Best MTB bottle cages 2024 – secure and easy to use cages for all your off-road rides

They might not seem like the sexiest components to think about, but the best MTB bottle cages do actually serve an important purpose. After all, you need to stay hydrated while whipping around the trails, and there’s nothing worse than reaching the bottom of a descent, only to find your best water bottle for MTB is no longer attached to your bike.

Perhaps you prefer to opt for one of the best hydration packs instead, and think “a bottle cage is just a bottle cage”. Of course, you’re right to some extent, but the best MTB bottle cages will make life easier in the long run, and it saves you from carrying extra weight on your back or around your hips. 

They’ll not only keep your bottle secure, but they’ll also be easy to access while riding, and they won’t add a load of weight to your setup. And if you’re really lucky, they might even come with some added storage for other useful accessories.

Depending on your budget, there are bottle cages ranging from simple resin designs to futuristic carbon options. There are some that aren’t even a cage at all. Each option has been designed to hold your bottles firmly in place, but which ones are the best? Our expert testers have been putting them through their paces and our top choice is the Arundel Mandible, with the Bontrager Bat Cage our great value pick.

Continue reading for our complete list of the best MTB bottle cages, or skip to the guide at the bottom for how to choose your bottle cage.

The quick list

Best MTB bottle cages

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1. Best overall

Arundel Mandible Carbon bottle cage

Arundel’s Mandible cage is made fully from carbon and weighs in at just 28g (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
An ultralight bottle cage that bites like a bull shark

Specifications

Material: Carbon
Weight: 28g

Reasons to buy

+
Rock-solid bottle grip
+
Sub 30g
+
Easy multi-angle entry
+
Multi-angle exit
+
Twin position mounts

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price

Arundel’s popular Mandible cage is made fully from carbon and weighs a mere 28g, making it an excellent choice for XC weight-weenies. It may cost a small fortune, but there’s a reason that it’s a regular kit choice for the pros. 

Don’t take its featherlight weight to mean it’s flimsy; it’s got such a firm grip that you actually need to use a bit of muscle to insert the bottle in the first place. If you’re sick of losing bottles on the trails and don’t want to add a load of excess weight to your frame, then this is by far one of the best MTB bottle cages we’ve used, and it’s pretty easy on the eyes too, which never hurts.

Read more about it in our Arundel Mandible review.

2. Best value

Bontrager Bat Cage bottle cage

Bontrager makes the Bat Cage from recycled fishing nets (Image credit: Bontrager)

Bontrager Bat Cage

Eco-bottle cage with wallet-friendly price

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Weight: 48g

Reasons to buy

+
Made from recycled material
+
Design offers excellent hold
+
Budget price

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavy side

While the injection-molded plastic Bat Cage has been around since 1997, Bontrager now makes this time-tested bottle cage from recycled fishing nets. This comes thanks to the brand’s membership in NextWave, a cross-industry coalition of companies working to reduce plastic in the environment.

Beuro, a company specializing in collecting and recycling fishing nets, processes the nets into tiny plastic pellets which can be used for injection molding, perfect for the Bat Cage. 

3. Best side entry

Elite Prism bottle cage mounted on bike

The Prism is a side entry cage in left- or right-sided variants (Image credit: Neal Hunt)
A side entry bottle cage with eco credentials

Specifications

Material: 65% plastic scrap, 35% fiberglass
Weight: 47g

Reasons to buy

+
Uses recycled scrap plastic
+
Easy to fit
+
Ideal for bikes where a bottle can be hard to access
+
Holds bottle securely

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited color options

The Prism cage is a side entry cage made from 65 percent recycled plastic. It is designed for standard 74mm diameter bottles, but as it's predominately an MTB or gravel cage, it has a slightly tighter fit than a standard road bottle cage would. It has a reassuringly solid-looking construction and comes in at 47g weightwise.

We found the Prism really excels with bikes where there is limited space – as the bottle goes in at an angle it's much easier to get to when riding. The plastic and fiberglass blend also gives the cage a degree of flexibility.

The cage is robustly built and over the course of testing we never lost a bottle despite some serious tests on rocky trails in the wet and mud of winter, and dry, dusty summer trails.

For more info, see our full Elite Prism review.

