With so many different bottles out there it can be hard to tell a good bidon from a bad one. We test the Camelbak Podium Bottle to see how it performs
CamelBak was founded on its hydration packs, but its standard water bottles are by no means run of the mill.
The Podium is available in eight different colour schemes and is used by UCI World Tour team Cannondale-Garmin. Being only 610ml the Podium is definitely race focused, but it could also be used during the colder months when you might not need quite as much fluid to stay hydrated (there is also a 710ml option available for £9.99).
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The bottle’s wide mouth makes pouring or shoveling in powder easy, and relatively mess free- no one wants energy powder going everywhere.
The Podium comes with Camelbak’s patented spill-proof Jet Valve- which is claimed to remove the need to fiddle around with a nozzle or cap before gulping down your drink. This is a good design and once you’ve mastered not squeezing the bottle too hard, which can lead to a large amount of liquid rushing into your mouth/throat, it works brilliantly. In addition, you can also use the lockout switch to remove the risk of leakage in transit when off the bike.
To promote hygiene the nozzle can be removed for specific cleaning. It works, but I have never really had a problem cleaning a bottle lid. The bottle is said to be free of harmful chemicals (such as BPA and BPS) and importantly when drinking you don’t get a strong plastic taste- which unfortunately you do from some sports bottles.
Crucially for cycling, the bottle is easy to grasp when riding and easy to place back into the bottle cage.
A top quality bottle with several features that largely justify its higher price.