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Specialized Purist Insulated Water Bottle Review | 2017

I came across the Specialized Purist Insulated Water Bottle a bit by accident.  On the way to a group ride I realized I had forgotten to bring the water bottles I had prepared.  Knowing that the ride was going to be wicked hot that day, I was forced to buy new ones, since going home wasn’t an option.   As it turns out Mellow Johnny’s had some Specialized Water Bottles that looked like they would work, so I bought 2.

During the ride I found them exceptional and I didn’t miss those bottles I had forgotten.  The flow rate was exceptional and the liquid stayed cool.

So me being me, I reached out to Specialized to get some bottles for testing.  A few days later 3 Specialized Purist Insulated water bottles arrived each with a different cap.

Specilized Purist-Insulated-Water Bottle 2017


One of my big pet peeves is mold in my cycling water bottles, even after minimal use.  I almost always wash them, but god forbid if I forget.  They simply get nasty and it’s probably not such a good thing to keep using them.

My bottle of choice before Specialized were Camelbak Podium Big Chill Water bottles.

Camelbak Podium Chill 25 oz Water Bottle.

The Podiums are 25oz insulated bottles and these have been my main bottles for cycling.  They work great, but the nozzle always gets moldy and is a pain to clean. Even when I am conscientious about cleaning, the nozzle and inside the bottle always seem to get moldy.   I started marking bottles with permanent ink that say “WATER” on them to make them distinct from ones I put sports liquids in.  My thought process in doing this was to hopefully avoid the mold buildup, at least in the ones marked “WATER”.

Camelbak Podium Jet Valve Nozzel 2017


Specialized started doing custom water bottles back in the 70’s, 1976 to be exact.  Since then the bottles have gone through several iterations.  Specialized works with the Swiss testing agency SGS to make sure the bottles pass the BPA free standards and that any print on the bottles is non toxic.

Specialized Water Bottles Since 1976


Specialized produces a fantastic cycling water bottle called the Purist Insulated and has improved upon normal plastic water bottles like Camelbak.  The Purist technology shields the inside of the bottle from any bad taste, mold, or staining.  Nothing sticks, so your bottle stays clean and your water tastes pure.  

Specialize’s motto is “No residual taste from previous drink mixes. No plastic taste. With Purist Technology your water or drink mix tastes as intended.”

If the Purist bottles work as good as they claim to do, they then will become my main cycling water bottle of choice from here on out.  It’s a bit early to tell, but thus far I haven’t seen any evidence of mold and that is huge.

The Warning label for the Purist say “Quick rinse only with warm soapy water, do not put them in the dishwasher”.  To me this is awesome, warm soapy water, I can certainly adhere to that.  They also recommend, not using a brush to clean the bottle as this probably creates scratches which then could develop mold.

Specialized conducted a test they dubbed the “Tomato Test”.  The test involves leaving tomato sauce in the bottle overnight and seeing what happens after cleanup.  Most plastic water bottles end up leaving a tomato stain while the Specialized stays stain free.

Specialized Purist Water Bottle Tomato Test


Specialized Purist Insulated Water Bottle Review 2017

The Specialized Purist Insulated Water Bottle can have one of 3 different caps depending on your needs and include

  • MoFlo
  • Fixy
  • Watergate

Specialized Water Bottle Cap Options


Both the Fixy and Watergate contain what is known as Heart Valve self-sealing nozzles.  When you squeeze the bottle the value opens allowing liquid to run through and then closes.

The Fixy is always on and you never have to open or close the nozzle.  The downside of course is if you inadvertently squeeze the bottle liquid will come out.  

The Watergate on the other hand is supplied with a push-pull nozzle that can lock the bottle from the occasional accidental bottle squeeze.  

The MoFlo top allows for the most flow-rate of liquid and also has a push-pull nozzle like the Watergate.


The Fixy cap is the easiest cap to use, period. No push or pull of the mouth-piece required to open and close. Integrated heart-valve provides great flow, and a leak-free seal when not in use.
  • Self-sealing Heart Valve delivers a high rate of flow with a 100% leak-proof design
  • No push or pull required to open and close the Heart Valve
  • BPA-free plastic made from 100% FDA food-grade materials.
Specialized’s WaterGate self-sealing Heart Valve delivers a high rate of flow with a leak-proof design, even when the valve is open, providing a simple drinking experience.
  • Simple hands-free open and close valve: nothing to turn
  • 100% leak-proof top locks down for transport or mixing powdered drinks
  • Rubber over-molded cap for easy grip

The MoFlo has the most flow-rate of the 3 caps and can be set to open or closed.

  • Simple hands-free open and close valve: nothing to turn
  • 100% leak-proof top locks down for transport or mixing powdered drinks
  • Rubber over-molded cap for easy grip
  • Made in the USA


Specialized also creates custom water bottles for you, your cycling team or brand.

Specialized Purist Water Bottle Customize

The Specialized Website has a online customizer allowing you to upload images and text that can be added to the bottles.

Specialized Custom Water Bottles


After using all 3 caps, my preference is the Watergate cap.  I like the heart value self-sealing nozzle which seems to give the right amount of liquid with every squeeze. I have tested the bottles on 4 rides thus far and they have performed flawlessly.  We have had temperatures in the upper 90’s to over 105 and the liquid without ice stayed cool for the first hour, which is pretty much all I could hope for on such hot days.

Cleanup is a breeze and thus far zero signs of mold.

The Purist Insulated bottles hold 22oz, 3oz less than the Camelbak Podium, which for some may be a factor if you’re planning a long day of cycling.  The Purist is also taller than the Cambelbak (8.25″ vs 9″), but I didn’t really find this to be an issue.

Specialized has a real winner in their bottle design and caps.  The bottle is easy to use and the flow rate is perfect.  For those who need a lot of liquid really fast, the MoFlo cap is probably the one to get.  For those wanting a heart-value cap, you can’t beat the Watergate.

Check out Specialize’s Water bottle website ( for the latest updates and happenings.

Specialized Purist Insulated Water Bottle


Summary Fantastic water bottle that is designed to help prevent mold and keep your drinks colder.


About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of,,,, and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.


  1. Susan

    So happy to find someone as particular about water bottle as I am! This was a really helpful review. I had no idea you weren’t supposed to use a brush on those bottle and was stuck on the difference between the difference caps. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Kristie

    None stick makes me think pfas chemicals. Are the bottles pfas free.

    • Peter Lehman

      … and you are? D’ya think maybe Specialized might’a thought about that too?


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