4. Best for storage space

Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cages and tools review

The Ninja Master+ comes with an adaptor which is compatible with an array of Topeak accessories (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
A modular bottle cage design with storage space for accessories

Specifications

Material: Engineering grade polymer
Weight: 39-43g

Reasons to buy

+
Standard, side mount and extra secure cages
+
Twistable for easy access
+
Stops strap rub
+
Multiple multi-tool options
+
CO2 and inner tube mounts
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
Extra tools are expensive

A bottle cage can do more than just carry your bottle, as Topeak’s modular Ninja design demonstrates. This very simple bottle cage can be bought either as a central loader or side loader, and in the case of the latter, it’s easily reversible so you can choose which side to make accessible. 

What makes this bottle cage particularly nifty is the adaptor that comes with it, which is compatible with an array of Topeak accessories. Depending on your needs, you could have an attachment for carrying a multi-tool, two CO2 cartridges or a mount for a spare inner tube.

Find out more about it in our Topeak Ninja Master+ bottle cage review.

5. Best eco-friendly

Elite Cannibal XC Bio bottle cage on bike frame

The Cannibal XC Bio-Based's wide opening allows you access from either side  (Image credit: Neal Hunt)
Solid, dependable, and eco-friendly cage

Specifications

Material: 40% bio-based plastic, 60% fiberglass
Weight: 34g

Reasons to buy

+
It uses innovative, eco-friendly castor oil biotech material
+
Fiber-reinforced for extra strength
+
Lightweight
+
More secure than traditional road options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited color options

Elite's Bio-Based version of its Cannibal XC bottle cage is made using an innovative plastic derived from castor beans instead of traditional oil-based methods, making it a great eco-friendly choice. It also uses fiberglass to reinforce the cage and deal with the vibrations and stresses of off-road riding.

The Cannibal has a wide window for bottle entry from either side, and has good grip with an angled band that holds the bottle in place, and elastomer in the middle of the arms which allows the cage to adjust to differently shaped bottles. It comes in at a feathery 34g.

We tested the cage on various full suspension, hardtail, and gravel bikes, and it did an admirable job of keeping our bottles in place. Over several months of riding, there are very few signs of wear, too.

Check out our full Elite Cannibal XC Bio-Based review.

6. Best multi-tool package

Syncros bottle cage

The Syncros Tailor IS 2.0HV accommodates a handheld pump and comprehensive multi-tool (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
A bottle cage that carries a multi-tool and a pump as well

Specifications

Material: Glass fiber reinforced nylon
Weight: 170g (cage with tool), 105g (pump)

Reasons to buy

+
Secure side-access bottle cage
+
Comprehensive, quality tool
+
Magnetic chain link holder
+
Decent high-volume MTB pump
+
Reasonable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Offset might upset some
-
No tubeless plug tool

Another bottle cage that doubles up as a useful storage space, the Syncros Tailor IS 2.0HV is a fiberglass-reinforced nylon cage that accommodates (and includes) a handheld pump and comprehensive multi-tool. The multi-tool includes a chain breaker, a magnetic chain link holder, valve core remover, disc pad wedge, spoke key, an array of hex and Torx bits and more.

It’s an excellent way to have all your essential tools onboard even when you have limited frame space, and offers exceptional value for money.

Read more in our review of the Syncros Tailor IS 2.0HV bottle cage, tool and pump.

7. Best strong grip

Lezyne Matrix Team Bottle Cage review

The Lezyne Matrix Team's loop holds a bottle very securely (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
A neat cantilever design and lots of colors to choose from

Specifications

Material: Carbon
Weight: 35g (without bolts)

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive bottle grip
+
Lightweight
+
Expanded entry angles
+
Nine color options
+
Sliding mount
+
Tough

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest exit
-
Not a true side loader
-
You don’t get bolts
-
Plastic packaging

This modern-looking and stylish bottle cage comes with several color options, making it pretty easy to match with your frame and/or accessories, and offers a strong grip as well. In terms of performance, we found it definitely leaned more towards retention rather than easy release, so while it takes a bit of effort to get to your bottle when you’re on the move, you can rest assured that even when tackling the really rough stuff, your bottle will stay put.

For more details, check out our Lezyne Matrix Team Bottle Cage review.

