Handheld water bottles are a convenient choice for many runners. Unlike a hydration belt, which can feel cumbersome and heavy for running, a handheld bottle is lightweight and easy to carry. There isn’t a huge difference in cost between most handheld water bottles, but there is quite a bit of variation in terms of size and features. Most handheld water bottles on the market today hold between 10 and 20 ounces, but some offer more or less storage space for your favorite sports drink. Smaller capacity bottles tend to be better for shorter runs or for those who are able to refill the bottle along the way. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just prefer the simplicity of a handheld water bottle, there are many different options.
Most bottles feature at least one small storage pocket for keys, ID, and other essentials. Some pockets have enough storage space to hold a phone. You can also find pockets with zippers for added security. However, keep in mind that zippers can be tough to open if your hands get sweaty as you run.
The overall shape and portability of the bottle is also important, especially for those who plan on running longer distances. Several handheld bottles on this list have an ergonomic design for a more comfortable and natural fit in the hand. To reduce hand and wrist fatigue caused by gripping the bottle during a run, some handheld water bottles come with a wrist strap or thumb holes.
Accessibility on the run is also important. If you often use your teeth to open the cap, you may prefer a bottle with a softer opening that won’t hurt your teeth. Some bottles have tops that can be easily opened with sweaty hands.
If this list doesn’t have the right option, browse a wider selection of handheld water bottles on Amazon for more choices. If you prefer not to carry your water in your hand when you run, consider these top best hydration belts for runners.
1. CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Water Bottle
The Quick Grip Chill holds up to 21 ounces of liquid at a time, which is enough for runs between 5 and 10 miles. It’s also made with BPA-free material. You can count on your drink to stay cold thanks to the added insulation. The jet valve makes it easier to grab a drink without worrying about trying to twist open the cap with sweaty hands or using your teeth on rigid material. A zippered pocket offers enough room to hold gels, keys, and smaller phones. The hand strap is padded to prevent chafing during runs. This bottle comes with reflective elements for added safety during early morning or evening runs.
- Available in several colors
- Holds enough water for runs up to 10 miles
- Strap around bottom of bottle keeps material from sliding up during a run
- Doesn’t readily accommodate the thumb in any way
- Hand strap can loosen during a run
- Some find the zipper pouch a bit too small for certain phones
2. Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask
This handheld water bottle has enough room for up to 18 ounces of your favorite sports drink. It’s also double wall insulated to keep beverages cold (or hot) for the duration of the run. A large, expandable pocket has enough storage space for essentials, including ID, keys, and a phone. If you tend to run early in the morning or later in the evening, you’ll appreciate the 360 degree reflectivity. Other features include a fully adjustable hand strap and a thumb hole to keep your hands comfortable during workouts. This bottle comes in a variety of colors.
- Double wall insulated
- Reflective elements
- Thumb hole helps prevent hand fatigue
- Hard plastic top can be tough to open mid-run
- Some find the pocket a bit too tight for storing larger phones
- A few users have noticed that the caps can leak over time
3. FuelBelt Helium Sprint Ergonomic Bottle
If you’re looking for a smaller water bottle for shorter distance runs, consider the 10 ounce Helium Sprint. This one size fits all bottle is designed to fit snugly into the palm of your hand. It’s also made with BPA-free material. A Velcro attachment helps secure the hand strap in place so that it won’t ride up as you run. The silicone bottle cap is easy on the teeth and fingers when it’s time to take a sip. This bottle comes in several colors.
Price: $13.17 (31 percent off MSRP)
- BPA-free material
- Soft silicone bottle cap is easy on teeth and fingers
- Ideal for shorter runs
- Isn’t insulated
- Lacks a storage pocket for phones and other items
- May not be large enough for longer runs
4. Salomon Hydro Handset
The Salomon Hydro Handset is designed to fit around your wrist so that you don’t have to worry about the hand fatigue or discomfort that can come with gripping a water bottle for miles at a time. Other features include reflective material for increased safety along with a mesh pocket for ventilation. The water bottle is also outfitted with a mobile pocket, which expands to accommodate a phone, along with a designated key holder and a trash pocket. A blaster valve yields a higher flow for fast hydration when you need it. The collapsible bladder is designed to shrink as you consume fluids. The flask is large enough to hold 18 ounces at once.
