I've used both Ultimate Direction and Nathan. Both good, yet the difference comes with the valve.<br><br>
Nathan bottles have a standard open-and-close valve.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://rs.runningwarehouse.com/rw/thumbs/NQDPWB-thumb.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
UD has a bite valve that opens and closes easily with a bite. What I like about UD is that the valve does not leak, even in the open position.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.zombierunner.com/store/media/images_new/ultimate_direction/x150/fastdraw_plus_blue_and_red.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
I have a number of Nathan waistpacks, so I have several of their bottles. I end up using the UD holder with a Nathan bottle.<br><br>
I dont think you can go wrong with either company. Both versions have a zippered pouch to stow supplies, as well as a cinch to strap to the hand.<br><br>
The one downside to the UD bite valve system is that the fluid comes out with high pressure. When I run my neighbor's dog its tough to get her a drink since the stream comes shooting out. I always offer the dog water out my bottle, so if you plan on running your dog then I suggest Nathan.<br><br>
Do I suspect more trail miles in your future? Enjoy.
I have Ultimate Directions ones, but i had purchased older model bottles without the bite valve. I like the design of the bottles and i have botht he regular and the insulated ones. The insulated ones i think are for warm weather, but i use it in cold weather to keep my hands warm and hold off my drink from freezing. The bite valve is not too bad. I had not tried the Nathan one, but i have tried others. It takes 1-2 runs to get used to, not bad at all.
I have a Nathan one. . .don't like the bottles. I've had two, in fact, and both of them manage to leak like mad.<br><br>
I've also used the UD bottles, and don't like those cos of the pressure issue. Always catches me off guard and I choke on the first swig.<br><br>
I do have a fuel belt handheld that I like. The bottle is very simple. . .20 oz. basic bottle. . .the type I used all the time when cycling.
I use UD, with the bite valves.<br><br>
One feature of handhelds that I use frequently is the shock absorption effect. Meri can attest to this: I was running with her on the AT at JFK and splatted myself onto a rock. The only thing that hit (though hard) was the handheld in my right hand. There was a big noise and about half the contents spewed explosively out of the bite valve. Even the vaunted Daimler Benz safety engineers don't have crumple zones as effective.
Hippo just hit on the point that worried me about switching to these: I was worried about having my hands free in case of a wipeout. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
More questions: on trails/trail races that are steep and you are scrabbling uphill, is having a handheld a liability?<br><br>
My husband is telling me that for my planned trail race he thinks my hands should be free for grabbing on to trees and rocks on the uphill.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://hikerun.com///img/Profile.JPG" style="border:0px solid;">
not at all! Your fingers are free, and you can always put it in your mouth. The best part about running with them on the trails is the "airbag" effect when you fall <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
I have had a few trail runs that were really steep and never felt that it hindered my climb up. Actually, MOST trail races i have been in REQUIRE you to run with at least a handheld.
This is just a 15 mile, but lots of elevation change! (sorry for the big image)<br><br>
We are discussing what I want to get to replace my leaky Christmas gift that he finally returned for me! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
Do you want to borrow a handheld? I am not sure if i have extra clean bottles, but i have a bunch of the actual handheld fabric parts. They were really cheap once on Sierra trading post, so i bought a bunch for the extra bottles <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I could send you a dirty bottle though!
I carry the nathan bottle in the UD strap and in the cold I have worn it looser around my wrist to keep my hand from freezing, you could push it up around your wrist for the climbing and then slide it back down. I can't stand much around my waist so the waist bottles are totally out for me, although I have a RB who swears by her fuel belt!! She says it is more comfortable because the strap around is stretchy instead of nonstretch thick nylon like most of the carriers.<br>
Good Luck w/ your next purchase!!
Oh! Movingon! You need the insulated UD handheld for cold weather. Keeps your hands warm <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://gearx.com/images/64315.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
Altoids! I'll be gentle here, but you need to be careful saying things like you did above about the trail run you're planning.<br><br>
At least around here, the typical response you'd get to that would be, "why'd you pick such a flat one?" <img alt="alien.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/alien.gif"><br><br>
I've been caught flat-footed by some of those sorts of responses a few times, at trail races I have to wallow in my own humility and realize just how tough many of the other runners are.<br><br>
I'm still shaking my head at the advert-email I got for one of our local races: "A flat, fast PR 50K course with only 6700 feet of elevation gain!"<br><br>
::shudders, shakes head:::