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Published Jul. 23, 2019

Having a good hydration strategy is an essential part of cycling. On long rides and in hot weather, it’s easy to become dehydrated if you’re not taking on enough water. This can lead to undesirable symptoms such as headaches, muscle cramps and dizziness, and make it difficult and unsafe for you to continue – and no rider wants to stop before their time. In order to stay properly hydrated, you need a decent cycling water bottle (or perhaps 2, or 3) – one that’s easy to operate whilst riding, has a good flow rate, and keeps your water cool and pleasant to drink.

These days, there are so many high-tech sports water bottles on the market, that it can be hard to narrow it down to just one. So, to help you choose, we’ve put together this buying guide to what we think are the 15 best water bottles for cycling available today. Some factors we’ve considered when reviewing these bottles include their insulating properties, ease of spout operation, whether they are prone to leaking, and how easy they are to clean. Read on to find the best bike water bottle for you!

The Best Water Bottle for Cycling

Topping our list of the best water bottles for cycling is this Contigo Autoseal Water Bottle. Made from stainless steel, this 24oz bottle features Thermalock double-walled insulation, which keeps your drink cold for up to 28 hours – just what you need for those long bike rides on hot days. This insulated water bottle also comes with an Autoseal mouthpiece, that can be operated with one hand and easily opens and seals the lid to prevent spills. This makes it particularly suitable for cycling, as you can easily grab a drink without having to stop and unscrew a lid, and you don’t have to worry about the bottle leaking whilst you ride.

There’s a protective spout cover, that you can use to protect the spout when not in use, and an integrated carry handle for easy transportation. After your ride is over, you can put the lid in the top rack of your dishwasher for a thorough clean – although the main bottle must be hand washed. You’ll probably only want to use this for water, as the mechanism in the lid makes it a little difficult to clean. Overall though, this is one of the best bike water bottles available, and perfect if you like your hydration delivered ice-cold.

Key Features
  • 24oz BPA-free stainless steel bottle
  • Thermalock insulation keeps drinks cold up to 28hrs
  • Autoseal lid prevents spills
  • Protective spout cover
  • Integrated carry handle
  • Dishwasher safe lid
Specification
  • Brand Contigo
  • Model 2041382
  • Weight 8.6 ounces

If you thought the Contigo Autoseal’s chill time was impressive, prepare to be blown away; this Coleman FreeFlow Vacuum-Insulated Water Bottle keeps liquid cold for a staggering 58 hours – not that you’re likely to need that. It also keeps drinks hot for 20 hours, if you fancy doubling-up your cycling water bottle as a thermal flask on cold days. It has a super-convenient button-operated Autoseal spout to prevent spills, a slide lock to prevent accidental opening, and a protective mouthpiece cover.

This metal water bottle comes in a choice of 7 funky colors, so you can choose one to match your bicycle. It’s a larger bottle – 40oz – than the Contigo Autoseal, so as you’d expect, it’s a little more expensive, and you’ll also need to make sure you have a water bottle cage large enough to accommodate it. Again, we’d recommend using it only for water, as the spout can be difficult to clean. If it’s pure H2O you’ll be drinking though, this is one of the best insulated water bottles on the market, and is perfect for those who cycle in hot climates.

Key Features
  • 40oz stainless steel BPA-free water bottle
  • Keeps drinks cold for 58 hours and hot for 20 hours
  • High-flow spout for fast hydration
  • Autoseal mouthpiece
  • Protective spout cover
  • Hand-wash bottle, dishwasher-safe lid
Specification
  • Brand Coleman
  • Model 2018748
  • Weight 1.25 pounds

This CamelBak Big Chill Podium Water Bottle is a sports water bottle that’s specifically designed with cycling in mind. The insulated design uses closed cell technology to keep water cold for twice as long as a standard bottle. Whilst that might not be as long as some, it should be fine for rides of up to 3 hours, and what it lacks in chilling time, it makes up for with the self-sealing Jet Valve cap. This entirely hands-free spout, combined with the easy-to-squeeze ergonomic shape, means you can hydrate instantly whilst riding by sucking or squirting water. The large drinking spout also ensures a satisfyingly high water flow rate.

The lock-out dial on the cap is designed to prevent leaks and spills in between drinks. Although this works fine for cycling, it is prone to leaking when on its side in a bag, so watch out for this. It’s also another model where the cap and spout is awkward to clean, so use it only for water, and soak it thoroughly between uses. It’s worth noting as well that this is a tall bottle, and probably won’t fit in vertical bike water bottle holders.

