SPIbelt is the Original Small Personal Item belt, designed for a multitude of uses and used by many runners and marathoners. SPIbelt makes numerous different versions; the basic belt, the inner pocket belt, a waterproof belt, a water resistant belt, the energy belt, and even a belt for diabetics that has room for an insulin pump. We chose the Energy Belt with the water resistant pouch. The SPIbelt Energy Belt retails for 21.95. We received ours as a promotional sample directly from SPIbelt.
About the SPIbelt Energy Belt:
These belts are functional and simple. The belt resembles the number belt that many triathletes use. Attached to this basic belt are six elastic loops for holding energy gels and an expandable pocket to hold keys or other personal items. The actual belt is adjustable and should fit any size waist. The Energy Belt also has a small pouch in the center, designed to hold keys, your phone, or other small items.
Testing the SPIbelt Energy Belt:
Unfortunately, we have not competed in a race since receiving this sample, so all of our testing was done during our marathon training runs. We tested the SPIbelt Energy Belt on a variety of runs ranging from 3 to 8 miles. At the start of our testing, we only filled two of the six energy gel slots to get the feel for the belt, but eventually tested the belt with all 6 gels in place. We also tried a number of different items in the pouch, ranging from toilet paper ( to get a sense of how ‘water resistant’ the pouch is) to our HTC EVO phone.
Results of SPIbelt Energy Belt Testing:
During our first run, we dropped one of the gels, a Honey Stinger Energy Gel. We think the cause was not adjusting the gel before taking off on the run. Our advice here is to squeeze the gel once you get it in the loop, making the top larger than the bottom. This prevented us losing any additional gels as our testing continued. It also made the gels a bit easier to retrieve during the run if we pulled them up through the loop.
The water resistant pouch is pretty effective. On one of our hotter runs, we filled the pouch with toilet paper to see how damp things actually got inside. After a 5.5 mile run, the TP was a bit damp, but not wet and still mostly usable. During later tests, we noticed a little wetness on our HTC EVO and drivers license, but nothing damaging. If you’re truly worried about moisture, SPIbelt makes a version that is totally waterproof. We generally take a small ziplock on runs where we worry about rain, so that’s also an alternative.
What surprised us about the pouch was not the water resistance, but the size. Out of the package, the pouch looks tiny. We were very shocked that it could hold our HTV EVO and the keyfob to our car. The pouch was very full, but closed without problem. At the end of the day, we chose not to use the pouch to carry our phone; we use the GPS to track our runs and also for music and the pouch didn’t let us control the phone. If you don’t use your phone for these things, the pouch is capable of holding all you need for a long run.
With the HTC EVO in the pouch, we noticed a bit of bounce that ended once we tightened the belt. With keys, license, debit cards, etc., we didn’t experience any bouncing.
Based on our testing, this is a well made product that delivers on it’s claims. It’s bounce free, even with the largest objects, water resistant, and adjustable. We did lose a gel during our testing, but it only happened once, so the gel loops appear to work well. The SPIbelt Energy Belt is a simple and effective way to carry your ID, keys, and even your phone on runs without worrying about having your hands full. On race day, SPIbelt claims you can squeeze 5 gels into the pouch, plus the 6 on the belt. Eleven gels should be plenty for even a full marathon.
We continue to use the SPIbelt when possible and will report back if we have anything to add about durability and long-term performance. Based on our testing, we have no hesitation recommending the SPIbelt Energy Belt to runners and marathoners looking for a simple way to carry their personal effects.