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The Squeeasy PES Elite (750ml) is a decent bottle with an innovative gel pouch. It's designed to make it easy to consume a gel as well as your energy drink, and saves on potential littering, but is a little awkward in terms of cleaning and getting all of the gel out of the pouch.
I haven't always been a big fan of gels. This isn't because I think there is anything particularly wrong with them in terms of nutrition, I just find them a bit of a faff. You always end up with a slightly sticky wrapper in your back pocket, and I've accidentally littered several times when I've gone to pull out another and realised that I've inadvertently pulled a spent wrapper out with it.
The Squeeasy PES Elite aims to fix that, so I was excited to try it.
It does this through the use of a pouch that sits within the bottle, screwed into the underside of the lid and filled with your chosen gel. Then through a simple slider on the bottle top you can choose to either drink your water/energy drink or have your gel.
Putting the gel in place is simple enough: you unscrew the bottle lid, then unscrew the pouch from the lid. Fill the bottle to the line on the side (lower line if you're using two gel sachets, top line for just one sachet) with whatever drink you like, then fill the pouch with your chosen gel, screw the pouch back into place on the lid, stuff it in the bottle, and screw the lid onto the bottle.
You select the gel or drink through a slider on the lid, labelled I and II. This works well, and you can do it easily with one hand, but it could do with more intuitive labelling, such as D and G, as it's not immediately obvious which is I and which is II.
Getting the gel into your mouth isn't an issue – it's the same as squeezing a bottle to get water out. As the pressure in the bottle changes it forces the gel into your mouth in much the same way as you would expect with a regular drink. The bottle itself is impressively supple, which makes squeezing it very easy, so getting the required pressure isn't a problem.
There is a slight downside to this system, though, in that you can't do the standard 'toothpaste' routine, where you squeeze every last bit of gel out with your fingers. Here you are always left with a certain amount at the bottom of the pouch, which is a little frustrating.
You can fit 120ml of gel in the pouch, so two 60ml sachets, but this causes a slight issue in that it's difficult to judge how much gel you've consumed in one go. In normal circumstances for multi-gel rides you can have one sachet and you know you have another with the same energy sat in your pocket, with this system you need to estimate what half the pouch is, and are sometimes left hoping you've had enough, or left enough for the next time…
Over time it's probably something you would get used to, but after a few weeks of using the bottle I was still making mistakes.
Washing it out is also a bit of a pain, especially if you've accidentally left gel remnants in there for a couple of days. Because it is a flexible bag with a solid screw top, there is no easy way of getting into the corners with a brush or a sponge. Squeeasy recommends rinsing with warm water from a tap, but I generally found that soaking it worked fairly well. Even then, drying it is a pain because it's like trying to dry a freezer bag – it just sticks together and traps water inside. When I wash a freezer bag I can just open it completely and stick it over a glass or a tap, but with the pouch's solid top I couldn't find anything that was thin enough to hang it on and wide enough to separate the sides to allow it to dry.
It works well with regular drinks as a 750ml bottle, and you can get around 690ml in with a gel. The bottle is supple, which results in a good flow, and the silicone nozzle feels nice in the mouth.
At £21.99 it's very expensive compared with a 'normal' bottle, but we haven't tested any others that include a gel compartment, so can't really compare on that score. The insulated Specialized Purist Insulated Chromatek Watergate 23oz that I've had for a number of years is perhaps comparable in terms of suppleness and costs £28, but it does offer a better flow and is insulated, and the Water-To-Go Active is £33, but that's an innovative design that claims to filter out 99.9999% of contaminants as you drink – Matt thought it was great for wilderness adventures where clean water may be in short supply.
I do like the idea of the Squeeasy PES Elite, but there are some inconveniences to using it. You are certainly left with more in a pouch than you would with a regular gel and cleaning it afterwards isn't straightforward. Judging the amount you use is also something that takes a bit of trial and error, which isn't ideal. That said, the bottle itself is very good, with its supple design, liquid flows quickly into the mouth with minimal effort, and your hands and pockets don't get sticky.
Innovative idea, but I didn't find it as practical as I'd hoped it would be
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Squeeasy PES Elite (750ml)
Size tested: 750ml
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?
Optimised dual fueling for athletes training or competing in endurance sports. Introducing the brand-new dual fuel bottle from Squeeasy.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Capacity for 1-2 gels per bottle.
Access water or gel with a simple switch mechanism easy to use on the move.
Consume as much or as little gel each time you require.
In the heat of competition your energy needs are on tap.
Still has capacity for between (630ml – 690ml) of fluids.
Well made, with a supple bottle allowing for easy squeezing.
It works well as a bottle, but the amount of gel left isn't ideal.
All okay so far, but the pouch isn't the easiest thing to wash.
Expensive compared with a 'normal' bottle, but then it's not a normal bottle…
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's okay; it is definitely more convenient than having your gels in your pocket, but is less convenient in other areas. The inability to get everything out is annoying and trying to judge how much gel you've had isn't easy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The suppleness of the bottle is very good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The gel that gets left in the pouch.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £21.99 it's very expensive compared with a 'normal' bottle, but they don't include a gel compartment. The insulated Specialized Purist Insulated Chromatek Watergate 23oz is perhaps comparable in terms of suppleness and costs £28, but it does offer a better flow and is insulated, and the Water-To-Go Active is £33, but that's an innovative design that claims to filter out 99.9999% of contaminates as you drink.
Did you enjoy using the product? Sometimes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a 'quite good' 6: an innovative idea, and more convenient than having gels in your pocket, but less convenient in other areas. You won't get sticky fingers or drop empty gel wrappers, but there is no way of using it without leaving some gel in it, and then washing that out is a bit of a pain.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.