My every ride bottle
When I started riding I used the regular water bottles given away at charity rides. I guess I bought a couple of them from REI. And they were fine, mostly. They held water and got it into my mouth without many issues, if sometimes prone to dripping my drink on to me. They did the job and the vast majority of the drink made it in to me and not on to me.
I wasn’t completely satisfied though and picked up a couple of Polar water bottles about seven years ago. I was so pleased with them that I picked up another one shortly after that. They accompanied me on every ride. I remember losing one of them as it slipped out of my hand on a Thursday night group ride and watching as it bounced through the pack into the grass at the side of the road. There was a small sense of loss that lingered for a while after losing that first Polar bottle. It’s strange that you can get attached to these little things.
So why is the Polar bottle the one I use?
Since that making the switch I’ve only ever used Polar bottles. I like the hand feel. It’s not something I thought about until I started to write this review. However due to their insulated, double walled construction they feel solid and are easily gripped. They have a nice dip along both sides of the bottle where your hand will naturally fall as you’re reaching down on the bike.
In the hot summer months the bottles can be frozen in the freezer providing you leave a little room for expansion. There are three insulating layers and they will keep a drink cold at least twice as long as a non-insulated single wall bottle. Hot drinks are possible as well, with the caution that they should be no hotter than you are willing to drink straightaway.
The bottles come in 20oz and 24oz sizes. I use the larger version – it’s welcome to know that I have a little extra fluid with me for those longer rides between rest stops.
Constructed well with a solid warranty
Polar makes all the bottles in the US and offer an unconditional lifetime replacement for any reason. I’ve had the caps fail on me, gradually getting looser until it was hard to get water out of them. However they will send out free replacement caps after filling out a simple form on their website. Polar will even pay the shipping. They continue to support their old bottle caps as well, so one bottle should last for years. It prevents it from being disposed of and being added to the landfill. All bottles are BPA and Phthalate-free.
The bottles are dishwasher safe, so you won’t be tasting years of built up sport drink residue. A recycling program is available. If you send back the old bottle then polar will give you a 50% off coupon code on your next bottle
Polar allows you to design your bottle to match your bike. There are a huge range of styles to choose from and the ability to have a custom bottle designed, ideal for a cycling team seeking a unified look. Even photos can be added to the bottle sleeve insert. Again, it’s just a water bottle however you will be looking at it for hours – wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra elegance on the bike?
Worth a try
At $12 or less, it’s worth a try. It’s a cheap upgrade which is worth the money. As I said, a regular non-insulated water bottle works well. I just find these better. As Nigel said in This is Spinal Tap, this bottle is better because it goes to 11.
Paul Smith regularly reviews products for RBR. He’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in thePiedmont area of North Carolina. He commutes often, and his car is worth less than any of his bikes. Click to read Paul’s full bio.