- Strap wraps around wrist to prevent hand fatigue
- Reflective material
- Three separate storage pockets
- Strap may need to be adjusted as the bottle compresses
- Some find the extra wrist weight uncomfortable or cumbersome when the bottle is full
- Doesn’t keep drinks cold for long
5. Ultimate Direction Fastdraw 600
The Ultimate Direction Fastdraw 600 has a 20 ounce capacity and a runner-friendly push-pull valve that’s easy on the teeth and fingers. However, it’s particularly noteworthy for its generous nylon pocket, which is large enough to hold an iPhone 7, and chafe-free edge binding. The bottle is also ergonomically shaped for added comfort on longer runs. It’s available in three colors and has a moisture-wicking material for ventilation.
- Ergonomically shaped for comfort
- Pocket can fit up to iPhone 7
- 20 ounce capacity
- Lacks insulation
- Runners with smaller hands may find the bottle a bit large
- Can feel a bit heavy/bulky when pocket is full
6. Amphipod Hydraform Jett-Lite Thermal 20oz HandHeld Hydration
The Amphipod Hydraform Jett-Lite Thermal holds up to 20 ounces of fluid and comes with a storage pocket for essentials such as gels, keys, and ID. Ergonomic contouring reduces hand fatigue and cramping. The hand strap is cushioned and adjustable to fit hands of all sizes. Other highlights include reflective pocket detailing for enhanced safety along with a quick-grab zipper for speedy access to gels during a run. The thermal sleeve can be removed for hand washing when necessary.
- Ergonomic contoured design reduces hand fatigue and cramping
- Sleeve can be removed for hand washing
- 20 ounce capacity
- Pocket may be a bit small for larger phones
- Some runners report leaking around the cap
- A few find the thermal sleeve tricky to remove
Find more Amphipod Hydraform Jett-Lite Thermal 20oz HandHeld Hydration information and reviews here.
7. Fitletic HydraPocket
The Fitletic HydraPocket is a practical choice for runners seeking a smaller bottle, thanks to its 12 ounce capacity. This bottle also has brightly colored reflective paneling for increased visibility, even in lower light settings. Other features include a small storage pouch for gels, keys, and other essentials, along with a soft neoprene material. Its form-fitting design lets the bottle rest securely in your hand. The bottle is dishwasher-safe and features BPA-free material.
The Fitletic HydraPalm also has a 12 ounce capacity but offers more storage space for phones.
- Ideal for runners seeking a small, lightweight bottle
- Brightly colored
- Reflective material
- A bit pricey
- Lacks insulation
- Some runners find the sleeve a bit loose
8. CamelBak Arc Quick Grip Handheld Bottle
The CamelBak Arc Quick Grip Handheld Bottle features a 10 ounce capacity. It’s also equipped with Jet Valve technology for efficient and leak-proof delivery of your favorite sports drink. There’s a larger secured pocket, which is roomy enough to accommodate most cell phones, along with a smaller front pocket that can hold keys, gels, and other small items. The water bottle has reflective elements for added safety during early morning and evening runs.
Price: $14.37 (30 percent off MSRP)
- Two storage pockets
- Reflective elements
- 10 ounce capacity
- Some with smaller hands find the strap too loose
- Several mention the larger pocket is still too small for bigger phones
- Lacks insulation
9. Nathan ExoShot Handheld Flask
The Nathan ExoShot Handheld Flask holds up to 12 ounces of fluid. The bottle comes with an ergonomically designed hand strap so that you won’t have to worry about hand fatigue or discomfort that can occur when you grip the bottle. As an added bonus, the hand strap is also removable. An integrated spine helps keep the bottle soft and comfortable against your hand. A locking cap and valve prevents fluids from leaking out as you run.
- Locking cap and valve prevents fluid leaks
- Grip-free design
- 12 ounce capacity
- A handful mention the cap can loosen during a run
- Some consumers find it difficult to fill the bottle to its full 12 ounce capacity
- Tight sleeve can be tough to remove and put back on
10. Osprey Packs Dyna Handheld Bottle
The Osprey Packs Dyna Handheld Bottle is specifically designed with female runners in mind. The bottle is compact enough to fit into smaller hands and can be used comfortably in the right or left hand. Highlights include a stabilizing band around the flask to hold the sleeve in place along with two small mesh pockets, one of which is zippered. Runners can choose to carry this bottle on its own or add it to a waistpack or hydration vest. The reservoir holds just over 8 ounces.
- Made for female runners
- Stabilizing band around flask
- Two mesh pockets for storage
- Only comes in one color
- Relatively small capacity