Those who know me probably recall that I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with my drink bottles.
Hard bottles (which I long favoured for their structure and easy access/replacement when using a running vest) have always come with a constant ‘slosh’ noise.
Threatening to drive me crazy on long runs (some might say it’s too late).
Soft Flasks however, were the supposed solution to this problem, in that they reduce in volume as you drink the liquid from within. Remove the air and there’s no slosh whatsoever.
So far – so good, but then comes the irritating behaviour when the bottle shrinks inside the purpose made bottle pocket. They become a little unruly. They are also still a little bit of a faff when attempting to replace in a hurry.
So happy days – along comes the new Ultimate Direction Flexform 350ml bottle. Not a soft flask, but not exactly hard either. A hybrid. And it’s working.
Okay, I still get the slosh. But I’ve gotten used to that. It almost becomes metronomic and so might actually help me keep a running rhythm.
Aside from that – the results so far are WOW! Comfy soft edges. Easy to grip. Easy to squeeze, so assisting the flow. The rubber bite valve is a simple pull/push to open/close and again works brilliantly. Available in 600ml form, I opted for the 350, partly as a means to ensure the fit in all of my running vests, not just the UD, but also because I’ve plenty of 500ml bottles, so increasing my range for whatever I’m faced with throughout the year.
Without naming names, if you’ve a run vest that came with relatively crummy bottles and you’d love to trade up, then the UD Flexform are the answer. No more slipping and failing to open them when sweaty or wet from rain. The chunky tops are great to get hold of and twist (careful). The bite valve is easy to get along with, just suck and out comes the drink, perhaps better with a slight squeeze of that flexible bottle. Done, the bottle returns to shape and is still easy to slot back into the pocket without prodding and poking like a magician stuffing a handkerchief into his fist (not even going to dignify).
The rear surface of the bottles are flat, to allow a great contact against the body. They don’t press or irritate in the time I’ve used them. I’m looking forward to some longer runs in them, so I can say for sure, but they’re shaping up to be my favourite new piece of equipment of 2017 so far.
Quick, easy drinking from a smart little bottle. Oh and they only cost £7.50 a pop! A lot less than I’d have expected.