The one thing you don’t want to forget when you hit the trails, especially in the summer, is plenty of water. Hydration belts for runners are a great way to help carry this necessary liquid without slowing you down. Depending on your needs, you can also find hydration belts with additional storage features. Here are a few tips on what to look for when you are shopping for the best hydration belt and a couple of reviews to help you start your search.
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Types of Hydration Belts
You will find that there is typically three types of hydration belts on the market including a single bottle, double bottle, and a multi-bottle. The multi-bottle should carry between three and four bottles.
This is an individual call as you need to consider a few things. Number one, how far will you be running? It is recommended to have approximately one liter, or 33 ounces, for every hour that your plan to run.
How much water do you normally drink when you run? This consideration can vary, but if you normally drink a lot of water compared to your buddy that drinks water like a camel, then you will need to plan accordingly.
Comfort and Fit
Hydration packs that bounce up and won while your run can be annoying and cause irritation and chafing. Making sure the hydration pack fits well should be one of the most important factors to consider.
Most hydration bottles on the market are going to be as lightweight as possible. The weight issue is going to come more from how many water bottles you will be carrying and how big they are.
When you run in the heat, it is a good feature to have straps on the underside of the belt to have some breathability. If the belt has mesh strips in some places, you will have better breathability than packs without it.
One thing to avoid is a hydration pack that is “one size fits all”. It is important to make sure the belt is adjustable, so you can avoid any annoying bouncing or slipping that can come with a poor fit.
There are two types of storage features:
Gear pockets which can carry any necessary items you would like to take with you on your run. These items can include ID, cell phone, and cash.
Bottle security should be an important feature in a hydration belt. You don’t want your bottles to become loose, and some hydration belts have a secure connection to keep the bottles in place.
Ease of Access
If you are not used to it, carrying multiple bottles around your hips while you run can be distracting. It can also affect your rhythm and running form, so it is important to make sure it is easy to grab your water bottles while running.
As you shop for you hydration bottle, make sure the bottle can be pulled off easily, but that it also remains tight on the belt while you run. Also, avoid packs that do not include water bottles with them as water bottles that come with a hydration belt will fit better than those you purchase separately.
Top 7 Best Hydration Belts for Runners Reviews
Fitletic 12-oz Hydration Belt
H2O on the Go! The Fitletic’s revolutionary design contours to your body and allows for a single-handed retrieval of your water bottles. You can wear this ergonomically designed belt farther down on your hips to get rid of any bouncing with Fitletic’s special Dura-Comfort Technology that also makes sure the belt doesn’t ride up or chafe.
Included with the two bottle holsters are two 6 ounce flasks with fast flow race caps that are dishwasher safe and BPA free. The two outside energy gel loops allow for easy access and silicone grippers get rid of bouncing. The upgraded enlarged pouch is a great added feature that can fit large phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 Plus.
For those that like to race, the Fitletic includes integrated race bib toggles, and it is made of neoprene that is water resistant to keep your personal items safe and dry. Included in the Fitletic belt is an interior pocket to hold your ID and cash securely, and accents that are reflective giving you additional safety for nighttime and early morning runs before the sun is up. Let’s take a look at the Fitletic pros and cons.
- No bounce, you almost forget you have it on.
- Very comfortable, and it stays at the waist level you want.
- Doesn’t slip on long runs.
- Not comfortable to wear backward as the bottle hits your butt.
Hydration Running Belt by Camden Gear
If you like having plenty of room for personal items while you are on your run, check out Camden Gear’s Hydration Running Belt. It features a pouch large enough for most cell phones including iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S5, and the HTC One X, so it easy to attach your headphone to listen to music on your run. If you have a huge case though, like an OtterBox, you may have a little difficulty getting it to fit inside and your phone will fit much better without it on.
The Camden Gear also features a small back pocket that is great for ID’s and credit cards, plus it has four elastic straps that can hold your keys and race bibs. It also fits waists up to a 43” size, and it has Velcro straps for an adjustable fit, so it can fit on your waist perfectly without any fear of bouncing. This is a lightweight and snug hydration belt that you will hardly notice that you have on as it does not weigh you down like other hydration belts.
It comes with the ideal size water bottles at 60 ounces per bottle, so you will have enough water for a medium length run. The bottles are easy to grab, and they stay in place without adding a lot of weight during your run. Without the added bulk, you don’t have to worry about chafing from the extra weight. Here are a few pros and cons of Camden Gear’s Hydration Running Belt.
- The pocket can hold a large HTC One smartphone.
- Easy to take bottles in and out.
- Reflectors making running at night or before sunrise easier.
