Monday, January 23, 2012

Product Review: SPI Belt

I got my SPI Belt for Christmas from my Secret Santa (thanks Tas!) this past December, and I love it. I read about it online from others who were looking for a solution to carry personal items on a run without it compromising comfort. I thought putting it on my 'wishlist' was wise so I could test it out myself.

I was skeptical about wearing a belt to carry things because I absolutely cannot stand wearing things around my waist when I run. A couple of examples to illustrate....I've tried about 5 different waist-held water bottles / hydration packs to try to find the right one, but all had the same result - uncomfortable. They either pinched in the wrong places, or moved around and bounced annoyingly all run long. The result - I now use a handheld water bottle. I have also, through trial and error, worked things down to just about an art on what to wear for a run so I rarely feel too hot and, as a result, compelled to tie a shirt or jacket around my waist. I simply can't stand it. I'd rather be too hot than wear the jacket around my waist.  So yes, I was very skeptical of the SPI belt.

But, I will very gladly tell you that my skepticism for this product proved unfounded. The SPI belt indeed works and I don't even notice I'm wearing it, despite how much stuff I carry in it. I first thought it to be a good idea as a solution for carrying enough gels/ food for the really long training runs leading up to the marathon, and for the marathon itself. Having a gel every 45 minutes over 4 hours will add up to more gels than what can fit into a small pocket! But I'm finding that it's also a perfect solution for carrying necessities I may have otherwise kept at home for convenience. A few times recently, I've decided to run home from work. To not have to leave anything important behind, I've been sure to bring my SPI belt. It easily fits all my essentials: my house-keys, my cell phone, ID and credit cards, change, bus pass, lip balm, and food. It all fits nicely into the belt, and doesn't budge when I run. I forget that I have all of that stuff on my person, but it's all there in case I need it. 

I think in future long runs, especially ones I do on my own, that it'd be a good idea I take my belt with me and carry my phone, some spare change, food, and my bus pass. You never know when you might run into trouble, tire out, get injured, or otherwise need to get home in another way aside from on your two feet. Not wanting to carry things isn't a good excuse for compromising safety preparedness.

I just make sure to put money, cell phone, and other items into ziplock baggies before putting them in my SPI belt, so make sure they don't get wet from being close to my sweaty skin :-)


  1. Can you suggest a good GPS watch?? I have heard that the newest version is not as good as the older one? Is that true? Is there a particular Garmin that you think is best or has the best features? Maybe something in-between super technical but still having the right features??? It is really sort of overwhelming trying to pick one:

  2. The only GPS watch I have personal experience with is the Garmin Forerunner 305. It's one of the older models, but I've heard that it's one of the best. I also know how much I love it and don't have any need to "upgrade". It has a lot of valuable features and tools for training, comes at a good price, and it can withstand rain and cold. Some of the newer models, I don't know what they offer in comparison aside from touch screens and sleeker looks. I hear sometimes too that the touch screen can be trouble and too sensitive.

    The Nike GPS sportwatch is also quite a popular one, but I think it's limited in features compared to Garmin, and they are relatively new to the business of GPS watches and haven't got features down pat the way Garmin has.

    It's important to decide how you want to use your watch and find a product that matches. But in my opinion, the Forerunner 305 does it all. It just isn't the prettiest watch, but that's hardly important.

  3. Thanks so much for your input & advice! It is much appreciated as all of these running gadgets are really overwhelming! :) You rock!