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CamelBak Performance 22-Ounce Water Bottle

Last night I cleaned out the kitchen cabinet where I keep the sports bottles I use for cycling. After throwing out several bottles that looked pretty ragged I am now down to just 24 bottles (so I went to Amazon.com and ordered a few more). Many of the bottles I own are “special use” bottles—some are insulated for winter use, while others have domed covers to protect the spout when I ride in the mud. One of the more unusual bottles I own is the CamelBak Performance 22-Ounce Water Bottle.

CamelBak Performance 22-Ounce Water Bottle

CamelBak Performance 22-Ounce Water Bottle

The CamelBak Performance Water Bottle is made of 100% BPA-free polypropylene and the bite valve is made from medical grade silicone. The cap on this bottle toggles to open and close and it is totally leak-proof—I mean not a single drop is going to escape. This bottle also has a Fuel Gauge—a clear strip up the side of the bottle that makes it easy to see how much water you have left.

Outdoor Research Water Bottle Parka

Outdoor Research Water Bottle Parka On The Front Fork Of My Necromancer

From the outside the CamelBak Performance Water Bottle looks like most other bottles, but the straw inside the bottle means you don’t have to tilt your head back to get a drink—so you never have to take your eyes off the road while drinking! However, that is not the reason I bought these bottles. My Surly Necromancer has the same front fork as a Surly Moonlander, which means it has a lot of braze-ons so you can attach a Salsa Anything Cage to the fork. I mount an Outdoor Research Water Bottle Parka in the cage and that allows me to carry almost any standard bicycle water bottle in it all winter long without fear of my drinks freezing. The only problem with the parka is getting you water bottle out of it—but since the CamelBak Performance water bottle has a hook on the lid it pulls right out of the parka.

The CamelBak Performance 22-Ounce Water Bottle retails for $9 and is available in three colors (Blue, Red, and Silver). I doubt if many bike shops stock this item, but most of then can easily order it for you. The bottle is also available online from Amazon.com and from the CamelBak Website. This product comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

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JetFlow Hydration System

One of the first purchases I made after I took up cycling was a Camelbak Hydration Pack. At the time I was mainly riding on off-road trails and water was hard to find. A few weeks after buying the Camelbak I had to go back to the sporting goods store to buy a cleaning brush kit and some cleaning tablets. Then I had to go back to buy a reservoir dryer—a plastic device allows you to hang the bladder of the Camelbak upside down so it will dry faster. After a year of messing around with two different Camelbak Hydration Packs I finally gave up on them and just started carrying my drinks in the water bottle cages on my bike. A few weeks ago the folks at JetFlow Hydration Systems sent me one of their new Tomahawk Hydration Packs to try. If you are tired of messing around with Camelbak packs, but still need a way to keep yourself hydrated, then the JetFlow products are going to be of great interest to you! This product is not only for cyclists—runners and hikers will also find it to be a great addition to their normal gear.

JetFlow Hydration System

JetFlow Hydration System

JetFlow’s Tomahawk Hydration Pack is similar in shape and function to Camelbak products, but in terms of functionality there is no comparison. Instead of relying on an internal bladder (water reservoir) like the Camelbak, JetFlow allows you to use almost any plastic bottle instead. JetFlow has a complete list of compatible bottles on their Website, but the list includes almost everything you will find at a convenience store from a 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi to a 24-ounce bottle of Aquafina or Dasani water, or even a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew! The advantage is that you never have to worry about a moldy bladder or bad tasting water again!

JetFlow Hydration System

Use your favorite bottle instead of a moldy bladder!

If you’ve ever used a Camelbak Hydration Pack before you are familiar with the two major parts: an expanding bladder holds the liquid inside the pack and a long hose leads out of it and ends with a bite valve (the business end of the system). JetFlow eliminates the hydration bladder and lets you use disposable water bottles (or Gatorade bottles, soft drink bottles, etc.). When you get home from your run, bike ride or hike you can simply throw the disposable bottles away. Since the JetFlow system also works with many insulated bottles or Nalgene bottles you can just put these items in your dishwasher for easy cleanup.

JetFlow Hydration System

A thermos bottle connected to the JetFlow manifold

You attach a bottle to the JetFlow system using what they call a manifold—a piece of plastic where the water hose and bottle adapter meet. The manifold also has a second hose that lets air into your bottle to release vacuum pressure. The manifold is built to accept a standard 16 to 24-ounce water bottles—if the bottle you want to use has a larger opening (like a Gatorade bottle) you can use one of the two included adapters to connect the bottle to the manifold. Once connected to the manifold you just place the bottle upside down in the backpack and you’re good to go. I tested the JetFlow Hydration System on several occasions. The first time was with a 24-ounce Aquafina bottle, then I switched to a 20-ounce thermos bottle I had. The water delivery was smooth and the product never leaked.

JetFlow Hydration System

Two adapters for different size bottles

JetFlow makes several different hydration packs. The Drone can hold one bottle up to 1.5 liter bottles (48 oz.) and has 250 cubic inches of storage space. The Tomahawk (featured in this review) has a maximum capacity of two 1.0 liter bottles with 250 cubic inches of storage space. The Raptor has a maximum capacity of two 1.5 liter bottles with 600 cubic inches of gear storage. The Warthog is the biggest pack they offer—it has a maximum capacity of two 1.5 liter bottles with a whopping 1350 cubic inches of storage space and 14 organizational pockets.

JetFlow Hydration System

Earphone / headphone port on the backpack

The important thing to remember when looking at these hydration packs is not the design of the pack, but the way the water is stored inside the pack! This product has two big (and very important) selling points: ease of use and ease of cleanup. However, I do want to mention a couple of things about the backpacks anyway. These packs all come with an earphone / headphone access port on the top of the pack. You can keep your iPhone or MP3 player inside the pack and still listen to your tunes. All of these packs also have active harness suspension, an adjustable sternum strap, and reflective piping.

JetFlow hydration system products are new to the market, so they are not yet available at your local bike shop. The Tomahawk retails for around $55. The best way to buy these products is from the JetFlow Online Store. You can also find their products on Amazon.com and at your local Cabela’s store (but not their online store).

 
30 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Product Reviews

 

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CamelBak Podium Chill Bottle (Carbon, 21 oz)

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

You know you have to drink out of something while cycling, so why not choose a high-quality bottle that won’t change the flavor of what you’re drinking? I’ve used Camelbak bottles for three years now and can’t imagine riding with anything else.

The Camelbak Podium Chill bottle has double-wall construction, so your cold drinks stay cold about twice as long as compared to normal bottles. On extremely hot days I put my bottles in the freezer for about an hour before my ride (store it right side up and don’t fill the bottle all the way up). During the winter I start my ride with two Podium Chill bottles filled a warm sports drink and that seems to keep the bottle from freezing for about two hours (I often ride when the temperature is in the single-digits).

The bottle is made with Camelbak’s proprietary blend of BPA-Free polypropylene so it does not alter the taste of your favorite sports drink. The JetValve nozzle on the bottle does a great job of preventing spills and drips and you won’t have to close the valve when you’re finished drinking (however, you should close the valve if you are shaking a drink mix before your ride). The bottles can be washed in a dishwasher, but the Camelbak Website recommends washing by hand in warm water.

I replaced my old Camel Podium Chill bottles a couple of weeks ago. My old pair of bottles had traveled with me for over 12,000 miles on my bike and had been washed several hundred times. The bottles still worked fine, but all the paint had finally scraped off and they looked a bit rough.

The Camelbak Podium Chill bottles retail for around $12.00 each.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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