Handheld water bottle, hand strap water bottle, handheld flask… when I started searching on Google for this (having seen someone else using one) I wasn’t sure exactly what these things were called. I had been training with a hydration vest for ultramarathons for a long time but was looking for an alternative for road training hence this Aonijie handheld water bottle review.
Why road when I am such a fan of trail running? Well the short answer is my trail training partner is injured and I figured I’d have a crack at a challenge that has eluded me for some time while he recovers.
I have decided (before I get much older) to take the opportunity to have another crack at a good for age qualification time for the London Marathon. When I started running it was my ultimate goal – years later and I still haven’t achieved it. While these days I am more than happy climbing hills, running dirt tracks and taking in spectacular views, this one thing still eludes me. A few years ago, I trained hard for a period of 3 years to take my marathon time from 4:23 to 3:46 – being FV40 I needed 3:50 to qualify for London. You’d think at 3:46:40 I had done it right? Oh no, this particular year, every woman in that category seemed to qualify and I missed the time by 55 seconds – bummer! After a few tears of frustration, I had a tantrum. I was already training for an ultra so decided to switch my focus. I swore I wouldn’t go back to road. Hmm….
So, here I am, 8 weeks from another road marathon (one last one and I’m done) before going back to my passion for trails. Don’t get me wrong, I may be training for a road marathon but I am still managing to sneak some trail runs in (although they aren’t really in my plan). This time the goal is to qualify with a similar time but now I am 45, the GFA time is 3:53. I’ll have a crack at a sub 3:45 and make sure I give myself as much leeway as possible.
Choosing my Training Kit
Anyway, now that the background is set, I invested in some additional road shoes as I only really seemed to have endless pairs of trail running shoes and started pounding out the road miles. Of course, we are in August and it’s hot. I didn’t want to be running round in my hydration vest when all I really need is water so I thought I would test out these handheld water bottles – I am going with that name for it now as I am not sure what they are actually called. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and having been so impressed with the Aonijie Hydration Vest, I decided that I would see what their offering was and offer my Aonijie handheld water bottle review.
Anoijie Handheld Water Bottle Review
As I suspected, they were offering one on Amazon at £16.99 to include the soft flask so I ordered it on next day ready for my Sunday long run of 18 miles. After attempting to wash out the plastic taste with bicarbonate of soda mixed with water (not sure you ever get rid of it) I was all set.
The carrier has a handy pocket which the collapsible flask bottle fits into once full (you can’t fill it from within the carrier). It also has another pocket for your phone, keys etc. Now, the actual product description will tell you that you can’t fit a large phone in. I beg to differ. I can fit my iPhone 11 in there however, I chose not to carry the phone, instead choosing just to pop my water bottle in for the first run. To be honest I am glad I did. Once you have half emptied your water bottle, you can actually kind of fold the carrier up in your hand and it’s more comfortable to carry.
The handy strap is adjustable so you can pop your hand through, stick your thumb through the specially designed hole and grip it quite comfortably as you run. It’s really comfortable to carry although I tended to swap hands every few miles.
Advantages Over a Hydration Vest
As opposed to the hydration vest, you don’t have to worry about bending down to take a drink from the soft flask in the front pocket of your vest. Instead you just lift your hand to your mouth and take a drink. There are other benefits too
- Less to carry – less weight
- Doesn’t rub at all, even when it’s really hot
- It can get quite warm with a hydration vest wrapped around you
- Easier to take a drink when running
It’s not for everyone – some people prefer a vest and that’s fine but for shorter runs where you don’t want to take a vest, it’s perfect. I was worried that it would annoy me for 18 miles but not at all. In fact, I have a 20 mile run next weekend and I intend to take it out again. If I need more water while I am out, I usually include a water tap on the seafront in my route so can top it up if needed.
Our Aonijie handheld water bottle review wouldn’t be complete without listing the features of this handy product so, here you go:
- Colour – Unlike the vest and the 5 or 6 colour adaptations, there are only 3 with this product – Black, Blue and Orange.
- Pockets – Two pockets – one for your water bottle with a hole in the top for the bottle top and one adjacent to it for your phone or key
- Hand Strap – pop your hand through this adjustable strap
- Thumb hole – pop your thumb through the hole for added security
As mentioned above, the carrier comes with a collapsible soft flask which, from past experience I can tell you last a long time and are easy to take a part and clean. You can actually take apart the top to get right in and give it a good clean.
If you want something simple as an alternative to a vest or belt, we can recommend this for your kit.