You can let the kids carry their water bottles on their bikes by mounting a cupholder or a water bottle cage. And for that, they get to have a fun ride at the pleasure of a bottle full of a favorite sports drink or water – a great way to build independence, stay hydrated, and reap the benefits of cycling.
We surveyed over 70 parents with young children who are cycling enthusiasts through social media, bike forums, and online interviews to accurately determine their pain points, needs and recommend a good bicycle water cage for kids’ bikes.
We also skimmed through images on social media for preferred kids’ bikes cupholders and read online reviews of the water bottle holders for kids and adult bikes.
Hitherto, we are confident that the list we are recommending is for the best water bottle holders for your kid’s bike. Whether they are going to the park, family cycling trips, doing bike packing, doing bike camping, or commuting to school, these choices could come in handy to help them carry some water.
To save you time identifying the best pick, we have further narrowed this review down to the different top-rated bike water bottle cages that might suit your kids’ preferences and needs.
Which kids’ bike water holder? Pick/Jump to the specific Category
Best Top-Loading Bottle cages
1 USHAKE water bottle cage
Starting off our list is the highly affordable yet highly functional USHAKE water bottle cage.
If you are keen on aesthetics, you will love how beautifully designed this cup holder is. Although discrete, it looks very well on bikes.
But other than appealing looks, the USHAKE bottle also ranks high in terms of durability. Its exterior features anodic oxidation, which makes the surface of the cage remain black for years to come without quickly succumbing to damage.
This bottle cage is superiorly constructed with a heat-treated aluminum alloy which makes it sturdy yet lightweight.
We also love that the package contains two water bottles cages which allow the child to carry extra water per trip. Extra water means more energy for extra mileage and, in turn, better health/ activeness.
Only requiring pre-drilled holes on the bike’s frame, it is also very easy to install.
Ideally, a 26 oz water bottle fits the cage securely, although you can fit other bottles around that size.
That said, our only issue is that the cage does not hold other bottles very well in place. That means that you are limited in terms of the bottle sizes you can use with the cage.
Nevertheless, it works exceptionally well. So, if you are looking for something affordable without compromising on quality, this is just what you need.
- Made of high-quality aluminum alloy
- Can firmly hold 26 oz. water bottle
- Very economical on price
- The cage does not hold other bottles very well in place
2 ThinkTop Ultra-Light Full Carbon water cage
Next up is the ThinkTop water bottle cage, made of 100% Japan TORAY 3K Carbon fiber.
The carbon fiber material makes it extremely strong and durable, all while ultra-light (25g) and resistant to corrosion. And the minimal weight makes it a great addition for longer riding distances.
The package entails two cages that mount to the seat-tube or down-tube, depending on preference. And you will appreciate that the spacing for the holes on this cage is accurate, making the installation straightforward.
Measuring about 2.83 inches in diameter, this cage fits most standard-sized water bottles; so long as they lie within the cage’s diameter.
Another great feature is that the buckle design ensures the water bottle does not fall off even when traveling on uneven roads or roughly riding.
Additionally, a matte black design with smooth edges makes this cage both appealing and safe as the smoothness means fewer chances of damage to the water bottle or bike’s frame.
The only thing we’d change is the contouring of the top of the cage. Because it is straight as opposed to being slightly curved outwards, it does take a bit more concentration to insert a water bottle.
But all in all, this bottle holder is definitely a classy and functional addition to any kids’ bike.
- Stylish cage
- The package entails two full carbon fiber bottle cages
- Buckle design ensures the stability of water bottle
- Straight top/opening may require more effort to insert a water bottle
- Edges are sharp and pointy
3 SKS-Germany 11231 Anywhere bike water holder
The German-made SKS Anywhere Water Bottle holder has the most befitting name as this water bottle cage literally mounts anywhere on a bike’s frame, even where there are no mounting holes!
This is because the cage utilizes sturdy straps to deliver excellent holding power to the frame tubing.
