When I found out that they were coming out with a hydration belt, I was thrilled. I have recently started disliking my belt,* but for long runs, it is a necessity. I have been using my handheld a lot this summer, but I really want to carry both water and Nuun on my long runs. I was eager to try a better belt. Enter the iFitness Hydration Belt (16 oz size).
The iFitness Hydration Belt features:
- Water resistant pouch, stretchy and sturdy, made of neoprene will keep your cell phone or iPod (any size) dry.
- Two 8oz bottles (BPA free)
- 2 elastic slots will hold your gels on your belt, for easy access.
- A special inner pocket will keep your ID/credit cards or room key securely.
- Comes with two reflector strips in the front and one in the back, for night time safety.
- Also featured are two toggles to hold your race number, under the pouch.
Here is a picture of my double pouch with an add-on.
I received both items quickly. In the past, other belts I have ordered have arrived in a timely fashion as well. There is no set up and while I did rinse them, the bottles did not appear to need to be washed before use.
I have now worn this belt on two long runs (20 miles and 22 miles) as well as during two legs of Hood to Coast
Here are my thoughts.
- The belt fits just like my pouch belt, nice and snug. If I have it adjusted correctly, it doesn’t bounce at all. I prefer it to sit down on my hips where I just forget about it.
- The bottles fit tightly into the pouches. In the past, I have had bottles fall out of the belt. A couple times, this happened in a race! Once, during a half marathon, one of my bottles was knocked out by my arm during my sprint to the finish. I just left it. I have actually used rubber bands to secure the bottles during a key race—pretty junk-show. The iFitness belt also has some elastic loops to secure the bottles, ensuring that they never pop out. They are easy enough to get out to drink, however.
- The pouch is nice and roomy without being too bulky. It is big enough for my phone, cash, a packet of flushable wipes and a Gu. Saturday, during my twenty-two miler, I also stashed a Honey Stinger Waffle in the pouch.
- There are two elastic loops that fit a Gu packet.
- The pouch seemed to keep everything dry. On my long run Saturday, it rained pretty hard. My phone stayed dry and protected.
- They have reflective stripes for safety. I don’t always run in the dark, but it was pitch black Saturday when we started. I also used it during my night leg of Hood to Coast.
- I like having ten ounce bottles. The eight ounce bottles aren’t quite big enough and I think I might have to refill during the marathon. When I ran marathons with the other belt, 40 ounces lasted me 26.2 miles. I am not sure if 32 ounces will last. We’ll see.
- While I didn’t notice it during my long run, the belt gave me a little bruise on the front of my hip. It was a little tender Saturday night, but don’t even notice it today. To be fair, this happens with any hydration belt I have tried.
- The bottles are a little too far apart to fit exactly between my hips. If I wear it straight on, the bottles lay directly on my hip bones. Ouch. I have to turn it a little catty-wompus (is that even a word?) so it lays flat. One of the bottles sits directly in front of my hip bone and the other one sits right behind my other hip bone. This puts the rear bottles in a strange place. It is ok because I drink from the front bottles, switching them with the rear bottles as I empty them.
The iFitness Hydration Belt is priced competitively with the other belts out there. It retails for $39.95 for the 16 ounce belt. The 12 ounce belt (using two six ounce bottles) sells for $36.95. There are belts out there with ten ounce bottles that sell for the same price as iFitness.
Where the iFitness is not as competitive is when you jump to four bottles. The two bottle add-on is $19.95. That makes a four bottle set-up a $60 investment. There are cheaper options out there. The thing each person has to decide is—is comfort and convenience worth the extra $$. For me, I think it is. The add-ons offer me a lot of options, so they are worth it.
Overall, I really like this belt. I don’t think I will ever LOVE a hydration belt. However, when I want plenty of options for my hydration and fuel, this is a good option for me. I will most likely be wearing this for St. George. I originally was planning on running with my handheld bottle, but I like the idea of having both water and Nuun with me (I prefer to wash down my Gu’s with water over Nuun) as well as the ability to carry 32 ounces instead of the 20 ounces that my handheld holds.
The Best News:
I have the opportunity to give away a hydration belt to a lucky reader! Please find all the ways to enter below. In order to be eligible to win, you must be a follower and must go to iFitness and check out their products, leaving a comment about your favorite. There are a bunch of other ways to earn entries. See below for how to enter. The giveaway will end on Sunday, September 18 at 9 p.m. PDT.
*I have used the Roadrunner/Nathan four-bottle hydration belt. The one I have is three years old and might be a bit different than what they sell today. It has a velcro closure and after losing some weight, it doesn’t fit well. It bounces and I have to jerry-rig it with rubber bands to fit me at all. It ends up looking pretty gaudy.
**I was given the iFitness Hydration Belt (16 oz.) free to try, but purchased the add-ons myself. My opinions are all my own.