I don’t usually like to carry anything with me when I run. I head out the door. No water, no food, no id, no phone, no music. While I love the freedom of that, sometimes it’s not the smartest choice. Especially with weekly runs topping 10 miles. It’s best to have *at least* some water with me. I was more open to the idea of a handheld. The less I have to carry the better, so definitely no fuel belt for me.
I chose instead the Amphipod insulated handheld bottle with pocket. I had heard some good buzz about the Amphipod brand although I had only ever tried (and liked) Nathan. There is a pocket attached to the hand strap. It’s not huge, but it is definitely useful. It fits a ClifBlok or two or small pinole cookies or my car key when I drive to meet friends. My only complaint about the pocket is it’s a little difficult to get things in and out of it yet, for me. The strap has a padded side that helps to wick sweat away from my hand as well, so it doesn’t end slippery but the handle also doesn’t get soggy.
The first time I used it was for my 17-mile training run, out and back on the local trail. In the rain. The best thing about this bottle is the shape. Since it is kind of flattened, it is easier to hold while keeping your hand in a neutral position. The strap also has a nice, tight fit and doesn’t need to be adjusted while running. I did not even think about it when I was in stride. I could grip it naturally without effort, it felt natural. Another benefit to the shape is it seems to reduce the “sloshing” noise I noticed more with traditional sport bottles.
I would recommend removing the insulation when running in the cold rain though. It was sopping wet by mid run and it contributed to keeping my hands being wet and cold. I hadn’t even thought of that until it was too late … Otherwise, I can’t imagine it without the insulation in any other–dry–weather (cold, to protect hand temperature or hot, to protect water temperature).
The bottle has a nice wide top so it’s easy to refill mid-race or to add ice a packet of electrolyte powder. Plus the lid fits nice and tight, so you can shake up your drink without fluid leaking all over the place. The downside is the nozzle, I definitely prefer Nathan’s. But, in the end, it was easy to use and open.
Overall, if you are looking for a bottle to carry, I would definitely recommend you check this one out! I bought mine at the Running Depot.