Measuring 3.94 x 3.94 x 9.84 inches (L x W x H), it is easy to mount and dismount the hook and loop straps around the bike's frame.
Unfortunately, the extra length of the straps is not designed to lend more holding power to the cage. So, while you can cut the length of the straps to fit the smaller frame of a child’s bike, it renders the extra length of the straps pointless.
The solution is to use the straps to hold other items that might be needed for a bike trip, such as a jacket, energy bar, etc.
There is also an option to get shorter straps if you prefer to fit the adapter to the child’s seat post.
Moreover, we love that this cage can fit just about any water bottle in the industry; besides that, it is incredibly versatile. For example, you can opt to swap the water bottle and insert a mini water pump; and the cage will work just as fine!
Simply put, the SKS water bottle holder is a plastic-made top cage water bottle that is especially handy where one does not have water bottle cage mounts.
- Mounts anywhere on your frame
- Adjustable straps make it fit wider frame tube diameters with ease
- It fits large and small water bottles
- Straps are designed to discard any extra length
4 FiveBox Bicycle Water Bottle Cage
Another excellent bike accessory for young riders is the FiveBox Bicycle water bottle cage.
Unlike other water bottle cages that come in one color, it is available in black, blue, silver, and red colors, so the child can easily choose their preferred color.
This is a high-quality bottle cage that is manufactured with aluminum alloy to make it extra strong, extra durable, and extra lightweight.
Besides the minimal weight, one of the best features about this cage is that it can be bent to accommodate bottle shapes and sizes better. This means that the cage can fit just about any water bottle out there.
Additionally, the cage arms firmly wrap around the water bottle so it does not fall off at any point mid-ride.
The bike requires threaded holes, and with the use of a 4mm hex to fasten the cage into the screw holes, the installation process is completely seamless!
- Available in a variety of colors
- High-quality aluminum alloy design
- The bendable design allows it to adapt to different bottle sizes and shapes
- It comes with screws for installation
5 Aduro Bike water holder
Coming with two water bottles cages and four stainless steel bolts in the packaging, the Aduro bike water holder is another great top-loading water bottle holder.
It is made of aluminum, and like the Five box water bottle cage, it is also available in 4 colors for the young rider to choose their favorite from.
The low weight (2.1 oz.) of each cage is contributed to by the aluminum material, making it great for long-distance traveling as the child will not feel the weight.
This cage delivers a snug fit to any water bottle type. In addition, because the aluminum material lacks welding, the base can be expanded or contracted to match the size of the water bottle.
Another helpful feature is that the cage’s opening is flared. As such, it is easy to insert and retrieve the bottle mid-ride. Thus, none of that unnecessary struggle to get the bottle out of the cage when thirst kicks in.
Lastly, no matter the child’s bike type, you’ll have no trouble fastening the Aduro cage as it easily mounts to the road, mountain, hybrid, touring, and electric bikes.
For any budding cyclist, this sleek water bottle holder makes a great riding partner.
- Ultra-light and durable design
- Mounts 2 water bottle holders to one bike frame
- Flared edge design makes bottle retrieval easy
- Expandable base
Best side-entry bike bottle cage
1 Seektop Bike water bottle cage
Seektop bike water bottle cage is an intelligently designed water bottle cage for several reasons.
Firstly, the side-loading makes for better retrieval of the water bottle even on the most compact bike frames.
Secondly, it is made of high elasticity TPR engineering resin that is tough, durable, and scratch-resistant. So, you can rest assured that the finish of your child’s bike will not be damaged.
Thirdly, it is effortless to mount on the seat tube or down tube. In fact, it’s just a few-minute job as the oval mounting holes make it easy to fine-tune the position of the cage on the frame.
Fourthly, this cage mounts to most bikes using screw holes and fits most standard and oversized water bottles.
Lastly, the Seektop cage delivers optimal clamping as its arms sufficiently wrap around the water. As a result, even when going at high speeds, the bottle will stay firmly in place.