Key Features
  • 25oz BPA-free plastic insulated water bottle
  • 2x the insulating power of a regular bottle
  • Self-sealing Jet Valve cap
  • Leak-free lock out on cap
  • Lifetime guarantee
Specification
  • Brand CamelBak
  • Model 52432
  • Weight 0.16 ounces

If you’re looking for a more affordable reusable water bottle, this Pogo Tritan Water Bottle is a great choice. It’s made from plastic, and has no insulating properties, but it is free from BPA, as well as PVC, phthalates, lead and cadmium. It has a chug-style lid that’s great for fast hydration on-the-go, and a built-in, leak-proof spout cover. The removable lid also makes it easy to add ice if you want your drink to stay cold for longer.

There’s a soft touch carry loop for easy transportation, and it’s available in 7 funky colors, so there’s one to suit every bicycle. One of the best things about this bottle is how easy it is to clean, in comparison to similar designs – there’s no difficult-to-access straw, and all parts are safe to put in the top rack of the dishwasher, so you could use it for cold drinks other than water. This sports water bottle is a simple yet effective option for staying hydrated on the road.

Key Features
  • 32oz BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • Chug-style lid with leak-proof cover
  • Soft-touch carry loop
  • Available in 7 colors
  • All parts dishwasher-safe
Specification
  • Brand Pogo
  • Model 233-0432-023
  • Weight 2.4 ounces

This Polar Insulated Water Bottle combines the thermal properties of a vacuum-insulated water bottle with the lightweight properties of a plastic one. The double-walled insulation ensures that your drink will stay cool twice as long as with a regular bottle. If you want it cold for even longer, the bottle is freezer-safe too, so you can fill it half way and freeze it, then top it up with water just before you ride.

Other features include a removable carry strap which makes it easy to attach to a backpack, and a removable valve for easy cleaning. Speaking of cleaning, the whole thing is dishwasher safe, so there’s no scrubbing required, and there are no hard-to-access areas that can encourage mold to develop. This cool water bottle is available in a huge variety of color finishes, so there’s bound to be one you love. It fits most standard bike water bottle cages – the contours of the plastic bottle might cause it to sit a little higher than usual, but trust in it to do its thing. Overall, this is a durable, easy-to-clean and good value plastic water bottle, with the added bonus of insulation.

Key Features
  • 20oz BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • 2x insulating power of a standard bottle
  • Removable valve for cleaning
  • Removable carry strap
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
Specification
  • Brand Polar Bottle
  • Weight 1 pounds

The second bottle from Contigo on our list is this Ashland Chill Water Bottle. At 20oz, it’s slightly smaller than the first bottle, but still features Themalock vacuum-insulation, which keeps drinks cold for up to 18 hours. The push-button pop-up straw makes it easy to drink with just one hand, so you have one left to control your bike, and there’s a lock button to prevent the spout from activating unintentionally.

The bottle also comes a protective spout cover to keep it free from dirt and germs. You can use the spring-loaded clip-on handle to easily attach it to your backpack, or the slim 20oz size should be have no problem fitting in most bike bottle cages. Despite the leak-proof lid, a few users have experienced leaking due to the spring-loaded spout, so make sure to conduct your own tests before storing this bottle on its side. The spout also means it’s not the easiest bottle to keep clean.

Key Features
  • 20oz stainless steel insulated water bottle
  • Keeps drinks cold for up to 18 hours
  • Push-button pop up straw
  • Protective spout cover
  • Dishwasher-safe lid, hand-wash only bottle
Specification
  • Brand Contigo
  • Model 2063291
  • Weight 14.1 ounces

This Podium Chill Insulated Water Bottle by CamelBak is the smaller 21oz version of the Big Chill Bottle at number 3. It includes all the same great features, including double-walled insulation that keeps drinks cold for twice as long as a standard bottle, and a hands-free Jet Valve self-sealing cap, which delivers a high water flow and allows you to rehydrate instantly. There’s an effective secure lock on the cap to prevent spills in between drinks.

The bottle is made from BPA-free polypropylene, and includes a Hydro Guard lining which prevents your water tasting like plastic. The ergonomic design makes it easy to squeeze and grip whilst riding, and it should fit in a standard bike bottle cage with no issue. As with the Big Chill, we recommend only using this bottle for water – the mouthpiece can be difficult to clean, and filling it with sugary drinks could encourage mold to develop over time.

