The Best Running Belts to Carry Your Phone, Water And Essentials While Running

These running belts for men and women are a great way to carry essentials while remaining fast and light on the roads or trails.

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There are two key ways to store your gear, nutrition, water, and essential items while running; a running hydration pack and/or a running belt (also known as a running fanny pack).

In this post we’ve picked out the best running belts for carrying your phone, other small essentials, and even water.

This running belt buyer’s guide also explains what features to look for when it comes to choosing which style and brand will work best for you.

All of these belts are perfect as stand-alone storage wearables, particularly for shorter runs where you may not want to wear a running hydration pack because you want to run fast & light without carrying all that much.


The Best Running Belts

Naked Running Belt

1. Naked Running Band ($55)

  • Cost: $55
  • Weight: 65g / 2.3oz
  • No. of pockets: 3
  • Bottle included: No

To learn more, read my Naked Running Band review next.

The Naked Running Band comes in 12 different sizes based on waist sizes in inches/cm making for a really accurate fit and although this running belt doesn’t come with a soft flask for your water, it can carry one – or two 500ml bottles!

The Naked Running Band is one of the most popular running belts for runners wanting to carry a phone with them – it uses four-way stretch to store your essentials, and can fit any model of the newest large format smart phones.

Two silicone-backed elastic straps at the rear (or front depending on how you prefer to wear it) can secure your jacket or running poles.


Arcteryx Norvan Belt in Black

2. Arcteryx Norvan Belt ($80)

To learn more, read my Arcteryx Norvan Belt review next.

The Arcteryx Norvan Belt is offered in five different sizes based on waist sizes (XS to XL), ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. It includes a 500mL soft flask for your hydration needs. Designed with stretch weave nylon/elastane material, it provides excellent comfort while ensuring a bounce-free run.

The Norvan Belt stands out as a premium choice for carrying a phone and other essentials during a run, and It offers a secure zipper pocket and multiple storage compartments that can accommodate a variety of items, including running gels and trail running poles.

Despite its compact design, it can easily accommodate larger smartphones.

A reflective logo on the belt enhances visibility for safer runs in low light conditions while the belt’s breathable and lightweight fabric ensures comfort, making it an excellent choice for both short and long runs.


CamelBak Ultra Belt 17 best running belt winner

3. CamelBak Ultra Running Belt 17oz ($60)

  • Cost: $60
  • Weight: 70g / 2.4oz
  • No. of pockets: 4, including zippered pocket for your phone
  • Bottle included: Yes

The CamelBak Ultra Belt 17oz is CamelBak’s lightest, most minimal running belt that can store a 17-oz (500ml) Quick Stow flask (comes with the belt) that molds to the shape of your body.

Soft flasks are the way to go when it comes to stashing water in waist packs, because once you’ve finished the drink inside, they can simply be folded and stowed away in the belt without taking up unnecessary storage space.

Other features include breathable yet well-cushioned 3D mesh material (essential for hot summer runs), a zippered phone pocket, extra stretch pocket keeps gels, keys, and credit cards safely tucked away, and reflective decals to help ensure you’re seen while running in the dark.

Lastly, as with most of the running belts in this list, the Ultra Belt 17oz features an integrated trail running poles carrying system for those extra technical trails.


Salomon Pulse Running Belt

4. Salomon Pulse Belt ($35)

  • Cost: $35
  • Weight: 62g / 2.18oz
  • No. of pockets: 2 stretchy horizontal pockets
  • Bottle included: No

The Salomon Pulse Belt is one of the best running belts under $40, and features ample storage, with several drop in pockets for your phone, water, and other essentials.

The front pocket of this budget-friendly running belt makes a great phone pocket and will comfortably store even an iPhone Plus size, while the rear stretchy pocket fits a soft flask with a capacity of 500ml or less.

The rear pocket could instead hold a jacket and a headlamp, and this belt has a key clip to make sure your keys don’t go missing.