- Lightweight and durable
- Easy access to water bottle
- Mounts to the seat tube and/or down tube
2 Anjoy Carbon bike water bottle Cage
The Anjoy water bottle cage package contains two water bottle cages, each made of full carbon fiber for smooth, safe, and uninterrupted riding.
The material of the cage is highly durable, extremely sturdy, and resistant to corrosion, all while still being lightweight.
At 26 grams each, it is an extremely light addition to your bike.
What we love the most about the design of this cage is that its opening/ upper part is intentionally designed to protrude to ease the insertion process and give the water bottle a firm hold.
You also have the option to purchase straps for an even firmer hold for use on extremely bumpy rides.
We also found this water bottle cage compatible with a wide variety of bottle sizes which means that you aren’t as limited as other water bottle holders.
That said, the only downside to this cage is that it is a bit loose when mounted to the seat tube. In this position, it tends to come off when one hits a bump. All in all, in our experience, the Anjoy cage fits better on the frame as opposed to the seat tube post.
- Great compatibility with different bottles
- 100% FULL carbon fiber material
- Protruding design eases insertion of water bottle
- A little loose on the seat tube
3 KABON Bike Water Bottle Cage
The Kabon water bottle cage is another side-loading water bottle cage that gives an easy way to grab water.
The package contains two cages, each weighing 0.78 oz. for lightweight performance. The cages are made of CNC machined aluminum alloy, which is tough and durable.
Only requiring an Allen wrench to work the two screws that each cage comes with, the installation is simple and straightforward.
One of the features that we really like about this cage is that it conveniently entails a side-open and double pull design. Easy to coordinate when riding!
The cage fits most standard-sized bottles (2.84 to 3.54 inches in diameter).To fit such a wide variety of bottle sizes, the width of the cage can be adjusted to accommodate slightly smaller or larger-sized water bottles. However, it is best used with thin bottles.
- Adjustable to different water bottle sizes
- Suitable for most kinds of bicycles
- One-piece design
- Not the best fit for wider-sized bottles
4 IACTIVE Bike water bottle holder
Available in blue and red colors for young boys and girls is the IACTIVE bike water bottle holder.
The package features two one-piece cages, each weighing 0.78 oz.
This aluminum-made water bottle cage is resilient against outside pressure and resistant to rusting. It will withstand any harsh treatment that can emerge from rough riding and/ or from the elements.
You should also have no trouble cleaning the cage as the powder-coated matte finish is easy to wipe
In terms of function, the cage can be widened or narrowed to customize the fit to the size of the water bottle.
With such a flexible design, it can house different water bottle sizes with a diameter of 3.35 inches and below. Ideally, bottles with 2.84 to 3.54 inches in diameter should fit the cage seamlessly.
This cage also features a side open and double pull design, making it easy to access the water bottle when the need arises.
Ultimately, we especially love the IACTIVE cage for its sturdy bottle retention system, as water bottles sit securely even during the bumpiest of rides.
- High-quality aluminum alloy construction
- Adjustable width accommodates different bottles sizes
- Lips design makes it easy to pull out bottles on the go
5 Blackburn Wayside Bike water bottle cage
The Blackburn Wayside bike water bottle cage is a plastic-made bottle holder that delivers strength and function with precision.
The cage installs with such ease, and in no time, it is ready for use. Moreover, it doesn’t require any extra tools to make them fit on the bike’s frame.
We really love the Wayside cage because it features both the left-hand side and right-hand side orientation. This means that both left-handed and right-handed riders will have an easy time using the cage.
Additionally, the cage holds the water bottle with such power that there is no need to worry about losing the water bottle mid-ride.
That said, it is somewhat harder to bend the cage back into shape if you use it to hold different-sized bottles. Also, the transition from a big bottle to a small bottle on the cage leaves it ‘loose’ compared to a stainless-steel wire cage whose hold can be restored quickly.
Use it for smaller water bottles, and you’ll have no qualms.
