Run Oregon is training free in the Freetrain V1 running vest

Where do you keep your stuff when you run? Your phone, your keys in particular? I don’t always run with water.. In fact when I’m out for a run that’s only going to take an hour or less, I try to carry as little as possible, including water. But this year I have a goal to run or walk most days, so I’m going for long walks a lot more. Sometimes I’m outside for a couple of hours and I like to listen to an audio book on my phone. Some of my pants have pockets and some don’t, and sometimes I need a house or car key. And when I want to have my stuff but not have to worry about where to carry it, Freetrain will take care of this problem.

Freetrain makes vests. Not hydration vests but chest phone holder vests. The design is great, the material is comfy, and it serves a few purposes, including keeping you visible with reflective elements in the early hours or after dusk settles in.

There are two styles of the Freetrain vest. The Freetrain V1 Vest is black and the VR Vest is gray. I was offered a choice and went with the V1, but in hindsight wished I’d gone with the VR, as this model has fully reflective shoulder straps, whereas the V1 has just the reflective strips. However, both models are retro reflective and highly visible when it’s dark, and they are built exactly the same otherwise.

The first plus is that the phone pouch is very stretchy. Freetrain claims the pouch fits 99% of modern cell phones and I would agree with that statement. My phone is not only large, but I keep it in an obnoxiously larger Otterbox case since I live in a house with wild boys and am not super graceful myself. I was able to fit my phone snugly inside.

The vest itself fits the majority of people between 28” and 48” through the chest. It’s very stretchy but also very secure. It’s meant to both expand and mould to your body, sort of like a wetsuit or something of that tough squishy material, for lack of a more technical term. However, it’s not at all constrictive, and it breathes well. It’s not hot or itchy or anything resembling a straight jacket. The website warns it might feel the tightest initially when you wear it the first time, but it will “give” a bit more after 2-3 sessions.

Freetrain has made a product that puts a lot of thought into minimizing any interference with functional movement. It has an adjustable waistband and the vest material is perforated with breathable little holes to allow venting and keep you from overheating.

Running with uneven weight distribution can lead to injuries, and I have learned this far too well as I’ve gotten older and put in more miles. The Freetrain vest is great because everything gets distributed through the center of your body and evenly across your torso. Wearing this vest is easier on my back and hips and I feel I can go longer and really dive into whatever I’m listening to on audio. (BTW, “The Invisible Addie LaRue” is long but sooo good!)

It’s easy to forget you’re wearing it. The pouch for the phone is in the front center of the vest and there’s a snap release and hinge system to keep it close to your chest when you don’t need it, and the ability to pull it down in front of you with what looks like a wallet window so you can view it in a protected and convenient manner for easy access.  You can easily change a song from your phone, check something online, or even answer a phone call.

There is also a little divider in the pouch where you can store cards and cash behind your cell phone. There’s also a Velcro pocket on the right side for your keys and a zip pocket on the left that you can use to hold an energy gel or something small.


Products & Price:

Specs (from website):

This is the product you don’t realise you need, until you have it. Once you have it, we’d be surprised if you ever turn back!

  • The centrally located phone pouch is designed to give you seamless access to change song, check maps or even answer calls & eliminate bouncing or uneven weight distribution Did you know running with an armband/pocket or phone in your hand can cause injuries?
  • The two extra pockets are located on either side so that you can comfortably store your keys & other smaller items such as energy gels or an inhaler. We also have a secret pocket inside the phone pouch which can take cash & cards.
  • Our durable & lightweight materials are extremely water resistant, standing up to extreme conditions whilst providing a snug & comfortable fit complimented with an adjustable waistband in order for you to adjust to your choice.
  • The all reflective print adds the element of safety so that you may be seen in the dark.
  • The unique & patented design has been created as a unisex product that covers as many bases that you need to train freely.

More about Freetrain:


Freetrain is the brainchild of two former professional athletes who met playing football in 2011.

Forever searching to improve the enjoyment of our workouts, and with an eye on a future away from football, we looked to create something to help adapt working out to a rapidly evolving modern world.

At the end of 2018, we settled on the idea of finding the best possible solution to carrying your phone whilst you worked out and called our company Freetrain.

In the beginning, we cut designs out of old T-shirts and got our grandparents to stitch the first basic prototypes. There were lots of after school football sessions and part time jobs necessary to help fund the development and manufacture of our products, but we carried on with a single creative purpose: to give people more freedom while they train…

Finally, in the summer of 2019, the Freetrain V1 vest was born, and runners, cyclists and casual gym goers all over the world began to share our vision…

Thank you to Freetrain for providing us with a sample. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.