If you’re anything like me you probably have a cabinet filled with water bottles. There’s that one you got when you did the 40th Annual __ Century, the one you grabbed at the Jelly Belly booth at the Tour of California, one from your local bike shop and, maybe, one that you actually paid for. All of them hold water, all of them taste like plastic, all of them spray you in the face when you squeeze them too hard and, most importantly, none of them match your kit.
So, maybe you think about upgrading. Maybe you see the Garmin team rocking the Camelbak Podium during the tour and you watch the little segment where they demonstrate the Jet ValveTM and you think it would be nice to have a bottle that delivered all of the water to your mouth. And, maybe you thought that $8.00 for a 21 oz bottle was huge jump up from FREE.
For the $8.00 price tag ($9.00 for the 24 oz) Camelbak promises an easy to use, leak proof, splatter free bottle and better tasting water. And that’s what they deliver.
The Jet Valve offers the ability to adjust the flow of water and to turn the valve off completely-I only ever have the valve all the way open on a ride and all the closed for transport. The one-way valve does it’s job when I’m on the bike and, in order to drink, all you have to do is grab the bottle, point it at your mouth and squeeze. Likewise, when you’re done you just put the bottle back in the cage. The bottle never leaks on my bike and, with exception of the time I didn’t put the top on all the way, never sprays bright red sports drink all over your kit.
With my old bottles I used to have to use the same bottle for sports drink and the same bottle for water on every ride or everything started to taste a little like whatever sugary drink I used last. With the Podium bottle water tastes like water, every time.
In the several months of using the Podium bottle I’ve only run across one, small annoyance. Because I wash my bottles in the dishwasher, every now again a little bit of dishwasher debris will find it’s way into the top of the bottle and get stuck on the valve-it’s a little disconcerting when the first thing you get when you go to sip your water is a piece of dried pasta. Once that food or whatever dries it’s very hard to get anything down the opening to the valve to clean it off-I soaked mine in soapy water and used the Jet Valve to spray it into the sink.
With my biggest complaint about the bottle being that I don’t rinse my dishes quite enough before loading the dishwasher, I definitely recommend this bottle. After a few weeks I bought a 24 oz bottle and have, more or less, replaced all 16 bottles that had been in my cabinet. Do yourself a favor and just spend the 8 bucks. You won’t regret it.