- Left or right-handed cage installation
- Holds bottle securely
- Requires no extra hardware for installation
- Available in 5 vibrant colors
- It is hard to bend the plastic back into shape when used for a larger-sized bottle
Fabric Water Bottle Holders
The biggest advantage to fabric water bottle holders is that they offer quick and easy access to what’s stored within. In addition, there is no need to stop riding as the child can easily undo the bag’s top closure with one hand.
Additionally, because most of them come with side pockets, they are convenient in that the user can store extra items when they need to free their hands temporarily.
With that in mind, below is a list of the best fabric water bottle holders for kids’ bikes in the market today:
1 Suruid Bike Water Bottle Holder
Constructed with high-quality polyester material incorporated with an insulated tinfoil inner layer, the Suruid fabric water bottle bag is designed to retain liquid temperature for a long time!
Triangularly shaped, this water bottle cage easily and securely mounts to the handlebar and stem. It is extremely easy to fix the bag in place thanks to three wide Velcro straps.
And because the straps are adjustable, the bag can fit a wide variety of bike sizes.
You can choose to store it on either side of the stem, depending on how you want to utilize your space.
The polyester material is easy to clean, and the bag itself is large enough to accommodate both standard size and large capacity bottles.
We love that this bag utilizes a drawstring closure to secure everything from falling off
When not in use as a water bottle bag, it can double as a storage bag for other essentials such as a cell phone, energy bar, keys, and sunglasses, etc. this feature alone makes fabric water bottle bags have the edge over top-loading side-loading water bottle cages.
It also comes with two side pockets to store water and other essentials at the same time.
To top it all off, the Suruid bag is waterproof! It really doesn’t get better than this!
- Insulated inner layer
- Large capacity
- Two side pockets offer extra storage
- Waterproof design
- It takes up much room on the handlebars
2 Caudblor insulated water bottle holder
Available in both a one-piece and a two-piece is the Caudblor insulated water bottle holder, packed with a vast array of handy features.
To start, the 3.17 oz weight of the bag has a very negligible effect on the weight and navigation of the bike.
This storage pouch features an extended two side strap position which allows it to mount on either side of the stem.
It is easy to attach and detach the bag with the straps, and the straps are adjustable to fit a wide variety of straps.
Further, the 3-point attachment ensures the bag is sturdy and has very minimal movement once attached to the handlebars.
The large capacity of this bag is another plus as it enables storage for a wide variety of bottle and cup sizes. It accommodates up to 32 oz bottles!
The Caudblor bag also boasts a thick insulated inner layer that ensures the liquid stored within it remains cooler or warmer for longer.
A drawstring closure impedes the water bottle from slipping out on its own and being a hazard to the child.
Furthermore, deep mesh side pockets store extra items and allow the items to remain visible at all times. That way, if anything falls off, the child can quickly notice and pick it up.
With this bag, you can rest assured that your child’s drink is always close to the hand so they can hydrate whenever they want to.
- Easy reach
- Deep mesh side pockets
- Drawstring closure
- Leaks, although advertised as waterproof
3 VLTAWA insulated water holder
The VLATWA insulated water cage is all about fun and functionality!
This bag is lightweight and durable due to premium 600 Denier Oxford cloth, 20CC PEVA, and aluminum foil material.
Four adjustable Velcro straps conveniently allow you to install it, regardless of the bike’s shape or style. And the adjustability of the straps allows makes for different installation positions void of that annoying movement as one rides.
In addition to the different mounting positions, this bag’s side pockets conveniently allow the child to store their keys and other decorations to customize the bag further.
The fun gets even better as the bag comes with a detachable shoulder loop, allowing you to use the bag beyond the cycling scope!
Its practical design makes it easy to open the bag, slip out the bottle, take a few gulps, and restore it.
Another feature we love is that the bag's large capacity makes it adjustable to different bottle sizes, all the way up to 32 ounces.
Additionally, a drawstring closure tightens the bag's opening while the beverages remain cool or warm, thanks to a thermal insulation layer.
Our only reservation is that while it is easy to take the bottle out of the bag, the fabric folds when empty making it harder to put the bottle back in. the task is not impossible; it just takes some time when operating with one hand.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for quick access to water for your child, this bag gives you just that; and then some!
