Product Review: Amphipod Hydraform Handheld

Now that it is officially summer and hydration is extra important, I thought it would be a great time to review my favorite hydration accessory!

June 553

I bought the Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Pocket right before Boston since I decided I wanted to carry water in that race and I kept hearing great things about it.  I took it on my last long run before the race and hoped that it wouldn’t drive me crazy during the race.  I figured worst case, I would toss it, but luckily that didn’t happen.

Still in my hand at the finish!

This water bottle holds 20 ounces of water, but compared to bigger handheld bottles I have used in the past, this one definitely feels the best.  It never gets too heavy and the shape of it fits your hand really well.

June 556

This model has a pocket that I can fit 2 GUs in or a big pack of GU Chomps.

June 555

The top has a big opening which makes it really easy to refill during a race if you want/need to.  I refilled it twice during Boston and was able to while I was running because the mouth is so big.

June 559

I have used this water bottle countless times since Boston, including the Big Sur Marathon and still love it.  It has definitely passed my test and will be getting tons more use this summer.

Good enough for a second marathon!

Do you carry water when you run?

I always carry it on long runs and have been carrying it on longer runs after work too since it’s been warm! 

Are you a handheld or fuel belt runner?

I started off using a fuel belt, but prefer not to have the weight around me if I can help it.

***I bought this with my own money and was not compensated in any way for this review… they don’t even know I posted it!  This review is based on my own opinions and experiences and I just love to share my favorite products with you guys!

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43 Responses to Product Review: Amphipod Hydraform Handheld

  1. Jen June 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    YES! I love my amphipod hand held! :)

  2. stoppingfordaisies June 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Oooh I might need to look into that. I’ve been carrying a water bottle since Texas is a million degrees but it bugs me.

  3. Mollyberries June 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    This Amphipod is my favorite. I also have a Nathan handheld and a 10 oz Fuel Belt handheld which is nice for shorter runs in the summer. I have never worn a belt, I know I would hate it, the less stuff I’m wearing, the better!

  4. Lisa June 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    I love my Amphipod handheld. I have the insulated one, which I like even better. My hand doesn’t get cold in the morning when I fill it with ice water and the water itself stays a bit cooler. It is perfect for summer. I used to love my belt, but it is starting to bug me. The only reason I wear it now is so I can have both water and sports drink and so I can carry more than 20 ounces (I have the four bottle belt)

  5. MightyMite Runner June 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    I think you may have converted me. I’m going to have to try this.

  6. Michelle @ The Running Jewess June 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I have a handheld water bottle, I’m unsure of the manufacturer. It is definitely useful when the weather gets too hot, although I feels like weighs me down at times. I’ve tried belts, but the waist belt put me in serious pain. I may have to look into the amphipod, why do you think this one feels better than others you’ve tried?

    • Aron June 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      I think its the shape that makes this one easier to hold. I used a Nathan 20oz one before and hated it, this one hardly bugs me… must be the way the weight is dispersed or something?

  7. marlene June 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I am obsessed with handhelds – definitely want to give this one a try!! Thanks for the great review.

  8. Melissa June 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    I almost always carry water with me since I live in the south AND have a high sweat rate (no matter what the temp). I’ve never used a fuel belt b/c I don’t like the idea of the extra weight but I use the Nathan Quick Draw and really like it. I like it so much, I actually just gave one to my running buddy as a gift!

  9. Turi June 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    I have 3 different Ultimate Direction bottles. My friend had me hold his Amphipod while he hit a porta-potty last weekend, though, and I really liked the way it felt. Might have to switch brands…

  10. Shut Up and Run June 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    I can’t do the handheld thing. Just feels cumbersome to me. I take a fuel belt on runs longer than 70 minutes or if it’s super hot. I love my Nathan which holds 2-10 oz bottles.

    • Aron June 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      That’s the fuel belt I have! Just this past year I started preferring the handheld, but before that was my go to hydration holder.

  11. Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides June 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    I run with an amphipod fuel belt and like it…I typically don’t like to have anything in my hands when I run.
    I did buy a Nathan handheld waterbottle, similar to the one you are using, and I didn’t like the sloshy-ness of the bottle in my hand after I had drank half of the water.
    Maybe I’ll give it another go…

    • Aron June 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      I had a larger Nathan one before and didn’t like it, but this one feels better to me. All about preference though :)

  12. Kim ~ Recipes To Run On June 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I’m just now up to 6 miles at a time and in need of carrying water. I use an Amphipod waist belt to carry my iPhone and am looking into adding a water bottle to it. I find that even using my iPhone holder on my arm felt uncomfortable {I noticed the weight there more than I do on my waist}. But I’ve been reading so much about these handhelds, that I’ll have to look into it. Great post!!!

  13. caroline June 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    yes natan belt for me
    I live in So I have to carry at least one flask for 40 min and up it is too hot
    cannot do the handheld thing
    I can carry my cel phone if I have to, that’s it

  14. Shortskirts June 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I carry water, I use a nathan water bottle which i really like, although the pocket on that one looks bigger which is really nice.

  15. Jessica B. June 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I have this and love it! I had the fuel belt and it moved around and I just couldn’t get used to it. I take water on all my long runs so this is perfect.

