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The 5 Best Running Belts For Ultrarunning & Trail Running in 2020

Welcome to our best running belts ultimate buyer’s guide. Many of you will already know that trail running is a sport requiring some level of preparedness in order to enjoy it to its fullest, not just in terms of experience and training but also the gear that will keep you running in the most challenging of mountain environments and/or weather conditions. This is even more true for ultrarunners who need a plethora of gear to keep them running for hours at a time, sometimes even days. There are two key ways to store your gear, nutrition, water, and essential items while trail running; a hydration pack and/or a trail running belt.

You’ll pretty much never see an ultrarunner running an ultramarathon, or long run without their trusty hydration pack/race vest because this essential item can store everything you could possibly need during an ultramarathon.

Some runners like to complete the look and also run with a trail running belt which gives them faster access to the smaller essential items like a mobile phone, gels, salt tablets or even a soft flask water bottle. Running belts are perfect as stand-alone storage wearables too, particularly for shorter runs where you may not want to wear a hydration pack because you want to run fast & light without the extra weight, I’m one of them. There’s a certain kind of freedom gained from not wearing your race vest when you’re going for a run and want to boost your chances of hitting PB’s.


That said, it’s clear there are certain requirements that trail and ultrarunners have when it comes to a running belt for trail running with and how effective its storage is. As an ultrarunner myself, I know all too well the problems that can occur from not having the right gear or food with you during an ultramarathon or long training run so here are my key criteria for ranking these best running belts for ultrarunners and trail runners:

  • 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, nutrition, jacket, and keys. I don’t ask for much, just the best! 😉
  • Preferably has a waterproof section.

Without further ado, here are the 5 best running belts for ultrarunning and trail running in ranked order with short concise summarized reviews. This gear guide is updated regularly so bookmark this post and remember to check back when you’re ready to buy your next running belt.


1. CamelBak Ultra Belt 17oz (Editor’s Choice Award)

CamelBak Ultra Belt 17 oz trail and kale
WeightNo. of pocketsBottle included?
2oz. / 70g4Yes

The CamelBak Ultra Belt 17oz takes the award for the best running belt. It has been designed with one ultimate goal in mind, to Go minimal yet it packs in so much. This running belt for trail runners is CamelBak’s lightest most minimal hydration belt that can store a 17-oz (500ml) Quick Stow flask (comes with the belt) that molds to the shape of your body (Other soft flasks are available in case you need a spare). Soft flasks are the only way to go when it comes to running belts 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, I mean who likes extra bulges on their waste unless absolutely necessary right?

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The well-cushioned 3D mesh material that the belt is made from is breathable which is essential for hot summer runs, and the extra stretch pocket keeps gels, keys, and credit cards safely tucked away without the possibility of them falling out. The cushioning is in all the right places to make it comfortable enough for endurance running and there’s also a specific phone pocket with a zipper to ensure your most valuable running accessory, your mobile phone, doesn’t go missing in the wild.

As with all the running belts in this list, the Ultra Belt 17Oz features an integrated trail running poles carrying system for those extra technical trails. Attaching trail running poles to a running belt is faster, and often more comfortable than storing them in your race vest which is why some ultrarunners will opt to wear both at the same time. Oh, and CamelBak has also included reflective decals to help ensure you’re seen while running in the dark.


2. Ultimate Direction Utility Belt

ultimate direction utility belt trail and kale
WeightNo. of pocketsBottle included?
2.25oz. / 64g4No

The Ultimate Direction Utility Belt looks rather minimal at first glance, hence I suppose the name “Utility”, but it really packs in a lot of great features. This lightweight running belt is sleek but also durable and has enough storage for most runs. 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 one small secure pocket and three other non-secure ones but truthfully, out mesh systems like this are very good at keeping contents contained and locked in place. The correct orientation for this running belt to be worn is with the UD logo at the front, but feel free to wear it in the way that suits you best.

What’s more, the Ultimate Direction Utility Belt comes in 5 different sizes which is great if you’re looking for that truly perfect fit. Please note that unless otherwise stated this running belt does not come with a soft flask water bottle.


3. Salomon Pulse Belt

Salomon Pulse Running Belt Trail and Kale
WeightNo. of pocketsBottle included?
2.18oz. / 62g4No

The Salomon Pulse Belt is another versatile belt with ample storage. The front pocket will comfortably store a mobile phone (even an iPhone Plus size), while the rear pocket fits a soft flask with a capacity of 500ml or less. The rear pocket will also hold a jacket and a headlamp. This running belt also has a key clip to make sure your keys don’t go missing. This belt has a great fit which minimizes bouncing and riding-up/down while running with a moderately full belt.

This running belt also has 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. You’re also spoiled for choice with all the different colors to choose from.


4. UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt

4. UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt Trail and Kale
WeightNo. of pocketsBottle included?
2.4oz. / 68g5No (max capacity 250ml)

The UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt is a great running belt is designed with a conical shape and unique stitching pattern that gives a nice smooth feel against the body. This running belt, like the others, can easily carry your cell phone, nutrition, hydration (250ml soft flask, the smallest hydration capacity on this list), 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 5 size options which will help ensure a really snug fit.

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5. Naked Running Band

Naked Running Band trail and kale
WeightNo. of pocketsBottle included?
2.3oz. / 65g3No

The Naked Running Band comes in 12 different sizes based on waist sizes in inches/cm making for a really accurate fit and although it doesn’t come with a water bottle, it can carry one! This running belt has a four-way stretch mesh for carrying your soft flask. The Naked Running Band can also carry 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.

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Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
Hey, I'm Alastair. I started Trail & Kale as a way to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. Trail & Kale has since grown to become a thriving blog and community that inspires people to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
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