Best Hydration Belts For Runners – Comparisons & Reviews

There is nothing worse than when you are running and are thirsty and in need of water. Typically, on your everyday running route, there are no water stations. It’s hard to go on when you just need that little taste of cold water, especially if it’s hot. What do you do?

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A hydration belt is an answer to your problem! We have put together a list of the best hydration belts out there for runners. Read on to see why you need a hydration belt in your running gear arsenal.

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

Bias Alert: Our Top Running Belt

Beam Belt By Runner's Goal

We've just released a running belt of our own, the Beam Belt, which holds all your gear + has a detachable LED light on the front to keep you safe. We think it's pretty awesome, click below to check it out: 

Do I Have to Have a Belt?

It’s not a requirement for runners, but it’s a good idea. I ran for about a year without a belt before I finally decided I should spring for one. I was tired of relying on my friends standing at the finish line to hold my keys, and on my longer runs, I hated carrying my energy gel packets in my hands.

After I bought my first belt, I wondered why I waited so long. It’s made my runs more enjoyable.

When looking for a running belt that will work best for you, you’ll want to make sure it meets all the requirements you’ll need it to. Here are some of the things you should consider when buying a belt.

Is It Comfortable?

It can be hard enough to psych yourself up for going out on a run some days. You don’t want to make it harder by wearing something that’s uncomfortable. If your belt is riding up on you or sagging downward when running, it isn’t the best choice for you.

The best belts barely even let you know they are there until you need something. You really should be able to forget you’re even wearing them and concentrate solely on your run instead. Miles already feel long enough without dealing with an uncomfortably fitting belt.

Does It Fit You Well?

You want your belt to fit you snugly so there’s not a lot of annoying bouncing going on. But you don’t want it to be so tight that it feels like you’re encased in concrete or gives you the appearance of having a serious muffin top.

That’s where you’ll have to do your research before buying a belt. Some come in only one size, while others are adjustable. Make sure you’re getting the type you like before you buy.

Is It Functional?

You need a belt with enough space that you’re able to easily fit all your essentials while you’re on a run, like your car key, chapstick, energy gel, and a few tissues.

But you don’t want one that’s too bulky or heavy because it’ll interfere with your run.

Will It Secure Your Possessions?

If you’re wearing a running belt, you have to be able to rely on it to keep your stuff secure. There’s no point in wearing a belt if it can’t keep your items in place.

You don’t want to finish a half marathon only to find out your car key has dropped out somewhere in the past 13.1 miles.

Another thing you’ll want to check out is whether your items shift around when you’re wearing the belt.

If your belt has a tubular design, it means there aren’t any pockets per se, but a hole in the belt fabric where you can stuff your possessions. Some tubular belts do a great job at holding those possessions firmly in place, while others have a fair amount of shifting.

Does It Meet Your Fashion Standards?

Running isn’t a fashion show, but there’s no reason to look ridiculous out there. If you feel self-conscious about your belt, you won’t be able to keep your head in the game come race time.

Most running clothes are so bright it can hurt to look at them if you aren’t wearing sunglasses. With all those bright neon colors you’re rocking, you might not want to add one more loud color into the mix, especially if it won’t go with most of your running wardrobe.

You might want to consider a basic black belt or a neutral-colored one that doesn’t clash with all the bright colors of your running clothes.

Will It Hold Up Use After Use?

You’re going to be logging a lot of miles with this belt. And once you find the perfect belt, you won’t want to replace it. You’ll need to find one that will hold up to that kind of punishment and repeated usage.

And since runners have been known to break a sweat in the name of their hobby, you’ll need to find one that won’t fall apart when it comes time to wash it.

Is It Reflective?

If most of your running clothes are already bright and reflective, you don’t have to worry about whether your belt is reflective. But if you’ve had some close calls with cars on the road or you do most of your running at night and you’d like some added visibility, look for a belt that is reflective.

Too many runners die each year from being hit by vehicles while they are working out. A reflective belt may be an added safety feature that might help you avoid becoming one of those statistics.

The Best Running Belts

FlipBelt Zipper

Some FlipBelts come without zippers, but I like that this model offers a zipper. I feel better knowing there’s a secure compartment for things like my phone and my car keys.

Pros

  • The belt offers four openings so you can slide your possessions in and out.

  • One of the four pockets has a zipper, but the zipper is never directly against your skin. You won’t have any uncomfortable rubbing or irritation from it.

  • The tubular design gives an even weight distribution.

  • The contoured design means that you won’t have sagging or bouncing, if you order the FlipBelt in the correct size for you.

  • If you’re a heavy sweater, the belt dries quickly between runs.

  • To wash it, simply throw it in your washing machine and it can even go in the dryer.

