Everyone’s got to hydrate, but how you choose to do it is personal. Some folks go for the hydration belt, some rely on water fountains or hide bottles along their route, but I’ve always been a fan of the handheld bottle. For the past eight years I’ve been running with this guys right here. It’s the Amphipod hydraform lite and they also make one that has an insulation sleeve which i think might be nice, but I’ve never needed it.
I originally chose this water bottle because it was cheap and had a pocket in the strap, and it turned out to be a great pick.
The pocket is perfect for keys or nutrition – holds two gels no prob. I use the 12oz version of this bottle because that is the perfect size for my hand, and I find that it isn’t too heavy when full of water.
I have run most of my races with this water bottle including three marathons. For longer races, I refill the bottle from the water table which in my opinion doesn’t slow me down anymore than stopping to grab a cup to drink. I really like the freedom of being about to drink and eat on my own schedule. Even when running a marathon, it has been pretty comfortable to hold because the shape and strap kind of just hold it onto my hand so I don’t need to grasp it. For a 4-5 mile race, it’s all the water I need.
I have had some problems with the top leaking if the bottle tips over in my bag, so I usually wait to fill it until I’m at my race, or I stick it is a plastic bag. It hasn’t ever leaked while I’m running though, and from what I’ve seen from other people’s bottles, they all leak eventually so I’m sticking with my trusty Amphipod.
Like any running accessory, your hydration system is personal, and you’ve got to figure out what works best for you. If you’re looking for a place to start, I’d highly recommend giving this little bottle a try.