8 Best Handheld Water Bottles for Running in 2021

by Jay | Posted on July 22nd, 2022

Most people enjoy running, whether to stay in shape or simply as a form of refreshment. However, one of the difficulties that people face when running is staying hydrated.

Although it can be as simple as holding your usual water bottle in your hand, it isn’t always the best option. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the five best portable water bottles for running, along with their benefits and drawbacks. If you read this post, you will have a clearer understanding of staying hydrated while running.

running with water bottle

We’ve checked some of the most exciting portable water bottles of 2021 to help you select the right water bottle for your running needs.

Best running handheld water bottles

woman standing near tree looking below

Here is a list of the best portable water bottles for runners, along with their benefits and drawbacks:

Nathan Quick Shot Plus Handheld Hydration Pack

The Nathan handheld hydration pack is best known for its ease of use when running. It has an elastic Velcro hand strap with a thumb grip, allowing you to move your fingers even after you’ve put it on. The bottle has a capacity of 300 ml, which is sufficient for short runs.

The cool thing about this product is that it does not leak if the cap is correctly screwed. It is very simple to use due to its cap system, which allows water to be drawn into the mouth via a one-way valve, minimizing the possibility of leakage. The bottle is also very light, putting slight pressure on the hands.

Along with all of these features, this package includes an extra pouch with a mesh pocket inside, which is ideal for carrying keys, tissues, and other small items. However, it is best not to overload the compartment.


  • Adjustable hand strap for hands-free running
  • Zippered pocket for extra storage
  • Quick-release cap for fast water access on the go
  • Small, lightweight bottle for easy carry


  • It has a 300 ml capacity; it is lightweight
  • It is easy to carry
  • It comes with an extra pouch.


  • The bottle does not detach from the fabric casing.

Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Pack

The feature that distinguishes this product from other water bottles is its double insulated walls, ensuring that the water stays cool for 20% longer than other water bottles. It is a significant advantage when combined with its 535 ml holding capacity.

This bottle now has flexible hand braces, making it very easy to transport. Another feature that distinguishes it is the fabric quality. The product is evident even in low-light conditions thanks to the 360-degree reflective fabric.

Furthermore, the product includes a handy extra pouch that allows you to hold all your required equipment, such as your cash, phone, keys, tissue, and so on. In contrast to other hydration packs, the pouch that comes with it is very wide and can hold more.


  • Extra storage pouch for fuel, phone, keys, and so on
  • Reflective exterior
  • Insulated bottle
  • Adjustable hand strap


  • 535 ml size
  • Double insulated walls retain cool water for long periods
  • Comes in a variety of cool colors
  • It is simple to carry
  • It has a wide storage pouch
  • Adjustable hand strap with thumbhole for grip-free running


  • When filled, the pocket may feel bulky in your palm.
  • Some users have reported leakage.

German Designed SLS3 Hand Held Bottle for Runners

The SLS3 handheld running water bottle is very light, making it relatively easy to hold when running. Its 10 oz carrying capacity guarantees enough hydration on the go without putting extra strain on your hands. In addition, the bottle comes with Velcro straps that you can wrap around your wrists.

These straps allow you to move your fingers while holding the bottle perfectly fit in your grasp.

One of the best aspects of this bottle is that it is made entirely of clean recycled plastic. It also includes a zippered water-resistant pouch for carrying your everyday essentials while running.


  • It is lightweight
  • It has a 10 oz holding capacity
  • It is well-made
  • It comes with an extra pocket.


  • The pouch isn’t big enough to hold a phone.

Nathan SpeedMax Plus Handheld Flask

This flask is well-known for its 650 ml water volume, which ensures adequate hydration in the long run. While it is quite a big bottle, it is not as heavy, so you won’t feel any pressure on your hands.

Because of the adjustable hand straps and thumb holds that allow the flask to fit comfortably in your grasp, the product is very comfortable to bear. You can simply change the straps and go about your business without thinking about gripping onto them.

With a wide opening at the cap, this flask can be used to drop ice cubes in the water for added coolness while taking a drink. It also has a large pouch to hold necessities such as keys, tissues, phones, etc.


  • Large-cap opening
  • 650 ml carrying capacity
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Comes with an additional storage pouch


  • Some users have reported leakage.

Nathan ExoShot Handheld Flask

Unlike other firm plastic alternatives, the Nathan Exoshot flask is easy to wear. In addition, it can hold around 10 ounces of water, which might be difficult to believe given its small size and lightweight construction.

