Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Camelbak QuickGrip Handheld Water Bottle

As mentioned before, I recently got a new water bottle.  I am looking forward to many long runs with my new friend:

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I understand this is kind of ridiculous because…we already have lots of water bottles.


But this one is nothing like the others we have.

Last summer and fall I used the blue Nalgene bottle, or later – the clear and orange bike bottle from a local bike shop – for my long runs.  Neither keeps the water cold…so I would just fill the bottle half way, stick in the freezer, then top off with water right before my run. Or fill with ice cubes.  On hot days, the ice might have lasted 30 minutes if I was lucky.

The other issue was holding it.  The bike bottle was easier to hold because it’s narrower near the top.  I would occupy myself on long runs by switching which hand I was carrying the bottle with at various intervals.
Enthralling, I know.

For the past 6ish months I have been contemplating a bottle with a pouch/holder.  Here are some of the other bottles I had considered: Nathan Quick Draw Elite, Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Plus (both 21 oz)

Also the Nathan Quick Draw Plus, (21 oz)

and then also the smaller 10 oz Fuel Belt Sprint bottle.

In the end I went with the Camelbak Quick Grip because of the insulated bottle.

I read a lot of mixed reviews on the mouthpieces for both the Nathan and the Ultimate Direction bottles. (who knows if people messed them up by throwing them in the dishwasher though? I am always a little skeptical of website reviews).  And...because I don't mind carrying a fuller bottle of water, I didn't know how helpful the 10 oz would be for my long runs...I stuck with the 21 oz.

Really, I would have found a pouch/holder on its own if I could, since I should have been able to use it on the bike bottle.  But apparently you can’t buy these things on their own?  I couldn’t find one, anyway.  So the Camelbak bottle adds something different that we don’t already have in our extensive water bottle collection.

Here’s an overview of the features I like:
  • Zip pocket with internal key hook
  • Reflectivity on pouch and strap
  • Adjustable strap for smaller hands!
  • Insulated bottle
  • Lockable, leak-proof bottle top
Here are the stats according to the tag:

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I’m not sure which dimensions they are giving there (maybe if the holder were off of the bottle?)
The overall bottle height is about 9.5”.  The diameter at the bottom of the bottle is about 2.5”, but it swells out to be wider than that where the pack is.

The pocket is just under 3.75” tall.  At the top, it is about 2.75” wide.  At the bottom of the zip pouch it is just under 2.5” wide.  The pocket is not big enough for my old Motorola Razr phone, or my current Blackberry.
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The zip pocket IS big enough for a Gu, chapstick, and two house keys. You do need to fold down the top of a Gu to get it to fit.

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And actually, there is a key hook inside the pouch which I should have used on my run yesterday.  Because I had a klutzy moment on my run yesterday where I took my gu out, and took a swig from my bottle…and oh yeah, that pocket was still open and my keys fell on the side of the road.  Real smart.  If I had utilized the hook, I wouldn’t have been scrambling in the shoulder to grab my keys.

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I know reviews of various handheld bottles complain about the weight.  Yes, a 21-ounce bottle filled with water is going to be heavy.  In this case, Camelbak says it will weight 1.42 lbs when filled.  Good news- it will get lighter as you drink!

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The Camelbak + pack weighs 5.0 oz; the bike bottle on the right is 3.1 oz.  So empty, there’s not a huge weight difference from adding the pack.

Check out the reflectivity!  This is also where you can cinch the strap tighter once it’s on your hand:

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Depending on what's comfortable for you, you could hold the bottle with your hand in a half circle (thumb in the same direction as the rest of your fingers)-

Or with your thumb wrapped around the bottle.

I'm sure it's more comfortable for people with larger hands.  My hands are on the small side and only wrap about half way around the bottle, but it worked.

I can’t speak to how well the water bottle works at insulating yet as it’s still cold outside, but I will report back once spring is here!

Lastly, the top of the bottle prevents unwanted spilling.  When you want water, you rotate the nozzle into the position pictured below, and squeeze the bottle.

If it’s in this position, and totally upside-down, but you don’t squeeze…water doesn’t leak out!!  Amazing.

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  1. Wow, I feel really guilty now. My "research" before purchasing this product included "I like other camelbak products, Amanda is a runner and said she likes it, and I have a coupon". I'm pretty excited about the leak proof top. Thanks for being an awesome thorough researcher for lazy consumers like me!

  2. Thanks for the review! I've been considering a water supply when I run. Last summer/fall running 10-20km without one and figure I should probably use one for those runs.

  3. Alyssa- Don't feel guilty! I'm a dork and I enjoy providing pictures of these things if they help other people! I probably (definitely) obsessed way too much about which water bottle to buy.

    Alison- No problem! I like to bring water on runs over 8-9 miles, or probably 6+ miles when it's hot out.

  4. I just bought one and can't wait to use it, but I have a problem. I took off the holder to wash the bottle, and now I can't get the holder back on the bottle to use it! Any suggestions? Thanks!

  5. I've taken it off a couple times before too. It was not easy to put back on, but I got it eventually. You just have to kind of wrestle it back on. Maybe if you can hold the bottle between your legs or have someone else hold the bottle so you can use two hands to pull it on?

  6. Yeah! Thanks for the review. Was considering the Nathan when I saw most don't like the bottle top. I love my Camelbak Podium, but wasn't sure if the "handle" was as good on the Camelbak as the Nathan. Heading to now to buy the Camelbak. Thanks for the review!

  7. Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    ​aqua arm


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