Product Review: Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra Handheld Bottle

Disclaimer: I received an Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I don’t think I’m the only runner who has a love/hate relationship with handheld bottles. Love, because it can be simpler to carry a small bottle on short-to-middle distance runs than strapping on a big hydration pack. Hate, because they’re often ill-fitting, heavy, or otherwise annoying.

I used to have a handheld bottle, I can’t even remember what brand, but every time I used it, my hands got all crampy from having to clutch it constantly, and I had to re-tighten the strap every few minutes. The nozzle also was one of those ones where you have to pull it open and push it to close, so it wasn’t very fast or easy to get a drink. I threw that bottle away after only a few uses because I was so frustrated with it, and since then, I haven’t had anything to take with me on shorter runs.

When BibRave asked for volunteers to try the Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra, I was a bit wary, but I figured, why not give it a shot? We were heading into summer, and I absolutely wilt when running in the heat, so if nothing else, it would be practical to have one. I chose the 16 oz version because usually that’s all I need for a run up to 10 miles. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this while running as much as I would have liked due to my recent tailbone injury and subsequent two week running break. I did, however, get to take it on one good 4 mile tempo run, and several walks, and I was impressed.

Ergo-Lite Ultra


  • Jett-Squeeze Cap
  • Reflective detail on pocket
  • Expandable pocket and key clip
  • Thumb-lock sleeve design
  • Neoprene sleeve acts as insulation
  • 3 quick-access gel storage slots

The Good:

The neoprene strap was tight enough to actually hold the bottle to my hand, so I didn’t feel like I had to hold it in a death grip. My natural stance with running is to have my hands completely open and fingers loose, so having to hold onto something messes me up. In fact, it was almost a bit too tight, because I could feel the seam stitching biting into my hand a bit, but after the fact, I realized that the strap is adjustable, so it was an easy fix.

The bottle is also ergonomically shaped; rather than a typical round or oval bottle, the Ergo-Lite Ultra bottle is shaped to fit naturally in your hand, which I think is another reason I don’t have to hold on so hard.

Photo Jun 08, 12 49 37 PM

The expandable pocket on the unit is AWESOME. It actually fits my iPhone 6s in its bulky, Otterbox-style case, and I feel confident that I could also fit extra gels or chews in there if I needed to. There’s a great slip pocket inside the pocket to keep credit cards or ID secure as well.

Photo Jun 23, 1 03 33 PM

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jett-Squeeze cap. There’s no pulling or pushing the lid up, no biting or sucking–you just give the bottle a gentle squeeze, and it shoots water into your mouth, or on your head, or wherever you want it to go. I can’t stress enough how much I love this feature. When I’m hot and sweaty, the last thing I want to do is put my sweaty hand on my water bottle cap, or try to pry it open with my teeth. And best of all, it doesn’t leak. You could leave the bottle on the floor for an hour and you wouldn’t have a puddle to clean up when you came back.

The Bad:

My biggest problem with handhelds is unfortunately universal: they’re heavy and they throw me off balance a bit. Whichever arm is carrying the bottle gets tired, so I constantly have to switch off, which is annoying. If I don’t put my phone in the pocket, it’s MUCH lighter and more user-friendly, and I have plenty of shorts/capris with pockets that I can put my phone in instead. While all handhelds have the potential to be annoying, I think the ergonomic design of the Ergo-Lite Ultra makes it much easier to carry than its competitors.

My only complaint specifically for the Ergo-Lite Ultra is that the very first time I took the neoprene sleeve off the bottle, the bottle was discolored. This is probably my own fault for leaving it in my hot car repeatedly, but it still looks kind of gross.

Photo Jun 23, 1 21 38 PM


I’m really happy with this product. It offers a surprising amount of storage space in a very compact unit, and is much more comfortable and easy to hold onto than other handhelds I’ve tried. I know it’s going to serve me well this summer.

Do you ever run with handheld bottles? Why or why not?

Product Review: Orange Mud Hydraquiver Single Barrel

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Hydraquiver Single Barrel to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Once again, BibRave teamed up with our friends at OrangeMud, and this time we had the opportunity to test the Hydraquiver Single Barrel. I was excited to try this pack because it doesn’t have the chest strap like the VestPack1. I’m a busty lady, and having something right across my boobs wasn’t always the most comfortable situation.


I ended up getting the bright pink color, which I LOVE. The Hydraquiver Single Barrel has two very stretchy pockets on the shoulders, and a zipper pocket in back. The zipper pocket also has a headphone port so that if you use wired earbuds, you can stash your phone safely in the cushioned, zippered pocket and still get your tunes. I was able to fit up to four gels in one shoulder pocket, plus my keys and chapstick in the other, and my phone in the back pocket, which completely took care of my storage needs during long runs. I was also able to squeeze my iPhone 6s with its bulky case into one of the shoulder pockets if I really wanted it close at hand–they’re VERY stretchy!

