This review is part of a series on gear I use. If you’re like me, you’re googling for real-world reviews for new products before you purchase, because some of this shit’s expensive, man.
When I go out for long runs – for me, this is usually anything more than nine miles – I take water with me. I’ve tried just about every vessel there is but most often come back to the belt-style carriers.
As of July 2013, I’m using the iFitness 16 oz Hydration Belt.
Apparently iFitness is now Fitletic (ifitnessbelts.com). I’m currently using the 16oz model in the smaller size.
My old hydration belt
I have been a FuelBelt follower for many years. I decided to try something new when my old FB started to stretch to the point that the elastic wasn’t staying put, even when I cranked it down to the smallest size.
I’d seen the iFitness belts at marathon expos but normally I’m not in the market for a hydration belt when I’m about to run a marathon.
Here are some specs on the belt (from their website):
Fitletic’s ergonomic design contours to your body to ELIMINATE BOUNCE and allows for single-handed access of bottles.
• Exclusive Dura-Comfort Technology and ergonomic design contours to your body to ELIMINATE BOUNCE
• Silicone Grippers to eliminate bounce
• Water Resistant Neoprene Pocket for phone and essentials
• Fits Most Phones, including iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4
• Interior Pocket to secure ID /Cash
• Twp Quick-Draw Bottle Holsters with Two 8 oz (250 ml) Flasks w/ Quick-Flow Race Caps- BPA Free / Dishwater Safe
• Ultra Soft Dual-Adjust Waistbelt
• Two Exterior Energy Gel Loops for On-the-Fly Access
• High Visibility Reflectors
• Race Bib Toggles
Comes in TWO sizes: Small/Med (24in to 36in comfortable). Large (29in to 42in).
- Bottles stay put (in the FB they fly out regularly; I had to handstitch the bottle holding thingies (technical term) so that they fit a bit more snugly.
- Mostly stays put on my waist with little bounce
- Large pocket that is heavy-duty enough to protect my iPhone.
- Small inner pocket for change, bills, credit card.
- Ability to add extra bottles on or an iPhone holder (I got one of these for free with a coupon and my husband used it with an HTC Droid Smartphone with no problem)
- Design of the bottle caps makes carrying something like nuun an annoyance; the carbonation makes the liquid spew out of the containers as you run. I know this from experience.
- I’ve got it cranked down to the smallest size and the plastic square adjuster pieces hit my hipbones in a bad place. Makes for a potentially bad chafing situation.*
- *I just realized that I’ve been wearing this backwards. For reals. *facepalm*
- While it mostly stays put, I found myself adjusting it often on my last 11 miler. Then again, I don’t have a small waist/wider hips situation going; it’s more of a straight up and down build. Also, since my ass was consumed by my pregnancy, if I had a little more junk back there, it might stay up better.
- Price: It’s a bad pricier than the FB, and I think in the end, for the belt and two extra bottles (because those little bottles only hold 8 oz), I was up to $60.
Summary? Fitletic makes a solid belt that puts attention into details like comfort and usability. Also, it washed up great when I needed to clean it after the Husband got some gel gunk on it. He used it all summer for his (limited) marathon training, too. He used the smartphone window accessory for his humongous Droid phone and found it to be quite satisfactory.
In the end, I paid more for this unit than a competitor’s, but I’d rather pay a little more for a good belt than a lousy one (and even the lousy ones aren’t cheap).
Now if only I could get those bottles to stop spewing Nuun at me…
I bought this Fitletic belt with my own dough, just so you know. All opinions are mine!