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Best Running Belts in 2022

 

If you’re an avid runner, especially if you run longer mileage and enter a lot of races, there’s a good chance a running belt will help you. You’ll be able to pack your keys, gels, phone, pepper spray, or whatever else you might need during your run.

With running belts, the key is a balance between capacity and comfort. You want to be able to carry everything you need to get you through a long run or race; but you also don’t want to be constantly aware of the belt being there.

The best running belts really come down to personal preference. We recommend Amphipod AirFlow Microstretch Plus Belt for our top pick. It’s adjustable to fit almost all runners, it fits firmly against you and doesn’t bounce, and it has a good-sized stretchy pouch.

We’ve found a range of the best running belts on the market. Each has pros and cons, so based on what you need, you’ll be able to find a running belt on this list that suits you.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Amphipod Air Flow Microstretch Plus Belt

 

  • Fits variety of phones
  • Just right size
  • Slim profile
Check Price

 

SPIbelt Performance Series

 

  • Large, expandable pocket
  • 4 elastic loops
  • Adjustable
Check Price

 

Camelbak Flash Belt

 

  • Holds 17 oz fluids
  • Minimalist style
  • Holds phone and keys
Check Price

Best Overall

1. Amphipod AirFlow Microstretch Plus Belt

The Amphipod AirFlow Microstretch Plus Belt is unobtrusive and minimalist, but provides plenty of space for your valuables.

What We Like

This belt is completely adjustable and can expand to up to 4 times its original size, making it ideal for almost any runner. It can fit waists from 18 inches to 60 inches in circumference.

An AirFlow Microstretch pocket of 10.25 inches x 3 inches offers plenty of space to carry a phone, credit cards, cash, nutrition items, and even emergency first aid items.

The pocket can expand to fit your valuables, and it has an internal divider that can be used to organize your valuables or moved to increase the capacity of the pocket.

When you’re wearing it, the pocket sits snugly against your body without bouncing, provided you’ve adjusted the belt to your waist size.

The quick-release buckle on the belt also makes it easy to get off after your run.

You can buy Race-Lite number tabs separately if you want the ability to add your race number to your belt.

One thing to note is that the elastic may stretch out after a few months of use. Iit may also become harder to hold its shape around your waist without loosening.

Why We Like It

This running belt is easy to use and doesn’t get in your way while you’re running. It’s comfortable and has plenty of space for carrying important items.

PROS:

  • Stretchy pouch expands to securely hold your phone, energy gels, and keys
  • Fits firmly against the body and doesn’t bounce around while running
  • Quick-release buckle for easy on and off
  • Adjustable belt that fits runners from 18 to 60 inches

CONS:

  • The elastic may stretch out after a while and won’t hold its shape around your waist
 

Top Running Belt for Marathons

2. SPIbelt Performance Series

This running belt has plenty of space for nutrition and other valuables. It provides ample space for you to run a marathon without weighing you down.

What We Like

Runners who go for longer distances will appreciate the amount of storage space this belt offers.

The handy front pocket is big enough to fit most smartphones, along with other important items like an ID card, pepper spray, medication, keys, or anything else you feel the need to carry.

Your race nutrition doesn’t even have to take up space in the pocket, with 4 loops integrated into the elastic waist belt for energy gels to be placed into.

The waistband is made of soft elastic that doesn’t chafe and shouldn’t ride up as you move. It’s fully adjustable to get a comfortable, bounce-free fit on waists between 28 and 44 inches in size.

Although the fabric itself is not waterproof, the zipper is weatherproof and your valuables should be safe from splashes or light rain.

Why We Like It

This belt is the perfect combination of comfortable, spacious, and easy to use. If you’re a marathoner, this is ideal.

PROS:

  • One large, expandable pocket can accommodate smartphones and other items
  • 4 elastic loops keep energy gels and electrolyte sachets within easy reach
  • Adjustable, soft elastic keeps the belt in place without chafing or riding up
  • Sits close to your body and moves with you

CONS:

  • This running belt isn’t waterproof
 

Best Hydration Belt

3. Camelbak Flash Belt

Runners who want a dual storage and hydration belt will find the Camelbak Hydration Belt to be an excellent choice.

What We Like

This running belt offers both storage space and hydration in one handy belt system. A standard buckle closure on the front of the belt allows for adjustment to fit your waist size comfortably.

