SPIbelt, the purveyors of a fantastic line of belts to carry your necessities during your runs, recently sent me their newest accessory to test: the H2O Companion. This 6 oz bottle is specifically designed to attach to any SPIbelt belt, with quick access and absolutely no bounce.
Typically, on my longer runs, I carry a hand-held bottle with my water. While this generally does the trick, I would prefer to have my hands free. I examined belt mounted water systems, but was reluctant to leave behind my awesome SPIbelt and really didn't like the plastic brackets that Amphipod or FuelBelt use. I'm pretty picky about how my belt should feel and I didn't want have to mess with adjusting the brackets to makes sure the bottles didn't annoy me while running. Plus, I've invested in SPIbelt, really like their product and don't want to give that up.
The H2O Companion is designed to address these concerns. I used the bottle on three runs this past week and found that, for the most part, it performed as expected. The bottle itself is a BPA free plastic with a detachable bracket and cap. The cap has a small silicon valve, similar to a kid's sippy cup or CamelBak. No pulling or pushing to open an close a valve here. The neck of the bottle is angled to ease drinking that very last drop at the bottom. After rinsing out the bottle for its first use, I did not notice any nasty, chemical taste in my water, as you see in lower quality bottles.
Using the bottle is easy. Just put on your SPIbelt, position the bottle on the belt and off you go. I ran a recovery run, a interval run and a 10 miler with this bottle and barely noticed it was there. No bouncing, no shifting. Many of the promotional materials from the company show the bottle positioned on the front, but I found that my leg tended to push the bottle around. So I positioned it near my back instead, where it was scarcely noticeable. It was a cinch grabbing the bottle for a drink, although putting it back on generally required me to use one hand to pull the belt away from my body (creating a small gap) and the other to put the bottle back on the belt. I did not have to look down, however. Then I just slid the bottle back into position. I estimate that I could fit up to four bottles on my SPIbelt. The valve worked well when drinking. Give the bottle a squeeze and you'll get about a mouthful of water. The bottle is fairly rigid and squeezing more than a mouthful at a time resulted in some minor leaking around the threads of the cap.
The only issue I really encountered with the bottle was that it tended to leak around the cap when not in the upright position. I typically fill my bottles at home and found about a teaspoon worth of leakage in my trunk from the bottle. Not sure if this is common to all bottles or just my tester.
Overall, I am very pleased with the SPIbelt H2O Companion water bottle. It is a bit on the small side, so I'll be ordering another one soon. Despite the minor leaking issues, it performed marvelously and now gives me a hands free option to carry up to 24oz of water for those long runs away from water sources.
Check out the SPIbelt H2O Companion on their website. $9.99 + shipping. 4 out of 5 stars (Recommended, minor flaws).
Do you have an H2O Companion or other hydration system? Tell me about it in the comment section!