There are also elastic straps on the rear for your hiking poles (ensure the fit of this belt is snug and not over-filled when carrying poles as you may experience a little bounce).


ultimate direction utility belt best running belts

5. Ultimate Direction Utility Running Belt ($40)

  • Cost $40
  • Weight: 93g / 3.3oz
  • No. of pockets: 4
  • Bottle included: No

The Ultimate Direction Utility Belt looks rather minimal at first glance, but this lightweight running belt packs in a lot of great features and storage.

It can carry a 500ml soft flask, trail running poles, a mobile phone, a jacket, and other small valuables with no bounce due to its stretchy yet rugged outer mesh material.

It has multiple pockets: one small secure pocket and three other non-secure ones, however mesh systems like this are very good at keeping contents contained and locked in place.

This belt comes in five different sizes, but note you need to buy the soft flask water bottle separately.


Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt 2

6. UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt 2.0 ($32.95)

  • Cost: $32.95
  • Weight: n/a
  • No. of pockets: 3 (one pocket can also be divided, to make 5 total pockets)
  • Bottle included: No

The UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt is designed with a conical shape and unique stitching pattern that gives a nice smooth feel against the body.

This running belt can easily carry your cell phone, nutrition, hydration (500ml bottle), and your wallet & keys in a secure zippered pocket.

Two bungee loops can also be cinched down to securely hold a running jacket or a pair of collapsible trail running poles.

This belt is available in five size options, which will help ensure a good, snug fit.


Lululemon Fast and Free Run Belt Trail and Kale

7. Lululemon Fast and Free Running Belt ($38)

  • Cost: $38
  • Weight: n/a
  • No. of pockets: 1
  • Bottle included: No (not a hydration belt)

If you don’t need to carry water on your run then you can get away with a more minimal running belt, such as this Lululemon option.

We like the simplicity of this adjustable belt’s design, which includes one large back zippered pocket to keep your valuables safe. The pocket is large enough to stash a phone, key, some cash and small snacks, and there’s a clip to attach your key to for extra security.

These belts come in two sizes, and, unlike most running belts on this list, which rely on you choosing a more specific size, the waistband has an adjustable band to help get a precise fit over whatever layers of running apparel you’re wearing.


Buyer’s Guide: How to choose the best running belt for you (aka running fanny packs)

Here are our key criteria for what makes a running belt great, whether you plan to wear it for short local daily runs, long-distance trail runs or even to accompany your hydration pack on an ultra marathon.

A great running belt:

  • Must be comfortable and lightweight for extended use during an ultramarathon or for fast high-intensity runs.
  • Must stay in place and not ride-up or slip-down your waist. In other words, stretch and conform to the body.
  • Must be able to store essential items for trail runners including a mobile phone, trail running poles, water bottles, nutrition, jacket, and keys. Zippered pockets are particularly appealing as they’re the most secure for valuables such as your phone and key.
  • Preferably has a waterproof section.
  • Is available in a range of fitted sizes, or has a good quality adjustable strap for a precise fit.

Running hydration belts for carrying water

When it comes to carrying water in a running belt, the location of the pocket for the water bottle is important (to minimize bounce and discomfort), as is the style of bottle the running hydration belt is designed to carry.

All the running belts on this list that are designed to carry water bottles in are intended for use with soft flasks, as opposed to hard-sided bottles. For more on the advantages of soft flasks, read this post.

For each running belt review above, we’ve noted the size of bottle the belt is designed to carry, as well as whether or not the belt comes with the bottle or you’ll have to buy it separately (unless you already have one that fits).

Wearing hydration running belts for trail and ultra running

If you already wear a running hydration vest for trail running and ultras, you may wonder why a running belt could also be beneficial. The main reason you may want to wear both is to distribute the load so it’s not all in a pack on your back and chest.

Another advantage of stowing essentials in a running belt is that you can more easily reach around the back of the belt to reach small essentials and snacks, and a belt may more easily and securely fit your phone than the front pockets on your running hydration running pack does.

Some of the best running belts that are suited to long-distance trail running and mountain efforts also feature pole loops so you can carry and stow trail running poles on your belt, too.

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Using a running belt (just like those you shared within the article) is the ideal way to stay well hydrated, protected and monitored while running.

    Thank you so much for the indepth review

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