Finding the best bottle cages is all about finding a balance. You want a cage that grips tenaciously and never drops a bottle. If you lose a bottle early on a hot day, your ride could turn miserable in an instant. On the flip side of the equation, you want something that makes it easy to get your bottle out of the frame. If drinking water is a distraction, it could mean you leave yourself dehydrated, which is really bad news. Drinking enough water is key to good cycling nutrition, alongside the best energy food. If it's really bad, you could find yourself falling while yanking on a stuck bottle.
On top of the performance needs, the best bottle cage is an opportunity to make a statement. Do you pair your top shelf bike with an inexpensive aluminium cage then crush people on the climbs anyway? Or do you choose the finest handmade carbon fibre cage as the final piece of a perfect build, alongside the best bar tape in a matching colour?
Keen to know what separates the best bottle cages from the worst? Continue reading to see our picks of the best for a variety of situations, or head to the bottom for a guide on what to look for.
Elite Vico Carbon
The go-to option of the best WorldTour teams
Material: Carbon fibre | Weight: 23g
Elite's Vico Carbon is an aesthetically pleasing bottle cage that comes in a host of colour trim options to match your bike. It's also super light weighing just 23g. Used extensively by many of the top WorldTour teams, the Vico has forged a reputation as one of the best bottle cages in the segment for reasons that go far beyond its lightweight properties - the most pertinent being its superior bottle retention. That said, the Elite Vico Carbon will benefit riders of all skill sets and disciplines, off-road adventuring included.
A statement piece that fits the style of a wide range of bikes
Material: Titanium | Weight: 30g
The Silca Sicuro is the kind of bottle cage you get when you want to make a statement. Not just any statement though. It's not a piece that screams 'look at me'. The Silca Sicuro is an understated, timeless design that looks right at home on nearly every bike. The delicate round tubes match well with a custom drop bar gravel-grinding bike and also with the lightest climbing-specific road bike. A lot of people won't notice it, but the connoisseurs in the group definitely will.
Specialized Zee Cage II with Tool
An inexpensive sideloading bottle cage paired with a tool
Material: Fibre-reinforced resin | Weight: 43g
The only time you ever need a multitool is the time you forget to move it from your other bike. The Specialized Zee Cage II includes a tiny multitool that you never have to worry about not having. Although the tool is tiny, it has most of what you are likely to need in emergency situations. Flip it open to find 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-mm Allen keys, plus a T25 Torx and a flathead screwdriver. Along with the tool is one of those bottle cages that just works.
Topeak Modula Java Cage
Perfect for a bluetooth speaker or cup of coffee
Material: Engineering grade polymer / Rubber | Weight: 120g
Not every ride is an all-out affair and not every bike is an ultralight carbon fibre wind-cheating race machine. For the times you want to cruise around town on a bike instead of a car, you might want something for the simple pleasures, which the Modula Java Cage has considered with its design. The rubberised upper strap helps keep the contents secure without scratches. There is also plenty of adjustment to accommodate various sizes of coffee travel mugs and cylindrical speakers.
Serious bling to match all the other flashy parts you’ve got
Material: Titanium | Weight: 31g
In 2013, the son of the founder of Specialized, one of the biggest bike brands in the business, surveyed the landscape of bike accessories. Feeling like what was out there was boring and derivative, Anthony Sinyard set out to do something different.
The outcome draws inspiration from 80s surf brands like T&C Surf, Quiksilver, & Santa Cruz, and it's anything but boring. If you want to stand out in a crowd then Supacaz has the goods. Pick up the oil slick bottle cage and you can match your bar tape, gloves, shoes, pedals, everything.
Fabric Cageless Bottle System
Keep your bike looking like it has no bottle cages at all
Material: Polyurethane | Weight: 91g
Style is a big part of bottle cages. If you like a bike that looks as clean and tidy as possible, the Fabric Cageless Water Bottle system is a unique idea. Instead of buying bottles and cages, the Fabric system includes two sets of two small studs with the purchase of the bottle. Install the studs to the water bottle cage bosses and the bottle has provisions for sliding on. By cutting the bottle cage out entirely, the system is lighter weight. When you aren't carrying a bottle it almost completely disappears.
