The Spry is really designed for short ‘ish’ runs by adding a small bottle to the drawstring pocket on the right hand shoulder strap or used for longer runs and racing in conjunction with handheld bottles.
When initially testing the Spry I used just one Isomeric Pocket bottle. Although I liked the bottle and all the aspects about it I personally found it a little large for my hand. I also found that when full and certainly if you added gels to the pocket, it was heavy. All this is relative of course and I guess if your 6ft 2″ and have shoulders like ‘Arnie’ the size and weight would not be an issue.
Enter the Isomeric 160z bottle
This bottle is very different from ‘other’ handheld bottles. As you will see from the above photo it is narrower and wider than conventional round bottles. Imagine a round bottled flattened to approximately 13/4″ in width.
The benefits of this wider and narrower bottle mean that it sits in a smaller hand perfectly. For me and I guess anybody with a smaller hand this bottle would be ideal. Ladies take note!
Like all the bottles in the range it has a secure hand strap that is soft, comfortable and ideal for wiping your brow if you are sweating.
To avoid any annoying leaking through the valve it has a ‘twist’ closure that simply opens and closes. This opening can be done with your hand but importantly if using two bottles you can do this with your teeth.
The bottle holder is elasticated mesh with a reflective strip for added security. On first looks you would think this is ‘just’ a bottle holder… think again!
The mesh side panels expand allowing you to add gels and/or a mobile phone to each hand held. It is a really great addition to the bottle and in use is something that I have utilised on several occasions. Of course it does add weight and you do need to consider this. Often a handheld may feel ‘ok’ weight wise at the start of a run but an hour later your arms and or shoulders can ache.
As I mentioned with my previous review of the Isomeric Pocket I always think bottles are best used in both hands. It keeps you balanced and it stops you compensating for the additional weight on one side of your body by changing your running gait.
Better to have 2 x 10oz bottles, one in each hand than one 20oz in one hand!
The 16oz bottle tested here is a great size. 160z equates to 480ml, so, a pretty standard bottle size. Empty the bottle weighs 106 grams and full with liquid it tips the scales at 521 grams. Adding 2 gels makes the total weight 683 grams. In bottle terms and in comparison to the Isometric Pocket these weights are far friendlier on your shoulders and arms. As I said previously this is relative to your size, strength and preference.
When running the bottles sit comfortably in the hand and the very secure hand straps really do allow you to loosen your grip and relax without any risk of the bottle falling.
Opening the valve with your teeth can be a little trick at first as you do need to give quite a good ‘twist’. Once you have done this a few times you soon get the hand of it.
Pros & Cons
Pros: At 16oz per bottle they are for me an ideal weight. The addition of the mesh sides and the ability to carry one or two gels makes them the ideal bottle for a 1-2 hour run. In conjunction with a Spry vest they are a great combination when the ability to refill your bottles comes every 60-90 mins. If the option to refill bottles exceeded the 2 hour mark then I think you would either need to move to the 20oz bottles or look at the addition of a larger pack that either had additional bottles or a bladder to supplement your liquid needs. Handhelds provide a really nice freedom when running allowing you to keep your body relatively free of clutter. This is great in hot weather.
Cons: Bottles are not for everyone and if you haven’t used them before I always suggest starting small and working your way up. You need to build the strength to carry them. In use I had one bottle start to leak. This wasn’t through the valve but on the ‘thread’ that holds the lid in place. At first I thought I had made a mistake and ‘cross threaded’ the lid but every time I opened the valve it seemed that the lid ‘shifted’. This may have been due to pressure change within the bottle or it may have just been a fault. I was using another 16oz bottle at the same time and that worked perfectly fine until a couple of days ago when that also ‘popped’ the thread when in use but it has only done this once. I do use ‘electrolyte tabs’ in my bottles and they can provide some pressure within. A possible cause for the popping/leaking?
I love the the 16oz bottles and in conjunction with my Spry they make a great partnership. The leaking issues are an annoyance but I am pretty sure that this may very well be a one off. The bottles have the angled neck to ease drinking, mesh sides for ‘added’ storage, a great smooth and secure hand grip and at 16oz are a great size for nearly all hands. In addition to this UltrAspire make bottles that are BPA free