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Camelbak Podium Chill Insulated Bottle



The Jet Valve is a pleasure to drink from but the insulation makes the tiniest of differences

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Cresting that summit on a stifling summer's day, you reach down for your bottle to douse your tongue and throat with cool refreshing liquid only to find a tepid blast of energy drink... never very nice. Camelbak's Podium Chill Insulated Water Bottle is designed to combat that, but while it does help a little, I don't think it makes enough difference to justify the price. The bottle does have some other benefits, though.

  • Pros: Bite valve is easy to use, true taste to your drink
  • Cons: Insulation works only to a very small margin

With the daily temperatures during the test period nudging the mid-20s, I was looking forward to a refreshingly chilled drink mid-ride, but to be honest the difference between this Podium Chill bottle and a standard model can only really be detected by a thermometer.

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A basic test of a few hours in the sun out on the patio next to a transparent High5 bottle saw the Camelbak delivering a serving just 2°C cooler; so yes it works, but not by the margin I'd expect for a £14.99 water bottle. You'd be better off leaving your standard bottle in the freezer for a bit before you ride, or bunging in a handful of ice cubes.

It's not all bad news, as the Podium's Jet Valve is very easy to use and being self-sealing it rarely spits its sticky contents out over your frame. Hold it up to your mouth and you can squeeze to drink and let go to close it, rather than having to suck.

Camelbak Podium Chill Insulated Bottle - detail.jpg

The tapered mid-section of the bottle and upper ridge mean it'll stay put too, even when riding off-road.

For transport, you can lock the valve so even when pressure is applied to the bottle or it's held upside down it cannot leak. The nozzle can also be removed for cleaning – ideal after those dusty gravel rides.

One thing I do really like is Camelbak's use of BPA-free polypropylene in its construction, which takes away that plastic taste from your drink. Whatever you put in the bottle tastes exactly as it should.

> Read more reviews of bottles here

Price-wise, though, why spend £14.99? You might as well buy Camelbak's standard bottle and bung a load of ice in it for the noticeable difference on a long ride. You can pick up bottles for half that £11.99 price, too, though you won't get the added benefits of the Jet Valve, which might make it enough to justify the price.


The Jet Valve is a pleasure to drink from but the insulation makes the tiniest of differences

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Make and model: Camelbak Podium Chill Insulated Bottle

Size tested: 620ml

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, "With double-walled construction to keep water cold twice as long as other bottles, the insulated CamelBak Podium Chill is the best-of-the-best for delivering cold, consistent cycling hydration. Features like optimized cage fit and improved cleanability continue to make this bottle a favorite among professionals and recreational users alike. It is and always has been 100% free of BPA, BPS and BPF."

It's a nice bottle to drink from but doesn't really deliver when it comes to insulation.

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

Camelbak lists:


Double-Walled Construction: Keeps water cold twice as long

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.



0.62L/21 oz


The Jet Valve™ is made from medical grade, self-sealing silicone




Bike & Sport Insulated


Sport & Bike




7.3 x 7.3 x 23.8 cm / 2.9 x 2.9 x 9.4 in


BPA-Free TruTaste™ Polypropylene


99 g / 3.5 oz

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for value:

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

Not the most effective way to keep your drink cool, especially for the money.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The Jet Valve is a pleasure to drink from.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The insulation doesn't really do much.

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

There are similar bottles out there that come in much cheaper than the Camelbak.

Did you enjoy using the product? It's okay to drink from.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

A nice bottle to use and drink from but the insulation is mediocre, especially for the price.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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imaca | 4 years ago

I have 2 of these and love them. You really need to fill them with ice. In 30deg weather they will still have ice in them after an hour. Even after 2 hours water is coolish wheas a normal bottle filled with ice will be hot after 30 minutes. Could never go back to normal bottles in hot weather.

herlihy | 4 years ago

Bought one of these for 37c cycling in Borneo. Waste of money. My riding colleagues had very hot water after a few hours, I just had hot.

ktache | 4 years ago
1 like

My first generation Podium Chill is my favorite bottle, the insulation just takes the edge off the warmth, and this was the one with a cap for the valve on it so it keeps out the dust and mud.  (the lids can be changes but...).  The insulation stopped ice forming in the bottle during the beast from the east too.

If you want better insulation the Podium Ice is availabe, which does work (4X colder according to camelback) but you lose a lot of volume.  The 700ml size bottle only takes about 500ml (I think), whereas the chill just has a slightly bigger bottle so takes the full 700ml.  My Ice is the second gen so no dimple, glad they have put it back, it just fits better in the cages with the "finger".

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