Key Features
  • 21oz BPA-free polypropylene bottle
  • Double-walled insulation keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot
  • Self-sealing Jet Valve cap
  • Secure lock on cap
  • Lifetime guarantee
Specification
  • Brand CamelBak
  • Model 1300501062
  • Weight 3.84 ounces

The Coldest Water Bottle makes a bold claim – and it delivers. The team of engineers behind this bottle conducted extensive research and testing to create the best insulated water bottle for keeping drinks cold. They came up with an ultra-durable, rust-resistant stainless steel construction that has double-walled insulation to keep your water cold for up to 36 hours (or hot for 13 hours).

Another thing that makes this bottle unique is its ability to float. This may not be particularly useful to you whilst cycling, but it could come in handy if you’re on a cross-country ride or heading to the beach. Other features of this bottle include a rubber grip, large carry handle, and wide lid, which makes it easy to add ice. Whilst this bottle is undeniably great at keep drinks cold, some users have experienced issues with the paint on the bottle smearing – try to keep it away from oil and sunscreen to avoid this. The screw-top cap also means you’ll have to stop cycling to drink safely.

Key Features
  • 21oz BPA-free stainless steel insulated water bottle
  • Ultra-durable and rust-resistant
  • Keeps drinks cold up to 36hrs and hot up to 13hrs
  • Carry handle and rubber grip
  • Built to float
Specification
  • Brand The Coldest Water
  • Model 1C
  • Weight 11.8 ounces

This Under Armour Beyond Stainless Steel Water Bottle may have a sleek, designer look, but it doesn’t compromise practicality for style – this is a bottle built for sports. The Thermos vacuum-insulated double-insulated construction with reflective liner will keep you drinks cold for up to 20 hours – and it really works. The push-button lid can be easily operated with one hand, so it’s perfect for cycling, and it can be locked between drinks to prevent spillages.

At 18oz, it’s on the smaller side, so make sure your bike bottle holder is capable of holding it securely. If not though, there’s a flip-up carry handle that can be clipped to your bag. The bottle is available in a choice of metallic finishes, including Navy/Gold and Rose Gold, which gives it an appealingly luxurious look. The only downside is that the cap is made from thin plastic, and is prone to breaking when dropped.

Key Features
  • 18oz stainless steel water bottle
  • Keeps drinks cold up to 20 hours
  • Push-button, one-handed operation lid
  • Flip-up, clip-on carry handle
  • Soft touch silicon grip
Specification
  • Brand Thermos
  • Model US4005ND4
  • Weight 8 ounces

If you’re looking for a value-for-money option, or a way to carry more water on your bike, check out this pack containing 2 x 24oz Insulated Polar Bottles. These bottles are made from BPA-free plastic, and feature a double-walled construction that keeps drinks cold for twice as long as a regular bottle. They have a high-flow cap with self-sealing valve, which can be operated hands-free, and they don’t leak.

The wide tops allow you to easily fill the bottles with ice cubes if you require, and they’re freezer safe – which is a good thing, because the insulating powers of these bottles leave a lot to be desired. Some users also report the bottles giving their water a plastic-y taste – but on a more positive note, they are easy to clean, and safe to put in the dishwasher.

Key Features
  • 2 x 24oz BPA-free plastic water bottles
  • Keeps water cold 2x longer than regular bottles
  • High-flow cap with self-sealing valve
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
Specification
  • Brand Polar Bottle
  • Weight 9.6 ounces

This 40oz Ashland Water Bottle is another design from Contigo, and is made from BPA-free plastic. It has no insulating properties, but it does have the pop-up Autospout straw with one-handed, push-button opening, and a button lock to prevent leaks in between drinks. There’s also a protective spout cover, and a carry clip to attach it to easily attach it to your bag.

Both the lid and bottle are top-rack dishwasher safe, although the lid has the same awkward-to-clean issue as the other Autospout models, so it’s best to use this only for water for this reason. If you need to carry a large amount of water, and you’re not worried about keeping it cold, this bottle is a solid option.

Key Features
  • 40oz BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • Push-button lid with one-handed operation
  • Button lock to prevent spills
  • Protective spout cover
  • Dishwasher-safe lid
Specification
  • Brand Contigo
  • Model 2001494
  • Weight 9.6 ounces

If you’re worried about buying a bottle that doesn’t fit properly in your bike’s bottle holder, consider this Water Bottle and Cage set from Schwinn. The 23oz bottle is made from BPA-free plastic with a rubber grip, whilst the cage is rust-proof aluminum. Conveniently, the set also includes all the necessary bolts, wing nuts and mounting hardware to install the cage on your bike.

