There are a few essential items that you need for every ride and for the most part (if you are reading this blog) you probably spend way too much time thinking about them. But for most of us, there is one essential that take for granted…but where would we be without it? The humble water bottle has been for too long ignored by cycling blogs, so we’re taking the time to correct this injustice. The Camelback Podium has been a favorite of many for a long time now, but (you guessed it) this one is new and improved. At the outset, I love the design of the bottle…it’s elegant, refined and just looks cool. It is a much smoother shape than previous models which also has the advantage of making it easy to grab from your cage. Once the bottle is in your hand, you’ll immediately notice just how soft the plastic is. I guess it is the combination of the ergonomic shape plus the quality of the plastic that makes this bottle so much more squeezable than any other bottle I’ve tried but without compromising grip. The other great asset of this bottle that I noticed immediately, is just how much water you can get with each squeeze. Camelback call the mouthpiece a Jet Valve and it operates true to its name. I’m not sure if it is the wide mouthpiece or the soft silicon nozzle (biters take note…there are not problems chewing), most likely a combination of the two, but you’ll get more water out of every squeeze than you've ever had before (and with less effort). I am a serial offender when it comes to throwing full bottles carelessly in the back of the car only to have them leak sticky hydration mix all through the trunk or worse still my bag. No such problem with this guy as I am pretty sure it is leak-proof. The nozzle can be locked shut and I haven’t experienced any leaks from the screw on cap either. The old Podium didn't get much use from me, for one reason…it was just too big for my Tacx cages. But this one is slightly smaller and just fits perfectly. After a couple of months of use the bottle still looks pretty new, is hardly scratched up and all the paint looks fresh. Good news too…as mine are in the new Above Category livery! They are the 21oz version and come in a great range of bright colors to style up your bike (available online or in store).