This flask has adjustable hand straps to ensure that you are not constantly mindful of the weight of the flask when carrying it around. It also fits snugly around your hand, allowing you to run without a grip.

Furthermore, the bottle has a bite valve mechanism with no extra caps, allowing you to bite onto the valve, and water will flow out without any additional effort. It also has a pouch for storing all of your essentials when running.


  • Additional storage pouch for keys, fuel, and so on.
  • Breathable material to prevent sweating and enhance comfort
  • The flask can be removed from the bottle and used in the Nathan hydration vest.
  • Adjustable strap for hands-free transportation


  • Hand straps that can be adjusted for a secure grip when running
  • Easy to carry
  • Ergonomic grip design for comfortable running.
  • A bite system is built into the valve.
  • It is compatible with Nathan Sports’ hydration vests.


  • There is no phone or keys pouch
  • Some users have reported leakage.

CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Water Bottle

The Quick Grip Chill will hold up to 21 ounces of liquid per time, sufficient for 5 to 10-mile runs. It’s also made of non-BPA materials. Because of the added insulation, you can rely on your drink to remain cool. In addition, the jet valve makes it easier to take a drink without thinking about sweaty hands trying to wrench open the cap or using your teeth on the tough stuff.

A zippered pocket accommodates keys, gels, and smaller phones. The hand strap is padded to avoid chafing when running. Reflective elements are included in this bottle for added protection during early morning or evening runs.


  • Holds enough water for a 10-mile run
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • A strap around the bottle’s bottom prevents content from slipping up during a sprint.


  • Some people believe the zipper pouch is too small for some phones.
  • During a run, the hand strap can become loose.
  • Doesn’t allow for an easy thumb grip in any way.

7. Salomon pulse

Salomon Unisex Pulse Handheld Bag

Consider the Salomon Pulse if you don’t let rain or unfavorable weather deter you from running outside. This water bottle is made of ripstop material, which protects it from snags. It’s also watertight. The mesh structure allows for plenty of ventilation without sacrificing cushioning or comfort.

As an added benefit, the flask is built to reduce pressure points, keeping your hand relaxed even on longer runs. Separate pockets for a phone and more minor things like gels and keys are available.


  • Separate pockets for cell phones and other small objects
  • Ripstop material
  • The flask is intended to minimize pressure points.


  • Expensive
  • A little heavy
  • Limited color options

Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Handheld BPA-Free Water Bottle 20oz

The Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite adds an enclosed sleeve and lower-profile storage to the Hydraform. Some bottles are heavy and rigid, but this ergonomic design allows your hands to rest as you run, reducing hand fatigue. It’s also flexible to accommodate a wide range of hand sizes. In addition, a mesh framework encourages ventilation and airflow. This bottle has a capacity of 20 ounces and is BPA-free.


  • Insulated sleeve
  • Mesh construction
  • Adjusts to accommodate all hand sizes


  • A few people report leaking caps.
  • Larger phones will not be able to fit in the storage pouch.
  • Some people have difficulty correctly adjusting the sleeve.

Buying guide for a handheld jogging water bottle

Remember these factors before purchasing the right handheld water bottle for ultra running.

  • Size

The size of your water bottle should be determined by how long you want to run, how much water you need to drink in total, and how much weight you can bear.

If you’re only going for a fast sprint, a 300 ml bottle should suffice. However, a larger bottle can suffice if you need water for the long run. Keep the bottle’s weight in mind as well.

  • Comfort

You must ensure that keeping the bottle in your grasp feels secure when on the go. Check for adjustable straps and try the bottle on your hand before purchasing to see any visible signs of discomfort.

  • Lid

Also known as the spray nozzle, the lid is essential to remember when buying a handheld water bottle. The type of valve (the opening from which the water flows to the mouth) decides how relaxed the user will be while drinking.

Some bottles have a raised valve, while others use a biting mechanism to open the lid. In any case, get one you believe would be comfortable in the long run.

  • Belt

The type of belt you choose will significantly impact your handheld water bottle’s comfort. Currently, the industry offers a range of belt styles, including Velcro, a hook and loop device, and a glove attachment. This region, like the lid, is also subjective. Choose one that appeals to you, but don’t overlook this factor before purchasing your bottle.

  • Features

You can go with plain, hassle-free bottles if all you need is water. Otherwise, consider adding additional features such as reflective fabric, water-resistant pouches for extra storage, etc.

  • Extra storage

Many running water bottles have compartments and pouches for additional storage. In addition to the water bottle, some can hold your keys, phone, fuel, or anything you want to take with you on the go.

