The 9 Best Handheld Running Water Bottles of 2020

Keep your H2O close by on all your runs

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Our Top Picks
"Just slide your hand into the fully adjustable hand strap with thumb hole for a comfortable, grip-free hold."
"The ergonomically contoured bottle allows for a comfortable, easy hold, even if you’re logging a super long run."
"As you drink from the BPA-free flask using the bite valve, the bottle shrinks down and can be tucked away when it’s empty."
"Made with the minimalist runner in mind, this 8-ounce bottle works well for shorter runs and fits easily on either hand."
"Lightweight and collapsible, the 17-ounce bottle folds into a compact size so you can store it in your pocket or running belt."
"Perfect for shorter runs and is also very easy and quick to refill if you need more fluids for longer distances."
"The insulated, leak-proof bottle will keep your fluids cold in the summer and prevent them from freezing in the winter."
"Made of stretchy neoprene, the clear, touchscreen zipper pocket can hold almost all kinds and sizes of smartphones."
"The leak-proof bottle features a signature ergonomic design and thumb-lock sleeve, providing a comfortable, grip-free hold."

If you’re running outdoors and don’t have access to drinking fountains, you need a way to stay hydrated. Convenient and easy to use, handheld water bottles are a great option for keeping water or sports drinks right at your fingertips.

Whether you want a large bottle with plenty of storage for marathon training or a more compact one for your short runs, there are great options out there for every type of runner.

Here are the best handheld running water bottles on the market.

Best Overall: Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask

Nathan is known for their well-made, high-performance bottles for running, and their SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask doesn’t disappoint. It gets our top ranking on this list for its quality, comfort, performance, and affordability. Just slide your hand into the fully adjustable hand strap with thumb hole for a comfortable, grip-free hold.

With its easy-to-use race cap, you can get quick sips of fluid with just a squeeze of the bottle. The double-wall insulated flask keeps your fluids cooler for longer in the warm weather and prevents them from freezing when it’s cold out.

At 18 ounces, this BPA-free bottle is the perfect size to get you through long runs without weighing you down. There’s also plenty of room for your phone, keys, ID, and other essentials in the expandable, zippered pocket. This bottle comes in several different fun colors and patterns, and it also features some reflective materials for increased visibility when running in low-light conditions.

Best Large: Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Handheld 20oz

When you’re carrying a large bottle, hand cramping or discomfort can sometimes be an issue, but that’s not the case with this Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite handheld 20-ounce bottle. It features an ultra-minimalist design with an ergonomically contoured bottle, allowing for a comfortable, easy hold, even if you’re logging a super long run during marathon training.

Although this BPA-free bottle has a large capacity, it feels like a smaller bottle when you’re running with it. The insulated, cushioned neoprene sleeve adds to the overall comfort, keeps your fluids from getting warm, and prevents your hand from getting cold. You can use the expandable zipper pocket on the handle strap for your phone, nutrition, or keys.

Best Easy Access: Nathan Handheld ExoDraw Insulated Soft Flask

Lightweight and comfortable, Nathan’s ExoDraw soft flask bottle is ideal for the runner who doesn’t like to be weighed down. As you drink from the BPA-free flask using the bite valve, the bottle shrinks down and can be tucked away when it’s empty.

The ergo-designed hand strap allows you to carry it comfortably, grip-free. You can just slip your hand in, relax it, and the bottle will stay put. There’s also a stash pocket that’s perfect for gels, keys, and money.

Best Small: Osprey Duro Handheld Running Flask

Made with the minimalist runner in mind, this 8-ounce bottle from Osprey works well for shorter runs and for those who find larger bottles to be too heavy or cumbersome.

The bottle features an ambidextrous design with a comfortable, bounce-free slide-on grip that fits easily on either hand. This small but mighty bottle even has pockets up front for easy access to gels or other small items.

Best Soft Flask: CamelBak Handheld Quick Stow Flask

The CamelBak Handheld Quick Stow Flask is perfect for runners who like to tuck their water bottle away once it’s empty. Lightweight and collapsible, the 17-ounce bottle folds into a compact size so you can store it in your pocket or running belt.

The bite valve self-seals after you take a drink, so you don’t have to worry about dripping and spilling. Runners also like the X-grip hand strap, which allows for multiple carrying options.

Best Mid-Size: Nathan Quick Shot Plus Handheld Hydration Pack

This affordable, lightweight, handheld 10-ounce water bottle from Nathan is perfect for shorter runs and is also very easy and quick to refill if you need more fluids for longer distances. The fully-adjustable hand strap with thumb hold allows you to carry it comfortably, grip-free. You can just slip your hand in, relax it, and the bottle will stay put.

Taking a sip of water is as easy as giving it a squeeze right into your mouth. This holder also features an expandable, zippered pocket that offers a surprising amount of storage for such a compact bottle.

Best Insulated: CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Water Bottle

With its patented self-sealing Jet Valve technology, CamelBak delivers a leak-proof bottle that’s also insulated to keep your fluids cold in the summer and prevent them from freezing in the winter. At 17 ounces, it has the capacity you need for longer runs. Beyond the high-quality, well-made bottle, another outstanding feature of this carrier is the zippered, extra-stretch mesh pouch that’s roomy enough to hold your keys, card, a couple of sports gels, and your phone (even larger models).

The velvetex-lined strap will keep your hand comfortable and safe from chafing. Runners also love the carrier’s reflectivity for morning and evening runs, key clip, and adjustable cinch strap for a secure carry.

Best with Phone Holder: Nathan Speedview Plus Insulated Flask With Phone Case

You don’t have to choose between carrying water or your phone with this convenient, comfortable bottle from Nathan. Made of stretchy neoprene, the clear, touchscreen zipper pocket can hold almost all kinds and sizes of smartphones. It'll allow you to easily view texts, change your music, or work your apps. The double-wall construction and push-pull valve cap help keep fluids cool for longer.

Best Ergonomic: Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Handheld Water Bottle

Another fantastic option from Amphipod is their Hydraform Handheld Ergo-Lite running bottle. The leak-proof bottle features the company's signature ergonomic design and thumb-lock sleeve, providing a comfortable, grip-free hold. With an adjustable strap, it’s easy to customize the fit.

The insulator sleeve helps maintain the temperature of your fluids and is easy to remove when you need to clean the BPA-free bottle. The handheld water bottle comes in a variety of fun colors and in two sizes—10.5 and 16 ounces.

What to Look for in a Handheld Running Water Bottle

Size

The length of your runs and the availability of places to refill your water along your routes will determine how big of a water bottle you need. While being able to carry more water may sound like a good idea, you also want to make sure it’s not so heavy that it weighs you down. It should fit your hand well and not be so big that it’s difficult to hold. 

Features

If water is all you want to carry, then a basic model is probably all you need. If, however, you want to carry your keys, credit card, fuel, or your phone, there are handheld water bottles with enough pocket space to accommodate them all. Some even have reflective features for extra visibility when you’re running in the dark. 

Comfort

The way in which you hold a water bottle will affect your comfort on a run. Most models feature straps, which help you hold the bottle securely. Take into consideration how the strap fits your hand and look for materials that will prevent chafing, cramping, and general discomfort. Also, look for models with ergonomic designs if you’re going to be using the bottle frequently. Some bottles come with adjustable straps, which help ensure a secure fit.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a marathon runner and running coach, Christine Luff has experimented with dozens of handheld water bottles over her decades of running. Her current favorites are the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask and Amphipod’s Hydraform Ergo-Lite Handheld water bottle.

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