Best Running Water Bottle (Explained)

Runners need to make sure they’re hydrated for health and performance reasons. Running for a long period of time will inevitably mean you become dehydrated. Fluids lost through sweating breathing and urination need to be replaced.

Failing to keep yourself hydrated during the course of your run also means your performance will fall off. So the question is how to carry water with you when out for a run? What is the best running water bottle for different types of runs?

Keeping hydrated during an organised marathon is simple as there are water stations every mile or so throughout the course. Training for marathon however requires you to think more about how to keep drinking and hydrated throughout those long marathon training runs.

Buyers Guide

How much water you will need on your training run is dependent on how far you plan to run. A longer training run will require more water than a shorter training run.

How you carry that water is therefore to a larger extent defined by how much water you plan to carry.

How Much Water Will You need To Carry?

When you start running, the distances you run will be short enough so you don’t need to carry water with you. As you increase mileage you will need to start to carry water with you. How much water will be guided by a number of factors. For example, how hot it is, how much you sweat and your body mass index.

Different Ways To Carry Water

There are four main ways in which runner can carry water. There are variations on these but I’ll only talk about the four. This will give you an introduction and get you thinking about which might suit you best.

In The Hand

Carrying water in one hand is a popular way to take hydration during a run of a middle distance. or on a shorter run on a hot day.

Different types of hand water bottle include bottles with hole through the centre allow you to hold them and carry them more easily. There are soft bottles but collapse upon themselves as you drink the water they contain. This type of bottle can then be placed in a pocket when empty, if a suitable pocket is available.

Some runners find hand water bottles a little awkward to use as it inevitably means you are unbalanced from the start. And some runners (including myself) don’t like to have anything in the hand while they’re running.

On Your Back

Often referred to as camel packs (camel is the name of a manufacturer awesome excellent water carrying backpacks). They containing a bladder to carry water on your back are the highest capacity available.

Like hydration vests they are quite specialist and often used in long haul runs when the runner may or may not have a support crew. If you are new to running this may not be the ideal method for you to carry water.

On Your Front

Hydration Vests are the mainstay ultrarunners around the world. Two bottles on the front in the chest area can contain up to a litre of water. The added benefit have a hydration pack is that you can carry additional kit with you on your run.

There are lots of these things out there. A bewildering array from lots of different manufacturers all with slightly different purposes and slightly different sizes. If you’re new to running with water this method of carrying water maybe a little specialist for you at this stage. And they’re not cheap…

Special consideration should be given to hydration vests by ladies as they might not be anatomically suitable.

Around Your Waist

I have a flip belt that I used to carry my phone, keys and nutrition gels during a run. Flipbelt also produce a water bottle that is designed to slot within the flipbelt. I haven’t used this method I don’t own one of the water bottles so I can’t comment on how effective and how comfortable they are. But it seems like a good idea to me.

Other Considerations

Here are a couple of things that you should also consider before heading out for a run with water.

Stop And Buy More Water

If you’re heading out for a long run on a hot day you may find you drink all the water that you can carry. There’s nothing wrong stopping off at a shop to buy more. It’s a good idea to carry money with you anyway just in case.

On my weekly long run I plan in visit to a shop to replenish supplies. Often appearing as a sweaty mess much to the amusement of the shop assistant and other shoppers!

Water Soluble Water Additives For Runners

Putting some form of additive in your water is an option I can help you get through your run. These could include an electrolyte or something else that’s going to give you a boost of energy.

My personal favourite is the Elivar sustain powder. if I’m wearing my hydration vest I’ll have one bottle filled with water with a sustain powder mixed in. The other bottle will be pure water.  

Final Thoughts: Best Running Water Bottle

Whatever type of run you plan, there is an answer to the water question out there for you. The main points are how far will you run and how much water will you need to carry.

Once you know that you can choose the most suitable option for you and the type of run you’ll be doing.

I did once run a marathon (Paris 2019) with a water bottle attached to a belt around my waist. I did this because of the carnage around the water stations in the previous years Berlin marathon. While I don’t think it impacted my performance I was certainly conscious of it. And it isn’t something I’ve done since. I definitely got better of picking up water during a big city marathon. The key is to not hit the first table you see and to move on sure the second, third, fourth or fifth table where there are fewer people.

Best Running Water Bottle


Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.