Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Product Review: Camelbak Podium ChillJacket

I am not a big proponent of reinventing the wheel. That's why I didn't get sucked into the hype about Camelbak's fancy new water bottle, especially with the gimmicky insulation layer. It's just another water bottle and I seem to have dozens floating around the house. I was however in the market for a nice stainless steel bottle for the LHT (yeah you know me) but I couldn't find one that performed well and wasn't insultingly expensive. Before I went on my trip, my wife got me a Podium ChillJacket for my birthday. So there I was, hype and gimmick in hand, and I freakin' loved it!

The trick is that inside the nozzle there is a nipple that looks very similar to the hydration pack nipples. That dark blue chewy thing on the end of the hose with a slit in it. The nipple in the Podium has an "X" instead of a slit. I think this makes a tighter seal so water can only get out under pressure. This means it doesn't leak like most standard water bottles, even if you shake it upside down.

The water flows out with ease. It's nice not to have to use an extra breath to pull water out of the bottle especially when you're sucking wind to begin with. Like when using their hydration packs, I find I am drinking more water when I ride.

The other nice thing is that the Chilljacket works pretty well for such a thin membrane. If you put ice water in the bottle it will keep it cool for at least an hour or so on a hot day and that's better than nothing.

The main problem I have with the Podium Chilljacket other than it being plastic, is that it only holds 21 oz compared to the usual 24 oz. This isn't a deal breaker for me but If I had to say a con that would be it. I guess the price is more than I would usually spend on a water bottle at $12 but I think it's worth it.

Bottom line: Highly Recommended.
Buy it if your sick of opening and closing the valve on your bottle every time you drink only to get dripped on.
Don't buy it if you must have steel no matter what the cost.


Todd S. said...

I've been pondering this very thing. I like the look of the steel bottles, but I can't help but wonder how much racket they make in a metal bottle cage. And there is the cost, too...

I have some Polar bottles that are insulated and they are 24oz. They seem to do about the same as what you described; an hour on a hot day. I do like the nipple system on this one though. I've almost crashed before trying to close a normal bottle...

Sorry had to repost this. At first my Polar bottles were insulted. Dang keyboard!

Brian said...

By way of transparency, I represent CamelBak (bstevens at double-forte dot com). Great review of the Podium ChillJacket! Just want to alert you that CamelBak also has stainless options … and we’d love to get some in your hands if you’re interested.

Aushiker said...


Thanks for this review. Riding here in Perth where it gets a touch warm over the summer, this looks like it may be the duck's nuts for the long Audax rides.