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Verdict: 
Excellent bottle that should fit most cages now, easy to clean, easy to drink from, but the price has gone up
Weight: 
83g

Last October Jim gave high praise to the Skratch Labs version of the Camelbak Podium 710ml bottle, his only criticism being that the shape didn't work with some bottle cages. This latest version looks to have addressed that – though the price has gone up by a chunk.

  • Pros: Lockable & pull-apartable-for-cleaning Jet Valve nozzle; new shape suits a host of cages
  • Cons: Bit pricey; scope for gunk to hide in the nozzle?

The new shape works with every cage I've tried it: Tacx, Lezyne, Cannondale, fancy retro Velo Orange one, old no-name standard one... Unfortunately I couldn't try it with my old Elite Pave cage because someone nicked it after last year's RAB (though they kindly put the bolts back in, which was nice).

> Find your nearest dealer here

As you can see from the photos, the bottle now tapers rather than having indents, and I've yet to find a cage it doesn't work with. (And it should be fine for left and right-handed riders – which one left-handed commenter suggested wasn't the case with the indents.) Some cages are a tighter fit than others, but no ejections so far...

The Jet Valve nozzle works as well as Jim described – easy to suck on, squirt liquid out of, lock for when in transit... and pull-apartable for washing.

Camelbak Podium nozzle parts.jpg

There's no plasticky smell to taint your drink, which you can get with some cheapo bottles – courtesy of the 'Trutaste Polypropylene with Hydroguard' – and like Jim I'm a fan of being able to see how much is left in your bottle. (Two solid colour options are available too, as well as other highlight colours.)

The only question I have is whether the nozzle design makes it more susceptible to catching dirt than a typical simpler one, where you pull the top bit up with your teeth. I guess you don't have to pull anything up with your teeth – so if/when it is a bit grubby, you can just squirt out some liquid to clear it, then squirt into your mouth. Or buy a Mud Cap for £5.99...

Camelbak Podium Bottle - detail.jpg

I'd agree with Jim, too, that you don't need to lock the nozzle when it's on the bike – it doesn't leak, maybe just a smidge as you squeeze it into place initially if it's very full. But the lock is great for transporting your drink to the start of a ride/race – turn the bottle upside down and give it a shake or squeeze and nothing comes out.

> How to eat – and drink – right for sportives and long rides

Twelve quid is a bit of a price hike from the £7.95 of the Skratch Labs one (or there's a 620ml version for £10.99), but it's hardly going to break the bank. Forgo the slice of Victoria sponge at the next cake stop to make up the difference and do your waistline a favour at the same time.

Verdict

Excellent bottle that should fit most cages now, easy to clean, easy to drink from, but the price has gone up

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Camelbak Podium 710ml bottle

Size tested: 24 oz

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?

Camelbak says, "A new design and improved cleanability maintains the Podium bottle's position as the best-of-the-best within the cycling industry. This premium bike bottle prioritizes performance and excellent cage fit above all else for both professional and recreational users. Easy to squeeze and always BPA free, the Podium is the ultimate bottle for rapid and reliable hydration."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Camelbak lists these features:

Optimized Cage Fit: Engineered to securely fit in a variety of bottle cages

Easy Squeeze: Get more fluid with less effort

High Flow, Self-Sealing Cap: Maximizes flow rate while eliminating splatters and spills

100% free of BPA, BPS and BPF: Ride clean, drink clean

Easy-to-Clean Interface: All parts can separate for thorough cleaning

Positive Lock out: For leak-proof transport

TrutasteTM Polypropylene with HydroguardTM: Taste your water and nothing else, time after time

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

No horrible plasticky smell to taint your drink; great flow from the nozzle; squeezable for extra flow/avoiding lips touching dirty nozzle; lockable when transporting a drink; nozzle can be taken apart for cleaning; indented bottle fits in all cages I've tried it.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The lack of plasticky smell that can spoil some drinks bottles. No need to pull open a lid with your teeth to drink.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's a nice fancy nozzle, good flow and easy to clean, but there seems more scope for collecting dirt on a ride than simpler designs.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Not cheap, but hardly breaking the bank.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Jim scored the Skratch Labs version 8/10 and it hasn't got any worse – in fact it's got better, able to fit more cages now. It's a fair bit more money though, so I think the overall remains the same.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 54  Height: 169cm  Weight: size 10-12

I usually ride: Vitus Venon  My best bike is: Paulus Quiros

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding

Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.

