Friday, December 30, 2011

Gelbot Gets a Thumbs Up From Me!

The Captain and I are going to start training on the 1st of January for our first official half marathon.  Trying out different hydration methods and energy fuels/drinks is going to be an important part of getting ready for the race.  It takes place on May 13th, so we have several long runs to complete before then and so lots of time to test the products that interest us.

When I first saw the Gelbot, I knew it would be high on our list.  Scott, from Outside PR, was kind enough to send me a Gelbot to try out and review.

When the package I arrived, I opened it up to find all of these goodies....

There was a 24-ounce Gelbot and 20 packages of Gu energy gels in 3 different flavors.  I was thrilled!  And honestly, somewhat intimidated by the bottle itself.  I went immediately to the Hydrapak web site and watched a short video on how to use the bottle.  It is actually very easy, but the new plastic components were a bit stiff and I was a bit afraid to pull or push on any of the pieces... so The Captain finally took over and opened it all up for me.

There is a central chamber that you squeeze the gel into... it will hold 2 gel packets but he only put one into it this first time, to try it out.

Once the gel is in the chamber, you push the bottom piece up to meet the gel.

Then you fill the bottle itself up with up to 24 ounces of water, insert the gel chamber into the bottle, and tighten the screw cap securely.

It is very easy to use.. when you want water, you pull the nipple up and drink from it.  When you want gel, you just leave the nipple down and gently squeeze on the bottle.  All very simple once you know how!

The bottle fits very nicely into a water belt, but I did think that 24 ounces was a bit heavy so I poured about 4 ounces out, then placed it snuggly back into the belt,  and off we went.  And yes, we shared the same bottle that day!

It was a cool day when we tried the Gelbot out for the first time.  The nipple pulls out and pushes back down with your teeth, if you choose to do it that way... fingers work too!  We both found that the water came out really easily but not the gel.  We both had to suck on the gel as we squeezed the bottle, to get it to come out. Not a big deal once we got the hang of it, but not quite what either of us expected. 

The Captain thinks it was because the weather was so cool.  I thought it was perhaps because the gel is surrounded by cold water.  But, as The Captain pointed out to me, the gel is only surrounded by water when the top part of the bottle is still full.  As the water is used, the gel chamber is exposed to the air; the gel would get warmer and flow freer if the air was warmer.  (I tested this theory indoors later and he was right.) 

And then when we we were finished the run, and done with the Gelbot, it all came apart very easily to wash and store.

I would definitely recommend the Gelbot for anyone who uses energy gels.  It saves you the hassle of having to pack, open and dispose of, the packets during your activity.  It is easy to assemble and to clean. It is available in 2 sizes - 24 ounces and 20 ounces.

Have you tried a Gelbot yet?

Does this method of hydration/fuel appeal to you?

I was given these products to review at no expense to me, and the opinions expressed are 100% our own.


  1. OOh this seems convenient and I like how you don't have to worry about disposing of wrappers on your run... Only problem for me is that don't like carrying big water bottles, but I could get over that.

    I did end up getting the Cervelo S2! So I picked black because that was the only one in my size, despite the fact that I agree-- white IS more "me" haha. I was initially attracted to the white because I just loooved the way it looked, but the more I thought about it, I think the black may be more timeless and sleek, so I talked myself into it :)

  2. Oooo official race training! Have you got any goals for the half marathon?

    I haven't used gels at all yet. I normally just drink water and then carb up for 12hrs after a long run. I've recently started experimenting with isotonic drinks, but avoiding the ones with carbs in. Love the funky bottle you were playing with! :)

  3. I haven't tried Gelbot yet but have seen it on another blog. It looks really cool. Unfortunately, I hate to carry anything on my runs. If I do a really long run, I make sure I pass a fountain or something.

  4. Did you get the peanut butter GU? I love my Gelbot and agree it doesn't work so good when the weather is cold!

  5. Just in case I didn't make it clear... the Gelbot fit securely in my water bottle belt, so I didn't carry it in my hand. Although you could do that if you prefer.

  6. I have never head of this, but I am totally interested in it now!

  7. pretty cool, never heard of that! I'll have to check it out and seems totally useful and convenient!

  8. WOW! I have never heard of the Gelbot before reading your review. I am intrigued!

    On longer runs, I fuel with Gu and water and this seems like an awesome solution to carrying a bunch of stuff, fiddling with opening gel packs when you are sweaty and trying to figure out what to do with the wrappers. Oh, and getting all sticky too.

    Where can you get them? Only online? I do wear a hydration belt so I would carry it with me.

    Thanks for the review!!


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