  16. Sara June 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I have 2 of them and love them. I’ve used them for a couple half marathons and most of my long runs. If my long runs don’t take me by any water fountains to refill, I’ll use a belt but it always feels a bit awkward.

  17. Kim June 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I used to be a fuel belt enthusiast and it’s not to say that I will never use it, but I definitely have come to love the hand held water bottle! I like the design of yours, I’m going to need to go on a search for one :)

  18. Kim June 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    I use this water bottle on my longer runs and really like it as well! I love how much water it holds, but doesn’t ever feel like it is too heavy to carry! I use a smaller, 10 oz handheld made by Fuel Belt for shorter runs.


  19. PJ June 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I use the same water bottle and find that I barely notice it , since the design is easy to cup in the palm of my hand. On longer trail runs, I use my camelbak.

  20. Julie June 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m so glad you posted this review. I use an amphipod belt and sometimes I find it very irritating. I’ve considered trying the hand held for a while and this just might get me to make the purchase. I always carry water with me for any run over 45 minutes. I just gotta have my water. I’ve run out before and ended up sitting on the side of the road because I was so dehydrated. I just don’t want to ever feel that bad again!

  21. Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    I love my hand held water bottle (same one as you)! I actually have 2 so I can have one in the dishwasher and use one at the same time. I’ve tried others but the Amphipod is the BEST!

  22. Katie June 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Running ultras I have to carry water. Unfortunately backpacks/camelbacks rub, fuel belts same deal SO I carry 2 handhelds a lot. I’m a Nathans girl, but those amphipods look waaay more comfortable. I may have to try them!

  23. Nelly June 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Your amphipod handheld does sound good. Though I’m not sure that I could get used to having something in one hand and not in the other. Having one arm swing be slightly off than the other would bother me I think. So I like to wear a fuel belt so that at least my arm swings are at least equal.

    Though maybe I could give running with handheld a shot, though I just don’t think I would like something in my hand while I run.

    I use the Amphipod Runlite Trail Endurance fuel belt –

  24. Jill Will Run June 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    I’ve been using my Amphipod handheld since 2008!

    I have the bigger one and the smaller one, I love them both! I like the pocket on the smaller one a little more though, it is easier to manipulate to get stuff into it!

  25. Tracy June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Definately on my list to purchase before my next race!

  26. Terri June 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    When I first starting running another runner gave me a Amphipod handheld as a gift. I was afraid initially to carry it with me thinking it would weigh me down or give me muscles only in my right arm due to the weight ( I know silly! :) but it was the best thing ever. I use it on all my long runs and during my recent 1/2. Cannot agree with you more on this one!

  27. Nicole June 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I need to get my hands on one of these!

  28. Jessica June 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    this sounds awesome! i always bring water on my long runs and have tried a few different hand-helds but still haven’t found “the one.” looks like i will be testing this one out next ;o) thanks for the review!

  29. Dina@DinaRuns June 22, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    I have a fuel belt which I like because I can carry a lot of stuff on it. I like to have a camera plus my phone on me during long runs.

    This hand held does look like it would fit nicely in your hand which is a concern to me for the hand held/fuelbelt debate.

  30. Jaime June 22, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    I don’t carry water when I run … though I know I should. I just hate having anything in my hands. Maybe I should try this …

  31. Stephanie June 22, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    i just broke down and bought a fuel belt a ran about a mile in it in the store and it seemed great! but won’t know for sure until i really try it of course, have you ever used one? How do I follow you btw?

  32. robin brunet June 22, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    I have their waist water belt and love it. Had to buy it online (I’m in Canada) but it’s the only waist water belt I can use. I don’t use in races though, just longer training runs. Have been toying with the idea of using a handheld and may look into this one as I like the brand. Thanks for the review. Great pics too!

  33. Natalie (@nataliejsweet) June 22, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I use the iFitness hydration belt, so far so good. It fits much better. I use to use the Nick belt, but it wasnt very good. If I tried to have it snug then the velcro would burst and all my stuff would go flying everywhere. I have been contemplating trying out a handheld, but have to get mentally over the thought that I will be carrying a bottle the entire time.
    Do you ever switch the hand that you hold it in?

    • Aron June 22, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      Yep I switch hands all the time! I tend to default to one hand but I try to remind myself to switch it every couple miles :)

  34. RoadBunner June 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    I am a huge fan of handhelds so have added this to my shopping list. Will definitely give it a try.

  35. Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides June 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Update from me (because I knew you were really wondering)…
    I went for a 5 mile run a few days ago and used my Nathan handheld water bottle instead of my amphipod belt. And I didn’t totally hate it as much as I did the first time I used it. It did make my thumbs hurt a bit, but I think I was clenching them onto the hand wrap part of it.
    SO, I will try and use it more often~

  36. JRC June 25, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I have this model plus the smaller one. I used the 20 oz for Boston’s Run To Remember (1/2 marathon) last year and the smaller one for training runs. Love them both! Very comfortable.

  37. Anna June 28, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I’m so glad you posted this! I have a Nathan 10 oz. handheld and need something larger, but I hate all the belts I’ve tried. This bottle looks promising!


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