We all know that drinking water during your ride is essential for staying hydrated, but for some the choice of the water bottle can be anything but obvious. There are plenty of options out there from the most basic to the most expensive, so how do you know which is the best?
Because we travel so much, and have a tendency to drink lots of water because of it, we researched the best water bottles to use when cycling. We compared 13 different water bottles and gave them scores out of 5 for their durability, ease of transport, ease of cleaning, and overall quality. Our picks included lighter, thinner bottles, as well as larger, more durable bottles.
When we’re riding our bike, we’re usually thirsty. But finding a bottle that is insulated to keep the water cold or the coffee hot often seems like an impossible task. Many of them are just plain ugly, or they leak, or… well, what else could you ask for?
By providing easy-to-access hydration on-the-go, the proper water bottle will allow you to bike better and for longer. There’s a bottle for every kind of cyclist, from traditional squeezy designs to choices with insulated technology.
Our team of specialists at BikeRadar has put the finest to the test to offer you our top cycling water bottle choices. Simply place them in your bottle cage and you’re ready to go.
A buyer’s guide to the finest cycling water bottles
When searching for the finest water bottle for cycling, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Shape: It should fit snugly in the bottle cage of the bike without rattling, therefore seek for a bottle with a low indent. A functional water bottle should have a least capacity of 500ml.
- Squeezability: You want a bottle that can be squeezed to provide a nice swallow while also increasing the flow rate at the valve.
- Flow rate: Works with the bottle’s squeezing to make drinking simple, even when riding a bike.
- Is it possible to lock the nozzle? Whatever terrain you’re riding on, nozzles with a tight seal will result in fewer leaks. Sports caps allow you to open and close the bottle without using your hands. It’s also a good idea to have a nozzle cover, especially while mountain riding, to keep splatters at bay.
- The broader the neck, the better. This provides greater room for adding energy granules, as well as making filling taps and fountains simpler. It also makes cleaning simpler.
- Grippiness: A bottle with a textured exterior will be easier to grasp with sweaty or damp hands while drinking on the move.
- Insulation: Insulated bottles will keep your drink cooler for longer or even prevent it from freezing on very cold days.
- Is your water bottle covered by a warranty, and if so, how long does it last?
Cycling’s finest insulated water bottles
- Nanogelite Elite: £19
- Frostbright Insulated Passport: £12
- £17 for Cageless Fabric
- £15 Podium Chill by Camelbak
Cycling’s finest basic water bottles
- £5 Shanti Twist Tacx
- £18 for Chill CamelBak Podium Dirt Series CamelBak Podium Dirt Series CamelBak Podium Dirt Series
- 750ml Fabric Gripper: £10
- £18 for an SoftFlask by Osprey Hydraulics
Cycling’s finest insulated water bottles
Both cold and warm drinks may be stored in this insulated container. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- £19 (about $32)
- 500ml capacity
- 159g in weight
- Temperature increase in 4 hours: 6.6 degrees
Elite’s bottle had the lowest temperature increase — just 6.6 degrees over a four-hour period. It was also a nice fit for our cages, simple to use, and squeezy enough to give a good gulp.
It also held the temperature of heated (40-degree) liquids effectively, making it as useful in the cold.
One of the most affordable and lightest bottles we tested. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- The cost is £11.99
- 550ml capacity
- 99g in weight
- Temperature increase in 4 hours: 6.7 degrees
This double-walled bottle has a fluorescent inner lining, which adds an extra layer of protection, and it fits in all of the cages we tested it with. It’s also one of the cheapest and lightest bottles on the list.
Over a four-hour period, we saw a 6.7-degree increase in cold water temperature, which compares well to the other bottles here.
Is there no bottle cage? It’s no issue. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- £17 / $20 / €25 / £17 / $20 / €25 / £17 / $20 /
- 525ml capacity
- 127g in weight
- Temperature increase in four hours: 7.2 degrees
With the supplied fitting mechanism, this foil-wrapped core bottle attaches straight to your bike, eliminating the need for bottle cages. It’s simple enough, however although taking the bottle out is simple, replacing it requires some skill.