The bottle features a flip-open spout cover that can be operated with one hand, so you don’t need to stop riding to rehydrate. This is, however, made from quite a thin plastic that is prone to breaking if dropped. The bottle also has a bit of a plastic-y smell at first, although this does reduce with use, and there’s no insulation, so it won’t keep your water cold. For the price though, this is a very reasonable option for shorter rides on cooler days.

Key Features
  • 23oz BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • Includes aluminum bicycle cage
  • Flip-open one-handed spout cover
  • Clear indicator to see water level
  • Dishwasher-safe
Specification
  • Brand Schwinn
  • Model SW528-2
  • Weight 4.2 ounces

This Premium 18oz Sports Water Bottle by Embrava has a sleek design that is sure to look great in your bike’s bottle cage. It’s made from durable BPA-free plastic, and features a one-click, flip-open top that can be operated with one hand – the ergonomic shape also makes drinking one-handed a breeze. The lid has a lock to prevent leaks, and there’s an air hole to ensure a fast water flow rate.

The single-walled design doesn’t offer any insulation, so this is another bottle best suited to short rides and cooler climates – although the top is wide enough to fill it with ice cubes if you want. It’s on the slimmer side of bottles on this list, but will still fit in most bike cages, and the wrist strap could also come in handy to prevent you dropping your bottle when drinking on the go. Choose from blue, pink, white or gray, to match your bicycle’s style – the soft plastic surface is scratch-resistant, so it should stay looking great over time.

Key Features
  • 18oz BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • One-click, flip-open top
  • Air hole to ensure fast water flow
  • Lid lock to prevent leaks
Specification
  • Brand Embrava
  • Weight 6.2 ounces

Speaking of color options, they don’t come much better than this Zorri Sports Water Bottle, which is available in a choice of 10 colors and 4 sizes, ranging from 14oz to 36oz. It’s made from BPA-free plastic and has the popular one-touch pop-open lid, which also serves as a protective spout cover, and can be locked to prevent dirt and leaks.

The bottle comes with a removable anti-slip silicon sleeve, which is useful for helping your bottle stay in its cage, and for you to grip it whilst riding. It also has markings to indicate water level, so it’s easy to keep track of how much you’re drinking. It’s one of the easiest bottles on our list to keep clean, as it comes with a bottle brush and spare silicone pieces. Its downside is the lack of insulation, but if you don’t mind room-temperature water, this bottle is a winner.

Key Features
  • BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • Available in 4 sizes and 10 colors
  • One-touch pop-open lid
  • Secure-lock lid to prevent dirt and spills
Specification
  • Brand ZORRI
  • Weight 4.2 ounces

The final entrant on our list of the best bike water bottles is another model from Polar Bottle. This 20oz insulated water bottle features a funky stars and stripes design that makes it one super-patriotic, cool water bottle. It has all the same great features as the other Polar Bottles, including double-walled insulation, a reflective lining, and a removable valve for easy cleaning.

It’s also dishwasher and freezer safe, and fits securely in most standard bike cages. One of the best things about this bottle is the shape, which makes it easy to grab and hold whilst riding. It can also be used as a squeeze bottle – although you do have to squeeze pretty hard. All in all, this is another great option for keeping your water cool on shorter rides of 1 – 2 hours.

Key Features
  • 20oz BPA-free plastic water bottle
  • Keeps liquid cold 2x longer than a standard bottle
  • Built-in carry loop
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
Specification
  • Brand Polar Bottle
  • Weight 5.6 ounces

Best Water Bottle for Cycling Buying Guide

Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of cycling water bottles available? We don’t blame you, there are a lot! Hopefully our buying guide and FAQ will help you decide which one is right for you.

What to Consider When Buying a Water Bottle for Cycling

  • Size

If you want to carry your water bottle in your bike’s bottle cage (or you’re purchasing a cage at the same time), you need to make sure the bottle will fit. Whilst most bottle holders are flexible, not all will accommodate all bottles, especially oversized ones of 40oz or more.

  • Material

Most bike water bottles are made from either stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel is generally more durable, and has better insulating properties, whereas plastic is lighter and often cheaper. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s free from BPA (an industrial chemical widely considered to be harmful to humans).

  • Insulation

Following on from the above, different bottles will have different insulating capabilities, ranging from none, to keeping your drink cold for up to 58 hours. If you’re riding in warm to hot temperatures, you’ll likely want a bottle with at least some insulation.