- Can hold bottles of different sizes
- Velcro straps easily adapt to different bike styles and sizes
- Thermal insulation layer
- Wide variety of mounting positions
- The fabric folds, making it hard to return the bottle mid-ride
4 Po Campo water bottle holder
The PoCampo Kids water bottle is another hydration solution for kids who love to have fun on bikes and scooters.
Whether they use the bag to store water, snacks, toys, or a cell phone, the rider is assured of easy access to their belongings.
This bag mounts to the bike’s handlebars, top tube, or down tube, depending on your choice. We love that it doesn’t dance around or flop in the wind, owing to the sturdy 3-point Velcro attachment, and the contents of the bag remain secure thanks to the drawstring closure.
The bag fits most portable water bottles, and two mesh side pockets act as storage spaces for snacks and other small essentials.
We love the most about this storage bag because its manufacturers went the extra mile to incorporate reflective accents into the bag. This adds to the visibility of the child, especially when riding in low-light settings.
The Blip bike water bottle holder further features a stability system on its bottom side to remain upright. It also conveniently cleans easily either via hand-washing or with the use of a machine.
We also love that it is cleverly made with vegan 100% waterproof materials, which protect the bag’s contents from rain, dust, and snow.
Icing the cake even further, the included wrist strap allows the child to carry the bag off the bike and use it elsewhere. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the looks of this bag is ‘cool’ enough to hit both bike and street style.
What’s more, each Po Campo bag comes with a bike key chain!
- Three-point Velcro attachment is sturdy
- Reflective accents add to child’s safety
- Easy to clean
- Fashionably rugged style
5 Kemimoto handlebar water holder
The Kemimoto handlebar water holder is a high-quality bicycle storage pouch that you can count on for your kid’s safety and hydration.
This stem bag is smartly constructed with three adjustable Velcro straps, ensuring that the bag firmly adheres to the bike even for the roughest rides.
One great feature about this kids' bike water bottle holder is that both adults and kids can easily attach the bag. No need to nag mom or dad when the child wants to re-install the bag for a ride.
This bag further boasts multiple storage compartments (separate mesh pockets) to keep items organized. The mesh pockets easily hold energy bars, keys, phones, and other items that aren’t safe in the child’s pockets. Although, in our opinion, the mesh pockets could be bigger to insert and retrieve a phone easily.
That notwithstanding, you can tell that the Kemimoto bag was designed with your child in mind.
Firstly, with 5.1 inches in height, this bag is child-appropriate.
Secondly, the bag adapts to the size of your child’s water bottle thanks to a highly flexible tightening drawstring. And the material is durable enough to last the child through different bike sizes!
Thirdly, with an insulated sleeve, drinks remain cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather; to suit the temperatures.
And lastly, they can take this bag out even on rainy days as it is made of waterproof fabrics. That way, the cup holder remains conveniently dry at all times!
- Child-size appropriate
- Velcro is adjustable to fit a wide variety of bike handlebars
- Made of waterproof fabric
- Insulated sleeve
- Hard to navigate mesh pocket with a large bottle in the bag
How to choose the best water bottle holder for kids’ bikes
Before finally settling on a water bottle cage based on price or appearance, you should consider other factors, including:
Look at the type of kids’ bike that you will be attaching to the bottle cage and decide on the mounting type of the water holder you will go for. There are many mounting style options to choose from:
- Frame-mount bottle cage system – water bottle cages are traditionally mounted on mounting brackets available on the downtube and sometimes the seat post tube. If your child’s bike has mounting brackets, consider the water bottle holders that are attached using small screws and an Allen Key.
- Handlebar-mount water bottle cage system – there are special mounting plates that fit on the handlebar of the kids’ bike where you can attach water cages. Consider this type if your kid prefers it to other mounting styles.
- Rear-mounted water cages – you can also decide to purchase water cages or water bottle holders that attach to the bike saddle or those that attach to the rear seat post tube. This type is meant to maintain aerodynamics when riding and is suitable for competitive little cyclists.
