I recently picked up two Nathan QuickDraw bottles. I currently have an IronMan water belt that has two 10 oz. bottles with a small pouch. I also have a Nathan Endurance pack. I picked up two of the Nathan bottles to have a third option.
After wearing my Nathan Endurance vest in my recent 50k race I wanted to try handheld bottles. The well supported 50k race might be too short to warrant the Nathan Endurance vest. Mike over at Wasatch Runner pointed out that a 1.5 liter bladder weighs about 3.5 pounds. Ouch! With an aid station every 5-7 miles that is a lot of extra weight. The bottles are a nice option to have for the shorter races.
I have struggled to carry a bottle when running in the past. At the time I only carried a single bottle. I think it was the difference in weight between hands that bugged me. For that reason I picked up two Nathan QuickDraw Plus bottle to even things out. Maybe I will get used to the bottles and be able to carry just one when I am trying to run as light as possible and still need to hydrate.
The regular QuickDraw bottles have a smaller pocket on them so I picked the Plus models due to the larger pocket. If you don’t need to carry a lot of gels with you certainly look at the other models that Nathan offers. I also like to run with my iPhone since I use it for photos and video when out on long runs. The iPhone fits perfectly in the QuickDraw Plus pocket as well. But I would worry about falling and putting the bottle down to brace yourself. It would crack the screen on an iPhone almost for sure. Just something to think about. A small camera could also fit in the pocket.
The bottles have a 22 oz. capacity and have a clipless cap.I open the bottle top with my teeth and it has a soft plastic top so not to damage your smile. I close the top with a tap of the other bottle. A free hand would work as well if you are only running with one bottle.
The bottle covers and strap are reflective so it does offer some advantages when running in traffic at night. I went with the extra bright orange color. They also have 2 different blues, green, pink and purple. I have also seen the bottles in a neon yellow. The orange I have are the most retina damaging of the group by far. But I like the color.
Without any water in them the bottles and Moisture-wicking cover are 4 oz. There is also an adjustable Airmesh hand strap for a tight hand fit. I don’t really grip the bottle when I am running. The bottle stays on my hand without a firm grip.
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On the few runs that I have done with the bottles I like them. I almost think they make me faster since I get to swinging them a little more than I do without bottles in my hand. The only thing that is bothering me right now is the sloshing around of the water when they are half full. This won’t be an issue when I am running with my iPod on. I have heard that you burn more calories carrying bottles over a vest. That is a good thing when you are training I guess.
The bottles are not cheap. I think I paid $21 each. If you are looking for a nice handheld bottle system I can’t imagine you going wrong with the options that Nathan provides.