Handheld Water Bottle: 7 Picks to Help You Hydrate on the Run

Ever thought about running with a handheld water bottle to help you stay hydrated on your run?
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You know, instead of....

  • Running with a hydration vest and bladder
  • Dropping water along your route before you go
  • Gambling on finding a water stop if you get too thirsty

Running with a handheld water bottle might be a better option. 
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But if you're skeptical about carrying something in your hand...for miles...you're not alone.

Fun fact: Ultrarunning legend Davy Crocket ran most of the 107 100-mile ultras he's finished carrying handheld water bottles.

Hydration pack or handheld?

Ultrarunning legend Davy Crocket ran most of the 107 100-mile ultras he's finished carrying handheld water bottles.
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Why?
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"I don't like having anything on my back," says Davy.
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"It just slows me down."
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His favorite brand: Ultimate Direction handhelds.

Check out these 7 runner-tested handheld water bottles

1. Nathan QuickSqueeze Insulated Handheld Water Bottle
  • Capacity: 18 oz
  • Price: $24.99
  • Storage: Yes

๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธRunner Colin Kunze put the Nathan QuickSqueeze Insulated Handheld Water Bottle to the test on a series of long runs.
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"I used to rely on public water fountains for hydration breaks for my long runs," says Colin. "However, they can be unreliable, and they get turned off during the winter."
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๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld?
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"I can go for very long distances without having to stop to refill."
 .
"As a squeeze bottle, it is very easy to take a small sip at a time. I store my keys and some gels in the pocket for fuel, which have been easy to access mid-run."
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โœ…Test-run results
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"I have been concerned with how much energy I would have to waste gripping objects that are sloshing about, but the mesh straps attach this bottle comfortably to my hand without ruining my running form."
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"This is now a mainstay of my long runs, keeping me hydrated and fueled better than ever before."

2. Orange Mud Handheld Water Bottle
  • Capacity: 21 oz
  • Price: $29.95
  • Storage: Yes

Runner Dan Burk wanted a simple way to stay hydrated on shorter runs without carrying a hydration pack.
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"As a bigger guy, you need to drink more water as you are losing a lot through sweat, even in a 5K run," says Dan.
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๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld?
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"When you don't need or want a vest, that can be hot, this handheld comes in handy. It fits into your hand nicely."
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โœ…Test-run results
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"I love having a small pocket that I could put some nutrition in if needed, but usually, that is where I put my key fob so I don't have to have it in my pocket."
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"I love how my hand fits into the strap and the fact I can lock it down pretty well, that I don't even need to grip the bottle if I want my hand to have a break."
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๐Ÿ˜€Fun fact: Dan's logged hundreds of training miles with this Orange Mud handheld water bottle for more than a decade.

3. Salomon Active Handheld Water Bottle
  • Capacity: 17 oz
  • Price: $38.50
  • Storage: No

Runner Kiley Erlandson took this out for some trail runs in Colorado.
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It even helped her make the leap from marathon running to finishing her first ultra.
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๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld?
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"It's a simple handheld water bottle that's very easy to use," says Kiley.
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โœ…Test-run results
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"I wish it had a pocket to hold nutrition. It holds 17 ounces, which doesn't last long, but nice to have to supplement a hydration vest."
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"It is velcro-adjustable, so I attach it to my vest once it's empty."

4. CamelBack QuickGrip Chill Handheld

4. CamelBack QuickGrip Chill Handheld

  • Capacity: 21 oz
  • Price: $32.00
  • Storage: Yes

Runner Evan Jensen strapped on the CamelBack QuickGrip Chill Handheld to run the Timberline Marathon at Timothy Lake in Oregon.
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๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld?
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"For shorter runs under an hour, I typically run without any kind of fueling," says Evan.
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"For longer runs, I usually wear the Nathan VaporAir 2.0 7-Liter Hydration Pack. But I wanted to try out a handheld to see if it would work for running a marathon."
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โœ…Test-run results
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Evan finished the Timberline Marathon in 4:00:43 (7th overall, 2nd in 40-49 age group), and the CamelBack QuickGrip Chill Handheld worked well.
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"I used two packs of LMNT lemon lime during the race, and it never felt overly heavy to carry."
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"The storage pocket had enough room to hold my phone, LMNT packets, and some GU packs."
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๐Ÿ˜€Fun fact: "I've been thinking about running a marathon or longer distance with a handheld water bottle ever since I interveiwed ultrarunner Davy Crockett."

5. Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Handheld BPA-Free Water Bottle
  • Capacity: 20 oz
  • Price: $38.97
  • Storage: Yes

Runner Brynn Cunningham has logged a ton of miles on trails, mountain bikes, and kayaks.
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Sometimes she wears a hydration vest. Sometimes she takes a handheld.
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๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld?
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"While I donโ€™t mind wearing a hydration vest most seasons, I do not like them for summer running," says Brynn.
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"Yes, I still wear them for long runs, but I prefer to keep them at home. Thatโ€™s where handheld water bottles come into play."
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โœ…Test-run results
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"This is my favorite, by a landslide, because...

  • I barely have to hold onto it
  • Itโ€™s easy to switch from hand-to-hand
  • The wide mouth allows me to put in large ice cubes, and the insulation around it feels nice to the touch. 
  • The small pocket is enough for my car keys and a small knife.

I take this one on most 60-90-minute runs, and the 20 ounces of fluid is just right, as I tend to drink a lot. I would love this handheld in the 12-ounce version as well."

6. Nathan Quickshot Plus Hydration Flask
  • Capacity: 10 oz
  • Price: $19.99
  • Storage: Yes

๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld? .
"This one is nice for very short runs that last 20 to 45 minutes," says Brynn.
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โœ…Test-run results 
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"If I were to go back, I would have purchased the above Amphipod in the 12-ounce size, as stated above, rather than this one, because I like the Amphipod so much."

  • This one fits securely onto the hand.
  • But it's difficult to switch from hand-to-hand while running because of how secure the hand strap is. 
  • Still, it is a keeper, and I am putting it to good use. 
7. Ultimate Direction Fastdraw 500
  • Capacity: 17 oz
  • Price: $29.95
  • Storage: Yes

๐Ÿ’งHydration pack or handheld?
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"I purchased this one for itโ€™s phone case feature, because sometimes I feel safer if I have my phone," says Brynn.
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"Iโ€™ve been in emergency situations before, and the phone has been a savior."
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โœ…Test-run results 
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"The UD bottle does not contour to the hand as nicely as the Amphipod or the Nathan Quickshot. Still, it is convenient to have around."

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๐Ÿ˜€Fun fact: "Recently, a friend visited from out of town, and I lent her this bottle on a trail run together in order to carry her phone so we could take some photos."

Do you run with a handheld water bottle?

Share yours in the comments or Create a WeeView and tell us about your favorite handheld water bottle.

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Evan Jensen
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SANDY, Oregon
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I help RUNNERS reduce injuries, fix running form, run longer & faster by strength training without running ragged. I'm a NASM...

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