Fact: water bottles that live in a bottle cage on your mountain bike are going to get dirty. After one too many swigs on our basic model bottle that ended with us spitting dirt out, we decided it was time for a bottle with a cap on it.
Looking around a bit, we saw the Camelbak Podium Dirt on sale at REI Outlet and ordered one shipped to our local store. On paper the Dirt looked good: holds 21 ounces, fits in a standard bottle cage, flip-top cap that you can activate with your thumb, easy to grip, tons of 4 and 5 star reviews everywhere we looked, we were sold.
When the Dirt arrived we washed it out, filled it up and threw it on the bike. Sure enough, we dropped it in the dirt eventually. No problem, right? Pick it up, flip the cap open, take a swig and… dirt in our mouth. How? How could this happen to us? Aren't we good people? We recycle, even some things that shouldn't be recycled. We clean the damn cat's litter box three times a week, all that stuff.
So here's the flaw: the Dirt has a tiny little cap. It does not cover the entire area that your mouth will cover once you establish a solid lip lock on the nipple. Hell, we learned how to do that in high school, so we know we're not doing that part wrong. No two ways about it, the cap is just too small.
And while we're at it, why is there a locking ring on this bottle? It has a cap, and it takes a decently firm squeeze to get the water flowing, so the locking thing just seems unnecessary to us. Bottom line, we are still looking for a water bottle with a good cap design. Stay tuned.