  • Spout operation

This one’s important if you want to be able to carry your bottle in a bike cage and drink whilst riding. In this case, you’ll need a bottle with a spout that pops up with the push of a button, or that can be operated with no hands, such as the CamelBak. If you’re planning to stop cycling to drink, you’ll be fine with a screw-top lid.

  • Leak-proofing

Given that you’ll be taking this bottle with you on bike rides, it’s highly important that it doesn’t leak. Look for bottles with leak-proof measures, such as lockable spouts/lids, and check online user reviews for an indication of their effectiveness.

  • Ease of cleaning

Finally, you don’t want to choose a bottle that’s a nightmare to clean – especially if you want to use it for drinks other than water. Look for dishwasher-safe components, or if you have to wash everything by hand, make sure it comes apart easily and you can access all components, particularly the spout.

Cyclist holding bottle of water

Importance of Hydration When Cycling

It’s always important to stay well-hydrated – the benefits of drinking enough water are numerous, and range from a healthy gut to clearer skin – but hydration is particularly important when exercising, or doing an exerting activity such as cycling. Exercise causes us to sweat and use water more quickly than usual. Failing to replace this water fast enough will lead to dehydration, which can cause headaches, muscle cramps, loss of concentration and even fainting – not symptoms you want to experience whilst riding, are we right? See our FAQs below for more information on when and how much you should be drinking whilst cycling.

Benefits of a Quality Bike Water Bottle

  • Drink without stopping

A cycling water bottle that fits in your bike cage and features no or one-handed operation will allow you to rehydrate without interrupting your ride – no more stopping to unpack a backpack and screw-off pesky lids.

  • Stay hydrated and healthy

As a follow-on effect from the above, you’re likely to drink more water on your rides, keeping you better hydrated, and warding off the symptoms of dehydration, such as headaches and dizziness.

  • Keep water cold

A well-insulated cycling water bottle will keep your drink cool for the duration of your ride, making rehydrating a much more pleasant and satisfying experience, especially on a hot day.

Best Water Bottle for Cycling FAQ:

Q: What is the right time to hydrate when cycling?

On the day of your bike ride, start with a 500ml drink when you wake up, to get your body functioning. On a hot day, aim to drink another 500ml of water an hour before you start cycling. Throughout your ride, you should follow the rule of ‘little and often’ – take regular drinks of a few sips at a time, making sure to do this before you feel thirsty, as this is a sign you are already dehydrated. After your ride, have another 500ml drink to rehydrate, and make sure to drink consistently throughout the rest of the day.

Q: How much water should I drink when cycling?

The amount of water you need to drink will depend on a variety of factors, including climate, your physiology, and the length and intensity of your ride. As a rough guide, on a hot day, you should be aiming to drink around 1 – 1.5liters of water per hour. This amount can be reduced for colder days, but you shouldn’t be drinking much less than 500ml an hour. It’s a good idea to have an electrolyte drink available, as well as water (or a tablet you can add to your water) to replace the electrolytes you lose during exercise. Try not to drink too much water at once, but rather take regular small sips. Cyclist drinking water

Q: How do I clean and maintain my cycling water bottle?

Aim to clean your cycling water bottle after every use. Before cleaning your bottle, make sure to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations, as some water bottles have components that are safe to be put in the dishwasher, whilst others can only be washed by hand. It’s important to adhere to these instructions, as putting a non-dishwasher-safe bottle in the dishwasher can cause it to warp out of shape. If you need to wash your bottle by hand, you should first take it apart by removing the lid and any removable spouts/straws. Soak all components in hot, soapy water, and use a bottle brush to clean any hard to reach areas. Rinse and leave the parts to drain, allowing them to dry thoroughly before reassembling your water bottle.

Our Top Pick

We’re confident you’ll be happy with any of the bottles we’ve covered on this list, but if we had to recommend just one, it would be the Contigo Autoseal Water Bottle. This cycling water bottle is made from BPA-free stainless steel, and at 24oz, it will fit most bike cages. It features Thermalock double-walled insulation, which keeps your drink cold for an impressive 28 hours, an easy-to-use Autoseal mouthpiece that you can operate with one hand, and a protective spout cover, which stops it getting dirty. Overall, if you’re looking for a way to carry and keep your water n-ice and cold whilst cycling, this is by far one of the best bike water bottles for the job!

Sources:

  1. How Do I Stay Hydrated While Mountain Biking? – HowStuffWorks
  2. 13 Ways To Carry Water For Riding – Singletrack Magazine

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