Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Portland Design Works Otter Cage



Cheeky looking bottle cage that won't let your bottle escape
Secure bottle retention
Adds a bit of fun to your bike
Snug fit can wear the pattern off your bottle

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Portland Design Works Otter Cage doesn't just look cute, its little paws have a very firm grip on your bottle whether you are on smooth roads or blatting along on the gravel tracks.

The Otter Cage is cut from a single sheet of 5052 grade aluminium alloy and then curved, so that it holds your bottle with its 'arms' just like a mother otter does when floating on her back with her pup, according to PDW.

> Buy this online here

That hold is impressive too. I used the Otter with both 750ml and 500ml bottles, some with necks and some without, with no hint of them coming loose whether full or empty – even when on my gravel bike taking on the various rough terrains of my local trails.

2021 Portland Design Works Otter Cage 2.jpg

The natural spring of the material means bottles are held very tightly, but the one downside is that tight fit can quickly rub the decals off your favourite bottles as you slide them in and out.

2021 Portland Design Works Otter Cage 3.jpg

The cage itself doesn't suffer though – the anodised finish of both colours, this 'brown' or 'steel gray', is tough and after six weeks of heavy use it still looks brand new.

With the cage you also get a pair of stainless steel bolts.

2021 Portland Design Works Otter Cage 4.jpg

Price-wise you are looking at £24.99, which isn't bad value for an alloy bottle cage, especially one as reliable as this. Back in 2015 I tested PDW's Bird Cage and it has sat on my winter road bike ever since. It still looks immaculate and holds bottles just as well as it always has.

> 23 of the best road bike upgrades under £50

The Otter is nine quid more than the Supacaz Fly Cage Ano, though, and the Supacaz is much lighter, too, at just 22g compared with the Otter's 57g.

Lezyne also does a classy looking CNC machined aluminium cage, catchily called the CNC Alloy Cage. It's the same price as the Otter but it, too, is lighter at 39g.


The Otter is a bit weightier than most, but if all you care about is keeping your bottles secure whatever the terrain then you really can't go wrong – it's one you can rely on.


Cheeky looking bottle cage that won't let your bottle escape test report

Make and model: Portland Design Works Otter Cage

Size tested: Accepts 500ml or 750ml bottles

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

PDW says, "The Otter Cage is made from a single sheet of lightweight 5052 alloy. The arms of the otter cradle your water bottle nice and tight like a mama otter floating on her back with her pup. We donate 10% of the profits from the Otter Cage to organizations that protect wildlands & wildlife, organizations like Oregon Wild."

It's a very secure cage.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

PDW lists:

Constructed of 5052 alloy

Includes two stainless bolts for installation

Lifetime PDWarranty

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It's a good talking point on the bike.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It can scratch your bottle.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

Sitting comfortably between the two cages I've mentioned in the review, it's not badly priced.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Otter is a very well made bottle cage, tough and durable, and it works extremely well, even if it's a bit heavier than most. It's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment


Accessibility f... | 2 years ago

I have some of their previous cages, the ones shaped like a bird.  Both of them have severe wear on the base, where the bottom of the bottle sits.  Over time, the bottle wears a groove in the metal base, which weakens it, leading to failure.

I emailed PDW about this, with photos, and they said they'd never seen it before.  I suspect they don't cycle in UK weather.

Beware.  They look nice, but they are badly designed and will fail well before a standard bottle cage, which has much thicker metal.

brooksby replied to Accessibility for all | 2 years ago
1 like

Weird, when you consider that Portland is meant to be pretty British style weather...

ktache replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like

I think it gets very wet and has an established cycling culture.

Though as I understand it, especially in terms of mountain biking, our US cousins don't really ride in the rain, or indeed much in muddy conditions.

chrisonabike replied to ktache | 2 years ago
1 like

Portland? It's just the same as the UK but with beards and bikes *. But the rain is more Irish, true.

@brooksby - presumably it's designed to hold coffee cups from that coffee company that started just north of there and doesn't pay much tax.

* 7%+ that is rather than the few % normal for the UK and presumably now feeling like The Netherlands compared to most of the US.

Latest Comments