A pouch with a 17 oz water bottle included on the back of the belt allows you to carry plenty of hydration with you. It’s insulated with foam to keep your water cool while you’re running in warm weather.

Also, be aware that not all Camelbak bottles will fit into the pouch.

There’s also a large zippered storage pocket, which can accommodate a wide variety of items that you may need to carry with you. The pocket may not fit some of the larger smartphones, so check yours before buying.

This belt is made from moisture-wicking fabric preventing you from overheating while you run.

Why We Like It

This running belt offers the best of both hydration and storage, in one easy-to-use, convenient belt.

PROS:

  • Water bottle pouch pocket is insulated with foam
  • Zippered pocket can accommodate cards, keys, gels, or small protein bars
  • Dual waist straps let you cinch down for a perfect fit
  • Moisture-wicking fabric helps keep you cool on your run

CONS:

  • The pocket doesn’t fit all smartphones
 

Top Running Belt for Large Phones

4. Bandi Large Pocket Belt

If you have a sizable smartphone that you struggle to fit into other running belts, the Bandi Large Pocket Belt could be the right one for you.

What We Like

This running belt has a unique design and looks less like a traditional belt than others. It has a flat, stretchy design that molds to your waist and shouldn’t bounce.

The four-way stretch fabric tightens around you without being uncomfortable, and can be adjusted with the classic buckle. It can be adjusted to fit waists up to 42 inches in size.

This simple belt features two storage pockets. The bigger one is 7.5 inches x 3.5 inches in size, which is more than enough space for most smartphones.

There’s also a smaller side pocket, which is ideal for energy chews or gels, or a house key. Neither pocket is zippered, instead using a foldover design to minimize chafing risks.

There’s also a Bandi name tag near the buckle, which may be able to double as a gel loop in a pinch.

It’s available in a wide range of colors and patterns. While most of them are geared more towards women’s style, you can get more plain designs if that is what you prefer.

However, this running belt seems to run (no pun intended) a bit small. You can buy an extender piece, but many buyers claim that their waist size is well within the recommended size and it still doesn’t fit.

Why We Like It

This running belt is ideal for those who need extra space to accommodate a large phone along with other items. It’s also very comfortable.

PROS:

  • Flat, stretchy design molds to the shape of your body and doesn’t bounce
  • One large, divided pouch pocket that can easily store your phone and gels
  • Smaller side pocket to store your car and house keys
  • Available in a variety of stylish patterns and colors

CONS:

  • This belt seems to run small, although you can buy an extender piece
 

Best Reflective Running Belt

5. SPIbelt Reflective Running Belt

This running belt serves the dual purpose of storing your valuables safely and keeping you visible in low light conditions.

What We Like

Wearing the SPIbelt Reflective Running Belt means you not only have your valuables with you, but you’re also highly visible in lower light conditions.

If you run in the early morning or after dark, this belt is an excellent choice. The entire back pocket consists of reflective material, and the elastic waistband also has reflective detailing on it.

The pocket expands up to a size of 8 inches x 4 inches x 2 inches, which can hold most sized smartphones along with a few other slim items like cards or keys.

However, there’s a little less space in the pocket of this belt than in other similar ones. If you carry a lot with you, this may not be the best choice.

Waists between 24 and 47 inches should be able to wear this belt comfortably. The fabric is soft, stretchy, and wicks away moisture. It shouldn’t chafe, bounce, or ride up as you run.

Why We Like It

You’ll easily be seen by passing motorists and other runners in low light conditions thanks to this belt’s reflective qualities.

PROS:

  • Reflective pocket and detailing on the belt increases visibility
  • Expandable pocket fits large phones like iPhone11 Plus or Galaxy Note S10 Plus
  • Material wicks away sweat and won’t ride up or cause chafing
  • Fits most waist sizes, from 24 inches to 47 inches

CONS:

  • The pocket has a little less space than others
 

Top Running Belt With Zippered Pocket

6. Nathan the Zipster

The Nathan Zipster running belt has a flat, conforming design and a spacious zippered pocket that will keep your belongings safe.

What We Like

This lightweight belt is made of soft, stretchy material that conforms to your waist, creating a snug fit without chafing or riding up.

Two spacious zippered pockets offer more than enough space for space-consuming items, like phones or house keys.

You’ll also find two smaller foldover-style pockets, which can accommodate things like cards, race nutrition, and cash.

All the pockets are weather-resistant, which keeps your items safe in the event of a splash or light rainfall.