The insulation performed effectively; during four hours, the temperature of cold water rose by 7.2 degrees, while warm beverages remained consumable for almost two hours.
Camelbak Podium Chill
The Jet Valve cap does an excellent job of keeping leaks at bay. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- Price: $15 (£15) / $40 (AU$40)
- 680ml capacity
- 142g in weight
- Temperature increase in 4 hours: 8.8 degrees
CamelBak’s bottle contains more liquid than any other on test, but that may explain why it’s somewhat less successful than the others, with an 8.8-degree temperature increase over four hours.
Although the Jet Valve lid is leak-proof and simple to use, squeezing the bottle does not provide the largest gulp of liquid. This is an excellent choice if you need to bring a lot of drink with you on a ride.
Cycling’s best water bottles
Tacx Shanti Twist
The Tacx Shanti will give a nice sip with a good squeeze. MBUK
- £5 / €6 / / / / / / / /
- 500ml capacity
Lighter squeezes will not release any liquid due to a tiny pressure valve inside the nozzle, but a thorough squeeze will result in a good burst and respectable flow. This means you don’t have to bite the valve (or pull it with your teeth) to allow water to flow, making this 500ml bottle simple to use while putting in long hours on the bike.
The twist-locking mechanism on the top prevents leakage. A larger hole in the neck would make it simpler to add energy supplements, particularly while riding. All of the bottle cages we tested held the bottle securely. It’s also great value for money at £5.
CamelBak Podium Dirt Series Chill
The insulation does a good job of keeping your beverage cold (or heated) for up to an hour. MBUK
- AU$23 / €20 / £18 / $17 / AU$23 / €20
- 620ml capacity
The insulation does a good job of keeping your beverage cold (or heated) for up to an hour. You can’t crush the nozzle and flood your kitbag/car in transportation since it has a twist lock. The nozzle cap is helpful on muddy rides and doesn’t create any problems as long as it’s removed/replaced when the bottle is in the cage.
Because the indent isn’t very deep and is placed a bit too high up, it’s not retained firmly by all cages. On the other hand, we never misplaced the bottle on a ride. The biting valve, flow rate, squeezability, and 620ml capacity are all features we appreciate. Given all of its features, it’s an excellent buy.
Gripper for Fabric (750ml)
When you compress this flexible bottle, the water flow via the basic nozzle is great. MBUK
- £10 / $9 / $15 AU$15 / €10
- 750ml capacity
When grasping or reinserting this bottle into a cage, the textured top-section makes it simple to hold. The screw cap has vertical ridges that make it simple to remove, and the wide neck is ideal for adding energy powder.
It fits less firmly in other manufacturers’ cages because to the deep yet relatively small neck indent, although it pairs nicely with Fabric’s matching Gripper cage (£14.99). On a few of samples, we’ve experienced problems with the cap cracking when it’s been tightened up. A 500ml version of the bottle is also available.
Osprey Hydraulics SoftFlask
This is a flexible, bladder-style flask, not a hard-plastic, frame-mounted bottle like the others in the test. MBUK
- £18 / €22 / £18 / €22 / £18 / €22
- 500ml capacity
The Osprey bladder is tiny for its 500ml capacity and grows smaller as you drink more, making it a perfect choice for a quick and light ride. Due to the small aperture, energy drinks must be pre-mixed.
The flask may work its way out of tiny stash places when the stiff top and nozzle protrude a bit, as the liquid sloshes about within it. Because the flask is so simple to squeeze, flow through the bite valve is ideal.
If you run or cycle, you know how important it is to stay hydrated and carry water with you while you’re out there on the road. And, one of the best things you can do is to invest in a quality water bottle. But, not all water bottles are created equal, especially when it comes to features. Actually, not many water bottles do more that one thing really well. So, which of these is the best cycling water bottle?. Read more about best cycling water bottle reddit and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best cycling water bottles?
The best cycling water bottles are the ones that you can drink from without having to stop or take off your helmet.
What bottle keeps water cold the longest?
The best bottle to keep water cold is a vacuum flask.
Are insulated bottles worth it?
Insulated bottles are worth the investment because they will keep your drinks cold for a longer period of time.