Reviewed: CamelBak Podium Bottle


Up until the last few months we were using vanilla Nalgene water bottles to quench our thirst on long rides...since July, we bit the bullet and started using the new CamelBak Podium Bottle.

The Podium Bottle (Price: $8 (21 oz. version); $9 (24 oz.) includes several significant upgrades, including a self-sealing squirt valve; a shut-off valve for leak-proof transport; one-handed operation; and an anti-microbial lining to ward-off the build-up of common bacteria and fungus.

What We Liked:
The Podium Bottle is truly easy to use. Regulating the flow of liquid works as can get a mouthful or a small dollop with a simple adjustment of your squeeze intensity. Gone is the "feast or famine" scenario we experienced with our old Nalgene's. A large squeeze forced so much water into our mouth we almost choked, and squeezing lightly produced almost nothing at all.
The Podium Bottle also utilizes a shut-off valve (where has this feature been all these years!) that allows for no-spill-worry free transport in your favorite bag. I always remember the yellow, Cytomax stain that found itself on my favorite pair of knickers (they were white) after shoving my old Nalgene into my bag before a race.

The Snob In Us:
Despite being guaranteed by CamelBak that mold and mildew/fungus and bacteria could not find their way into the Podium, one of our bottles seems to have developed a little bug. After repeated wash cycles, a black mold gathers in the nozzle apparatus. The only way to abate the spread of the mold is to disassemble the nozzle and soak the parts in alcohol. While it hasn't produced any ill effects, we still wonder why one bottle behaves as it should and the other goes directly against CamelBak's antimicrobial claim.

Our Recommendation:
If you are looking for the next step in bottle technology with fantastic flow regulation and a handy locking mechanism, then the Podium is the bottle for you. Throw away your old bottles and step up to the Podium for good!

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