spibelt – gear review

 

spibelt review running gear
the SPIbelt fits snugly around the waist.

I was looking for an alternative to the usual fuel belt and pack solutions out there, something just small enough to not get in the way, yet able to carry my cell phone and a couple of gel packs. I found Spibelt last winter for my first 50 miler and it worked great. I’ve now used it for a few months and love it. There were a few other products out there that I’ve not tried. They may be just as good or better, hell if I know.

Things I like!

No bounce
This was my biggest concern and I’m glad to say it was unwarranted. The belt, even when full, fits snugly without jostling around. I don’t even notice its there most of the time. It’s become my favorite storage unit for this reason. My hydration pack has a small area for storage, but although snug the pack still bounces around when full.

Large buckle
Attaches in the back, very simple to hook together because of the size. One wouldn’t think this is a big thing, but its very useful at 5 in the morning. The last thing you want to do is wrestle with a small buckle or tying some strings when you’re not thinking straight.

Carries what I need
Great for a medium long run of 2-4 hours. Keep in mind your nutrition needs may vary on longer runs. (The fitter I get the less fuel I need.) I store my cell phone and one or two gel packs, plenty for a few hours in the woods.

Made in the U.S.A.
Not necessarily a deal breaker for me if its made elsewhere, but its always nice to see there’s stuff still made over here.


Reasonably priced
Considering I’m using it all the time, and it works great, the $12 price tag seems very reasonable.

What I don’t care for

Granted these are very very small pet peeves that I can live with.

Large logo
I don’t care much for prominent logo placement on the products I buy. Even when I like the product I don’t want to be advertising so blatantly. It’s hard not to see the SPIbelt text across the back. They do offer a non-logo version now, I don’t remember seeing this back in the fall of 2012.

Race number attachments
I ordered the version with the toggles to attach race numbers. While I thought this would be a useful feature I use the belt way more for training runs than for races, so they’re left dangling there most of the time. I’ve tried tucking them under the belt so they would stay put, but they start rubbing into my belly after a couple of hours. There’s no way to detach them, I might just cut them off if they get too annoying. I would recommend SPIbelt to go with some toggles that are less bulky, perhaps thinner.

So all in all a solid product. The pouch is not water proof, but I have run a few hours in the rain with it without any issues. I did worry as everything got soaked, but all went well.

Hope this was useful for whoever, happy running!

 

spibelt review quantified running
An expandable belt that feels just right
spibelt review quantified running
large clip for those clumsy fingers