The Podium Ice's large, threaded on cap makes for easier cleaning. Sadly, the opening is only a few millimeters shy of a 12-ounce beer can. Imagine a mini cooler - right on your bike. Camelbak's self-sealing Jet Valve is the bottle's real gem.
|Camelbak's best insulated water bottle is not going to score points with survivalists or marathon cyclists, because its special insulating powers wear off after two hours. Hot liquids stored inside the Podium Ice bottle lose half their temperature somewhere between 60 and 120 minutes. Half-temperature is good. Warm tea on a snowy ride is way better than cold. Cold drinks without Ice hit ambient temperature in the same interval, but adding ice will buy you an extra hour to gulp a cool drink on a sweltering Georgia summer day. I did not, however, throw a full bottle in the freezer and then time how long a solid, 21 ounces would remain chilled, mainly because one can't immediatly drink from a chunk of ice - so draw your own conclusions for that experiment. |
Camelbak scores highest on its claims of taste-free plastic and its user-friendly Jet Valve cap. The valve delivers a lot of fluid exactly when you want it and, because the valve is always at the ready, the Podium Ice is fast on the draw when a stream of fluid is required to ward off a charging pug or Lhasa apso. The twist on/off sealing function is also handy because you can lock the bottle closed and toss in your gear bag or in your vehicle without a second thought. Bottom line? Camelbak's Podium Ice is more of a convenience than an essential. If you plan on being out digging or riding for most of the day, pack a metal vacuum bottle for your hot or cold drinks. For short adventures, however, the Podium Ice bottle can make bucking bad weather a more pleasant experience. - RC
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