  • The belt may look small, but it’s really stretchy, which means you can fit quite a bit of stuff in there.

  • You can comfortably wear it either under or over your shirt.

Cons

  • It would be nice if there were more color options than carbon, aqua, black and hot pink.

  • The reflective 3M logo could be bigger for added visibility.

  • Can be a little hard to access your items if you’ve shoved them far into the belt’s compartments.

  • Pricier than some other running belts.

2. SpartaBelt Running Belt

SpartaBelt Running Belt

The SpartaBelt looks like a hybrid of a sleeker running belt and a fanny pack. It may not be as cool looking as the FlipBelt, but what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in performance.

Pros

  • It has a large strap with adjustable buckles so you can wear it as tight or loose as you want.

  • It won’t bounce even during the most vigorous runs.

  • It’s roomy enough to hold all the gear you want to bring on a run. You can easily put gels, a phone, keys, chapstick and money in your belt and still have room to spare.

  • Because this belt is made from neoprene, your stuff will stay dry if you happen to be caught in heavy rain.

  • The belt is well made and durable so it will hold up to years of use.

  • It has a reflective stripe on it so you have added security when running at night.

  • This belt is an affordable option for most budgets.

Cons

  • Not as stylish as many other running belts are.

  • The waist might not be big enough for larger runners. When stretched to capacity, it fits waists that are up to about 46 inches.

3. Foot Forward Running Belt

Foot Forward Running Belt

You’ll be able to run confidently with the Foot Forward Running Belt, knowing your items are well protected at your waist. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about dropping your phone again on a run.

Pros

  • This slim belt has a stylish, modern look.

  • It can hold a lot of stuff without feeling big or baggy.

  • Nice, long reflective stripes run across the length of the belt for added visibility.

  • The belt has a water resistant pocket with a zipper for any electronics you carry with you on your run.

  • It has an interior clip so you can attach your keys, which gives you added security and allows you to quickly locate your keys when you need them.

  • It’s machine washable.

  • It won’t bounce and the soft material won’t cause chafing.

Cons

  • Larger-sized runners will have to look for another option because the belt fits sizes 24 to 46 inches.

  • If you keep the pack part of the belt in the front, the buckle will sit on your tailbone.

4. Running Buddy Mini-Magnetic Running Pouch

Running Buddy Mini-Magnetic Running Pouch

Whoever designed this running belt was thinking outside the box. There’s no pesky strap on this belt -- it’s held in place on your waistband with the help of magnets.

Pros

  • This belt will hold all your basics, like an inhaler, an MP3 player, chapstick, money, hotel room key and card keys.

  • The magnets hold the mini in place without any annoying bouncing.

  • The Dri-Fit material helps your stuff stay dry.

  • You don’t need any straps around your body to make this running belt work.

  • Fits well under your shirt -- it’s small enough to be discreet.

  • Your stuff is super easy to access while you are on a run.

Cons

  • The mini will not hold a phone. You’d need to get the regular-sized Running Buddy for that.

  • Some runners, especially in the beginning, may feel uncomfortable without the traditional strap of a belt. They may worry the mini will fall off during their run so it might take some getting used to.

  • Only comes in three colors -- black, pink and blue.

5. SPIbelt Running Belt

SPIbelt Running Belt

You can confidently wear the SPIbelt, which is made of Spandex, without fear of chafing. It won’t bounce around or ride up. Instead of fiddling with your belt, you’ll be able to concentrate on your run.

Pros

  • Lots of colors to choose from -- you’ll find just about any color you want.

  • The SPIbelt can fit large phones, even those up to 6.5 inches long.

  • The clip for this belt is sturdy and comfortable.

  • SPIbelts are made in the U.S. for people who like to buy American.

  • It’s easy to adjust the size of this belt.

  • If you have food allergies or asthma, this pouch can hold inhalers and even EpiPens.

  • Looks small and discreet under clothing.

  • Your belongings will be super secure and won’t budge until you remove them.

Cons

  • It’s not waterproof like some other belts. If you sweat a lot, you’ll want to put your phone in a Ziplock bag before putting it in the belt.

  • Although big phones fit in the belt, it takes some work to get them in and out, which is inconvenient for people who want to access their phones during runs.

  • Although you can get them in bright colors, these belts are not reflective.

And the Winner Is …

The SPIbelt gives the other running belts a run for their money. It’s our favorite because it comes in many colors, and is super discreet. You can wear one under your shirt and no one will know it is there.

Although they aren’t reflective, you can make up for that fact by having reflective stripes on your clothes instead.

They won’t ride up during your run, and the zipper on the pouch gives all the security you’ll need. The fact that these can fit larger phones is one of the reasons these belts are at the top of the list.

