The best cycling water bottles to stay hydrated on your ride

Whether you're road biking or mountain biking, you NEED water - so grab one of these water bottles and stay hydrated in style

best cycling water bottles

by Adam Binnie |
Updated on

Having your water bottle so you have enough water to drink on a bike ride can be the difference between setting a load of Strava PBs or enduring an uncomfortable, overheated, headache-inducing slog. Over the years there have been many ways of keeping hydrated in the saddle, but the cheapest and arguably most effective has always been to simply strap a bottle to your frame.

Consistently popular among road riders (who insist on calling it a bidon) the basic plastic water bottle had fallen in an out of fashion with the mountain bikers, who preferred a more secure hydration pack stored in a rucksack or bumbag.

But with better bottle cages and innovations like magnetic fittings, even off-roaders are being swung by the benefits of storing everything you need on your bike rather than your back, including the traditional water bottle.

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However, while they all look very similar it can be a bit of a minefield of features, as anyone who’s accidentally bought one with the capacity of a milk bottle top, or a nozzle that requires more energy to extract water from that the bike ride itself, will tell you.

The more you look into it the more you’ll find there are as many variables as there are types of rider; things like weight, ease of water dispersal, how it attaches to your bike, and additional features including mud protection or insulation.

Which bottle suits you best will depend on what sort of riding you do - saving grams is unlikely to be a priority on a mountain bike, while a road cyclist probably won’t be interested in any additional covers or caps to keep out dirt flicked up from the trail.

The Best Cycling Water Bottles

Best all-weather insulated bottle

Although not exactly cheap this bottle packs a lot of features – it can keep your drink cold (or hot) for up to four hours and unlike some insulated alternatives it has flexible sides, which make it easy to squeeze. If you're counting the grams Elite also claims this is the lightest product of its kind. If you're after one bottle to do it all (for roadies at least), then look no further.

Best for mountain bikes

A brand more commonly known for shaking up the hydration market with its innovative rucksacks and water bladders, Camelbak now makes a range of clever bottles too. We're focusing on the Podium Dirt here because it simply solves the age old problem of getting a mouthful of mud every time you go for a drink with an additional rubber cap that sits over the mouthpiece. There's also a clever twist seal to stop water escaping on rough terrain, which is easy to operate even while wearing gloves.

Best for storing off the bike

Technically this was designed with runners in mind but we think it's just as handy for cyclists too, particularly if your bike doesn't have cage mounts or you prefer to keep your water in a bumbag or rucksack. This soft flask from Osprey is a great alternative because it also collapses as you drink from it, so the water doesn't slosh about and there's no need to keep an empty bottle rattling around when you've finished it.

Best minimalist bottle

For some cyclists a flimsy plastic bottle cage is an eyesore that ruins the clean lines of their racy frame, like a bulky wallet in the pocket of a smart fitting suit. If that's you then you need this cageless design from Fabric – two small studs screw into the mounts on your bike, and the bottle fixes straight to them. It's brilliantly simple, saves weight and faff, and ensures your bike looks its sleekest for all those post-ride Instabangers.

Best for ease of use

Fidlock Bottle Twist set magnetic bottle holder
Price: $39.99
Alternative retailers
Jenson USA$39.99View offer

Slotting a bottle into its cage when you're blowing out of your behind on a steep mountainous climb is a frustrating, fiddly and strangely unbalancing experience. Solving problems like this with magnets is what Fidlock does best (they also make one-handed helmet fasteners) and this bottle and mount adds an element of fun thanks to its very satisfying action. You don't have to be precise, just put the bottle somewhere near the frame and the magnets draw it securely into the mount. Then just twist the opposite way to release. Brilliant!

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