  • Hard vs. soft bottle

Another factor to consider is the water bottle’s design and material. When emptied, some handheld water bottles are made of soft, flexible material that allows them to collapse and be stored easily. Other running water bottles are made of plastic or metal, meaning they can retain their shape no matter how full. Unfortunately, these water bottles are usually heavier than the soft, collapsible type.

  • Insulated vs. non-insulated

Running water bottles, including standard ones, are usually insulated or uninsulated. Those insulated are typically made of thicker, more durable materials to keep the water cold.

Non-insulated water bottles are usually less expensive and easier to carry when running. However, as you progress on your sprint, the water will most likely become lukewarm.

  • Bite Valve vs. Pull Valve

When choosing between a pull valve and a bite valve, remember that bite valves are usually better because they leak less. However, they are less user-friendly at first. It can take some time to get used to a bite valve.

However, they are effortless to use in the long run, particularly when combined with a hydration vest, so you do not have to fumble with a bottle. Pull valves are commonly seen on traditional water bottles (like a bike bottles). If you fail to replace the top, it will leak all over the house.

What is the most efficient way to transport water when running?

Although hydration packs and belts are viable alternatives, many runners prefer to use handheld water bottles during their training runs. This is because running water bottles are usually lightweight, simple to carry, and offer plenty of storage capacity in addition to water.

However, we all have different goals when it comes to finding a running water bottle.

Why should you purchase a handheld water bottle?

The majority of beginners make the error of not hydrating themselves. This interferes with your workouts and can lead to long-term problems such as muscle cramps, loose skin, and so on.

As a result, you always recommend bringing a water bottle with you whenever you travel, mainly if you are working out. Here are a few reasons why you should purchase a portable water bottle.

1. The ease of use

Handheld water bottles for jogging can be useful because you can drink water whenever possible. So, if you have such an item, you won’t have to worry about constantly finding water stations on the go. Furthermore, if your belt requires it, you can take additional equipment, such as your MP3 player, mobile device, band-aid, etc.

2. Lightweight

Of course, when filled with liquid, portable water bottles aren’t the lightest. In reality, you’ll almost always find it during your runs. However, unlike similar goods, they do not have any discernible resistance. As a result, they are an excellent travel companion.

3. Customizable

If you prepare, your water bottle carrying case will double as a workout buddy. You might, for example, hold two water bottles instead of one. Now, all this would do is add more resistance to your workouts. If not, you can customize it to hold other items such as a pain relief spray, protein shaker, etc.

4. Inexpensive

Running water bottles are usually very inexpensive. They are currently the most affordable mobile hydrating solution available to us. As a result, if you consider purchasing accessories for your running/jogging sessions, this type of product should be your top choice.

5. All of your needs are easily accessible.

It is important to note that frequently stopping to drink water will reduce the strength of your workout. However, there are moments when it is simply impossible not to. In most instances, this causes the runner to lose focus and ruin their session.

Carrying a water bottle is also a good idea in this situation. Simply drink as much water as you need because water can never go wrong. If you live the YOLO lifestyle, simply pour some of the liquid on yourself to cool down.

6. Minimalist

A handheld is nothing more than a zippered pocket and a bottle. This type of hydration solution is an excellent alternative if you choose to bring fewer supplies. A handheld’s smaller profile and limited storage space also lessen the chance of overpacking and weighing yourself down.

7. Free of chafe

Padded hand straps are flexible and less likely to chafe than a belt, pack, or vest strap.

8. Strengthens

Running with full water bottles in your hands will naturally work to improve your upper body.

9. Easy to refill

Unlike a bladder, which takes some finagling to fill, handhelds can be refilled in seconds.

The cons of handheld running water bottles

  • Not for everybody: A handheld running water bottle is not for everyone. If you find these bottles uncomfortable to run with, no amount of persuasion can change your stance, and that’s perfectly fine!
  • Uneven weight distribution: Except if you carry two bottles and drain each at the same rate, there will be some unevenness. As you run, one hand will tire, and you need to switch arms.
  • Limited capacity: Bottle sizes differ; however, unlike hydration packs with bladders, the amount of water you can physically hold in your hands is limited.

How to clean a handheld water bottle after use – step-by-step instructions

Follow these steps to clean a handheld water bottle:

  1. Fill the bottle halfway with water and liquid dish soap or white vinegar. Any dish soap will do, but antibacterial ones are preferable to ensure no germs are left behind.
  2. Shake the bottle vigorously to remove any germs. You may also use a long bottle brush to get the insides completely clean. Ensure that the brush is used only to wash water bottles.
  3. Empty the water and soap. Rinse thoroughly until no residue remains.
  4. Use a foam or scrubber to clean the top part.

