If there's one thing you need when you're biking, it's water. That means that if you do a lot of cycling, you need one of the best bicycle water bottles. But what should you look for?
Qualities of the best bicycle water bottles
The first thing to consider is what it's made of. The best water bottle material is usually either a strong plastic like Tritan copolyester or double-walled stainless steel. The advantage of plastic is that it's lighter and you can see the water level inside. It doesn't regulate temperature, however, so your water won't stay cold as long. Double-walled stainless steel, on the other hand, is heavier and opaque, but it helps keeps your water chilled. In addition to materials, consider things like:
- One-handed operation: This lets you take a sip without having to stop and pull over. Water bottles with push-button lids or squeezable designs are perfect for this.
- Leakproof lid: Features like a silicone gasket or ring will help provide a secure seal.
- Covered spout: It's also nice if the spout has a lid or flap to keep dust and dirt out.
- Strong water flow: There's nothing more aggravating than a slow water bottle when you're really thirsty. For this quality, read the reviews carefully to determine how strong the water flow is. (I did this part for you.)
What size should bike water bottles be?
Once you've considered these factors, don't forget to look at the size. Your water bottle needs to be slender enough to fit inside the bike cage but not so thin that it rattles around or falls out. Looking through countless options online, I've found that most water bottle cages are between 2.6 and 2.9 inches, but there's a lot of variation out there, so measure yours carefully before making a purchase.
How much water do you need when biking?
The amount of water you need while cycling varies due to heat, weather, difficulty, and personal factors like height, weight, and age. As a general rule of thumb, Joe Goodwill of the Average Joe Cyclist bike blog recommends "two to three large gulps" every 15 to 20 minutes — roughly 18 to 24 ounces per hour.
Most bike water bottles run from 16 to 24 ounces, so for longer rides, hydration packs can be a great alternative. These are basically miniature backpacks that have a tube coming out the side to clip to your chest for easy access. The best hydration packs for biking offer easy-flowing bite valves, strong bladders, and extra pockets for stashing gear.
Below, I've made a list of the best bike water bottles, according to the factors above. I also included a great hydration bladder at the end, in case that's a better fit for your needs.
1. The Best Overall
Width: 2.6 inches
What's great about it: With 1,600-plus reviews, this super versatile bicycle water bottle is a huge fan favorite. On top of its durable Tritan copolyester construction, it has a drinking spout that offers excellent water flow, and a convenient carrying loop. The flip-up lid has a simple one-click opening mechanism so you can operate it with one hand — and it locks back into place to prevent leaking with the help of a locking silicone ring. Offering a 21-ounce capacity, the bottle itself is see-through (unless you opt for one of the frosted color options), so you can eyeball how much water is left, and it has bonus measurement markers to give you the exact water level. The cap on the top keeps the spout clean, and as a bonus, it comes at a great price, too.
What fans say: "I love this bottle! The one hand push button is such a great feature. When I’m driving or going on a bike ride, being able to just push a button to pop open the lid is extremely convenient. We will be bringing this bottle to baseball practice and games, so the fact that it’s leak proof and has a locking ring will allow us to throw it in the gear bag without worrying that it will spill all over. It has a carrying loop on the lid, so you can attach it to a backpack or even a belt loop. Great quality and cute design!"
2. The Best Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Width: 2.8 inches (bottom); 3.25 inches (top)
What's great about it: Specifically designed for cycling, this stainless steel bicycle water bottle narrows toward the bottom to accommodate various-sized bike cages. Offering 22 ounces of capacity, it's constructed with double-wall vacuum-insulation that keeps your water cold for an impressive 24 hours. This construction also means it's "sweat-free" and won't get covered in condensation. The rubber padding prevents the bottle from rattling around while you ride, and it has a flip-up lid with a silicone gasket for leak-free, one-handed use. Plus, it doubles as a coffee mug when you're not cycling (since it can keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours).
What fans say: "Ride a bike to work and back daily, and my old plastic water bottle sprang a leak. Was looking for something not plastic, and this thing is fantastic!!"
3. The Best Bicycle Water Bottle With A Straw
Width: 2.8 inches
What's great about it: This cute and functional Giotto bicycle water bottle is designed with a built-in straw that flips up for easy use. You can pop it open one-handed and when you're done, just snap the straw back down. It locks into place and the lid features a 360-degree seal to keep it from leaking. The flip-down design prevents dust and dirt from getting into the spout, and it comes with a convenient strap, too. Like the previous plastic selection, it's made with tough Tritan copolyester. When you aren't biking, you can use the handy motivational markers to remind yourself to drink water throughout the day. It comes in a 22-ounce version (pictured above), as well as a 32-ounce version.
What fans say: "I never thought I would love a water bottle so much. I love every feature of this bottle. The time tick marks to remind me to drink more water, a straw rather than an opening that spills water all over you, doesn't leak at all, perfect size for carrying to the gym or bike riding. I bought many water bottles in the quest to find the perfect one and I finally found it!"
4. The Best Water Bottle With A Cage
Width: Not specified
What's great about it: If you don't have a water bottle cage on your bike (or you simply want to make sure the two fit together perfectly), this bottle-cage combination guarantees a fit that won't wobble around. The cage is easy to mount, according to reviewers, with a standard bolt pattern that can be used on most bikes, not just Schwinns. The sturdy, BPA-free plastic bottle is exceptionally durable, with a flip-top cap to keep dirt off the spout, while the aluminum frame features rubber grips to hold it in place. On top of all of that, it has a transparent indicator so you can see how much water remains.
What fans say: "Very durable water bottle. I've already run over it twice while trying to place it back in it's metal holder during a ride [...] The cover is also great, it keeps mud and all sorts of stuff off the spout."
Also Great: The Best Hydration Pack
What's great about it: A great alternative to regular water bottles, this CamelBak bicycle hydration pack offers an effortless way to carry fluid on your back. With a 2.5-liter capacity (or 84 ounces), the system allows you to bring more water with you for longer rides. The pack features a high-flow reservoir with an easy bite valve that releases water smoothly without kinking or leaking. It has an ergonomic handle with a quick-release flap so it's easy to fill, and two zippered pockets for storing extra gear. The back section features ventilation, so you don't get sweaty, and it has reflective panels for riding at night.
What fans say: "Living in North Carolina, I have thousands of miles of mountain bike trails throughout the state and the one thing I never want to be without is water. When I first started riding, I tried taking a single water bottle, only to drink it all in less than an hour on hot summer days. Cutting your ride short because you run out of water is never fun, and I felt it was time to get serious and invest in a hydration pack. [...] After a year of heavy use, it's held up surprisingly well even with all the mud rides."
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