CamelBak Podium Bottle

Coming your way in March, next week that is, CamelBak will release the Podium Bottle, a squeezable bike bottle aiming to replace a technology that’s been around since the 1950’s. Bikes, helmets, shoes — they all get cooler every year. But the humble bike bottle has stayed pretty much the same for decades.

No longer, says CamelBak. The Podium Bottle includes several significant upgrades, including a self-sealing squirt valve; a shut-off valve for leak-proof transport; one-handed (plus your mouth) operation; and an anti-microbial lining to eschew the build-up of common bacteria and fungus.

“We set out to take away the bite-open, hip-slap-shut sequence that riders had to perform with other bottles,” said Jon Austen, a product manager.

The Podium’s bite valve is made of medical-grade silicone, and Camelbak promises no leaching of plastic taste from the bottle. In my test at home, where I let water sit overnight in the bottle, the H2O did not seem to absorb any taste from the liner.

It’s easy to operate with one hand. The shut-off valve requires just a subtle twist with your teeth or lips. While riding, you can leave the valve open and the bottle will not leak or splatter. Shut it off for transport in a backpack, etc. I squeezed it hard while shut and not a drop of water escaped.

Price: $8 (21 oz. version); $9 (24 oz.)

Available: March 1, 2008

Contact: www.camelbak.com

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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