Gear Review: The FlipBelt
I’m, what you would call, a minimalist when it comes to running gear. Sure, I own plenty of pairs of shorts and shoes, and even a fancy Garmin watch, but outside of a pair of sunglasses or a hat, I don’t bring much with me on the run. I have a handheld water bottle that I used once and then tossed to the deep, dark corners of the kitchen cabinet, and a hydration vest that gets pulled out for long trail runs about twice a year. The truth is, I loathe extra gear, and hate carrying things even more. And so, when FlipBelt offered to send a belt for review, I was skeptical at best.
About the FlipBelt
The FlipBelt is a multipurpose running belt that serves as both a phone and keys holster and a fuel and water belt. It features a unique slip-on design that keeps the belt simple and low-profile, yet still big enough to carry all the essentials. If ever there were a running belt designed for gear-skeptics such as myself, this would be it. Here’s what the website claims:
The FlipBelt fitness belt is an alternative to bulky running armbands and running pouches. Unlike these old solutions, the FlipBelt is lightweight, doesn’t bounce and comfortably fits ALL your must-have items…It’s the perfect solution for carrying your phone and keys while running or working out with your inhaler or EpiPen safely within reach.
The stretchy, flat pocket design lets you easily slide in everything you might need while exercising – your phone (including large phones like the iPhone 6 and Nexus 5), keys, ID, cards, cash, medical devices and more. Better yet, these items stay securely in place without uncomfortable bouncing.
I love the minimal, slim look of the FlipBelt. I also appreciate how it fits discreetly over the waistband of shorts and stays hidden by the length of most shirts and tanks.
When my FlipBelt arrived, it was exactly as described, complete with key holster, four “pocket” slits, and three water bottles: two smaller, handheld size bottles, and one larger size bottle. I immediately slipped the belt over the waistband of my shorts to see how it fit. Sure enough, FlipBelt seems to run true to size and fits like a glove. I jumped around. I stuffed the belt with my phone, my keys, my chapstick. I jumped and ran around my apartment some more; the FlipBelt didn’t budge.
The FlipBelt Test
About a week later, I ran the California International Marathon and subsequently, haven’t done much running since. The FlipBelt sat in my closet and begged me to run, but my body had other plans. I took off a couple weeks, then a couple weeks more, and before I knew it, I was a pro at using the bike trainer. The good news is, FlipBelt is a great companion on the bike!
I hadn’t anticipated using the Flipbelt water bottles, but on one incredibly boring 90-minute trainer ride I decided to give it a try. I slipped on the belt over my shorts, filled the largest bottle with water, and tucked it into one of the tiny pocket slits. (Another unique design feature of the FlipBelt are the tiny pocket slits that are somehow too small and thin to allow anything to fall out, yet large enough to fit any size phone and even a water bottle!)
To my surprise, the belt worked like a charm. I spent 90 minutes pedaling to nowhere, and all the while tugging at the FlipBelt, pulling in and out the water bottle, digging around for chapstick, and adjusting the playlist on my iPhone. Suffice to say, the FlipBelt did its job and did it well.
This week, I was finally given the green light to start running again, so I took the FlipBelt out for one last spin around the block. I grabbed my phone, keys, ID, and chapstick and filled each pocket. On the run, the belt didn’t bounce or move around, and my phone stayed securely in place. I thought the weight of my keys or phone would cause the belt to slouch or shift, but I hardly noticed it at all.
Am I a FlipBelt convert? I’ll probably stick to running without much gear, but the next time I need a few extra pockets, I’ll definitely reach for the FlipBelt. If you’re looking for a great, minimal and lightweight belt to carry a few essentials, the FlipBelt is an excellent choice.
Have you tried running with a FlipBelt or other running belt? What did you like or dislike about it?