- Leak-proof lid=no mess!
- Easy access to water through the valving system.
- Adjustable hand strap for quick adjustments on the fly.
- Compact profile=no bulky bottle!
- Spacious and expandable pocket for extra supplies
- High-visibility strap… safety, safety, safety.
- Wear on either hand.
- Doesn’t fit all phone sizes.
- The bottle angels, so it’s easier to screw the lid on crooked. This causes leakage.
2. CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Water Bottle – Best Choice for Shopping On a Budget
You may know Camelbak from their hydration packs. They are one of the top manufacturers of backpack style hydration systems. Well, the Quick Grip Chill handheld is one of their best-selling running water bottles. Not only are different sized bottles available, but it utilizes a “jet valve.” What’s that mean for you? Well, instead of popping the top…you twist it, keeping your fluids more secure.
And here’s the best news of all: it’s available at a low price. So not only do you receive a quality running water bottle made by a quality brand, but they somehow make it affordable too. Giving how much gear we buy as runners, I think most will appreciate these cost savings. It’s great for long training runs or staying hydrated between aid stations on race day. A top choice for beginners and experts alike looking for some relief in their wallet.
- Stretchy pocket for extra supplies.
- Low price compared to other bottles.
- The soft material feels comfortable while running.
- Carries 20 ounces. Excess fluid for those longer runs!
- Reflective material for an increase in visibility.
- Feels heavy at first.
- The strap can loosen up while running.
3. Salomon Hydro Handset – Best Choice for Comfort
This thing fits like a glove. No seriously…the Salomon Hydro Handset comes with a holder that attaches to your hand like a glove. Okay, so it’s a required taste, but those who love it, like REALLY love it…with a capital L. And the bottle holds up to 16 ounces collapsing as you drink. How does a collapsing bottle benefit you? Try this: it prevents liquid from sloshing around. If you’ve experienced the sloshing effect of a half-full bottle, you may be ecstatic to hear this news. You see, in a normal water bottle, the more you drink, the more room for fluid to move. This can become distracting over longer mileage. However, with the Hydro Handset, you get no slosh. That means fewer distractions and irritations and more time focusing on what you do best: RUN! A few other benefits consist of pockets for personal items and a Velcro hand strap for quick adjustments. The word that comes to mind when running with the Hydro Handset is this: COMFORT.
- Super lightweight and easy to drink from.
- Reflective material for increased visibility.
- Attaches to your hand. It’s more like an extra limb than a water bottle.
- Superior comfort all the way around.
- No leakage from its tight seal.
- Salmon is one of the top companies in endurance sports.
- Body heat from hand causes water to heat up quickly.
- The Velcro strap is not the best quality (I’ve seen this same issue in their trail gaiters).
4. LX LERMX Handheld Water Bottle – Best Choice for Lightweight
I’d be willing to bet that your initial thought with the LX Lermx running water bottle will be, “WOW this thing is light.” Although the water bottle comes in 17oz, it’s a soft flask. That means no carrying around bulky bottles while running. Think about it…running should mainly work out your legs…not your arms…right?
You’ll also receive a built-in pocket for fuel and accessories. It’s nice having a place to stash your house key that’s safe and secure. I do find the bottle to be a bit long which can sometimes cause the adjustment strap to wiggle loose. But the adjustments are easy to make, only requiring a pull of one strap. And here’s a plus: it comes with a 180-day worry-free warranty, and the accessory pocket is larger than average. Overall, it’s a lightweight design built for all runners.
- Lightweight design.
- Less bulky than traditional water bottles.
- Bite spout means no fussing with opening and closing valves.
- Strap tailors to large hands.
- Flask is soft which feels odd at first.
- Trouble accessing water when a quarter of the way full.
5. Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Handheld – Best Choice for Long Distance Runners
As a runner, we need gear that not only lasts for long mileage, but that also remains comfortable. Any runner can tell you, the way your gear feels on mile 1 certainly can feel much different on mile 10 or 20. Small irritations can quickly turn into big problems as the distance adds up. Especially when chasing down a new personal best on race day.
Well, that’s where the Amphipod Hydraform comes in. It’s built for comfort over long mileage. Between its easy-grip insulating sleeve and ultra-light construct, you barley notice it after a few miles. Plus, it uses a “minimalist strap” so you won’t have the extra weight from excessive pockets. Take the necessities and hit the road with speed. If you like to carry extra supplies and run slow, then this bottle may not be for you. But if you are looking for a bottle to hold a few gels as you chase down a fast time on race day, while keeping your fluids nice and cool, then I suggest you grab a Hydraform. It’s built for your ambitious goals.
- Bottle straps securely to your hand.
- Foam covering provides extra comfort.
- The spray nozzle is easy to use even when running at top speeds.
- Leak-proof lid=no risk at losing fluids between aid stations.
- Curved bottle prevents hand-cramping.
- Ultra-light feel.
- Minimal storage space.
- Higher than average price.
FAQs About Running Water Bottles
If you ask me, running water bottles are the best type of hydration gear available. They are simple, convenient, and comfortable to wear. You don’t have some big pack on your back weighing you down or a bouncing belt splashing around at your waist side. With a running water bottle, all your needs are met.
So, if you are ready for your next-level in running…then it starts with hydration. A running water bottle can help take you there.