It’s not often that a bidon is a conversation starter. I know this because I carry mine everywhere, and have done so for about 15 years. So imagine my surprise while, armed with a CamelBak Podium Bottle, I have witnessed not one, but several people interested to know more about it. This bidon is not like other bidons. It even has its own FAQ.
Like all CamelBak products, the Podium Bottle is packed with thoughtful, practical features. The Jet Valve is a big talking point. It’s a particularly attractive feature for riders who don’t like pulling open bottles with their teeth, closing them on their hips or spillages during transport.
A gentle squeeze is enough to open the valve making drinking easy. The force required to do this creates an optimal flow of water and doesn’t force liquid to come busting out with an overflow of pressure. The valve shuts off automatically creating a nice seal too. A separate lock out system guarantees no spillages if you’re carrying it around in your bag and also prevents a quiet hissing noise that sometimes appears if the valve is moist and air finds a way to escape. On the mountain bike the valve design means dirt can accumulate on particularly dusty rides which is perhaps a better time to call on one of CamelBak’s hydration pack designs, like this one (it comes in a men’s design too).
Most of the other features of the Podium Bottle point toward CamelBak’s priorities in creating a bottle that addresses any health concerns people may have about using it again and again. These include medical grade and food standards approved materials, avoiding untrendy, unhealthy chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates found in some plastics, and anti-microbial properties to prevent bacteria from giving the product a short shelf life. The wide opening makes the dishwasher safe bottle quick and easy to clean by hand as well, and the silicon valve on the lid snaps off to get at anything caught inside.
One of the biggest selling points of this biddon for me is the Trutaste feature. CamelBak describe this as a materials-based solution to the way some bottles distort the taste of what you’re drinking. What impresses me most about this is that the Trutaste technology doesn’t just mean your water tastes good all ride long, but it still tastes fresh after several days – great news if you like to leave a bottle in the car or on your desk. The other thing I really like about this is that the Podium Bottles don’t get that toxic, plastic taste or smell to them if you leave them in the cupboard for a while between uses.
Thank you to CamelBak Australia for supporting the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com race team in 2012. The functional properties of this bidon have seen a quick uptake among many cyclists, especially on the road, and I’ve enjoyed finding out why first hand. The smart, practical design means I constantly have mine with me off the bike as well. It’s not only an eye-catching icebreaker but it’s designed to be used, and used a lot. This is what I like about it most.
Photos: Kath Bicknell