There’s no adjustable buckle on this belt, but it’s available in six sizes and can accommodate waists between 26 and 48 inches in circumference.

Why We Like It

The flat design of this belt makes it very comfortable, while the zippered pocket is large enough to carry most of your valuables without bouncing.

PROS:

  • Soft, stretchy material conforms to the shape of your body
  • Features 2 large pockets and 2 smaller foldover pouches
  • Weather-resistant pockets to help keep your things dry
  • Available in six sizes and accommodates waists from 26 to 48 inches

CONS:

  • There’s no way to adjust the size of this running belt
 

Best Running Belt With Insulated Bottles

7. Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated Hydration Belt

If you run long distances in warm weather, the insulated-bottle design of this running belt might be just right for you.

What We Like

The Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated Hydration Belt offers nutrition, hydration, and storage in an easy-to-use package.

It fits two 10 oz water bottles in its holsters, one on either hip. The flasks themselves are insulated, keeping your water cooler for longer in the heat.

They’re also ergonomically-shaped to try and prevent any chafing. Keep in mind that the belt may bounce a little bit when the bottles are full, due to the weight being placed on the belt.

The bottles are designed to be easy to take out and put back with one hand as you’re running. For this reason, other Nathan bottles may not quite be compatible with this belt.

As well as carrying all the water you need, there’s a single zippered pocket to allow you to bring nutrition items or valuables on your run. You’ll also find two adjustable bungee cord loops on either side, which can hold an energy gel each.

The soft, stretchy fabric is not only comfortable when worn, but it also has reflective detailing for safety while out on the road or trail.

Why We Like It

This belt is perfect for longer runs in warmer climates, with insulated water bottles that are ergonomically-designed for comfort and ease of use.

PROS:

  • Two ergonomically-shaped 10oz flasks that sit comfortably against your back
  • Easy to pull out and stow the flask one-handed while on the run
  • One zippered pocket to stash your gels and other small personal items
  • Reflective fabric helps increase visibility in low-light conditions

CONS:

  • The belt may bounce a bit when the bottles are full
 

Top Lightweight Belt

8. Original SPIbelt

The Original SPIbelt is minimalist, simple to use, and comes in a variety of different patterns and colors. It’s also very lightweight and perfect for use when you’re only carrying a few small items.

What We Like

The Original SPIbelt looks small, but the expandable pocket can easily hold a smartphone and a bunch of other items.

It’s ideal for runners who have only a few things to carry, as it’s not bulky at all and won’t weigh you down.

It’s also very versatile and can be worn when traveling, shopping, or doing activities other than running. The belt fits comfortably underneath or over clothing.

You can fit a smartphone of up to 6.5 inches long into the expandable pocket, along with other items. The flat nature of the belt reduces bounce and the soft material keeps it comfortable.

It fits waist sizes between 24 inches and 47 inches. The easy glides on the buckle mean the belt is adjustable to your size, and you can even get a belt extender if you need some more space.

However, the belt is not water-resistant, so while your phone should be safe from sweat—it has a rubber lining between the phone and your body—it may not offer protection against splashes or rain.

Why We Like It

Although the weight of your belt ultimately depends on what you store in it, this running belt is minimalist in style and unobtrusive, as well as very lightweight if you only want to carry a few items with you.

PROS:

  • Adjustable, wide, soft comfortable band won’t ride or shift while running
  • Fits snugly against the body without restricting your range of movement
  • Can be worn facing the front or the back, on top of or under your clothing
  • Glides make it easy to adjust on the go if necessary

CONS:

  • This belt is not water-resistant
 

Best Customizable Running Belt

9. Amphipod RunLite AirStretch QR Belt

This belt may look like hardly anything, but you can customize this plain elastic belt as much as you wish, making it a personal running belt to suit all your needs.

What We Like

The base product of this belt is a soft and stretchable strip of elastic material—AirStretch Belt—that has a quick-release buckle for easy use.

It has a chafe-free edging, which should prevent the belt from hurting you or riding up as you run.

The best thing about this belt is that you can add various pieces to it so that you have everything you need in a running belt.

Some of the items you can add include water bottles, pockets, nutrition pods, and other tabs to suit you and your running needs.

But some of the slide-on or clip-on additions may cause the belt to bounce a little when you run as they’re not part of the belt.

Why We Like It

You can customize this running belt to your own liking, so there’s no wasted space or unnecessary features.

