Friday, February 22, 2013

Gel-bot Water Bottle Review

As we all know by now, nutrition plays a very important part in endurance sports.  When those sports last several hours refueling is even more important. As endurance athletes we need to keep our hydration levels up and consistently keep our bodies feed with an energy source like gels.

Personally I have always disliked individual gel packets. Mostly because I despise littering and it always just gets my blood boiling when I see gel packs and bar wrappers when I am out on the trail or during a race.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was a product that allowed easy access to your gels and allowed you to keep hydrated?  Well now there is - The Gel-bot Water bottle.

Truth be told, I actually came up with this idea about 15 years ago.   I need to start patenting these ideas I come up with.  I did not, but thankfully the folks at Hydrapak did. The idea is very simple.  The gel is stored in a inner plastic chamber that is attached to the bottle cap.  A small plunger is placed on the bottom of the chamber and allows the user to draw out the gel through the inner part of the dual valve on the cap.  The unit is perfect for about an hours worth water/fuel - 24 oz of H2O and ~ 2 gel packs.

For the past six months I have been using the Gel-bot.  I have really enjoyed the product during my rides and runs.  The quality of the product is very good.  No leaks and the spout is just soft enough.

I usually try to consume one water bottle an hour and about 200 to 250 calories.  The Gel-bot has worked out very well on my normal 2 hour training rides.  On longer rides/races like my upcoming Ouachita Challenge, I plan to just grab two new bottles at each checkpoint that Carolynn will be at.  This will allow for a really fast pit stop and keep me hydrated and fueled up. 

Cleaning the unit.  It is very simple to use and cleans up well (if you clean it after each use and not let the gels dry out).  I personally story the cap/gel unit in the refrigerator so no bacteria grows in it .  I clean it once a week with warm water and a small amount of  bleach. The unit is dishwasher safe, but I stick with my old fashion method of cleaning.

I could see the Gel-bot being used most of the year except for really cold days.  When the temps are really low the gel is hard to suck out.  I cold days I have used warm water in my bottles with great success.  I normally use warm water on cold days to keep my water bottle from freezing and it appears to work will for at least most of the ride.

I hope you enjoyed this little review.  Stay hydrated and fueled up

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