When it comes to finding the best handheld water bottles for running, there are a number of choices available. Being a gear head, and a bit picky, I have tried quite a few of them and definitely recommend certain ones over others. Below are four top choices with a few notes of the pro and cons of each.
First off, a couple of notes applicable to any water bottle: If you run with sports drink in your bottle, be sure to wash it immediately after returning home. Many handheld bottles have specialty cap areas to prevent spilling that are also hard to clean if they are not immediately rinsed. If you get mold in the cap area, it could be difficult to clean. Also, most bottle handles will accommodate another bottle (some are easier to wrestle other bottles onto than others), so I have slipped a grocery store water bottle or Gatorade bottle into mine on occasion.
Three of the Best Running Bottles
Nathan Quickdraw Elite: The Nathan Quickdraw bottle is one of my favorites for three reasons: (1) Its size—the bottle is a bit bigger than other brands, but this could be con if you prefer small bottles, (2) It fits even my small hands without slipping, and (3) my hands don’t sweat as much with it as they do with other brands because the handle is made of breathable mesh. On the downside, at around $24, it is one of the pricier bottles.
Camelbak Quick Grip (read previous Camelbak review): The Quick Grip is a consumer favorite and I find that it keeps the water cold for longer than other handheld running bottles. Like the Nathan Quickdraw, the Camelbak running bottle is also of pretty good size. People with small hands, such as myself, report that it is harder for them to get a good fit and I find that is the case for me as well. However, I don’t find it to be so loose that it hamper my use of it.
Fuel Belt Sprint 10 Oz: For those who prefer small bottles, the Fuel Belt sprint is perfect. I usually prefer a bigger bottle, but the small size is perfect for a quick run where just a bit of hydration is needed. The bottle is often reported as being 7 ounces, but if filled to the top, I find that it really is 8. The same bottle will also fit in many fuel belt brands.
One Dud? Or Another of the Best?
I mention this one because I love the handle and hate the bottle!
Fuel Belt Sahara Palm Holder: I grabbed one of these once when traveling and I had forgotten my running water bottle. The bottle unfortunately leaked all over the place. I ended up tossing the bottle portion in a trash can half way through a long run with it because I was tired of my Gatorade leaking all over my hand and feeling sticky. However, there is a bright side to the experience, I found that the handle for this one was particularly adaptable to other bottles in various sizes. So I use it now when I want to carry a grocery store water or Gatorade bottle. The handle for this bottle is also a bit cushier than the others. One one hand, that means a bit more sweating in summer, but in cooler whether, it is a rather welcome addition.