|Default hand position while using the bottle.|
What it is: A beverage bottle with a harness that doesn't require you to grip the bottle, and a pocket to carry small items. Probably the most commonly seen handheld at ultrarunning events.
Why you want one: Staying hydrated on long or hot weather runs and racing.
|Reflective strap with lots of room for adjustment (or really big gloves).|
Duration used: 3 seasons - purchased some time in 2010.
Price paid/purchased from: I think I paid $20 from a retailer at a race, but I'll be stuffed if I can remember which race or vendor.
|Thumb divot, with a bit of texture for grip.|
|Valve closed/retracted - you can just see the cross cut in the top that allows fluid to exit.|
|Valve fully open.|
What sucks: My thumb sometimes goes a little numb in my default hand position, but that's alleviated by moving it a bit. Some people may not like having to bite the valve or squeeze the bottle to dispense liquid, and I've occasionally bashed myself in the mouth trying to open or close the valve. The bottle can squirt out a bit of beverage when screwing the cap on if you fill it right up, but you can reduce the effect if you open the kicker valve before putting the lid on. The strap occasionally loosens off a bit and needs re-tightening, but this may have to do with my washing methods since it never did that before its first trip through the laundry. The pocket isn't big enough to hold a smartphone or gel flask and the material isn't the softest in the world - would irritate skin if used to wipe away sweat. Heat does transfer between hand and beverage due to direct contact with the bottle (resulting in cold hands in winter and warm drink in summer), but this can be alleviated by using the Fastdraw Extreme version. Updated Nov 1/13: the 26oz bottle is bloody annoying to use as the bottom strap of the harness is non-extendible, meaning too much of the weight sits above your hand when the bottle is full. Until you drink at least 1/3 of it, the balance is awful and it does a lot of torquing on your wrist as you run. When you do drink it down - particularly when the bottle is close to empty - the additional airspace inside (vs. the 20oz bottle) seems to mean you need to squeeze the bottle even more to get a decent drink. I actually prefer using a standard 24oz bike bottle instead if I need more capacity than the bottle with which I purchased the strap, despite not having the kicker valve. Yes, it's that annoying.
|Outside of the pocket, zipper undone.|
|Looking in through the zip - one Hammer gel in there, with space for another.|
What I wish it had: I really wish I could purchase a top that would fit a standard bike bottle that had the kicker valve, but the 26oz bottle is inexpensive - I just need to get around to buying one (UPDATED Nov 1/13: I finally found one locally, bought it, and hate it. See above). I'd love it if they brought out a version with a pocket big enough to hold a standard 5oz gel flask, as that would allow me to carry everything I need for a 25k/3 hour trail race in one tidy package. I could, however, use their clip-on gel flask holder.
|The reflective extends around the bottom of the bottle for visibility while drinking.|
What I'm saying: This is my go-to bottle for everything from an hour-long training run in hot weather up through a 6-hour ultra race. It's held everything I need it to, doesn't weigh me down with anything useless, and has performed so well that I'd have to run right out and buy another immediately if mine were lost or destroyed. I tried versions from other companies prior to purchasing the Fastdraw Plus, but have never looked back.
|In action at Vulture Bait 2012.|