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Bottle shapes up well for cyclists in test

Sun., Nov. 17, 2013, midnight

Design, features make Relaj Bottle user-friendly for bicycle riders.
Design, features make Relaj Bottle user-friendly for bicycle riders.

Florida-based Relaj Inc. offers a new twist on the traditional cyclists’ waterbottle with its namesake 23-ounce capacity model.

Made of BPA-free plastic and retailing for $20, the Relaj Bottle has a slight hourglass shape and a drink valve that lets you sip without tipping back your head.

Relaj says the bottle shape, combined with the easy-sipping valve, increases safety as you ride. “Easier to hold, control, and squeeze,” the company explains.

I tested the bottle and found it easier to grip and to drink from than the usual stiff bottles that require using your teeth to open and close the valve. Its soft valve and rubbery, squeezable midsection offer water with no fuss as you pedal.

The design lets you unscrew the bottom cap for cleaning. It comes apart in several pieces and is dishwasher-safe.

A freezable “ice stick” insert is included. The pointed blue plastic piece mounts inside the base of the bottle and functions like an ice cube to keep water cool.

The Relaj is about $10 more than an average bottle, but for many road cyclists the extra features, though subtle, will be worth the added expense.

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