The Best Running Belts

The Best Running Belts

Our pick

SPIbelt Large Pocket

SPIbelt Large Pocket

Tops for toting essentials

This zippered pouch holds essentials and stays put with a comfortable, stretchy band that tidily adjusts to fit most waists—no dangling tails.

Buying Options

$23 from Amazon
$23 from Dick’s Sporting Goods

The SPIbelt Large Pocket is our pick for carrying your essentials on everyday runs. The single stretch-fabric pocket can hold a large-format phone, cards, and keys. It won’t bounce during normal runs with the adjustable band tightened snugly. The belt can be adjusted from about 25 to 47 or more inches and has no annoying dangling straps, unlike many such pouch-on-a-strap-style belts. Its synthetic fabric wicks sweat well, which should keep you cooler, but it isn’t water-resistant—contents can get a bit soggy. And everything is squeezed into one stretchy pocket, which means that you need to pull something out mid-run, there’s a chance other things might fall out, too. But if you’re looking for a convenient, comfortable, affordable way to bring must-haves with you, this is it.

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Runner-up

Nathan Zipster

Nathan Zipster

More pockets, but feels warmer on

This comfy waistband keeps items secure and organized in four pockets, so it’s easy to grab what you need mid-run—but it might feel hot to some runners.

Buying Options

$30 from Nathan
$930 from Road Runner Sports

We felt very little movement from the Nathan Zipster with an XL smartphone, ID and credit cards, keys, and gels distributed among its four pockets. Because it fully encircles the waist, it can feel hotter to wear than the simple single-pocket SPIbelt but it also can hold more. The divided sections prevent stuff from shifting around inside (a problem with similar waistband-style competitors). The two zippered sections are coated inside for a measure of water resistance, though they aren’t big enough for a large-format smartphone; we put ours inside one of the non-coated flap-top pockets. Like all continuous-waistband belts, the Zipster is not adjustable; you have five sizes to select from, which fit waists ranging from about 26 to 40 inches. Plan to wear it around your smallest circumference—it will likely slide to sit there anyway.

Upgrade pick

Naked Running Band

Naked Running Band

Ultimate versatility

Good for long-distance runners or always-prepared types, this nearly bounce-free waistband has a pocket, loop, and clip for stowing your stuff—but it costs a lot.

Buying Options

$50 from Naked Sports Innovations

If organization and capacity are tops on your list, the stretchy mesh Naked Running Band may be worth its high price. We were amazed at how securely it stayed in place when we loaded its three pockets with a smartphone, cards, keys, two gels, and Naked’s soft 500 mL Running Flask (about 17 ounces, sold separately). It’s just as comfortable when it’s holding less stuff, too, and it didn’t chafe bare skin—by comparison, other mesh ones feel coarse. Additional useful features include a key clip, race-bib clips, and silicone-backed loops for securing a light jacket. Like other waistband-style belts, it’s not adjustable. It comes in 12 sizes (three times more than others do); these fit waists ranging from about 28 to 39 inches (but no larger).

Also great

Nathan Trail Mix Plus

Nathan Trail Mix Plus

Max hydration

Incorporating two 10-ounce water bottles, this belt lets you carry your water and sports drink separately and it was the most stable and comfortable two-bottle belt that we tested.

Buying Options

$45 from Amazon
$50 from Road Runner Sports

The slightly stretchy band of the Nathan Trail Mix Plus made it the most stable of any two-bottle belts we tested, a style designed for max hydration on the run. It’s our pick for runners living in hot or arid climates or who often run where water fountains aren’t accessible. The bottles—which hold 10 ounces (about 300 mL) each of water or sports drink—slide easily in and out of the holsters, which flank a plenty-roomy compartmentalized pack (it holds an XL phone, cards, keys, and gels). But with all of that weight to the back (or front), the belt can bounce or slide up unless worn snugly around your body’s smallest circumference. It adjusts from about 26 to 44 inches, though on smaller waists the long strap ends flap around.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

SPIbelt Large Pocket

SPIbelt Large Pocket

Tops for toting essentials

This zippered pouch holds essentials and stays put with a comfortable, stretchy band that tidily adjusts to fit most waists—no dangling tails.

Buying Options

$23 from Amazon
$23 from Dick’s Sporting Goods

Runner-up

Nathan Zipster

Nathan Zipster

More pockets, but feels warmer on

This comfy waistband keeps items secure and organized in four pockets, so it’s easy to grab what you need mid-run—but it might feel hot to some runners.

Buying Options

$30 from Nathan
$930 from Road Runner Sports

Upgrade pick

Naked Running Band

Naked Running Band

Ultimate versatility

Good for long-distance runners or always-prepared types, this nearly bounce-free waistband has a pocket, loop, and clip for stowing your stuff—but it costs a lot.

Buying Options

$50 from Naked Sports Innovations

Also great

Nathan Trail Mix Plus

Nathan Trail Mix Plus

Max hydration

Incorporating two 10-ounce water bottles, this belt lets you carry your water and sports drink separately and it was the most stable and comfortable two-bottle belt that we tested.

Buying Options

$45 from Amazon
$50 from Road Runner Sports

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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