Running is a constant game of trial and error. Sometimes you strike gold with a shoe that complements your stride or a gel that sits well on a sensitive tummy. Other times you strike out, be it a chafe-y short, a hat that overheats…or that time I tried to outsmart myself during a half marathon and store two gels in my sports bra (long story short, it ended very badly for both ‘girls’).
So I’m always on the lookout for gear that allows me to take any element of chance out of runs, particularly the long ones where there’s A) a higher risk of something going awry, and B) decent odds that I’ll be a good distance from home when it happens. And bonus points if it allows me to go hands-free, because we all know that the amount of “stuff” you have to carry is directly proportional to your mileage — meaning, mo’ miles, mo’ problems juggling my keys, phone, headphones, gels, water, etc.
Enter FlipBelt, which is one of those so-simple-it’s-brilliant products — literally, it’s a tubular fabric waistband in which you can tuck all your must-have items while exercising (click here to see it in action). And to keep everything even more secure, all you have to do is flip the belt inward, effectively “locking” the openings against your body so nothing pops out.
Easy-peasy. But does it work?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had notoriously bad experiences with products that sit around my hips while running. Be it my mechanics, anatomy or just personal preference, I get super annoyed when anything slips, bounces or is at all noticeable (again, like that time I tried a hip hydration pack and ended up having to strap it — mid-run — around the lower half of my butt to keep it from jostling around = #RunningFail).
The shot above is of me in the FlipBelt with six gels in it, plus my keys (there’s even a handy little lanyard key clip if you’re especially OCD about losing them, like I am). I took it for a few test runs during some of my recent treadmill workouts, so it got put through the paces thoroughly at both a walk and a jog.
My verdict? It didn’t budge, bounce or otherwise both me. Success!
The only con I can see is that it isn’t waterproof, but that’s probably so you don’t end up with a big, hot ring of sweat around your waist. And if you want to store your phone in the FlipBelt and keep it from getting wet, there’s an easy fix: just slip it in a waterproof Ziploc bag, and you’re good to go. When you’re using it to play music, however, or want to access it more often, like I do, then you may want to opt for an armband for regular access.
Not only is it easy-care (the fabric is machine washable), but it’s also so easy-wear that I’m even considering breaking my “nothing new on race day” rule and using it in my upcoming marathon to tote all the essentials — nutrition, phone and keys — for 26.2 miles.
For more information or to order one of your own, visit FlipBelt.com.