best sports bottle

Sports Bottle: Test & Reviews

Author: Manuel Heitmann

Coach & Fitness Expert

Questions to Consider Before Buying A Sport Bottle

What is a sports bottle?

A sports bottle is a specially developed drinking bottle for sports or the gym. These bottles are geared towards the requirements of physically active people. A practical one-handed operation supported by a pull-type lock is typical of the sports bottle. You don’t need to use both hands to open the cap of the sports bottle and close it again after drinking. With many sports bottles made of plastic, you can optimize the delivery of the liquid by applying slight pressure. In addition to these practical beverage systems, there are also sports bottles made of aluminum and glass, which are not suitable for every type of sport.

How does a sports bottle work?

The basic function of the sports bottles is very simple. The vessel is filled with water or another drink, then the lid is closed so that nothing leaks or drips. Often the closure of the sports bottles can be removed, which makes it easier to fill in the liquid. Often these bottles for athletes have a screw cap. This can be opened and closed again quickly with one hand movement.

Experienced athletes always have their water bottle with them, whether they go on the running track, play soccer or ride their bikes for several hours. In general, the sports bottles are designed in such a way that they prove to be very robust against the stresses and strains. Other relevant features are that the materials are free of harmful substances and the sport-oriented design. The inner material of the sports bottles should be as easy to clean as possible. Ideally, it does not take on any undesirable tastes or smells, so that the drink it contains retains its original aroma.

The handy shape plays a very relevant role in the sports bottles from the test comparison, and not only for cyclists and long-distance runners. In the fitness center, too, those exercising are happy to have handy drinking bottles with a sporty look. A sports bottle should not be missing from the accessories for training and can be easily adapted to the other equipment.

The characteristic screw and swing caps on the sports bottles are partially supplemented by a special mouthpiece. This can be opened either with the fingers of one hand or through the teeth. This is particularly useful for active sports such as running and cycling, because this function means you don’t lose any time having a drink.

Unlike drinking bladders, which have similar mouthpieces, the sports bottles have the well-known bottle shape, which, however, is partially adapted to special environmental conditions. Depending on the size, this adaptability is slightly more or less pronounced. The sports bottles from the test usually hold between half a liter and a full liter, but there are also versions with more volume.

Advantages & areas of application

Anyone who deals intensively with the sports bottles from the 2020 test will quickly recognize the advantages of these accessories. The sports bottle test winners are characterized by high stability and are still lightweight. This is an important consideration for athletes. Depending on the sport, it can happen that the bottle is shaken vigorously. This is especially the case with mountain biking and jogging. Even in such situations, the sports bottle must close tightly so that nothing drips.

The odor and taste neutrality of the sports bottles are supplemented by environmentally friendly properties: unlike the iso drinks that are for sale in plastic bottles, the sports bottles from the test can be refilled as often as necessary. Some of the sports bottles are even suitable for drinks that contain carbon dioxide.

The modern drinking bottles can often be cleaned in the dishwasher. This not only qualifies them for use in sports, but also for everyday use. In addition to the bottle itself, some of the closures are also dishwasher-safe.

Depending on the construction and the choice of material, some bottles have an insulating effect. This ensures that cold drinks do not warm up so quickly and protects warm drinks from cooling down.

What types of sports bottles are available?

If you take a closer look at the sports bottles from the test comparison, the first thing you notice is the material. Basically, the sports drinking bottles can be divided into three main categories: In plastic, stainless steel and aluminum bottles. Glass is usually not used in the manufacture of sports bottles because they are not as robust and relatively heavy.

In addition to the distinguishing feature of the material, the sports bottles can be categorized by their special suitability. Drinking bottles for cyclists play an important role. These hydration systems have been specially developed for the needs of cycling. The sports bottles fit into the holder on the bike, which is suitable for a diameter of around 7.5 cm. In general, the bicycle bottles have a capacity of 0.5 to 1 liter. Cyclists like to opt for transparent bottles so that they can see from the outside how much liquid is still in them. In general, the drinking bottles for cyclists are made of plastic and are equipped with a sports mouthpiece. This can easily be opened with the help of the teeth. With a mouthpiece made of metal, cyclists have the option of sucking out the liquid.

The water bottles for running are supposed to provide the body of the runners with enough liquid. Some beginners find it annoying when they fix their sports bottle on the running belt. A drinking tube may be an alternative here. However, the condition of the valve is more important. This should be easy to open, because if you have to unscrew the sports bottle, you lose valuable time running. It’s not a big problem in training, but losing time in a competition is a nuisance. Most sports bottles for running can hold up to 500 ml: this way, runners don’t have to carry too much load with them. For longer distances or when it is very hot, you can attach several sports bottles to the running belt at the same time, so that the total weight is well distributed and you are not restricted in your movements.