Handheld running water bottle prices

Although cheap handheld bottles can be found for less than $20, quality bottles designed specifically for running will cost at least $30.

The price varies according to the capacity of the bottle. A larger bottle will cost considerably more. In addition, special technology, such as insulation or special valve designs, raises the price.

Stick to handheld running water bottles made by popular running brands. These companies have traditionally invested significant time and effort into designing their products, and they continue to build on previous designs.


Before you go out for your next race, keep the following hydration tips in mind:

  • Freeze a full water bottle the night before a hot summer run. The ice will maintain your water cold and melt while you move, assisting in your cooling.
  • Hydration is more than just drinking enough water. For example, we lose electrolytes as we sweat, which must be replaced. Electrolyte powders, sports drinks, and salt tablets are only a few available items to help replenish your electrolyte stores.
  • Avoid gripping your glass tightly. Instead, toe the hand strap hooked to your handheld running water bottle to relieve muscle exhaustion and stress in your upper body.
  • Bring a handheld bottle (or bottles) to the race. Don’t abruptly try something different on your big day if you’ve been using them to hydrate regularly through preparation.
  • Soft flask bottles are ideal for those who dislike the sound of sloshing water, but the freeform shape can take some getting used to.

Frequently asked questions (faqs)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about handheld water bottles:

Q. Should you bring a water bottle with you when you run?

Running can cause us to sweat profusely, which can lead to dehydration. The last thing you want to do while engaging in a healthy habit like running becomes ill. As a result, it is recommended that you carry a water bottle with you and take sips as needed.

Q. How do you carry items while running?

You can carry everything in your water bottle’s extra pouch if it comes with one. Otherwise, pockets in your clothing or a small backpack will suffice.

Q. How do I use a water bottle while running?

Simply attach it to your body with a belt/carrying case and drink water whenever you want. In addition, you can modify the bottle to add weighted resistance to your running sessions.

Q. Are handheld water bottles suitable for everyday use?

Without a doubt. After all, a handheld water bottle is just another type of water bottle. It is used to consume liquid. However, because they are more expensive than standard water bottles, we do not recommend them to people who do not require running ergonomics in their product.

Q. When should you use a handheld?

The handheld bottle is a water bottle with a connecting strap that allows you to hold it in your hand. They’re small and simple, and they keep water on hand.

When you need to carry fluids but don’t need a hydration belt or pack carrying capacity, handhelds are ideal — think shorter runs, paths that pass by a water supply, and races with regular aid stations.

There’s also the added benefit of feeling lighter than the alternatives.

The major complaint

But… you have to carry it. It’s all in your hands.

And who enjoys running while holding something in their hands?

If you’ve never carried a bottle before, it may appear to be a miserable experience, and there’s little I can say to tell you otherwise. Other than that, it gets easier. It may tire out your arm during your first few runs with a handheld, but that will fade with time, and you’ll hardly notice it’s there.

Q. How much water should I drink while running?

You don’t need to bring liters of water with you, but it’s a good idea to bring some water with you on a hot or long run and drink until you’re thirsty.

A 150-pound person has approximately five liters of total body water. During a workout, it’s not uncommon for a highly active person to lose up to two liters of sweat. Fluids lost must be replenished to avoid dehydration.

The best way to accomplish this is to pay heed to your body and drink water when thirsty. Water should also be consumed before, during, and after physical activity.

When it comes to long runs, some runners will place water along the route ahead of time.

Q. After using a handheld bottle for a while, my arm begins to feel numb. What can I do to keep this from happening?

During your runs, try swapping arms now and then so you’re not always carrying the bottle on one side. You could also try using smaller bottles and stopping to refill along the way. Finally, try a different hydration method if you’re still feeling uncomfortable.

A final word

After reading our reviews of the best handheld water bottle for running, you should know what kind of bottle you want and which one is best for you. So go ahead and get a water bottle and start running!

Finally, we recommend that you purchase:

Nathan ExoShot Handheld Flask

  • 10 oz/300 ml Flask with race cap provides a quick burst of fluid for short distances
  • You can keep your hands relaxed with an adjustable hand strap and thumbhole.

Right now, this is possibly the most stylish handheld water bottle for runners. It is incredibly lightweight and portable. With a capacity of 300 ml, it does an excellent job of keeping the user hydrated.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."