Besides being a great bunch of runners and hosting a really fun weekly running chat (10 pm on Tuesday nights, Atlantic Time), the fine folks at BibRave also have a group of people who help promote their chat, website and, on occasion, review products. I am lucky enough to be one of the BibRave Pros and recently, I was fortunate enough to receive a FlipBelt to try out and review.
As someone who often drives to my starting location for a run, car keys are often along for the run which means even on shorter runs, intervals or speed work I wear my hydration belt so that I can keep my keys and phone with me – just in case. I’ve experienced a couple of problems with this. From time to time, the hydration belt loosens and begins to slip. This means that I either have to continue the run or workout while constantly being annoyed or I have to stop and adjust it, which is also annoying.
Another issue with my hydration belt is that, smaller items tend to rattle around – including my keys and phone. Unless there are other things in the pouch to keep the keys stationary, they tend to jingle and rattle. Seems like a minor thing, but some days it gets to be really grating. There is also the issue of keeping the pouches clean, which I often forget to do. This means that on more than one occasion, I have gotten leftover Gu all over my keys or phone, which makes them pretty sticky. Even when washing the hydration belt by hand, sometimes some gel hides in a nook or cranny of the pouch, eagerly awaiting the next time I put something inside to get sticky.
When I first tried on the FlipBelt, the first thing I noticed was how comfortable it was. It’s such a simple concept and yet, this is the first product like this I have ever seen and certainly the first I have tried. As it is basically an elastic loop, it’s very easy to slip on and off. The name itself comes from the fact that if you want extra security with the items that are in the belt, you simply flip it, so that any and all openings are now snug against your body. Neat!
There is a LOT of space within the belt to put things inside, such as gels, keys and even my iphone. My favourite aspect of the belt was how snug (read, quiet) it kept everything. I even put some loose change in the belt as a test to see if it would move around or fall out while I ran at various tempos. By twisting the belt on my waist, I was able to comfortably shift the bulkiest item (my phone) away from any area where I could actually feel it. I was really impressed by the fact that while running, I forgot that I was carrying any items or even wearing the belt at all.
On a recent longish run of 16km, the conditions kept changing from overcast to bright and sunny. I was able to take off my sunglasses and put them in the belt quite easily. Even better, I was easily able to retrieve the sunglasses from the belt again which was quite convenient. I hate having to hold my glasses in my hand & I have had them fall off the top of my head on more than one occasion when I simply push them up.
The only negative I found with the belt at all is that most standard water bottles from hydration belts do not fit inside or are not easily accessible. This problem wouldn’t be an issue if you used the smaller bottles or moved towards hand-held bottles. More frequently I find myself carrying less water during races anyway, so I am looking forward to testing the belt during a race situation.
Overall, this is definitely one of the better running accessories I have come across. I would definitely recommend trying it out, particularly if you are looking for a super comfortable belt for holding items on your runs or if you’re just in the market for a new running belt in general, FlipBelt is definitely worth checking out!