A hydration bladder is a kind of bag that can be put in the backpack or attached to the back. The liquid is sucked out with the corresponding drinking tube. Such a hydration bladder hardly takes up any space and offers the possibility of perfectly distributing the weight. Thanks to the fixed hose, the drink is available at any time without having to fuss. However, such a hydration bladder does not belong directly to the category of sports bottles.

The sports bottle test is also a guide that explains, among other things, in which cases you should be particularly careful to drink enough. In team sports, you don’t normally carry the drinking bottles directly on your body, but just put them close at hand: team athletes like to take a short break from volleyball or football to take a sip of their drink. Such drinking bottles should be as stable as possible, as they are more often thrown into the corner or dropped in the heat of the moment.

The advantages of the sports bottles, which are listed below in bullet points, relate to the standard models:

  • The drink is always at hand,
  • optimized, break-proof material,
  • lightweight,
  • environmentally friendly drinking system,
  • with special closure for easy drinking,
  • available in convenient formats.

The disadvantages of sports bottles:

  • Depending on the construction, it may be difficult to clean,
  • not all sports bottles are interchangeable.

How are sports bottles tested?

The combined advice and test of the sports bottles should show what to look for when looking for a product and when using it. The different versions of the drinking bottles for athletes should meet the respective requirements as well as possible. The comprehensive report on the sports bottles tested should, among other things, distinguish the test winners from the less durable models. You can do this by taking a closer look at the detailed product features.

Even if you already use a normal drinking bottle and think you are familiar with the topic, some other criteria are important for sports bottles. It’s not just about having a drink to hand, the bottles should also withstand the strain. Individual features such as the material are not only examined with regard to their stability, but also with regard to their harmlessness. In addition, the sports bottles must of course be tight so that the liquid does not leak into the sports bag or drip out on the way. The following specifications have proven to be particularly important in the test of the sports bottles.


A sports bottle should be as tough and shockproof as possible. Glass bottles usually cannot meet this requirement, and glass is too heavy to be used, for example, when walking. Aluminum and plastic, which are characterized by their low weight and high resilience, are better.

When choosing a plastic bottle, you should make sure that the material is BPA-free. Bisphenol A and plasticizers can be released through contact with the liquid and enter the body when you drink. This means a certain risk to health, which is repeatedly warned about.

Drinking cap

The drinking cap of the sports bottles should be well made, because only with good quality it can be opened and closed again without problems. Athletes usually take small sips and “suck” the water bottle, so to speak. The closure of the bottle is often coupled with the drinking valve. In any case, the drinking cap must close as securely as possible and also withstand vibrations, because nothing should leak in the fitness room or during training outside.

A closure system that is not properly sealed indicates poor quality. But it can also be that the athletes do not handle the drinking cap properly. If the sports bottles test winners can initially be used without restriction and only start to leak after many weeks, this may indicate that the cap is not suitable for the dishwasher and was nevertheless cleaned in it. Other drinking caps may only be suitable for non-carbonated liquids and will not withstand the pressure of lemonade or carbonated iso drinks.


Sports bottles are available in various sizes. Which capacity you choose depends on the sport in which you use the bottle. The relatively large drinking bottles weigh more and are less suitable for runners, for example. However, they can be used well when training in the gym. The sports bottle should also be large enough for activities lasting several hours, for example when hiking.

The standard sizes of the sports bottles from the 2020 test have a volume between 0.6 and 1 liter. These bottles hold enough liquid for the training units and can also be used in everyday life if necessary so that you always have something to drink with you. The weight is not too heavy with this amount.

What do I have to look out for when buying a sports bottle?

When looking for reliable sports bottles, you should consider how much you sweat during physical activity and how much fluid you have to put back into your body to make up for it. The outside temperature also has an effect on fluid loss during exercise. It is also important to find out about typical sports drinks. Which drinks do you prefer to quench your thirst? Not every sports bottle is suitable for carbonated drinks: the cap may not work properly in such a case.

When deciding on one of the test winners for sports bottles, you should think about several aspects. The taste and odor neutrality of the bottle is very important, and the material should also be free from harmful substances such as BPA. The larger the opening, the easier it is to fill the drink, and the large bottle opening also helps with cleaning.

If you use the sports bottle for cycling or running, you should choose a lightweight model. Plastic bottles are primarily used here. In many cases, these can be attached to the bike or running belt. An accompanying strap also helps when training in the studio: This allows the drinking bottle to be easily hung on a device. For the outdoor area, however, aluminum and stainless steel bottles are usually recommended, which are a little more robust and fit in the side pocket of the trekking backpack.

