I normally don’t carry any water when I trail run, though I’ll carry my 2012-model Camelbak Helena if I’m doing 10+ mile day hikes. I find carrying things in my hands far too annoying.
I like the hydro handset because it can hold up to 500 ml (16.9 oz) of water, which is plenty for me on a 5- to 8-mile hike. (I know, I don’t drink enough water. Moving on…) The soft flask also shrinks as you drink, and the wrist strap can adjust to Large-Medium-Small as needed. The placement for my fingers and the wrist strap make holding the handset very natural, and even though I have to keep my fingers slightly curled around the top so that it doesn’t feel like it will fly off, I don’t have to grip it. I barely notice it when I’m running or walking.
Drinking out of it is super easy, too. Unlike other bottles where you may need to pause or slow down slightly to unscrew a cap or pull a top up, you just barely bite the top and don’t have to slow down. It’s also got a handy pocket where I store my ID and my truck key. If I had a smaller phone, it might be able to fit there. (I carry my phone, which I use for taking pictures for trail reviews, in my sister’s hand-me-down Spibelt. It barely fits, but it gets the job done.) The handset is also BPA-free, which is pretty standard for new hydration gear in the industry, but still a good thing.
The one downside to this handset is the price. $48?!?! Seriously?!?! It’s a water bottle. It’s super cool, and great to carry easily, and I love it, but it is way too expensive. I’m thankful I won it at pint night (beer and raffle ticket for $5 can’t be beat), but I would have never purchased this at retail price. Trail running, while I love it, isn’t one of my main sports and I’m not going to put a lot of money into it.
If, however, the price tag doesn’t deter you, I think you’ll be happy with this handset. It beats carrying a heavier, harder water bottle, and sure is nice to have in the muggy Tennessee heat.