First things first: yes, the Spibelt is a fanny pack. As sleek and lightweight as it is, if you can’t get over the fact that you’ll be wearing a fanny pack, then this product is not for you.
Before I got my beloved Garmin, I was using the RunKeeper app on my iPhone to track my runs, which meant I had to figure out how to carry my iPhone while I was running. As I’m a fan of crowdsourcing, I asked a few trusted friends how they carry their phones. One recommended tank tops with built-in pockets. That sounded OK, except that it limited carrying capacity to warm-ish runs and wouldn’t allow me to wear any of the running shirts I already owned. Another recommended an armband carrier. I’m sure they’re great, but I didn’t like the idea of having my phone on my arm. Seems uncomfortable, not to mention a possible theft-attractant. A third recommendation was the Amphipod clip-on carrier. I wasn’t sure if something like this with my phone inside would drag my shorts down. Falling shorts = definitely not good. Finally, my friend MS offered to lend me his Spibelt, which he got for free in a race goodie bag (that’s a nice goodie bag!). He wasn’t using it, so he generously let me take it for a trial run.
The “trial run” ended up lasting about 2 months. MS wanted it back before he ran his first 50K ultramarathon, so I begrudgingly returned it (after washing it of course! What kind of person do you think I am?). I liked the Spibelt so much that I decided to get my own. I went with the most basic model, black zipper on black fabric, but they have plenty of crazy colors and patterns to help you make your personal fashion statement. They also make Spibelts with extra pockets and features (e.g., waterproof material). This review focuses on the basic Spibelt, which I got in April 2012.
Sidenote: the first belt I tried, borrowed from MS, was lighter than the one I bought, but the newer one actually stays in place better.
I think I got free shipping and also used an online discount code from retailmenot.
– very lightweight
– easy to conceal
– stays in place, mostly. I’ve found that this can vary, depending on what shorts/pants I’m wearing (see photos).
– easy to clean (handwash)
– expandable and fits quite a lot. I can carry my iPhone, keys, and a package of Clif Bloks (or 2 Gus) without any problems.
– made in the U.S.A.
– doesn’t always stay in place, depending on shorts/pants
– can get bulky if I put too much stuff in it, giving me an unfortunate bulge in the crotch area (see photo)
– zippers can be difficult to access while running
– no internal pockets, so you have to be careful that things don’t spill out. I’m especially paranoid about keys falling out. However, they do have different models with internal pockets or extra zippers if this is a concern.
And now, the action photos!
Highly recommended, especially with the right shorts.
What do you use to carry your phone, keys, etc. while you run? Any recommendations or items to avoid?
Disclaimer: The above review is my personal opinion. I have not been compensated (in merchandise or money) to endorse this product.