PROS:

  • Add as many race tabs, bottle modules, and storage pouches as you need
  • Can add additional accessories like a nutrition pod to the belt
  • Adjustable belt that fits waists from 26 to 48 inches
  • Durable, low-profile buckle allows for easy access

CONS:

  • The belt may bounce a little
 

Best Flipbelt for Training Runs

10. Flipbelt Classic Running Belt

This handy belt style allows you to carry all that you need in an unassuming, inconspicuous way that allows you easy access.

What We Like

The Flipbelt Classic Running Belt is one of the most comfortable and convenient running belts you can find.

It’s also very versatile, as you can use it in multiple situations outside of running or fitness.

The entire belt is a long zippered compartment allowing you to store almost anything you wish. There are three different openings that allow you to place your valuables inside the main compartment.

It’s a sleek and aerodynamic design, and with its flat nature it shouldn’t bounce around while you’re running.

The material is also moisture-wicking, to prevent chafing around your waist as you sweat.

It can fit waists from 18 to 48 inches in size, and you can wear it both under or over your clothing depending on your personal preference.

Why We Like It

This running belt is sleek and comfortable while allowing plenty of space to carry what you need.

PROS:

  • Soft fabric belt sits flat and firmly against your body without bouncing
  • Continuous main compartment with multiple, easy access points
  • Can be worn comfortably under clothing as it doesn’t move or ride up
  • Available in seven sizes and accommodates waists from 18 to 48 inches

CONS:

  • This belt has no adjustability
 

Buyer’s Guide – Running Belts

Fit and Sizing

The running belt you choose should fit tightly around your waist so that the pouch or pocket sits flat against your back, which will minimize bouncing. It shouldn’t be so tight that it chafes or is uncomfortable as you run.

Most running belts will have an adjustable fit to allow you to find just the right tightness. Otherwise, you can choose a stretchy belt but be aware that it will lose its tightness over time.

Material and Fabric

Running belts come in a variety of different materials. Whichever belt you choose should be made of moisture-wicking, quick-drying material so that it protects your belongings from sweat and light rain.

Weight

Most running belts are lightweight. However, running belts designed specifically for races are the most minimalist design you will find.

Hydration

Consider whether or not you need a running belt with attached water bottles. While this offers you hydration within easy reach, it does add weight to the belt and may feel uncomfortable to run with.

Access

Make sure that the pouches and pockets are easy to unzip and reach while running. Some running belts come with loops on the waistband which can hold an energy gel. This allows you to grab one on the go instead of trying to get into the pocket.

Pockets

Make sure the pocket or pouch is big enough to carry your phone. The appropriate size depends on the person, as one may carry their phone, keys, cards, and nutrition, while another may only carry one house key and a few energy chews.

Zippered pockets are safer and will prevent you from possibly losing items. Other belts have pockets that fold in over themselves but don’t have zips.

Silicone Grippers

If you don’t have an allergy to silicone, you could look for a running belt with silicone grippers on the inside. These will grip to your clothing and prevent the belt from slipping or bouncing around.

Other Features

Other features you may want to look for in a running belt include reflective detailing for visibility in low-light conditions or bib clips which allow you to wear a racing bib on your belt.

FAQs

What Does a Running Belt Do?

A running belt offers an easy, convenient, hands-free way to carry your valuables with you while you run.

They come in a wide variety of styles and types. Some include water bottles or race bib toggles.

All of them have at least one compartment where you can store your phone, ID or credit cards, cash, keys, and nutrition items.

Do You Need a Running Belt?

You don’t need a running belt, but they can be convenient. If you plan to carry valuables with you on your run, then a running belt is worth having.

They are more comfortable and less conspicuous than a running vest.

How to Wear a Running Belt:

Your running belt should sit on your hips. Adjust the belt until it’s tight enough to not move on its own, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable.

Do a test jog to make sure the belt doesn’t move out of position or chafe. If it does, reposition it and test again until you find the right place.

What’s the Difference Between a Running Belt, Waistpack, and Waist Belt?

Running belts can also be called waist packs or waist belts. They are all terms for the same kind of product and can be used interchangeably.

Why Use a Running Belt Instead of a Hydration Vest?

Running belts are more comfortable and bounce less than a hydration vest as you can get a tighter fit.

However, you won’t be able to carry as much water in a running belt as you will in a hydration vest. A vest may be better for longer runs where you’ll need more hydration, while a belt is ideal for shorter runs.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

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