Which belt is best for runners?
Choose the best running belt
Running with extra gear can cause chafing. But for long runs, commutes or just for safety, sometimes you need to bring a few essentials. A running belt is a great way to securely transport lightweight items like your phone, keys or wallet, without the extra bulk and bounce of a running backpack.
Other running belts are built for hydration, with handy squeeze bottles for quick sips of fluids on the move.
Whether you’re looking for maximum storage space, or something lightweight and pared-down where you can stash your phone to listen to music while you jog, these are the best running belts for every need.
Best non-hydration belts
These are our top picks for running belts to carry just the essentials that are comfortable, versatile and stylish.
FlipBelt: available at Amazon
This popular running belt has become a classic in the jogging and distance running world for a reason. It offers extreme comfort, spacious storage and reflectivity for early morning and late-night runs. The sleek, minimalist design skips bulky or awkward pouches and pockets. Instead, the entire belt is one continuous pocket with several openings for easy access. And most importantly, it stays in place at every speed. You won’t even remember you’re wearing it!
Dimok Running Belt Waist Pack: available at Amazon
This waistband pack is easily adjustable, so you can find the exact fit that is right for you. It has a front zippered pocket for valuables large enough to fit a smartphone, fuel and car keys. There’s even a handy opening for headphone wires. And on the sides, two smaller pouches offer extra storage. The pouch is made from water-resistant neoprene, which makes this a great choice for running in all climates and weather patterns. And best of all, a low price sets this running belt apart from the competition.
SPIbelt: Available at Amazon
The SPIbelt is another cult-favorite running band. It comes in a variety of colors and has an easy-to-adjust thin elastic waistband that is comfortable and minimizes bounce. The single pocket can be worn front or back and is large enough to stash most smartphones (with their cases), keys, cash, credit cards and your license. The belt must be hand-washed.
USWE Energy Fuel Belt: available at Backcountry
This is the best solution for carrying fuel on the go without any extra weight. This minimalist belt is simply a secure strap with loops to stash gels, gummies and other packaged fuel. This belt is particularly useful for multisport athletes. It’s just as handy for runners as it is for cyclists, especially if you have a bike bag to tote your phone and other bulkier items. The belt can hold up to six fuel packs.
Best hydration belts for runners
These are the best running belts to carry both valuables and fluids to keep you hydrated on long, hot runs.
Ultimate Direction Race Belt 5.0: available at Amazon
This fully equipped back from Ultimate Direction lies somewhere between a running belt and a backpack. It has extra storage to hold your phone and more, in a large front zippered pocket. One side has an easy-access pouch to stash the 500-milliliter flexible water bottle that is included. To hold everything in place, the belt is made from compressive material to minimize bounce and distribute weight evenly. Bungees across the front offer extra space for clipping on gear.
Nathan Trail Mix Plus Insulated Hydration Belt: available at Backcountry and Amazon
When your run calls for more hydration, this belt from Nathan has you covered. Despite its minimal size and thinner waistband, the bag holds two 10-ounce flasks on either side of a secure zippered front pocket. The included squeeze bottles are easy to access for quick sips that won’t slow you down.
Ultimate Direction Access 350 Hydration Belt: available at BackCountry
For a more pared-down, lighter hydration belt, the Access 350 model from Ultimate Direction is an excellent choice. This stylish pack is just large enough to transport your phone and other small essentials in a zippered pocket and a 500-milliliter squeeze bottle, which is included. You can run with or without the bottle depending on your hydration needs, which makes this a great multipurpose belt for year-round use. Ultimate Direction also offers a lifetime warranty, a testament to the durability of their products.
247 Viz Hydration Running Belt: available at Amazon
Keep yourself fully hydrated with this belt from 247 Viz, which totes four water bottles evenly distributed around your waist. A center Velcro pouch also stores your phone and other smaller items. The adjustable waistband means this one-size-fits-all pouch can be loosened or tightened to fit your size for comfort and so there will be minimal jostling. The belt also comes with four compatible and easy-to-squeeze 8-ounce water bottles that keep you hydrated and performing at your best.
What to store in a running belt
Aside from your phone, keys and if your belt accommodates it, water bottles, there are a few other items to stash in your running belt to keep you safe and comfortable on the roads or trails.
- Body glide. While the best running belts minimize chafing from movement, sometimes the dreaded friction is inevitable, especially on hot or rainy days. Stash a miniature tube of body glide in your pack to keep yourself free of irritation.
- Personal safety alarm. Regardless of where you run, if you’re alone, it’s never a bad idea to take an extra step for safety. A personal safety alarm lets you send out an alert at the press of a button and is small enough to attach to your keyring.
- Electrolytes. For longer runs or hotter weather, keep an electrolyte tablet or powder sachet on hand. Prevent dehydration and exhaustion by dissolving one in your water bottle.
Lizzy Briskin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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