Untapped from Vermont recently announced new bulk versions of their popular maple syrup energy gels. With 16 one ounce servings each, they allow you to stock up and reduce the need for single serve packets.
To learn more about their bulk bottles, visit Untapped.
I'm pretty hooked on maple syrup gels for cycling, especially the salted varieties. They have many of the exact same nutrients that come in artificial gels while being all natural and easier to digest.
But nearly all of them come in single use individually packaged containers of one ounce. They're small and the packaging is sticky and impossible to get off if you get it on your hands while cycling.
Untapped's new bulk bottles delivery more servings in a single container while pretty much eliminating the sticky mess that comes with tear off packets.
How Untapped Bulk Bottles Work
The bulk bottles have a pretty neat design that pre-measures one ounce at a time. This makes it really easy to control how fast you use up syrup servings and minimizes spilling while pouring it into your reusable container.
Your first bulk bottle comes with a free soft flask (a $14.95 value). The soft flask is great because it easily packs down when empty but can hold all the way up to 5 servings. The material is impressively strong and also spill proof. The maple syrup can't come out unless you're sucking on it and instantly stops when you're done.
With the flasks being five ounces, the bulk bottles' integrated one-ounce reservoir almost seems unnecessarily small. In practice, I almost always filled the flask up either half or all of the way and had to re-squeeze the one ounce pre-pour reservoir three to five times to get the syrup out that I needed. My preference would be to either have smaller flasks to more easily carry only 1-2 servings with me at a time or have even larger sized bulk bottles that fill the flask more than three times.
Using the Soft Flask on the Bike
I love the ritual of preparing my tires, chain, bottles, and energy the night before my early morning rides and I like measuring out my maple syrup using the bulk bottle that easily fits in the back of the fridge.
I had no issues with spilling whatsoever (have I mentioned how impossibly sticky maple syrup can be?) though I'd love to see how long the soft flask lasts and I imagine it could get a puncture if I shove my keys in my stem bag without thinking.
The cap is slightly hard to open while riding. It usually requires two hands but so do all of the tear off packets. The translucent siding is also nice to know how much syrup I have left at a glance.
Pros and cons
Between the pre-measure feature of the bulk bottle and the durability and spill-proof nature of the soft flask, this is a fantastic system for those who go through a lot of syrup. Buying in bulk is also a cost savings. The bulk bottle is about $1.56 per ounce whereas a 10-pack of one ounce packets is $2.00 per ounce or $1.85 per ounce in a pack of 20 one ounce packets.
As mentioned previously, I'd like to see these be even larger, especially since they're accompanied by a 5 ounce soft flask. I also imagine that at this size, the packaging of a thick plastic bulk bottle probably isn't much less than a corresponding amount of several of the ultra thin single serve packets.
Untapped bulk bottles come in Salted Cocao, Salted Citrus, Salted Raspberry, Coffee, and Unsalted Maple. To learn more or shop bulk bottles, visit Untapped.