The ease with which kids can access the water bottle from the cage matters a lot, especially when they are on top of their bikes. There are two types of loading styles for water cages: top-loading and side-loading water cages or water bottle holders.
Sideloading or side-entry bike water bottle cages allow for easier access to the water bottles, especially on small frames and tight spaces. For this reason, they are a preferred style for kids. There are both left and right-side load water bottle cages. Preference of the rider matters here, again.
The top-loading bike water bottle cages are sometimes problematic and can lead to a crash if a child has not mastered the art of multitasking while on their bike. In addition, given their depth and grip, they might delay removing the water bottle leading to frequent stops.
From our test, the side-entry water cages are the best compared to the traditional top-loading water bottle cages that attach to the downtube using either straps or screws. One reason for this is because they are easy to access even when pedaling, especially for timid kids. However, if your kids are confident, you can consider the top-loading or the water bottle cages attached to the saddle.
To select the best kids’ bike water cage, you further need to consider the material. The water bottle holders are made from steel, aluminum, fabric, BPA plastic, and alloys:
- Alloy Bottle Cages - The alloy cages are looped and straightforward in a tubular shape. They are heavier compared to other space-age water cages but have the advantage of being cheap and secure. Those made from alloy are also slightly lightweight and durable, just like the steel water bottle cages. In addition, they can be shaped back into position for better grip if they lose shape due to constant use. This also means that they can accommodate bottles of different circumferences.
- Carbon fiber water cages - Carbon cages are lightweight and have a sleek, high-end look that makes them a preference by many cyclists. In addition, you can consider them to save on weight.
- BPA plastic cages - The water cages made from BPA plastic are also strong enough to carry kids’ water bottles around.
The choice you make depends on your preference, type of bike, and preference of your little one.
The firmness of the Bottle Grip
Water bottle cages or holders retain water bottles on the bike. The grip depends on where the cage comes into contact with the bottle. Some cages wrap around the collar and stem of the bottle. They additionally have a bottom stopper that holds the bottom part of the water bottle. The plastic, carbon, alloy, steel, and aluminum cages wrap around the bottle's structure to retain it securely. Consider the firmness of the grip on the bottle before buying, which means that you will need to purchase a water bottle cage as you purchase your water bottle. Otherwise, consider if you can adjust the contact points to increase the grip. The fabric water holders have unique straps that hook the bottle in place; others allow you to insert and secure the water bottle using Velcro.
As you narrow down to the best cage, consider how the little rider will access it. The easier the accessibility, the better. In our experience, side-loading frame-, handlebar- or seat-tube mounted water cages are accessible. Mainly, having bike water holders conveniently placed helps the kids to hydrate as often as they want.
Everybody would go for a lightweight bike water cage, any day and any time. However, if you are not a weight-freak looking for performance, any water bottle holder would do. In the end, the weight you will be saving will be negligible. Too lightweight frames should only be sturdy enough to secure the grip of the bottle. Finding a balance between security, weight, and access matters more to the kids and looks, of course.
Do I need a special-sized water bottle cage for a kids’ bike?
No, since there are no size variations on kids’ and adult water bottle cages, you can get any size of water bottle cage designed to handle a standard size cycling water bottle. So technically, an adult water bottle cage can perfectly fit onto a kids’ bike. The only determinant is where you want to mount the water bottle.
Where can I mount a water bottle cage onto a kid’s bike?
There are different style water bottle holders for both adult and kids’ bikes.
First, you can find the fabric water bottle bags attached to the bike's handlebars, frame, or saddle via Velcro. These water bottle bags have the advantage of the ease of installing and taking off as needed. They also keep the water bottles from dust and pollen, unlike the exposed water bottle cages. They further have small pockets where kids can carry stuff such as snacks and phones or cameras. Also, if well-insulated, they keep the content of the water bottles either cold or hot for long hours. The only downfall they have is that some of them, if not strapped well, move around the bike, which can annoy the little riders. Also, if a kids’ bike has dual handbrakes, installing them can be a challenge. For this reason, even though fabric water bottle holders are great, we prefer water bottle cages for kids’ bikes with brakes.
