Bike bottles have remained unchanged for decades. A company in Florida, Relaj Inc., offers a different option with its namesake 23-ounce capacity bottle.
It costs $19.99 and is made of BPA-free plastic. The Relaj Bottle has a slight hourglass shape and a drink valve that lets you sip without tipping back your head.
Relaj touts that the bottle shape, combined with the easy-sipping valve, increases safety as you ride. “Easier to hold, control and squeeze,” the company explains in its marketing copy.
I tested the bottle out this fall and found it easy to drink from and grip. Its soft valve and rubbery, squeezable midsection offer water with no fuss as you pedal down a road.
It is easier to drink from a Relaj than from a cheap, stiff-side bottle where you might use your teeth to open and close the valve.
Further distinguishing the Relaj, the design lets you unscrew the bottom cap for cleaning. It comes apart in several pieces and is dishwasher-safe.
The company also includes a freezable “ice stick” insert. The pointed blue plastic piece mounts inside the base of the bottle and functions like an ice cube to keep water cool.
You pay about $10 more than an average bottle for the Relaj upgrade. But for many road cyclists the extra features, though subtle, will be worth the added expense.