Bias Alert: Our Top Running Belt

Beam Belt By Runner's Goal

We've just released a running belt of our own, the Beam Belt, which holds all your gear + has a detachable LED light on the front to keep you safe. We think it's pretty awesome, click below to check it out: 

Why Hydration is Important

Staying hydrated is extremely important for runners. We all know that! Being properly hydrated affects your performance. If you are not hydrated enough, it can cause you major problems like fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, and other serious illnesses.

Everyone’s fluid needs are different. Some people sweat more than others, so they will lose more water and dehydrate more easily. While you are running, you should drink to quench your thirst. You don’t want to over-hydrate and make yourself sick with water sloshing around in your belly while you’re trying to run.

In order to ensure that you have water readily available to you during your runs, you should be wearing a hydration belt.

What to Look For in a Belt

Before you choose a belt, you need to think about how far you are going to run and how much water you tend to need when you run. Answering these two questions will help you determine if you need one bottle, two bottles, or multiple bottles on your belt. This will give you an idea of what type of hydration belt you are looking for.

Another thing you want to look for is if the water bottles are included. Even if the belt has holsters, they may not be made for any kind of water bottle. It’s better if the water bottles are included, that way you know for sure that they will fit correctly.

The most popular belt with runners is the two-bottle belt. Even for long runs, two bottles should be sufficient enough to get you through your run. Once you decide on how many bottles you will need, there are other features to take into consideration as well. Is there enough storage? Does it fit correctly? Is it hard to get the bottles out and back into the holsters? You should carefully look at each of these before purchasing a belt.

Storage Space

First of all, you need to make sure that the pocket or pockets will be large enough to carry your phone and any other necessary items that you need. The box the belt comes in will show the size phones that it can accommodate, and whether or not there will be extra room for anything else. You may want to think about what you are going to be carrying and if you will want it in a zip pocket. Some belts come with zip pockets, while others do not.

The second thing to look for in terms of storage is how secure the bottle holders are. Will the bottle stay in place, or will it come loose, bounce around, or even fall off?

Accessibility

The next thing to look for in a belt is how accessible everything is. While running, you may not want to stop and undo hooks or straps to get to your water bottle every time you need a drink, only to have to strap it back in. When choosing a belt, check and make sure that the bottles are easily accessible.

You also want to make sure that your other items are easily accessible as well. If you have a belt that has a front zipper pocket instead of a top zipper pocket, you risk dropping everything when you open the pocket.

Fit

There are several features in regards to the fit that you will want to consider when shopping for a hydration belt. You don’t want the belt bouncing and moving all around your waist. More importantly, you don’t want a lot of added weight to carry around as you run.

You will want to look for a lightweight belt. However, the number and size of the bottles will also contribute to the amount of weight that you will be carrying. But, if you start with a heavy duty belt, it will already be heavy before you add any extra weight.

An adjustable belt will also make a difference. If you can, you will want to avoid a “one size fits all” belt. An adjustable belt will give you the freedom to try out different ways to wear the belt and will allow for more comfort. You don’t want to have to constantly adjust a belt as you run.

With an adjustable belt, you can wear it on your waist or around your hips. It will be up to you and your preference where you like your belt to fit.

One more thing to take into consideration when shopping is the material that the belt is made with. You are going to be wearing this for a long time, and you don’t want it to get sweaty and too hot. That could cause a rash or chafing. You should look for belts that have a breathable mesh material on the underside of it.

Our Top Hydration Belt Picks

Camden Gear

Camden Gear has designed a lightweight adjustable belt that will fit waist sizes up to 43 inches. It has a Velcro strap that will allow you to adjust it so that it will fit tightly on your waist and not bounce.

This belt comes with two 6-ounce BPA-free water bottles. The bottles stay in place, are easily accessible, and don’t add much weight.

It has one pocket that is big enough to fit the smart phones iPhone 6, 6+, 6S plus, 5S, and the Samsung Galaxy S5/S4. It will also store small things like your ID or chap stick. The belt also has four elastic straps that are great for hanging things like your keys or your gel packs.

Camden Gear belts come with a 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like the belt, send them an email and they will give you a full refund.

Pros:

  • Will fit large smartphones

  • Adjustable

  • Lightweight

  • Room to carry lots of things

  • Money back guarantee

Cons:

  • One size

Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Running Belt

The Trail Mix Hydration Running Belt from Nathan is fully adjustable and made with a soft monofilament fiber which allows it to be ergo-shaped and offer a multi-directional stretch that eliminates bouncing when you run.

Not only does it not bounce, it fits snugly in place and does not shift either. The air mesh moisture-wicking backing keeps it from rubbing or chaffing. There are two shock cords with one-pull tension lock for jackets or gloves.