Chrome Doubletrack Feedbag
Soft mount an extra bottle up near the bars and even carry it with you off the bike
Material: 1050d nylon & 1000d TPE Tarp with 70d polyester liner | Weight: 120g
Think outside the traditional needs for carrying a water bottle. Gravel cycling and bikepacking is all about being creative with carrying everything you need. The Chrome Doubletrack Feedbag is an option that solves a lot of problems. If you have a bike without bottle cage mounts, this is a solution. It also works if you've already filled the cage mounts in your main frame triangle. Carry a third bottle, plus other small essentials that fit in the mesh pockets, in an easy to reach location. When you get off the bike, strap the Doubletrack to your belt and carry your bottles with you.
Bontrager Bat Cage
Part of the solution to plastic waste in the world
Material: Nylon (recycled) | Weight: 43g
Plastic waste is a huge environmental issue. Plastic fishing nets are just a small part of that, but discarded nets have an outsized impact on the oceans. Trek, and its accessory brand Bontrager, has partnered with Bureo, who works with fishermen in Chile to provide a revenue stream for end-of-life fishing nets. The program incentivises collection, cleaning, sorting and recycling of fishing nets. It creates positive solutions for end-of-use fishing nets but only if there is a market for the material created. If you want to be part of that positive change in the world, buying a bottle cage is an easy way to do it.
Enve Carbon Bottle Cage
Best of the best carbon fibre from the masters of the material
Material: Carbon Fibre | Weight: 19g
A list of bottle cages wouldn't be complete without a carbon fibre entry. Enve is one of the masters of the art of carbon fibre construction and its bottle cage meets the standards you'd expect. If your bike is all carbon and you've counted every gram for every component, don't leave the bottle cages as an afterthought. Despite the delicate look, the carbon construction is strong. You aren't going to easily snap it even though it only weighs 19 grams. The side entry design means you can take advantage of that strength for off-road riding as easily as on road.
Planet Bike Aluminium Bottle Cage
A tried and true design that works and doesn’t cost much
Material: Aluminium | Weight: 63g
Just like a list of bottle cages wouldn't be complete without a high-end carbon option, you can't have a list without a simple aluminium option either. If the idea of paying a premium price for a functionally identical piece of gear makes your head spin, then check out what Planet Bike has available. A bargain price and a tried-and-true design mean you don't have to pay a lot for something that just works. Spend your time worrying about other problems and pick up a colour that matches your bike without paying much.
How to choose the best bottle cage for cycling
What material should you choose?
There's no "correct" material for a bottle cage. There are options available using carbon fibre, aluminium, titanium, and various plastic makeups. The choice of which one to get comes down to style far more than anything else. A plain-looking plastic design isn't going to feel right on a top-shelf carbon fibre frame and a carbon design with a wide structure might not feel right on a custom steel bike. This is one of the times you get to express yourself through your bike and you don't have to worry too much about performance. As long as your bottle stays put, material differences are minimal.
Does weight matter?
The truth is that weight doesn't matter much. If we look at the options on this list, narrowed down to traditional bottle cages, you've got a range of 19 grams to 63 grams - 44 grams difference. Double that for two bottles and you are talking about 88 grams of extra weight for the heaviest option.
Just to give some perspective, a standard water bottle carries about 680 grams of water. If you are counting grams then every little bit matters, but for most situations, the differences are going to be very minimal. When choosing the best bottle cages for your bike, put weight low on the list.
What’s most important?
Prioritise usability above all else. The best bottle cage will be easy to use and you don't have time in your life for anything less. Some cages lose bottles and that's an instant way to make a ride less enjoyable. There are other cages that are so difficult to get the bottles out of that it feels like a wrestling match. You stop reaching for the bottle when you need it and start drinking less than you should. It doesn't take long before you end up dehydrated even though you've got water. Style is an important consideration too, and you might consider weight. No matter what though, make sure you can easily get the bottles in and out without losing one.
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