In team sports, in the fitness center and in individual sports, transparent bottles offer a good view: This is how you can see whether you have to do something with the drink or whether it will last a long time. Other relevant product features of the sports bottles from the test comparison relate to the thermal effect and the modern design.

Where is the best place to buy my sports bottle?

Competent, target-oriented advice is available from specialist retailers on the various types of sports bottles. Here you can find out more about the extras of the hydration systems and their suitability. The drinking bottles can also often be found in large department stores and drugstores, but here you usually have to forego expert advice.

Comparing sports bottles can be time consuming when going through stores. It works faster and easier on the Internet. Comparison portals and customer ratings are available here, which accelerate shopping. In addition, you can immediately see which sports bottle is particularly cheap in which shop.


By narrowing down certain selection criteria such as price and capacity, you can quickly find the sports bottles that are suitable for you. In addition, there are some links to specific tests and experience reports. These help to determine your own favorite sports bottles.

When buying in a shop, you have the sports bottle in hand immediately, but you have to make do with a limited range. Ordering online requires a bit of patience until the bottle is delivered, and there are numerous products to choose from. And if it’s really in a hurry, you can order express delivery: Then the sports bottle should arrive on the next working day.

Useful accessories

There are useful accessories for the various sports bottles from the test that simplify the application or restore the desired density. As with the bottles, certain quality differences can also be seen in the accessories. You also have to be careful that parts such as a replacement cap or valve fit perfectly. Otherwise these elements will not fulfill their intended purpose and there will be leaks at the transition.

Basically, the closure elements on the sports bottles can be exchanged without any problems. This saves you having to buy a complete drinking bottle. Especially with the expensive branded bottles, it is worth buying a suitable cap. It does not necessarily have to be the same closure model as before. Buyers may also feel more comfortable with a different shut-off valve. Whether you opt for a closure with a drinking straw, with a suction element or with a simple opening depends on your own needs and sometimes also on the type of sport practiced.

Handling also plays a role in sports bottles. Some of these bottles have a kind of grip zone, others are suitable for special holders. Compatible sports bottles and bottle cages can often be found from the same manufacturer, but some of the bottles can also be used in the cradles of other brands. In any case, you should check whether the existing sports bottle also fits into the new holder.

The different types of brackets are suitable for attaching the bottle in the car, on the bike, on the backpack and sometimes on the stroller. Even if this seems strange at first glance, a stroller holder can be useful, namely if the parents want to jog through the park with the stroller.

In some sporting areas, special bottle adapters are also used. Such an adapter connects the sports bottle with a hose so that you don’t have to take it out of the backpack or the belt holder to drink. The matching drinking device makes it easy to drink something without exertion. This is useful for trekking and long distances such as marathons or triathlons.

It is also worth buying cleaning accessories for cleaning the various sports bottles. Although most of the drinking bottles are dishwasher safe, they often have to be cleaned by hand. Special cleaning brushes that reach down to the bottom of the bottle help here. Due to their narrow shape and good flexibility, these brushes remove all deposits, which is especially important when you pour sugary drinks into sports bottles.

Sports Bottle Alternatives

As an alternative to the sports bottle test winners and the standard models, you can also use a normal drinking bottle for everyday use. Often the lid doesn’t close as tightly as it does on the special sports bottles. This can cause the drink to drip out in the event of vibrations.

A hydration bladder with an accompanying tube is more for the professional athlete. With such a hydration system you are properly equipped for running a marathon. But even the hydration bladder has only a limited volume and has to be refilled occasionally. In addition, cleaning is often a little more difficult than with the classic sports bottles.

There are also foldable drinking bottles for hikers and backpackers. This is a special category of drinking bottles that cannot be clearly separated from the typical sports bottles from the 2020 test. The transitions between the individual categories in the area of ​​drinking bottles are fluid anyway.

Water bottles, which are primarily used for beverage storage, are not a good solution for use in sports. The closure often leaves a lot to be desired, so you have to make sure that the bottles do not tip over. In addition, such bottles are often made of glass: it is not break-proof and is more likely to splinter than the flexible plastic or aluminum and stainless steel.

It is now common knowledge that standard plastic bottles used to buy water, sports drinks and other drinks should not be refilled. The risk of harmful consequences is too high here. The plastic from the bottles is only designed to hold the industrially produced drinks. However, when refilling, harmful substances can be released. That is why you should be careful and dispose of these plastic bottles after a single use.

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