The belt features two holsters that hold 10oz insulated bottles with push-pull caps.

This belt has two pockets -- A large dimensional zip pocket with a key ring clip that will fit phones up to an iPhone 6 plus, and a smaller mesh pocket for small essentials or trash.

The Trail Mix Hydration Running Belt fits waist sizes 26”-42”.

Pros:

  • It is available in a variety of colors

  • Replacement bottles can be purchased

Cons:

  • A large phone is a very tight fit and leaves no room for anything else

  • The bottles are not very durable

Outdoorsman Labs

Outdoorsman Labs is a small innovative outdoor gear company. Their goal is to provide top quality products with premium, unique features. They have done just that with this running belt. They have designed a belt specifically for runners. It is a super-soft, lightweight Neoprene fuel belt and it comes with two BPA-free, leak-proof, 10-ounce water bottles.

This belt features anti-slip inner layers that ensure a snug fit with no slip, bounce, rubbing, or chaffing while you are running. The belt is sized to fit waists from 28” to 38”. It has adjustable nylon straps and a strong buckle closure.

The pocket on this belt has a top zipper that makes retrieving your items easy. You also know that they are secure and you won’t worry about them falling out. The pocket fits all smartphones, even the iPhone 7 plus! There is a separate inner pocket with a liner to prevent scratches from keys.

Another feature that this belt has is a headphone port. You can listen to your favorite music during your run.

To keep you safe, the belt also has high visibility reflectors to make sure that you are seen in the early mornings or late evenings.

Pros:

  • It has clips for a race bib

  • Extra large pocket

  • Can be worn on the front or back

Cons:

Fit Harmony 365

Fit Harmony 365

The Fit Harmony 365 hydration belt is a lightweight and comfortable belt that comes with two 16oz BPA-free, toxin-free aluminum bottles. The belt has spacious water bottle holders on the sides and the bottles have hooks on the top so that you can attach them to a backpack or any other gear bag when you’re not wearing your belt.

It features an adjustable strap and an ergonomic fit that keeps the belt in place with no bouncing or chafing. This belt is designed to be breathable and has padding to ensure comfort while wearing.

This belt has a roomy center zip pocket that is big enough for your iPhone or Android smartphone. Along with your phone, there is also room for credit cards, an ID, keys, or other small essentials. In addition to the center pocket, there are also detachable side pockets for even more storage.

The Fit Harmony 365 belt comes with patented reflective trim, so you are more visible to motorists. They also offer a lifetime warranty. If for any reason you don’t love it, at any time, you can exchange it for a new one or get a refund.

Pros:

  • Aluminum water bottles

  • Reflective trim

  • Extra storage

Cons:

  • Extra weight due to bigger bottles

  • Very heavy to run with

  • Bottles are hard to access while running

Runtasty

Runtasty has created an innovative running hydration belt. It was voted the #1 Hydration Belt in Europe’s Runner Magazine.

This belt comes with two BPA-free, 8.5-ounce water bottles and a free eBook - Runtasty’s 10 Tips for Running Faster, Better, and Longer!

This belt is made with stay-dry neoprene and includes a separate black waterproof pocket that will keep everything dry. The Runtasty belt was designed using anti-slip technology. It is made with a gel-based interior lining that ensures comfort, fit, and durability. They 100% guarantee that it will not bounce.

The belt is made for ultimate comfort and is designed to be worn snug on the hips and will not move. It is fully adjustable with a heavy-duty buckle and will fit any size waist up to 47”.

Another feature that this hydration belt offers is two separate extra large pockets that will fit any iPhone, even an iPhone 6/7 Plus or a Note 5! The unique part of this belt is that the front of the pocket has a touch screen compatible cover and a headphone slot. You don’t ever have to take your phone out of the pocket!

This belt has a large number of reflectors for high visibility during night runs. They have also included convenient straps for race bibs.

The Runtasty company offers a 100% money-back guarantee. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the hydration belt, you can return it within 90 days for a no-questions-asked refund. If you return the belt, you will still get to keep the free bonus eBook.

Pros:

  • Touch screen pocket cover

  • Waterproof

  • Fits any smartphone

  • Free eBook

Cons:

Choose Wisely

Any of the belts above would make a great choice. A hydration belt is important to have so that you are always able to hydrate!

When shopping for a belt, just ask yourself what features you will need. The choice will be based on your own personal needs. The one thing that we all need though is to stay hydrated!

Tara Burns
 

Tara Burns is a blogger and avid runner who runs anything from 5k's to marathons. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and encouraging others to do so as well. She loves traveling, the beach, and experiencing new places in her running shoes.