Maybe the summer heat made you take a break from your running or hiking trail. Now that (slightly) cooler temperatures have arrived, the great outdoors beckons again, raising the eternal exerciser’s question: How do I carry my stuff? Whether you’re training for a marathon, hiking the Appalachian Trail or just jogging around the block, there are new and improved options.
Designed for runners and hikers who crave lots of liquid, the Buzz TLS ($55) holds two 22-ounce water bottles and is easy to carry. TLS stands for “Technical Lumbar Support,” a fancy way of saying that the newly designed pack cinches tight right at your lower back for comfort and minimal wobbling. Plus, there’s a pocket that can hold an iPhone or slim wallet; a bungee cord to attach, say, a rain jacket or hat; a clip for keys; and two side compartments for packets of energy gels. One minor quibble: As with many water-bottle belts, the water sloshes around as you move.
Also: If you’re not a super-thirsty runner, DART TLS ($35) is a bit less bulky, with just one 22-ounce water bottle. Both versions feature reflective piping, a useful safety feature.
The SPIbelt Endurance ($35) is a slightly less minimal pouch from the company known for minimalism. The SPI in the product’s name stands for “small personal items,” and the new model — available for purchase Sept. 21 — can haul an impressive array. There’s room for energy bars, lip balm, keys and a phone. Six loops stand ready to hold energy gels, and a strap keeps your race bib from flapping.
Also: The Waterproof SPIbelt ($29) comes with a plastic enclosure that can be tucked into the belt — perfect for keeping your ID and other stuff dry in autumn rains.
The two 10.5-ounce water bottles on the RunLite AirStretch 2+ ($40) sit snugly in holsters and are a breeze to use. Squeeze a bottle with one hand to remove it from the holster, guzzle, then click the bottle back into its dock. You barely have to break stride. The AirStretch, which also has a compartment for cash, credit card, keys, etc., fits so snugly you barely notice you’re wearing it.
Also: Beltpod Smartview ($22) is a waterproof, zippered compartment that can carry an iPhone-like device. It’s one of many custom options from Amphipod that can slip onto the basic belt. Runners can add additional pouches, energy gel holders and water bottles. In the case of the compact and convenient Smartview, you might want to use it to carry your smartphone even when you’re not on the run.