16 comments

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ktache [1574 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I am glad they have put the dent back in, and the "dirt" series of bottles has the mud cap included.

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Cowoner [5 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Does the old bottlecap fit these new more classically shaped bottles? If so I'd be delighted if they offered the body as a replacement part. Really don't want to replace my 4 old Podiums just for the new shape O.O

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barongreenback [150 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Oddly I find this doesn’t fit my Elite cage as well as the old Camelbak style. Keeps rattling loose over rough surfaces. 

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barongreenback [150 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
Cowoner wrote:

Does the old bottlecap fit these new more classically shaped bottles? If so I'd be delighted if they offered the body as a replacement part. Really don't want to replace my 4 old Podiums just for the new shape O.O

 

The old cap does fit. 

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Disfunctional_T... [410 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

This version with the bevel on the cap is at least the 3rd generation of the Camelbak Podium. Camelbak Podiums seems to last forever, except for the printing on them which gets scraped off by bottle cages. I wish they made them without any printing on them.

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Redvee [438 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Podiums are all I use now, got far too many of them though.

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cdamian [255 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:

This version with the bevel on the cap is at least the 3rd generation of the Camelbak Podium. Camelbak Podiums seems to last forever, except for the printing on them which gets scraped off by bottle cages. I wish they made them without any printing on them.

There are some with just a small logo at the top of the bottles.
Those are the ones I prefer, mostly clear and the logo out of the way.
I also use different coloured caps for the ones I fill with energy drinks.
They are very taste neutral, but once you used some flavoured drink it is difficult to get out again.

Avatar
Bigfoz [179 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

710ml...
And all the products that go in it are measured for 500 / 750. Do I make my high5 in a 750 bottle, then pour 710 of it into the Camelback? No, I use a High5 or Elite bottle. Stupid size.

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Tinbob49 [11 posts] 2 weeks ago
6 likes
Bigfoz wrote:

710ml...
And all the products that go in it are measured for 500 / 750. Do I make my high5 in a 750 bottle, then pour 710 of it into the Camelback? No, I use a High5 or Elite bottle. Stupid size.

if you’re precious about an over-dilution of 6% in your sports drink, then this bottle probably isn’t the one for you.

also, my elite bottles are 850ml and 550ml, so there is a variety out there.

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Team EPO [203 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Love the way the  non bikeversion is cheaper but seems identical to the bike version

 

Non bike version £9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Camelbak-Unisex-Podium-Bottle-1875002071/dp/B07...

 

Bike version £13!

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Camelbak/dp/B01DA7W7CI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords...

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peted76 [1420 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Camelbak 710ml size are my fav bottles, but jeeze the price is crazy. I usually pick up a couple for Christmas to replace used ones.

 

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earth [443 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
barongreenback wrote:

Oddly I find this doesn’t fit my Elite cage as well as the old Camelbak style. Keeps rattling loose over rough surfaces. 

 

Bottles and cages - arrgh!

I have an elite cage and the old podium bottle.  Sometimes it is very difficult to get out.  If it's not too difficult then it rattles out instead.

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cdamian [255 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Bigfoz wrote:

710ml...
And all the products that go in it are measured for 500 / 750. Do I make my high5 in a 750 bottle, then pour 710 of it into the Camelback? No, I use a High5 or Elite bottle. Stupid size.

What are you worried about? Taste / energy ratio?

Avatar
Fluffed [132 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I got fed up of Podiums slowly squeezing themselves out of my Elite cages, went to Elite Super Corsa bottles instead, they don't have a lock but can be had for about £3 each. I may try these new Podiums if I can find a decent price though.

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LastBoyScout [591 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Got given a Podium Chill bottle last year and I have to agree that they seem to be the best that I've used for non-leakiness, although I've only ever used it in the car and in a bag for days out.

Have bought my wife one, as she kept swiping it and leaving lippy over the nozzle.

Downside of them is you can't see how much you've got left in them and they are very long to preserve the same volume, so don't fit in a seat-tube cage on some smaller/compact frames as they hit the top tube.

Haven't used them on the bike at all, actually - for that, I still prefer the SIS bottles.

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rtw [60 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

https://shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com/gcn-water-bottle-smoke-black-24oz

£9.99 at GCN with the GCN logo on them (I think they are the same generation)