Jennifer, who is training for the 2016 Portland Marathon, wore it for a number of runs from 4-20 miles. Because she was already familiar with the original, she knew that it’s 3.5″ wide pocket provided ample storage. Unlike most running belts, which you size with a sliding strap, the FlipBelt comes in five sizes. You select the size based on your measurements for where you’d like the belt to lay on your body. Want it around your waist? Measure at the belly button. Prefer to wear it around your hips? Easy – measure over the hipbones. Both Anne and Jennifer agree that the FlipBelt hardly bounces, so it won’t start on your hips and then work up to your waist.
The key difference in the Hydration Belt is obviously the addition of the water bottles. The belt itself is lightweight; obviously if you add water there will be more weight, but you can’t get around that. Jennifer mentioned that there was a little bit of sliding when all three bottles were full and loaded, but it wasn’t distracting and as she emptied the bottles the sliding stopped. She also found that it was possible for the larger of the two bottle sizes to fall out, so you have to “check” them from time to time and just push them back into place if you feel them sliding. Running “hands free” is so nice, especially when you need to carry water: it’s heavy, bottles can sweat, and a handheld can throw off your cadence.
In addition to carrying the water bottles, the FlipBelt Hydration Belt also fits the usual “stuff:” gels, keys, your phone, etc. It can take a little practice to smoothly slide the bottles back in while you’re on the move, as it is with any hydration belt where the bottles clip or slide in somehow.
There are two water bottle sizes, 6 oz ($8.99) and 11 oz ($9.99), and as shown below, you can fit two of the smaller bottles and one of the larger ones in the belt for a total of 23 oz. Jennifer felt that the smaller bottles fit better than the larger bottle, so for most of her runs she’d use one or two of the small ones, depending on her planned distance. As some races are starting to go “cupless,” or if you just hate to grab one of the single-use cups at an aid station, the FlipBelt Hydration Belt would be a good alternative so you can get refills during a race.
You can pick up the FlipBelt Hydration Belt on their website for $43.99. And if you already have a FlipBelt, you can order just the bottles, and truly condense your long run gear down to just one lightweight belt with a ton of storage.