Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle — Review
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Camelbak Podium Chill has been around for a good while, yet it remains one of the best water bottles out there. It has all the good features found on the regular Camelbak Podium, plus the added insulation. The insulation is claimed to keep your drinks cooler twice as long compared to regular water bottles. Well, does it? We are about to find out.
First impressions on Camelbak Podium Chill
It’s nice that there are so many different colors and designs available for a bottle. It definitely does give a positive first impression even before purchasing the product, because who doesn’t like color-coded water bottles?
When I got my first Camelbak Podium Chill, I was expecting something heavy and stiff like many other insulated bottles in the market. What I got instead is a relatively lightweight bottle that still remains fairly flexible, which makes squeezing the bottle easy. The shape and texture provide a pretty good grip and the bottle feels very nicely put together. As it should, because let’s keep in mind that this is a fairly expensive bottle. Definitely not a bottle you want to replace on regular basis. It’s good quality though, so it should last you a long time if you take good care of it.
Such an awesome valve
The “Jet Valve” on Camelbak Podium Chill is a brilliant piece of engineering and every water bottle should have one. First and foremost, there’s the basic on-off switch which is activated by twisting the whole valve assembly. On top of this, there’s one-way valve inside the assembly. This valve is self-sealing and only opens when the bottle is squeezed or you suck from the valve. It requires a bit of force before the inner valve opens, but it also makes it practically spill proof. pretty smart, eh?
You could think this kind of a valve would be a pain to keep clean. Well, Camelbak seems to have thought of that too. As a result, the valve is easy to pop off for cleaning. It’s a bit tight to pop back on for the first few times but gets easier the more you do it. The only downside with the valve is its size. It makes the bottle quite tall, to a point that many mountain bike frames won’t be able to fit it on a regular top-opening bottle cage. A side opening bottle cage could be the answer, but some frames just can’t fit this bottle.
Is it as “Chill” as promised?
Camelbak Claims that the Camelbak Podium Chill will keep the water cold twice as long as a regular bottle. The way they have done it is by giving the bottle a double-wall construction with a tiny gap for air (or vacuum) to give some insulation. That’s the theory, but in reality, there’s some marketing talk going on for sure. I never did any scientific tests on just how much longer the bottle keeps the water colder. Reason being that it would require a controlled environment and accurate instruments, neither of which I had. My personal experiences with the bottle are a lot less scientific, but here’s my take.
Water definitely stayed cooler on Camelbak Podium Chill for longer compared to a regular bottle, but a small layer of insulation can’t beat the physics. The advertised twice as long sounds quite over the top, just a bit too good to be true. So yes it does work and keeps the water cooler for longer, but probably not quite as well as advertised. In my case, the real test comes in winter when the temperatures drop far below freezing and the bottle needs to keep the water from freezing for as long as possible. Let me know if you’d like me to update this post once I have tested the bottle in freezing temperatures!
Camelbak Podium Chill is a great water bottle that will keep your water cooler for longer than a regular bottle. The Jet Valve is a brilliant piece of functionality, although it does make the bottle quite tall. The bottle is quite pricey compared to regular bottles, but well worth the money.
- Awesome valve design
- Keeps the water cooler for longer
- Comes in many different colors
- A bit pricey for a bottle
- The valve makes the bottle quite tall, which means it might be difficult to fit on some frames.