So I ran with my Orange Mud Handheld that I won from Heartland Running yesterday. I'm a BIG user of handhelds. I carry one with me on pretty much every run. Over the summer, I carried an Ultimate Direction AMP (designed for their soft flask) with two extra flasks in the Ultimate Direction Stereo. However, carrying a soft flask in a handheld can be strange--it's very floppy. So, I was really excited to win this handheld to try it. I really liked the Orange Mud sleeve, but the bottle, eh. Here's my review (I commented on the pictures as well.
1. It's orange. And that for me is a great thing--my favorite color!
2. It has a very nice feel in your hand. There's a padded, orange "flap" that fits between your hand and the strap that prevents an uncomfortable feeling. I think this "flap" is the reason Orange Mud was able to use such a wide elastic strap.
3. I already mentioned it, but there's a wide, elastic, adjustable strap that really holds the bottle in place. I didn't have to adjust the strap and never felt like it was too tight or loose.
4. They incorporated a very big, elastic pocket opposite of the strap. I'm sure it's designed for your cell phone; however, my Galaxy Note 5 in an Otter Box didn't quite fit. Plus, I don't think I would like having the extra weight of my phone in the same hand as my water. Just a personal preference. But, the pocket would be good for holding other things--maybe gels? It's open at the top, so it's possible that something may fall out, but the material is elastic and I think it would hold items well.
5. Outside of the comfort, this may be my favorite feature! There's a pocket on the outside of the cell phone pocket. This pocket has a flap that goes over the opening to help hold items in. It also has a key clip--which I really like. (I'm always afraid of loosing my key on the run!)
6. The strap that goes across the bottom of the bottle has a nice reflective stripe. I'm not looking for my handheld to be a major part of my "dark running safety," but every bit that glows when car lights hit it is a plus for me!
7. And finally, the bottle itself. It was easy to get into the sleeve and has a nice wide opening. BUT, I did have a little bit of leaking as my run progressed. Not a lot, but enough that my fingers got wet--this would cause an issue for me in the cold (it would dampen my gloves.) And, although I liked the wide spout, I prefer something that is more of a bite valve and can stay open as I run. I tried fitting my Ultimate Direction 20 ounce bottle and my Camelback 24 ounce insulated bottle in the sleeve and they fit well. (The Camelback sticks out of the top a fair amount, but it is a 24 ounce bottle 21 ounce sleeve.)
My overall score is:
Comfort: 5 out of 5. One of the most comfortable handhelds I've used
Features: 5 out of 5. The pockets and key keeper are great!
Color: 6 out of 5. You can't get better than orange!
Bottle: 3 out of 5. If I didn't get the leaking, I would have gave it a 4 because of the open/close valve. But bottles are a huge personal preference.
This will be my go to handheld!!!!