The best cycling water bottle – or best bidon, if you're a ponce – is essential if you enjoy long bike rides. These unassuming plastic companions help to keep you hydrated out on the bike and stave off muscle-debilitating cramps. When not in use, they sit in your bike's bottle cage or perhaps in one of the Best cycling backpacks.
But even for the most demanding road bike jockeys, a plastic bottle is just a plastic bottle, right? NO. Some are better than others. It should be made from a plastic that's squeezy enough to help regulate flow and should be easy to clean, too. Some bottles can even keep your drink cold in summer and warm/not frozen solid in winter, which is a plus. A good water bottle will also be easy to open on the move. I mean, who wants to take a quick slurp when you can barely get the bottle out of the cage or open the nozzle without stopping at the roadside?
Without further ado, here are three of the best water bottles for bike riding.
Best cycling water bottles, in order
1. Camelbak Podium Chill 620ml Water Bottle
Best cycling water bottle: insulated to keep your drink cool on hot summer rides
Reasons to buy
Here’s a clever bottle for hot summer riders - the Camelbak Podium Chill has a double-walled construction to help keep your drink cool, even when it’s sweltering out there. You can also use it to keep warm drinks, well, warm on winter rides.
Camelbak’s JetValve is smart, too, and has a self-sealing design to prevent spillages. There’s also a lockout on the valve for leak-proof transportation. This is a slightly more expensive water bottle, but the extra features go some way to justifying the additional cost. And come on, it’s not that expensive.
2. Elite Corsa 550ml Water Bottle
Best cheap cycling water bottle, in a choice of sizes
Reasons to buy
Elite is one of the big names to look out for in the water bottle world (who knew?) and supplies a number of top-level professional cycling teams. The Corsa is Elite’s everyday bottle and does exactly what you want it to for a really good price.
The wide, screw-top lid ensures the bottle is a breeze to clean, while the rubber valve is easy to open with your mouth when riding. The tapered neck and ribbed cap provides good levels of grip, too.
If you happen to drop the bottle while riding (or it jumps out of your cage), the Corsa’s lid is designed to pop off if it comes into contact with another rider’s wheels. Safety first, eh? Larger 750ml and 950ml versions are also available for thirstier riders.
3. LifeLine Water bottle 800ml
Best really cheap bike water bottle: still holds liquids most effectively
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The LifeLine Water Bottle is cheap and cheerful but does the job. With an 800ml capacity (a 600ml version is also available), it’s enough for hot summer rides, without being drastically over-sized. A 74mm diameter means it’ll fit in a standard bottle cage.
The squeezable plastic means you can chug it down when particularly parched, the wide top allows for easy washing and when you're done, you can stick it in the dishwasher. What more could one ask?