As consumers have become more eco-conscious, companies have started to respond with metal water bottles. These avoid potentially harmful plastics and eliminate the plastic taste you can get with some bottles. CamelBak has taken the concept and created Titanium and Steel options for their popular Podium bike bottles. As the halo product, the $100 CamelBak Podium Titanium is constructed from vacuum-insulated titanium that offers up to 7 hours of insulation for 18 oz of cold fluids. Most buyers will likely purchase the CamelBak Steel bottles which are a more reasonable $35 for 18 oz capacity and $40 for 22 oz capacity. Both versions of the bottles have high-flow caps with integrated straws and a twist to lock feature.

The CamelBak Podium Titanium and Podium Steel combine the iconic Podium bottle shape with insulated metal designs that keep fluids cool for hours.

Rating9.4 / 10
Retail Price$35 (18oz Steel), $40 (22oz Steel), $100 (18oz Titanium)
Measured Weight (in g) 242 (18oz Titanium), 303 (18oz Steel), 355 (22oz Steel)
Likes+ No plastic taste and more mold resistant than typical bottles
+ Double walled construction keeps fluids cool
+ Attractive color and raw metal finishes
Dislikes– Bottle spill if tilted unlike standard Podium bottles
– Metal exterior shows scratches and dents more readily than plastic bottles
Where to Buy (US)CamelBak

FIT & FINISH

CamelBak has taken their iconic Podium bottles and created metal variations using vacuum-insulated steel as well as titanium. Both variations have the same familiar CamelBak Podium bottle shape with a beveled bottom, and tapered upper section. Unlike the standard plastic Podium bottles, there is no squeezing here as the bottles are rigid. The metal bottles feature vacuum insulated constructions which make them perfect for riding in warmer weather as they can keep your fluids cool even on multi-hour rides.

CamelBak Podium Titanium Steel Cycling Water Bottle Review - Size Comparison
CamelBak offers the steel bottles in unique pastel colors as well as a 22oz version while the titanium version is only available in an 18oz raw finish.

The steel bottles are currently available in both 18oz and 22oz variations with an impressive six different pastel color schemes. You can choose from standard black and gray colors or more unique options like pacific blue or violet. In this review we have three of the most interesting colors, the violet, moss green and the pacific blue. All the steel bottles have color matched caps and a beautiful glossy finish that gives the bottles a high end appearance. The caps are still plastic but match the metal bodies quite well and have a slight texture on the outer portion to make them easier to handle. The steel bottles have an impressive 14 hour rating which should keep fluids cool even if you do a double century.

CamelBak has also created a titanium variation which is only available as an 18oz version. Not only does the titanium version have a beautiful brushed finish, but it’s also a bit lighter than the steel bottles and gives you bragging rights. The weight loss comes at a high price, as titanium is a more expensive material and harder to work with which is why they retail for more than double the price of the steel versions. While it doesn’t make much sense on paper, the bottles have an undeniable cool factor to them and compared to multi-thousand dollar bikes can be easy for some to justify. Even though the titanium bottle has half the insulation time at only 7 hours compared to the steel bottles, it’s more than enough for most rides. As with the raw finished steel bottles, the caps on the titanium bottle are all black which provides a nice contrast.

CamelBak Podium Titanium Steel Cycling Water Bottle Review - Bottom
The titanium bottle has a beautiful raw finish and double walled insulated design that keeps fluids cool.

Both variations of the metal bottles share the same lock cap design which looks like a standard Podium bottle cap from the exterior. However, once you open the cap up you can see the simplified design and integrated air vent to achieve high flow. This design is quite similar to the Bivo and other metal bottles with a long internal straw and hidden vent that equalizes the pressure in the bottle as water flows out. The caps have a simplified three piece design compared to the standard podium caps. There is the blue straw which slides off the base, and the nozzle cover which you can lift off. It’s a nice and smooth design inside the nozzle which makes it easy to keep the bottle clean. Getting the nozzle cover off is probably the hardest part of cleaning the bottle as you have to slide it over the ridges.

RIDING IMPRESSIONS

While the Podium Titanium and Steel bottles look like standard Podium bottles, the rigid construction requires a bit of adjustment. You have to remember to not squeeze the bottle while riding and be a bit more careful with the bottles to avoid gauging or scratching them. Although one of our carbon cages had a bit of rattling with the metal bottles, our other stiff cages like the Elite Prism held the bottles securely with no noise. The water flow though the large nozzle is also quite impressive thanks to the vented cap. It’s easy to drink more with this bottle as the flow is smooth without required multiple squeezes. We were also impressed with the insulated designs which helps keep fluids cooler for longer compared to insulated plastic bottles. Our biggest issue with both variations is that the metal finishes show scratches and damage pretty quickly with long scratches just from using a bottle cage. The other downside of these bottles is that they do spill if tilted, so you’ll have to remember to lock the nozzles before rotating them.

CamelBak Podium Titanium Steel Cycling Water Bottle Review - Vented Cap
To achieve high flow, the cap features a removable plastic straw and integrated vent.

THE VERDICT

Overall, we found the CamelBak Titanium and Steel bottles to be well designed and built. CamelBak has done an excellent job combining the iconic shape of the bottles with a double walled insulated design. While we’re still on the fence about metal bottles for cycling, the cleaner tasting bottles and longer insulation times are benefits that are hard to ignore. At $100 a bottle, the Podium Titanium gives you the most bragging rights but doesn’t make sense for most cyclists. We were impressed with the pastel color finishes of the Steel bottles and the high flow of the bottles. Even though you can’t squeeze them, the nozzle makes it easy to drink and keeps water cool. The main downsides of the metal bottles is that they do spill if tilted and show scratches from bottle cages. That said, if you’re looking for metal bottles with high-flow for cycling then the CamelBak Titanium and Steel bottles are a perfect choice.

Disclaimer:  The product for this review was provided by CamelBak. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

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