Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nathan Sprint Water Bottle

I am the camel of my family. My wife, stepdaughter, daughter, and I all run. For whatever reason, I am the one who can go with the least water on a run. On our recent trail run, of one hour and forty minutes I carried the Nathan Sprint hand held water bottle, and my wife wore the Nathan Speed 4R Energy Belt. We each had enough fluid for the run even though she used three times as much as I did. (Those links go to our local specialty running store, Trax Running for two reasons, they are our local specialty running store and I like to support the locals and they are really awesome there. They have not provided me any compensation whatsoever, I just like them.)

I thought I would review these two products on my blog I'll start with what they share in common, the bottle itself, I'll go into the specifics of the sprint here, then review the Speed 4R in another post.

Nathan Sprint
The bottle is a thick, durable, yet easily squeezable plastic and the shape comfortably fits in my hand. The cap is a "race cap" that has a valve rather than a lid you have to open and close. I really like the way the cap works. There is a built in valve so that water doesn't drip out (even upside down) and when squeezed, I get a shot of water that cuts off immediately when I stop squeezing. This makes it very easy to get a drink while running without breaking stride. There have only been two situations in which I have experienced any leakage from the cap. If I squeeze too long, the bottle shape eventually deforms enough that water can leak around the cap. Once, when using the belt on a trail run, I bent over to adjust my shoe, when I bent all the way over the bottle in front was upside down, and as I reached down to remove debris from my shoe, my body squeezed the bottle. So really it worked the way it was supposed to, I turned it upside down and squeezed it, all over my foot.

The handheld Sprint bottle (let me start by saying that I hate carrying a handheld bottle) is actually very comfortable to carry. And includes an ID card you can fill out with emergency contact information. On one of my family trail runs at Mammoth Cave I carried the Sprint for over an hour on this run. Ordinarily, if I am forced to carry something in my hand, I swap it back and forth between hands pretty regularly, but on this run I was holding the dog's leash in one hand and the water bottle in the other so it stayed in my hand until I emptied it, then I stowed it in the dog's pack.

The plastic of the bottle, the shape of the bottle, and the material in the handstrap were obviously well planned and designed. I had this in my hand for over an hour and for the most part I was able to forget I was carrying it. There was no rubbing, chafing, no hotspots on my hand. I never experienced any sliding or slipping of my grip. The strap is quickly and easily adjusted for fit via a hook and loop fastener. My biggest requirement for carrying a water bottle (other than it has to hold water) is that I need to not be troubled with it. This bottle's design was perfect in that regard. The only adjustment I made on the run was I took it off when I was finished with it. If I had not had Jack along I would have just left it in my hand and forgotten about it.\

So, the nitty gritty.

Lightweight bottle (it gets lighter as you drink!)
Comfortable in the hand.
No rubbing or chafing.
ID included.
Well, I guess the only con is you do have to carry it.