I received the other day my newest piece of running gear, a hydration belt, the iFitness Neoprene Hydration Belt (16 oz). I settled on this one, because I wanted a belt with 2 of the smaller bottles instead of one large one (or instead of 4 smaller ones). In addition, this is the same belt Jeff Galloway sells on his site (though he only sells the pink version) and was the #3 belt on Amazon as far as popularity. Those two facts together make me feel confident in the quality of the belt to buy it without first trying it. I purchased from Amazon for the free Prime shipping, but you can get it directly from iFitness, and they actually have the colors available. I had to get plain black because stock was limited on Amazon for the L/XL belt.
What's it got?Obviously hydration is important in running; especially in the summer; especially in my 14 mile run scheduled for Myrtle beach. I also found this past long run, at after about 6 miles of my 9.5 mile run, my legs really needed a boost. That's where something like the energy chews or gels come into play. My belt will help with both of those. First, it has two 6 oz bottles meaning I have 12 oz of liquid with me. I could have opted for a belt with four bottles, but I was unsure of the additional weight how it would feel. Twelve will suffice, and if it's every that hot I need more, I just stop for a refill. Second, it has elastic straps that are supposed to be for holding gels for "on the fly access". I haven't really used the "gels" that look like the squeezie packs my daughter would have for fruits and vegetables, but it looks like they just fit in when you stretch it out. I'm open to recommendations on gels to try.
In addition, it has a nice water resistent pouch in the middle, that looks like it should hold phone, car keys, some cash, ID or whatever is needed on the small side. It has an inner pocket for keeping an ID or credit cards back so they wont easily fall out when you open the pouch, which is a nice touch. The pack has reflective strips, which is good for my early morning runs to feel a little safer, and toggles for hanging a race number on the back.
How's it work?I gave it a try for a morning maintenance run, to see how it felt. Even filled with water, you hardly notice anything wearing it. The stretch of the belt fits really well and it has "ergonomic design" to "contours to your body to ELIMINATE BOUNCE" (direct from iFitness product description). Frankly, it works. I didn't really feel it when I had it on, it fit nicely around and did not bounce. I did have to adjust it tighter than I started because it started to slide down in the back as I ran initially. After some small tightening though, it stayed in place. I was able to get the bottles out easy with one hand, get a drink and place it back in the belt with no fuss. I don't have any gels yet to try, but the placement of the holders will be very easy to get at. I did not add any phone to the pouch, since I keep it in my arm band, so I can't speak to if it will add anything or make the belt more noticeable.
In the end, it just worked well for me. I look forward to having the water right there on my next long run.
**Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for the information in this post. All opinions are my own and I wanted to share my new found gear**
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