8. Best dependable

Specialized Zee Cage II

The Zee Cage II is compatible with Specialized’s SWAT system for storage and tool integration (Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Zee Cage II

A dependable option for all rider types

Specifications

Material: Fiber-reinforced resin
Weight: 43g

Reasons to buy

+
Secure hold
+
SWAT compatibility

Reasons to avoid

-
Some riders may prefer a more classic aesthetic

The Zee Cage II is a side loader made from a reinforced composite material that weighs about 43g. This cage is compatible with Specialized’s SWAT system, which means you can connect the brand’s EMT Cage Mount Tool for quick repairs on the trail. The cage is also compatible with the Specialized MTB XC Box, a small box that attaches to the cage for storing a tube and other tools. 

It’s available in a range of colors, comes in both left and right varieties and has kept bottles attached to this writer’s XC bike for years.

9. Best classic design

King Cage

The King Cage's classic design hasn't changed since the '90s (Image credit: King Cage)

King Cage

Classic bottle cage that still holds its own

Specifications

Material: Stainless steel or titanium
Weight: 28g (titanium version)

Reasons to buy

+
Timeless aesthetic
+
Doesn’t chew up bottles

Reasons to avoid

-
Stainless steel cage isn’t as strong as the titanium one

Handmade in Durango, Colorado, King Cage has a long legacy of being a cage that just works; the design hasn’t changed since the 90s. However, it continues to be one of the best you can buy. 

Available in stainless steel or titanium, both versions weigh less than 50g and won’t chew up your bottles. The design has attracted plenty of knock-offs and copy-cat versions, but the King Cage is known for little if any bottle ejections and worry-free riding.

10. Best cageless

Fidlock Twist

The Fidlock Twist uses magnetic clasps for a cageless design (Image credit: Fidlock)
Cageless bottle holder

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Weight: 16g

Reasons to buy

+
Light weight
+
Clever use of magnets

Reasons to avoid

-
Stiff bottle plastic means squeezing isn't an option

Fidlock makes magnetic clasps for everything from backpacks to helmet straps, and it has used the same technology for this cageless water bottle holder. It works with either a proprietary 400ml or 600ml bottle, and also a Boa-based bottle connector.

When you need a drink, you twist the bottle, and it releases from the plate; to reconnect just pop it on and let the magnets do their magic. The downside to the system is that you’ll either need the proprietary Fidlock bottles or the Boa Connector, which also limits how much you can squeeze the bottle. For a much more squeezable option though, see Peaty's X Fidlock Lockin' Bottle.

How to choose the best MTB bottle cages

What material is best?

Bottle cages come in carbon, plastic, fiber-reinforced resin and metal. There are pros and cons to each, however, the material will influence the price and weight. Carbon and titanium cages will cost a pretty penny, while plastic and resin cages are cheaper. 

Is lighter better?

When looking at bottle cages, counting grams should be pretty low on your list of priorities, as even the heavy ones aren't all that heavy. Especially for mountain biking, a bottle cage needs to have oodles of grip strength so as not to send your bottles flying the first time you hit a bump. There are great lightweight cages out there, but don’t expect a cheap cage to deliver low numbers on the scale and have much holding power. At the same time, the cage needs to release the bottle when you pull on it. 

Top load or side load?

Bottle cages come in top load and side load versions, and what’s best for you will depend on your frame. If there is tons of room in your front triangle, a top load cage will work just fine. However, as most full-suspension frames possess tight clearances, a side load cage will make your bottles more accessible. However, you’ll only be able to access from one side.

How we test the best MTB bottle cages

All the bottle cages tested here have been used during several months of riding on various bikes, over different types of terrain, so we can assess the cages for their grip, ease of access, and durability.

Meet the testers

Guy Kesteven
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect’s tech editor. He spent a few years working in bike shops before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of bike components and riding gear.

Neal Hunt
Neal Hunt

Neal has been riding bikes of all persuasions for over 20 years and raced them, from town center criteriums to the Megavalanche and pretty much everything in between. Neal has worked in the bicycle industry his entire working life, and has built an in-depth knowledge and love of all things tech. 

Colin Levitch
Freelance writer

Born and bred in Colorado, and now based in Australia, Colin comes from a ski racing background and started riding as a way to stay fit through the summer months. His father, a former European pro, convinced him to join the Colorado State University collegiate cycling team, and he hasn't stopped since. It's not often he pins on a number nowadays, and you'll likely find him in search of flowy singletrack, gravel roads and hairpin corners. Colin has worked at Bikeradar and is a regular contributor to Australian Mountain Bike and Cyclist magazines. 

Rides: BMC Team Machine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9, Ibis Ripley

With contributions from