Camelbak has redesigned the long-running Podium bottle with a smoother shape and increased flow rate nozzle. The changes are a big improvement and make the bottle now much better than it's ever been.
The biggest difference immediately noticeable when you first use the new bottle is that it's easier to squeeze with one hand. The old bottle was quite hard to squeeze, but the changes in plastic and the elimination of the recessed top section makes it more squeezable.
The other big change is the improved Jet Valve, a unique design to the Podium bottle. It now offers a much larger flow of water, so you get a bigger mouthful more easily. The amount of water you get is easy to regulate. Comparing it to the old bottle design, it's quite a dramatic improvement. Another upshot of that updated design is that it's easier to clean, and the valve is removable as well.
No leakages is another bonus of the unique valve design. It's one-way for a start, and the twist-lock mechanism locks off the flow of water. That makes this bottle ideal if you're travelling and stashing the bottle inside your bag. A regular bottle is very likely to leak inside a bag or boot of the car, but the Podium just won't.
Visually the bottle shape has changed. It's a lot smoother and the recessed hand gripper section is gone. There are still indents around the collar to locate your fingers though. Even so, it's easier to hold in the hand, and the fact it's more squeezable makes it easier to grab; that's especially noticeable when you're riding hard and fast and you don't have much time to think about grabbing the bottle perfectly. The new bottles ar a tiny bit shorter compared to the old ones, but not so much that you'll actually notice.
There's no change to the volume; there are still 610ml and 710ml versions. There's also a new Chill version - but we'll review that one separately.
A big improvement with increased water flow and a more ergonomic bottle that's easier to squeeze.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Camelbak Podium 610/710ml water bottle
Size tested: 610ml and 710ml
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The CamelBak® Podium® bottle incorporates Jet Valve, a revolutionary self-sealing valve with a high flow rate. A wide-mouth opening for easy filling and removable Jet Valve for ease of cleaning clean.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
BPA-Free TruTaste™ Polypropylene with HydroGuard™
Removable nozzle for easy cleaning
Innovative self-sealing Jet Valve™ eliminates splatters and spills
Positive lockout for leak-proof transport
Wide-mouth opening is easy to fill with ice and water and ease of cleaning
The new construction makes it easier to squeeze compared to the old bottle. It's a big difference when compared side-by-side with the old bottle.
Massive water flow and there's no leakage like you get with other bottles. When you stop squeezing the water stops flowing.
Early days so far but if the old bottles are anything to go by, they will last years. The new nozzle being easier to clean is a good improvement.
Much easier and nicer actually to hold and use when cycling.
Better performance than a regular water bottle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A great redesign makes this a quality product.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to use, large water flow, easy to clean. Even looks good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to dislike.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A huge improvement, this is the bottle the Podium should have been when it was first released.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.