- Membrane valve avoids leakage
- Wider nozzle is more comfortable
- Higher flow rate
- Safety cap
- Clear bottle to see fluid level
- Rigid plastic is hard to squeeze
- Can work loose in some cages
Price as reviewed:
Underneath the cap is a membrane valve. It’s not a feature unique to Elite – Camelbak’s bottles have had one for years. But it’s useful as it prevents liquid escaping when the bottle is in its cage, coating your frame with sticky corrosive liquid.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
One feature of Elite’s older bottles is their two part cap, designed to split apart if the bottle is dropped, reducing the danger of riding into a heavy, full bottle. This safety cap is continued in the Crystal Ombra’s design, but in a smarter, more streamlined version. It’s easy to snap back together if it does come apart.
The standard Crystal Ombra bottle has a capacity of 555ml and there’s a 750ml version too. With its clear plastic sides, it’s easy to see how much liquid you have left in the bottle as you ride and there are helpful gradations up the bottle’s side.
Elite makes the bottle with five different cap colour options, so you can match your frame if you want. But the clear plastic is quite rigid, so squeezing the bottle isn’t as easy as with softer plastics. It’s also prone to scuffing from the bottle cage.
The bottle meshes well with Elite’s cages. I did find it was prone to work loose in the classic Custom Race cage over the usual UK potholes and bumps. This wasn’t a problem in the new Vico carbon cage though.
The Cyrstal Ombra is dishwasher safe, so you can give it a really good clean when needed. There are some deeper ridges around the top of the bottle though, that you may need to tackle with a brush to clean up fully. The plastic is antibacterial too, which should help keep it hygienic.
As well as the Crystal Ombra, Elite makes the opaque plastic Ombra in 550ml, 750ml and 950ml versions and a Cervélo option too, all with the new cap design.
The new Elite Crystal Ombra bottle is a nice update to standard designs. Its membrane valve gives higher flow rate without spillage and you can see how much drink you have left. But it’s a bit hard to squeeze and can work loose in some cages.