If you don’t take immense pleasure from the pain caused by traditional hard bottles rubbing and banging on your clavicle you’ll like the Body Bottle.
The Body Bottle is almost too simple to get excited about but after trying two of them out in my Ultimate Direction SJ Vest for a week I took them with me for the Mesquite Canyon 50k last weekend. I’ve written in previous articles how I always carry a handheld bottle when trail running. I like drinking out of a bottle versus a hydration pack tube and it allows me to easily monitor closely how much fluid I’m taking in each hour. I’ve tried carrying the traditional hard plastic bottles in the front of my hydration vest and although I like having my hands free on long runs it comes with the price of having the bottle rub and bang on my clavicle so I don’t do it any more.On race morning I didn’t make it to pick up my race bib before a friend saw the Body Bottles in my vest and pulled one out. “You’ve got soft bottles? Wow, they feel like silicone implants…nice”. Okay, I guess that’s one way to look at it. But his wasn’t the only excitement I experienced during the race (it was the only excitement for that reason though). Throughout the day I handed my Body Bottles to volunteers as I entered each aid station with the reaction being much the same. There was excitement in seeing them, several volunteers looking at each other and asking other volunteers “is this what you were talking about?”, “John, where did you get these?”, “John, do you like them?”. The interest took me off guard and I’ll attribute more than a few minutes of my finishing time to answering questions and acting like a product sales rep. I also received several questions and comments from other runners during the day on the trails while running. Based on this very unscientific research I predict you’ll be seeing a lot of people using Body Bottles in the future.
Enough with the Story…Get to the Facts
From the Ultimate Direction website:
• Clear – you can see how much fluid is left
• Collapsible – is only as large as the liquid being carried
• Pliable – conforms to any shape
• Cleanable – can be placed in dishwasher
• Hi-Flow Bite Valve
Weight: 1.08 oz / 30gFluid Capacity: 14.2 oz / 420 mL
Material: BPA-Free TPU
What You Really Want to Know
The Body Bottle easily fits into the front bottle pockets on the Ultimate Direction SJ Vest and all other Ultimate Direction vests (plus their competitor’s vests) as well as the Ultimate Direction Vesta. I had no problem at all accessing and replacing the Body Bottle as I ran on very technical trails.
Full or empty I was always aware of traditional hard bottles on the vest, not so with the Body Bottle. When empty the Body Bottle collapses down to almost nothing and full (or any water level) the Body Bottle comfortably conforms to your body and isn’t noticeable.One item I was curious about was drinking out of the Hi-Flow Bite Valve. Other bite valves I’ve used are like trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose and barely a trickle comes out. That’s not the case with the Body Bottle’s Hi-Flow Bite Valve, in fact I didn’t suck on it at all. A gentle bite on the valve to open it and I just squeezed water out of the bottle at a high rate (my kids also found out I can pinch the valve with two fingers and shoot water across the room at them by squeezing with the other hand).
Late in the race I found myself just carrying the Body Bottle in my hand. This wasn’t planned, with the Body Bottle being so light weight and flexible I just did it out of old habit without thinking.
Is 14.2 oz/420 mL big enough? I have mixed feelings on this. Personally I would like the bottle to be bigger and I think they have room to make it slightly larger in diameter (and still fit into the SJ Vest I tested them in) and taller. Even getting 2-4 oz more would be nice. With that said two Body Bottles in conjunction with a hydration bladder in the SJ Vest during Mesquite Canyon 50k Saturday was enough capacity between aid stations. Some of those aid stations were over two hours apart, had nearly 2,000’ of climbing between them and it was a mid 80° day. As I emptied a Body Bottle I easily could siphon from the hydration bladder into the bottle while running to continue drinking and monitoring my fluid intake.
The Body Bottle is the real deal and performs just like it’s supposed to. If you currently use hard plastic water bottles in your vest or have given up on them or you’ve put off purchasing a new hydration vest because you didn’t want to use traditional hard plastic bottles in the front holders you owe it to yourself to check out the Body Bottles by Ultimate Direction, you’ll be happy you did.
I’ll be happy to help answer questions you might have about the Body Bottle and/or my experiences using them. Feel free to ask me in the comment section below.