You can also attach the water bottles to the seat tube or the downtube parts of the bike frame. This mounting is standard with the side-entry and top-entry water bottle cages that are screwed into place using a pair of screws.
If your kids are daredevils on bikes – the confident ones, you can consider the water bottle cages mounted on the saddle. These types of water cages help maintain a streamlined formation, which reduces resistance from headwinds.
You can also consider the handlebar-mounted water bottle cages for your kids’ bikes because they provide ease of access and keeps water bottles from the dust and mud, unlike the water cages attached to the downtube.
Whatever choice you make, engage your kid to avoid buying something they will never use. Also, note that there are special water cage mounts that can aid you in attaching water cages to the handlebars and saddle posts.
Can I mount water bottle cages on any kids’ bike?
The answer is yes and no. No, because only a few kids’ bikes are factory-ready for bike water cage installation. These bikes come with the downtube and/or the seat tube fitted with two threaded eyelets, where you can attach the water bottle holder by unscrewing the eyelets using an Allen Key.
Yes, because, thankfully, there are strapped water bottles, cup holders, and water cages for bikes that can be attached directly to the bike frame using special quick-release systems or straps.
Therefore, before purchasing a water bottle cage for your kid, consider if there are eyelets or whether you need to consider the tool-free water bottle cages.
Are plastic water cages durable enough for kids’ bikes?
Although not as durable as metal water cages, plastic water cages are durable. The material is tough and up to the task, especially when coated with other materials such as carbon fiber.
Can balance bikes accommodate water cages?
Yes, depending on where you want to mount the water cage. Most balance bikes can’t accommodate top-loading and side-loading water cages because of their compact size.
On the one hand, they wouldn’t fit the smaller frames, and on the other hand, they would more than likely interfere with the stride of the young gliders.
The best water bottle cage for a balance bike would be a handlebar frame bag, as that position offers more space without risking discomfort or, worse yet, an accident.
What are the advantages of water bottles over hydration packs?
Both water bottles and hydration packs have their own pros and cons, so it's all about preference at the end of the day. Water bottles have the following advantages over hydration packs:
Water bottles free the rider from the weight of the water bottle and instead transfers it to the bike. Hydration packs are always on the rider's back, and although the weight isn’t usually great enough to weigh down the rider, some people find it uncomfortable to ride with something on their backs. On the other hand, water bottles stand on their own.
Another advantage is that water bottles do not have the discomfort that hydration packs can have. However, it does take some getting used to having the pack on one’s back. Furthermore, like a regular backpack, hydration packs bounce around and require you to find the perfect fit so that the straps aren’t too tight or too loose. Moreover, on a hot day, the pack will probably leave the rider with a sweaty back. If you find hydration packs uncomfortable, then a water bottle that attaches to your bike is a great option.
Another advantage is that water bottles are generally easier to clean. It takes more effort to clean a hydration pack (the bladder and mouthpiece) than it does to clean a water bottle.
Transparent water bottles also have the advantage of allowing the user to track how much water they have consumed. To accurately tell how much water they have consumed from a hydration pack, they would have to stop riding and check the bag. However, it is possible to track water consumption mid-ride when using a water bottle.
Because you can typically fit two water bottles to one bike, you can carry different drinks (e.g., water and an energy drink) at the same time.
Lastly, water bottles are way cheaper than hydration packs. This makes them a more economical choice.
Are there tool-free bike water cages?
Yes, there are. While a good amount of water cages requires tools to drill them into the bike's frame, a significant amount of water cages comes with straps that only require one to hook and loop them around the bike’s frame.
The straps usually have a built-in grip to prevent slippage, and the contact points are also well-cushioned to prevent damage to the bike frame.
So, if you don’t want to or cannot drill holes into your frame, cages with Velcro straps are a great option.