As a germ-aware person (a nicer way of saying vigilant germaphobe), I was on the constant lookout for an easy-to-clean water bottle. It seems like no matter how intentionally I purchase an ‘easy to clean’ bottle, I will always wind up with gross mold in a crevice that is impossible to reach. At that point, the bottle is garbage if you can’t get it clean. I loathe waste.
Well folks, I have finally found the easy-to-clean winner: the CamelBak Podium water bottles. Not only are there a variety of Podium bottle styles available, but they all have a cap that dissembles into several easy-to-clean pieces that will be sure to last a long, mold-free life. These affordable water bottles are available for purchase on Amazon and Camelbak’s website (free shipping on orders over $25).
The CamelBak Podium Cap: Self Sealing Jet Valve with Lockout
The four Podium bottles I tested have the same cap design which is interchangeable between the bottles. You can lock the bottle to prevent spills, and the water easily flows from the valve when open. You can also buy this cap separately if you already have the bottle. One of the perks of CamelBak, is they sell individual parts.
This cap was clearly designed with cleaning in mind. It dissembles into multiple parts for washing (which is WONDERFUL). A skinny water bottle brush will wash this cap nicely. There is only one tiny crevice that might require a q-tip once and a while for cleanup (see picture) depending on your grime tolerance. Compared to other bottles I have used (which turn out to be nothing BUT hidden crevices), this is a very easy-to-clean cap design.
CamelBak Podium Bottles
All of the CamelBak Podium bottles tested:
- Contain an additive (Hydroguard) to inhibit microbial growth (active ingredient: silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate)
- Are BPA/BPS/BPF free
- Squeezable design for easy water flow
- Easily fit into my bike cage
- Made of durable materials! All bottles survived -33F temperatures when left outside for hours after shipment arrival (the same cannot be said about my ultimate frisbee…which shattered into tiny plastic pieces in the arctic cold.)
- Have the Got Your Bak Lifetime Guarantee: Camelbak stands behind its products.
The Podium and the Podium Dirt Series
The difference between the Podium and the Podium Dirt Series is that the Dirt Series comes with a detachable silicon-type Mud Cap that is a perfect dirt shield for the mouthpiece. Even though they specifically target this feature to mountain bikers, I wish every bottle came with this. The Mud Cap easily detaches and fits on all four bottles. The only downside is that the Mud Cap attracts fuzz/dust on the outside which is tough to remove. Not a big deal.
You can order the Mud Cap separately for $6 and add it to any Podium bottle. Make sure to order the correct Mud Cap version as they have one for 2018/earlier Podium models and one for 2019/later models.
The Podium (21 oz) comes in six colors and is $10. The Podium (24 oz) comes in eight colors and is $11. The Podium Dirt Series (21oz ) is $13 and is available in four colors. They also now make a Dirt Series Chill (21oz) for $17 which is similar to the Podium Chill but includes the Mud Cap, and there is no mention of the Trutaste Polypropylene technology which prevents lingering taste issues.
The Podium Chill
Unless you need your bottle to be shorter, I am not sure why someone would choose an uninsulated bottle. Who doesn’t like cold water on a ride? The Podium Chill offers double-wall insulation and decent bottle sweat prevention. The bottle also is less susceptible to retaining old flavors because it has Trutaste Polypropylene with HydroGuard. I switch back and forth from water to an electrolyte mix, and I am thrilled there is no lingering taste. The Podium Chill (21 oz) comes in 11 colors ($14-16) The 24 oz size comes in seven colors ($16),
The Podium Ice
A step up in insulation from the Chill, the Podium Ice is for the folks who are serious about cold water. Using Aerogel Insulation, this bottle is keeps water 4x colder than other bottles. Like the Chill, it uses Trutaste Polypropylene with HydroGuard materials to prevent gnarly aftertaste issues. The Podium Ice (21oz) comes in five colors ($25-26).
Tip for Cleaning your CamelBak Water Bottle
I highly recommend getting a skinny cleaning brush to get your bottles clean. You will need it to clean through the mouth valve.
Personally, my preferred bottle is the Podium Ice with the additional purchase of a mud cap. I like super cold water and max germ protection. You may prefer a different bottle in this mix depending on your price point and preferences. No matter what though, you cannot go wrong with these CamelBak Podium bottles with their easy-to-clean design. Enjoy!
Note: Amazon may be out of stock of a few bottles/colors, although there are some options available. Check out CamelBak’s website if you aren’t seeing the item you want. They are currently offering free shipping for purchases over $25.
Special thanks to CamelBak for offering us these water bottles to review!
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