Photo Mar 26, 1 50 23 PM

The pack itself is much more streamlined than the VestPack 1 that I tried last year. It also has a lot more cushion/padding in the back. I had the opportunity to test this pack on LOTS of long runs, and on the whole I was really happy with it. The thing I liked most is that the holster for the water bottle is sort of funnel shaped, versus being a straight tube on the VP1, so getting the bottle in and out was a bit easier. I used to use a hydration belt, and I will honestly never go back. The Single Barrel is much more comfortable and less irritating than having a belt bouncing around my hips, and carries so much more stuff! It may seem weird at first to reach up over your head to grab the bottle, but after the first run, it became a totally natural motion.

The thing that bothered me most about the Single Barrel  is that the straps don’t have any padding on them. They’re just webbing, so they’re not super comfortable. There are padded sleeves that you can purchase on the OrangeMud site which may help with that, but I didn’t have a chance to try those. I was actually afraid to try wearing it without sleeves because I was worried about chafing, although many of my fellow Pros did so without any issues. The straps are also really long and ended up bouncing around, but after watching this excellent video from OrangeMud, I found that they had already provided a way to secure them!

The other problem that I had with the Single Barrel is that because it doesn’t have the chest strap to sort of anchor it, it didn’t stay in place as well when I was taking the bottle out of the holster. I had the shoulder straps tightened pretty well, so I don’t think tightening them anymore would have made a difference, and likely would have ended up being more uncomfortable. It’s just funny that the main reason I wanted to try this pack is because it didn’t have the chest strap, and that was the main thing I missed!

Aside from those issues, I really do love the OrangeMud Hydraquiver Single Barrel, and would hands down use it over any other belt or handheld that I’ve tried (which is quite a few!).

If you’re interested in reading more about the OrangeMud Hydraquiver Single Barrel, check out these reviews by my fellow BibRave Pros:

Frank | Mark | Gina | Katie | Emily

Also, don’t miss our Twitter #BibChat on May 3rd at 9 pm ET. OrangeMud will be our sponsor, and they usually do a sweet giveaway!

What is your preferred method of carrying hydration on long runs? Pack? Handheld? Belt?


Quick FlipBelt Review

I got a FlipBelt a few weeks ago because I lost the cheapo supremo arm band that I used to use on my shorter runs.  That arm band never worked particularly well, so I was kind of happy to be on the lookout for a replacement.  I originally intended to buy a new arm band, but I’d seen a couple of FlipBelt reviews on other running blogs, so I wanted to give it a try.

The FlipBelt is basically a flat tube of stretchy fabric with 4 different slits around the perimeter for you to access your stuff.  There’s also a nice little clip for your key, so you have some extra security with that.  The whole gimmick of the FlipBelt is that you can flip the belt inside out, so that that slits are on the inside, against your body, effectively locking your items in place so they don’t bounce out while you’re running.  You can watch the company’s promotional video here.



  • Much more stylish than other fanny pack-esque running belts.  You can hide it under your shirt and no one would ever know you’re carrying your phone, keys, debit card, Gu etc.
  • Comes in lots of great colors
  • Key clip secures your key while running, and the tether is stretchy, so you don’t actually have to unclip your key when you’re exhausted and fumbling to get inside after your run
  • Lots of space for various items
  • So far, I haven’t had anything bounce out, even without employing the “lock” method


  • I’ve found that the slits are just small enough that getting my iPhone 4s in an Otterbox-type case in and out of the pocket is kind of difficult.  I can’t really do it while running, which is a bummer.  This means larger phones like Galaxy S4 may not fit well either
  • Rides up a bit when worn over slippery fabrics, but 90% of the time this isn’t an issue
  • Items shift around in the belt–when you reach for your Gu, it may not be accessible through the slit you originally put it in

I think the most important thing to note about the FlipBelt is that it is NOT adjustable, so getting the correct size is really important.  The FlipBelt website has very specific sizing information, but I would recommend sizing down if you’re unsure.  I wear my FlipBelt around my hips, and according to my hip measurement of 38″, I should have purchased a large.  But the medium I ordered fits really snugly (but not uncomfortably) around my hips, so I don’t have to worry as much about it riding up or bouncing around.  I also imagine they stretch with use, but since I’ve only had mine a month or so, I can’t really speak to that. All in all, I’m satisfied with my purchase.  I don’t think it’s the “world’s best running belt” as the company claims, but it does what I need it to do, and doesn’t make me look like a doofus, so I’m happy.

Have you ever tried a FlipBelt?

How do you carry supplies while running?