It has certainly been the perfect summer to be testing the Polar Cold Bottle. I bet I’m not the only rider this year to have begun their ride with a cold bidon, only to have the contents of it completely undrinkable after about 30 minutes. It’s OK if you’re riding somewhere with lots of shops, but a nightmare if you’re out in the country. It was after a ride like this some years ago that I gave up taking full strength sports drinks on the bike. The taste of boiling hot, full strength sugary sports drink haunts me to this day. But that’s another story…
Insulated drink bottles aren’t really new, but they had one fatal flaw, that being the thick insulation required to keep your drinks cool (or warm) meant that the capacity of the bottles was severely reduced. The Polar Cold Bottle is different because instead of using bulky foam, it uses a special thin membrane sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of the bottle. This allows the bottle to be both light and flexible as well as able to hold nearly the same amount of fluid as a normal bidon. The smaller size carries 580mm instead of the usual 600mm size bidons and the larger 24oz , 30ml less than a 700ml bidon.
There’s two ways that you can use this bottle. You can put a drink in it and some ice cubes before you ride or you can freeze it overnight. You need to think about the type of ride you’re doing before you decide which method to use. You don’t want to get stuck out there with your drink still frozen. I did a little experiment around New Year with a Cold Bottle and a normal bidon. I filled both of them with water and froze them overnight. The next morning I placed them on a table in the sun at 10:00am. By 11:00am the standard bidon was half-melted, then entirely melted, yet still cool, at 12:00. The Polar Cold Bottle at 11:00am had only melted a small bit and was halfway at 12:00. It finally finished melting (ie had no ice in it at all) at 1:15. That’s not bad going by any stretch of the imagination. You could easily go out for a three-hour ride starting with a normal bottle and a frozen one. As you use up your normal bottle you can gradually get shots of cold fuel from your Polar Cold Bottle. Come winter, you can also use it to take a bottle of warm tea or coffee for those early morning rides.
The Polar Cold Bottle comes in an array of colours and two sizes, 20oz (approx 580ml) and 24oz (approx 670ml).
Distributed by Bicycle Peddler