The 5 Best Running Belts in 2020
Where do you put everything you need while you run? If you have trouble with this, one of the best running belts can help.
Running with a phone, keys, and other items in your pockets can slow you down and annoy you, but you can also get bruises from things banging against you as you run. While we wish we could always run free of personal items, the truth is it’s usually impossible.
The good news? Running belts can help make running with excess gear more comfortable.
Running belts are like small, sleek, non-obtrusive fanny packs. They are fabric pouches designed to hold your personal items close to your torso. They come in a variety of sizes, with some built for a few items and others made to carry much more.
See the best running belts on the market and how these tools can make your runs more comfortable.
#2 Nathan Trail Mix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Running Belt
The Nathan Sports Insulated Trail Mix Plus belt is our top choice for a running belt with built-in water bottles. This belt has two 10-ounce insulated Fire and Ice flasks. They keep water cool on hot days and prevent it from freezing on cold days. Features include:
- Front zipper
- Soft, non-chafing fabric
- Two 10 ounce insulated flasks
#4 Nathan VaporKrar Waist Pak
If you’re looking for a lightweight belt with maximum storage capacity, check out the Nathan Sport VaporKrar running belt. Features include:
- 18-ounce soft flask
- High storage capacity
- Non-bouncing and non-chaffing material
#5 uFashion3C Running Belt Running Belt
Enjoy running with your iPhone and want to be able to flip through songs and perhaps check your messages mid-run? This running belt not only holds your iPhone but also gives you access to it thanks to a clear touchscreen PVC window. Features include:
- Affordable price
- Touchscreen window for phones
- Two additional pockets in addition to main phone pocket.
Editors' Choice: Flipbelt Zipper Running Belt
The Flipbelt zipper running belt is one of the most popular running waist belts on the market and our top choice amongst basic running belts.
The belt fits close to your body and doesn’t bounce or chafe. The long strip of material has a main compartment with four openings. The belt comes in five sizes between 18 inches and 38 inches.
This belt uses a micro-poly and Lycra blend to stay breathable and super lightweight. It comes in a variety of colors and has reflectors so that you can feel safe running at night.
Flipbelt Zipper Pros
- Comfortable design: This running belt fits like a second skin.
- Reflective material: Want to run at night? This belt helps keep you safe.
- Machine washable: If you work up a sweat, throw your belt in the washing machine after your workout.
Flipbelt Zipper Cons
- Small size: This is a small running belt. If you need to carry more gear, this will not be the best choice for you. However, it offers plenty of storage for some people.
Best Value: SPIBelt Running Belt
SPIbelts have been around for years, and it’s easy to see why. They’re affordable, high-quality, and comfortable.
These belts may look small, but they can expand to hold your smartphone, keys, credit card, and up to five energy gel packs.
The material is water-resistant, so it will keep your valuables dry from rain (and sweat!) while you run.
The belt fits tight to your skin and won’t bounce or ride up while you run.
- Affordable price: This is one of the most affordable running belts on the market.
- Comfortable build: It won’t ride up or chafe while you run.
- Spacious pockets: This belt is large enough to hold up to five energy drinks.
- Pocket access: If you have a large phone, it will be hard to store and access it from this belt.
Best For iPhones: uFashion3C Running Belt
If you like listening to (and flipping through) your iTunes while you run, you’ll need a running belt that gives you easy access to your iPhone.
In our opinion, the best belt for your iPhone is the uFashion3C Running Belt.
This running belt will hold your iPhone and give you access to it thanks to a clear touchscreen PVC window. It has a headphone hole too, in case you haven’t invested in wireless running headphones yet.
This running belt has two additional pockets for items such as keys and money. The pockets are waterproof and sweatproof, too.
- Low price: This is the most affordable running belt on our list.
- Storage pockets: The running belt has two additional pockets in addition to the main phone pocket.
- Touchscreen window: This running belt lets you access your phone without having to remove it from the belt.
- Less ventilation: Runners say this belt isn’t as breathable as others on the market.
Best With Water Bottles: Nathan Trail Mix Plus
If you enjoy running in the summer, you need to stay hydrated. You can attempt running and holding a water bottle, but why not invest in a running belt with a built-in water bottle?
The Nathan Sports Insulated Trail Mix Plus belt is our top choice for a running belt with built-in water bottles. This belt has two 10-ounce insulated Fire and Ice flasks. They keep water cool on hot days and prevent it from freezing on cold days.
The water bottles in the Nathan’s trademarked SpeedFit holsters will be easy to grab with one hand.
In addition to the water bottle holders, this running belt has a decent-sized front zippered pocket large enough for most smartphones. There’s also a separate pouch for your keys.
Nathan Trail Mix Plus Pros
- Comfortable fabric: The fabric is soft and molds to your body. It won’t bounce or cause chaffing when you run.
- Easy access: The front zipper is easy to open if you need a snack mid-run. The SpeedFit holsters let you grab a flask with one hand.
