Podium Chill bottles have been one of the mainstay bottles at AeroGeeks HQ for years. You can find them on the pool deck, in our cages, and on our run belts. So when we heard Camelbak was redesigning them for 2014, we were intrigued. What changes did they have coming for one of our favorite bottles out there?
As soon as you grab the new bottle you notice the physical changes Camelbak made. They appear to be much sleeker and rounded as compared to the outgoing bottle (very 21st century). Camelbak has added a grooved ring to the new Podium for help in securing it in the bottle cage. On the lid, the nozzle is noticeably enlarged (and removable for cleaning). Speaking of cleaning, the bottles continue to be top-rack dishwasher safe. The open\close valve has been enlarged and curved to give you additional leverage when opening and closing the bottle.
Our biggest question was whether the changes to the bottle would affect its propensity to launch. The older Chill bottles rarely if ever launched from our cages, and we were eager to find out if the new bottles retained that trait. We’re happy to report that the new bottles are just as launch resistant.
The new nozzles live up to their high-flow promise. We were never left wanting for liquids when we grabbed the bottle. However, the new design of the valve was the one place where we preferred the original. In the original, the valve was designed to be just as easily closed as opened. However with the new design, Camelbak has made closing much easier than opening. To the extent that we found opening the bottle (especially with full fingered gloves) to sometimes be a chore rather than the typical non-event opening a bottle should be. Luckily Camelbak’s Jet Valve prevents most liquid from splashing out even when the valve itself is open, so we rarely closed the valve.
Overall, we are fans of the changes. The new design and wider nozzle continue to make this bottle a team favorite. Being that we rarely open\close the bottles mid-ride, the changes to the valve have not had a major impact on our usage. I guess our biggest compliment is that we are seriously considering having some Podium Chills made up in full AeroGeeks branding, which we think is likely the biggest vote of confidence of them all.
[Updated 8/4 – Image of Nozzle Removed]