- Doesn’t fit some body types and there isn’t enough Velcro to make the adjustments needed to keep it from moving as you run.
HYDRA 16 oz Hydration Belt
Fitletic is on our list again with the Fitletic Hydra Hydration Belt that features an ergonomic design that will revolutionize how you carry your water. This belt is worn farther down on your hips allowing the belt to contour to your body, so you can get rid of the bounce but also have easy single-handed access to your water bottles. The included pouch is large enough to fit Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, and other smartphones of this size.
The Fitletic Hydra also features two holsters that accommodate two 8 ounce bottles which feature fast flow race caps that are dishwasher safe and BPA free. The bottle caps stay secure with bungee cord loops to make sure they don’t fall out. There are also two outside energy gel loops for fast access with silicone grippers that get rid of any bouncing.
The Ultra Soft Dual-Adjust Waist belt includes integrated bib toggles for races and accents that are reflective for added safety during an evening or early morning run. An interior pocket keeps your ID and cash safe while the water-resistant neoprene keeps all your personal items safe and dry.
- Bottles are a nice size, not so large that they are uncomfortable.
- Grippy dots in the belt keeps it from slipping.
- There is no bounce, and it holds larger sized phones and not big enough to be uncomfortable.
- Not enough loops
Fuelbelt R3O Revenge
If you are looking for a breakthrough in hydration belt function and design, the Fuelbelt Revenge Series is incredible lightweight and cleverly designed molded holsters. It features one-handed access, so the bottles go in and out fast. The FuelBelt Revenge also works will all past and present FuelBelt bottles making it very versatile.
The FuelBelt Revenge is available in a custom fit style of a One Size Fits All. It comes with an elastic waistband that is fully adjustable for a fit that is customized and comfortable with no bounce. They also feature new color ways that were developed by some of the best endurance athletes in modern times including Craig Alexander, Terenzo Bozzone, and Chrissie Wellington.
The Revenge also offers a removable race pocket with a zipper for keys, cash, or gels. It also wicks away moisture with a breathable thermafoam backing that will keep you cool. It also includes three seven-ounce bottles that ergonomic, leakproof, dishwasher safe, and BPA-free.
- Has adjustable straps so it will fit right.
- Bottles are replaceable and so are the caps.
- You can throw it in the washer.
- Velcro rubs against your shorts and makes holes in them.
Sunhiker Sports Waist Pack
If you are looking for the perfect hydration belt to carry your water bottle, plus your personal items, the Sunhiker Sports Waist Pack should be on your list to check out. It is made of high-quality waterproof nylon that can be used in the rain without worrying about anything inside getting wet.
The Sunhiker Sports Waist Pack is a good mixture of practical design, fashion, and multiple functions that is also comfortable to wear. It is large enough to carry your water bottle, plus a cell phone, keys, and MP3 player while you are running, hiking, climbing, or cycling.
The high-quality nylon is not easy to scratch or tear and the bag can be used as either a waist bag or shoulder bag making it versatile enough to wear during outdoor sports or for leisure activities in the city. So, what are the pros and cons of the Sunhiker Sports Waist Pack?
- Works really well, even though it’s a thin material.
- Keeps things like a camera dry, doesn’t leak.
- Lots of room and can even hold a big drink bottle.
- If you have something heavy in the pack, it will sag awkwardly.
FuelBelt 0446 Helium H2O
If a heavy hydration belt wears you down, you will want to check out one of the lightest hydration belts on the market from Hex Foam. The FuelBelt features holsters that are plastic molded for a one hand access to your 14-ounce water bottles. It has an ultra-lightweight design that has a bounce-free fit with a removable storage pocket for your personal items.
One of the lightest hydration belts ever designed, the Helium H2O also feature incredible comfort and has a flashy aesthetic. Made of their specially designed Helium Hex-Foam, the FuelBelt is comfortable, water repellent, and incredibly lightweight. Specially created air channels will improve the performance and breathability of the hydration belt in warm conditions and that keeps you cool under pressure.
The FuelBelt Helium H2O holds two 7-ounce water bottles with silicone push-pull P2 bottle caps that are BPA free and comes with an adjustable waistband that has an S2 Velcro closure. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the FuelBelt Helium H2O.
- You barely notice it is there.
- Helps to keep you hydrated, great for runs.
- Really comfortable, perfect bottle size.
- Storage pocket won’t hold more than a key.
Hydration belts for runners are an awesome option when you are hitting the trails. You always want to make sure you take plenty of fluids with you and some belts even allow you to carry extra items like ID, cash, and smartphones. Make sure to decide what features you want in the best hydration belt for you before you start shopping, so you make sure to get a hydration belt that best fits your needs.