We are bottle hoarders, these are just the clean ones and the ones we could find(as we speak there are probably other ones hiding upstairs in my closet, 3 on the counter, and probably a few in the dishwasher).
Like any other human being, I see the good, the bad, and the ugly in everything. After quite some time experimenting with different hydration systems for running ultras, I discovered that there is no end all solution and every race/situation has different needs and requirements. There is one bottle that keeps making the line up as I find myself getting comfortable with less and less gear.
Behold earthlings, the Hydraform Handheld from Amphipod! [cue Toy Story alien sound: “AAAAAaaaaaaahh”]. Rest assured, this bottle was designed for human hands and I can attest that it’s the most comfortable one I have tested to date. It’s got a simple design with a zippered pouch that can fit two gels, or one gel and ipod nano, or perhaps a camera…maybe an extra pair of shoe laces(who knows, the combinations are endless). These bottles ONLY come in bright color scheme so you can be like “HEY check me out! I’m a super fast runner!” or also useful for night running situations when you wore your black shorts, black tech T, black running shoes and go “Crap, somebody’s going to hit me while they’re driving”–>Wrong! They will see you’re bright fluorescent Amphipod bottles.
What’s neat about these bad boys is the way they allow you to “hold” them without really holding them. Confused? yeah me too. When we take off the zippered pouch(details to come), we discover a series of grooves designed to fit my hands metatarsals. These grooves do a great job of keeping your hand in place while maintaining a relaxed hand shape. I’ve tried to run holding a bottle many times, and for those who have or are still doing it you know that it gets annoying as hell. I have gone as far as taking off my bandana and jerry-rigging it to a disposable water bottle just so I didn’t have to grip it anymore, dirtbag I know.
The zippered pouch is a neat little set up. It appears to be coated with a DWR since after 12+ hours of running in the rain my ipod was safe and sound inside that compartment. At one point I fit a snickers, 2 gels, 1 chap stick, a key and somehow managed to close the zipper, don’t ask me to redo it I still can’t comprehend how it all fit in there. At the bottom of the pouch is a small black plastic buckle that allows you to tighten down on the strap to secure the bottle into place so it doesn’t slip. The other side of the pouch is a soft fabric that doesn’t hold sweat, and feels great on the backside of your hand.
When I’m racing I carry two of these and it’s a great way to consistently hydrate and hard to forget because the bottles are right there in front of you. Before Leadville I will be picking up two more for my crew to have ready when I speed through the aid stations, and hope this will improve my race strategy by cutting out all the hanging out/chilling I did last year. Alright so for those of you who already can’t remember what I wrote about these bad ass bottles:
- Appears that zippered pouches are water “resistant”
- Allows hand to “hold on” in a relaxed position
- Super bright colors, good for night running
- Adjustable buckle to secure into place
- May help your biceps get bigger by curling them(not scientifically proven)
- Oh did I mention the bottle is BPA free? It is.
What are you guys’ opinion of handhelds? pros/cons? Leave a comment.