Ingenious, but not cheap, solution to using energy gels effectively on the move
Hydrapak Gel-bot bottle
7 10

At first glance this looks like a normal drinks bottle with some sort of cooling device in the middle and a hefty price tag. In reality it is quite a nifty idea, especially for multi-eventers or long distance cyclists.

I would imagine that any cyclist or runner who uses gel’s as part of training or racing has their own horror story of opening a sachet, the gel going everywhere wasting half the contents and coating your bike and face in a weird, gel wash. The gel-bot DOES eliminate this problem.

It is a water bottle with an integrated gel flask, hydrapak who manufacture the gel-bot bottle have patented something called ‘energy-core’ technology which allows you to drink water and consume gel from the same bottle without the two mixing.

Using the bottle is ingenious, the function of the bite valve has been adapted to allow a gel flow when in the traditional closed position simply by squeezing the main compartment, when the valve is in the normal open position you get a clear flow of water. It works perfectly as well, on the 215km ride that Dave and I did a few weeks ago this bottle performed faultlessly.

There can be variations in performance based on the viscosity of the gel used, for example, my normal zip vit gel is quite thick and takes a bit more effort to get out of the bottle, a couple of torq gels that I have used recently are of a thinner consistency and flow a bit easier.

It’s a lot to spend on a bottle but with brands such as Camelbak branching into ‘high end’ bottles such as the podium or chilled bottles it seems clear that, at the top end of the sport at least, there is a demand for these products. How beneficial they are for this level of spend to the majority of us is for individuals to decide, I like it but forking out this amount (£26 from Exposure Sports) for a drinks bottle seems a bit steep.


A nifty product that does deal with the main annoyance of using energy gel's but it isnt a cheap solution.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Hydrapak Gel-bot bottle

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
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Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
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Did you enjoy using the product? It worked

Would you consider buying the product? Not for the price, I can deal with a normal bottle and a seperate gel.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? a long distance rider or triathlete yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 5ft 10  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: felt ar4  My best bike is: i like my felt and my orbea ora tt bike equally

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb, triathlon


silverelan [1 post] 8 years ago

Reviewer is surprisingly harsh on this product. The Gel-bot is extremely clever and has won a number of converts in the Southern California cycling scene. Especially good for racers who cannot afford the time and concentration to reach back into their pockets and fumble for energy gels.

Also, the knock on the price of the bottles does not take into account the long-term savings one gets by buying the gel in bulk containers(or homemade substitutes) rather than individual packets.

Only drawback is that there is no valve lock such as Camelbak Podium bottle's so inadvertent spills of either water or gel are theoretically possible if they're laying horizontally or inverted.

Tony Farrelly [2948 posts] 8 years ago

We liked the bottle but not the price. In the US this is a much cheaper product SRP is $13.99 equivalent to about £9 over here though SRP is £19.99 - just over $30, what ever way you slice it that's a lot of money to pay for a water bottle even one as ingenious as this.