Selecting a Running Water Bottle: How the Cap Makes a Difference

Hydration is key to performing well on long runs. For this reason, it is important to find the method of hydration that works best for you while on the run. You can carry water in bottles or larger capacity bladders. When it comes to bottles, some runners love their handheld water bottles, and other stow their bottles in a pack that they wear. But either way you choose to carry your water bottle, the closure is going to determine how the water is delivered to you, and this could make or break your hydration experience.

Here are 5 types of water bottle caps that are featured on running water bottles, along with the benefits of each type.

Basic Pull-Push Cap

nathan_push_pull_capA common water bottle cap design is the basic pull-push cap, and you’ll find it on many bottles including the Nathan 10 oz Push-Pull Cap Flask and most Amphipod bottles. Use your fingers or teeth to pull the cap up, allowing the valve to open and water to flow through. Simply push the cap back down to close the seal. These types of cap have low flow rate and they may leak over time and are more likely to have fluid run down the bottle.

Camelbak Jet Valve

camelbak_jet_valveThe Camelbak valve allows water to flow automatically when the bottle is squeezed, and at a moderate rate. The valve closes automatically when you’re done squeezing, allowing for a leak-proof cap seal. To provide a complete, locking seal on the water bottle (for transport or when you’re not using it), you can slide the on/off twist to the “off” position, ensuring that no water will escape.


Nathan Race Cap Nozzle

nathan_race_capThe Nathan Race Cap is always open but does not leak as you run. It delivers a high flow rate of liquid with very little effort – no need to squeeze down on the bottle to get the liquid out. Similar to the Camelbak Jet Valve, this cap is leak-proof, even when carried upside down. You would have to shake it quite violently to get any water to leak out on the run. But unlike the Camelbak valve, there is no on/off lock, so you don’t have to worry about it being locked when you need to get a drink.

Salomon Soft Bite Valve

salomon_park_hydrao_handsetThe Salomon soft flask features a soft bite valve, providing a low flow rate of liquid. Simply bite on the valve and squeeze the flask to deliver fluids. The soft design also allows the soft flask itself to compress easily as you  drink, and roll up and stash when emptied. This is ideal for when you’re running and don’t have much room to stow a water bottle, or if your pack is an odd shape and can’t fit a normal shaped water bottle.


Ultimate Direction Kicker Valve

UD_kicker_valveUsing the Ultimate Direction Bottle with its Kicker Cap is easy! Simply pull the red valve with your fingers or teeth, and once it pops out, squeeze the bottle to release the water. When you squeeze the bottle, a stream of water is projected at a high rate.  When the valve is pushed in, it is leak proof. Watch the video below for more information and a demonstration.






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