Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review; HydraPak Gelbot

If you have ever run with fuel and fluid you’ll know that you need three hands to open the gel and carry the handheld and get it in your mouth and not all over your hands or down the front of your shirt! A simple challenge but one that has bested me more than a few times! Enter the GelBot…a 21st century solution.

Now usually it’s this point in the post when I copy some text from the Manufacturers website, well this time there’s a video…so here you go, it’s only 89 seconds long:

And yes it is that simple! Ok so here’s the website blurb:

The Gel-Bot delivers two performance essentials, fuel and hydration, in one easy to use sport bottle. This patent-pending design lets you fuel or hydrate with just one hand. Perfect for racing or total gel addicts. All the Gel-Bot components can be taken apart and easily cleaned”.

There are two sized bottles 20 fl oz /3 oz gel $13.99 and 24 fl oz /3 oz gel  $14.99

So how does it perform…I love it, it does exactly what it says it should do! Filling it up is a doddle, especially if you have bottles of gel, it does all come apart and you can throw everything in the dishwasher. The plastic is soft enough to squeeze the fluid into your mouth, the gel take a bit of suck; and unlike some gel bottles it’s not like you have to suck a golf ball through a hose pipe, the plug in the gel cylinder creates a vacuum minimizing the pucker needed. It takes a bit of practice getting used to the half open/fully open valve but once you’ve got it you’re good to go.

Now there are some downsides. Limited capacity of gel 3.2 oz is about three gels. You could waste a bit of gel especially if you’re using a thicker type or its a cold day as the fluid will keep the temperature of the gel down and increase it’s viscosity, but this is a summer review so I had no issues using my gel of choice, Chocolate #9 which is the thickest gel I have ever used. One other issue could be that in theory you would be consuming a gel every 45 minutes and so you might get through the fluid at a faster rate than the gel? Of course you do not have to fill the gel cylinder up completely. I used the GelBot for running only but my assumption is that for cycling it’s even better; tearing open gels at 20mph is just plain dangerous.

As mentioned the bottle comes in two sizes, go for the larger one for $1 it’s crazy not to. They’re available through Hydrapak’s website or through your usual online sources including Amazon for a minimal discount.

Also I did see online the bottle can come with a waistpack which increases the price by another $20:00 or so.

All in all an relatively inexpensive way to take care of the nutrition/hydration issue in a single package. And if you don’t believe me check out the other reviews on their website or look at the list of sponsored athletes; including ultra runner Devon Crosby Helms and 3 times World Champion Rebecca Rusch.

This product was provided free of charge by HydraPak. See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

This is the fourth in a series that focuses on hydration, next is the Nathan X Trainer Mutation


  1. And then when you've drunk a goodly amount of the water you can't get your gel out - I think I'd rather stick with a separate mini gel flask, Speedfil make 2 sorts :D

  2. Now THAT is pretty useful! :-)

  3. My hesitation with the Gel-bot has always been that I'm worried it will be a total pain to get the gel from the little pack to the canister. The video makes it look so easy. Is it really that easy to fill without spilling it all over?

  4. Wow. If I can buy extra gel inserts, this would be prime for longer trail runs. Wow.

  5. It is a cool bottle - i hope that is available in Canada?

  6. Amazing. Do this gel will help one a lot in times of need. Please share from where on can get this gel and what is its cost.
    Source hydration bladder


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