- Two water bottles: Two 10-ounce insulated flasks will keep you hydrated with cool water.
Nathan Trail Mix Plus Cons
- Higher price: This option is more expensive than other running belts.
Best for Race Days: Nathan VaporKrar Waist Pak
Finding the perfect running belt is tricky, especially if you’re a long-distance runner and enjoy running 10Ks, half-marathons, and even marathons.
You need to carry your essentials, but you also don’t want them weighing you down or making you uncomfortable. Thus, your goal is to find a lightweight belt with maximum storage capacity. In our minds, this is the Nathan Sport VaporKrar.
This belt comes with an 18-ounce soft flask to keep you hydrated and enough storage for your phone and a few small snacks.
The belt fits snugly against your waist and won’t cause chafing or bounce uncomfortably while you run.
Nathan VaporKrar Pros
- Built-in water bottle: This belt comes with an 18-ounce soft flask to help you stay hydrated while you race without weighing you down.
- Lightweight design: This belt has ample storage but is still lightweight.
- Tight fit: Belt will not bounce or cause chafing while you run
Nathan VaporKrar Cons
- Storage space: This belt has less capacity than other running belts.
Types of Running Belts
If you’re looking for the best running shoes (whether men’s running shoes or women’s running shoes), you’ll find that running shoes differ based on your running style. There are trail-runners, road-runners, and cross-training running shoes.
Running belts are similar. You need a belt to meet your specific needs.
If you’re looking for your first running belt, take a moment to consider when you’ll use it. Examples include:
- Is it for your weekend runs, like when you go to your local park and run a leisurely five miles, stopping at water fountains along the way?
- Would you use it for your half-marathon when you’re trying to beat your personal best?
Thinking about when you’ll use a running belt can help dictate the type of running belt you’ll need.
Race Day Belt
If you’re a marathon runner (or half-marathon runner), you’re going to need gear while you run.
Long-distance runners often need items such as:
- Water or gels
Get a belt that can hold these things without weighing you down.
Some runners like having water bottles on them while they run while others prefer gels. If you fall into the former category, consider purchasing a belt with add-on accessories such as water bottle attachments.
You’ll also want a belt that won’t ride up or chafe but instead will feel like a second skin.
A good race day belt should also have toggles to attach your race number and be easily accessible while you run.
Waistband running belts are the most basic of running belts.
If you’re going on short runs and need to bring a few items like keys, your phone, and perhaps a credit card, get a waistband belt.
Waistband running belts have at least one pocket for your items.
They fit close to your body and are akin to an extension of your running tights or shorts. Thanks to the close fit, they won’t bounce or ride up.
Water Bottle Belts
Water bottle belts are the next step up from your basic waistband belts.
These belts can carry your small personal items and some water. As such, they are ideal for long runs and hot summer runs.
Water bottle belts can carry between one and four small bottles. The more bottles you have, the more bulk you’ll carry. Choose a belt that suits your hydration needs without overdoing it.
Running Belt Buyer’s Guide
Once you know what kind of running belt (or belts) you want to invest in, consider the features you’ll need.
Running belt comes in different designs. Take the following into consideration:
- Fit and comfort: A good running belt should fit snugly as though it’s an extension of your running shorts or tights. Make sure it doesn’t ride up for chafe your skin.
- Style: Running belts come in a wide range of designs. We suggest trying on a few different models. What’s comfortable for one person’s body won’t be comfortable for someone else.
- Quality: A good running belt should be waterproof or at least water-resistant material to protect against both sweat and potential rain! Look at the material and make sure it can stand up to the elements. Make sure the zippers are easy to unzip, the straps will fit snuggly without stretching out, and the pouch won’t tear should your keys poke it.
These factors will help the belt meet your needs.
A running belt’s primary goal is storage. It acts as an extra pocket while you run and should be big enough to carry your necessary personal items.
However, it can also do more.
Some running belts come with additional features. Here are some of the most common:
- Race Number Pin: If you plan to join a few races, you’ll need to wear a running bib. You can use safety pins and pin it to your clothes, but why not invest in a running belt that allows the attachment of your race number?
- Reflective Strip: Are you a night runner? If so, make sure you wear bright, neon colors or reflective strips. If you don’t want to put reflective strips on your shirt, consider a running belt with reflective strips
- Water bottle holder: If you enjoy running in the summer, invest in a running belt with hydration bottles so that you can stay hydrated while you run. Some belts can only carry one, while others can care four or more.
- Zippered pouch: This pocket can hold things you don’t want to lose like money or keys.
What are your running essentials?
Most people bring their keys, phone, some money, and perhaps some hydration.
Ask yourself what you’ll need to bring with you when you run to help determine what size storage pocket you need.
If you plan to go running in the rain, make sure the pockets are waterproof or water-resistant.
A running belt can help your run be more comfortable. Use our top picks and our buying guide to help you find the right option for you.Read More