Thursday, April 23, 2015

Product review: SPIBelt

Truth be told...I don't like things around my waist. Maybe it's because I don't have much of a waist (I've got long legs and a short torso). I've always hated pants that buttoned at that waist. When low waisted pants came into style, it was a dream come true for me. I fear the day when high waisted pants are back.

Mom jeans snl.com
About 4 years ago, at the Walt Disney World marathon expo, I was shopping for a waist pack to carry my phone and my iPod in during the race (I was running the half). I didn't have much success with an armband (chafing) or a waist clip (I broke several of them) and I didn't want to carry anything in my hand. I walked by a booth for SPIbelt. There were some cute ladies modeling the SPIbelts. The SPIbelt features an adjustable elastic band and the salesperson promised me that I could wear it low around my hips and it wouldn't move. I was skeptical, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and because I run outside almost exclusively, I purchased the Water resistant model.

My water resistant SPIbelt performed much better than I did at last year's Florida Beach Halfathon!
I'm happy to say that same SPIbelt has been around my hips on my 4 times/weekly runs ever since. I've run in the pouring rain, and my phone has stayed dry. The pouch lies flat on my lower abdomen and doesn't move or bounce, no matter how much stuff I put in in it! I've run multiple distance events, and the SPIbelt has not let me down. I use my SPIbelt on bike rides and when I go kayaking. I've even used my SPIbelt for trips to the ballpark and other outings.

If you look closely, you can see my SPIbelt, helping keep my iPhone safe!
Only once, the SPIbelt let me down and it was only because I'm a packrat. Last fall, when I ran Chicago, I needed to bring, along with my usual gear, 3 packs of Tailwind Nutrition, which I use to fuel. The problem was, I couldn't fit all 3 of them, my phone, and other essentials in the SPIbelt. I ended up wearing an old fanny pack and the SPIbelt to carry everything. The SPIbelt didn't move. The fanny pack kept rotating around my waist and annoyed me. I should have bought another SPIbelt and used two of them. I know that the SPIbelts wouldn't have budged. Live and learn.

SPIbelt stayed put and held almost all my stuff for 26.2!
Last month, I received an email from Jessica at SPIbelt asking me if I'd be interested in doing a product review for them. She told me to pick out 2 products of my choice to trial. I picked out the Endurance model, which is described as larger for longer races, and the Double-pocket model, which has 2 pouches. I received the Double-pocket model but instead of the Endurance model, I received the Original SPIbelt. The elastic on my old Water resistant SPIbelt was starting to get kind of stretched out, so I welcomed the Original. The SPIbelts come in a variety of color and patterns, but I'm a basic kind of gal, and so I ordered black. There are also multiple models and other products on the website.

The original SPIbelt
Since receiving it, I've taken the Original SPIbelt out on multiple runs. It functions similarly to my old Water resistant model, with one exception. It isn't water resistant. Over the last couple of weeks, I've run a few speedwork sessions in the pouring rain. At the end of the runs, my phone wasn't wet, but it wasn't exactly dry. The word I would use is moist. Now that I know this, and if I'm expecting rain, I'll go back to my old Water resistant model. Or pack my phone in a zip baggie. Otherwise, I'm quite happy with the Original. I have used it for my last 2 races, and was able to fit a pack of wipes, some chafing cream, my drivers license, Visa card, $10 bill, car key, and my iPhone all in the pack. Even with all the stuff I had in there, the belt stayed in place on my hips, and maintained a flat profile under my shirt.

You can't see it but it's there! Stuffed full.
The Double-pocket model has a larger pouch and a smaller pouch. I thought this SPIbelt might come in handy to keep my money, key, and license separate from my wipes and iPhone. But the larger pouch is still smaller than the single pouch on the Original, and I couldn't fit much more than my phone into it. I wasn't sure how to position the pouches, because I didn't think that would work well with them on my hips. I rotated the belt around with the large pouch in front, and the belt clip on the side, and that worked just fine. Like the Original model, the belt stayed in place throughout my runs.

Now that I have a few SPIbelts, I think I could use 2 of them on my longer runs, placing one in the front and one in the back. I love that the elastic band stays in place. The Original works great for me. I'd still like to try the Endurance model and see if its larger capacity would really make a difference. Of course, it would probably be better for me not to carry so much stuff! But overall, after 4 years of running with a SPIbelt, I can say that I'm a fan.

Do you use a waist pack? Have you tried the SPIbelt? Do you want to? Go to the website and use the coupon code LONGWAY15 for 10% any product on the site!

disclaimer: I was provided products from SPIbelt for testing and review purposes. All the opinions here are my own. And if I were Oprah, the SPIbelt would be one of my favorite things and all of you would receive one! 

38 comments :

  1. Maybe I need to give SPI another go-round. Maybe I didn't have the other snapped as tight as I should have. Maybe I just have too small of a waist to keep it in place, or maybe my hips are goofy. Maybe the one I borrowed was defective (or past its prime). UGH. My birthday is coming up....in 325 days.... (hint!) :-)

    And, although I fought against the low-waisted jeans when they came "back" into style several years ago....I am SO glad I gave them a try. The high-waisted ones are flattering on no one (even my skinny teen daughter, who assures me they're back to stay). #nope #nothappening #nothisrunner

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    1. Try it again! I haven't had any issues with the SPIbelt riding up!

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  2. I've never tried SPIbelt, but I have always heard great things! Thanks for the honest review!! I hope you get try the Endurance model.

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  3. I've never had a Spibelt, although I've heard many good things. I have an iFitness belt that I would not recommend as it doesnt fit much beyond my phone. Water resistant is definitely key.

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    1. Now if they had a water resistant Endurance (large model), we'd be talking...

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  4. Thanks for your honest review of the new products! I haven't tried the Spibelt because I'd need to order the kids' version (small natural waist means I can't wear anything around my hips or it rides up almost instantly when I run) but I have heard really good things about them. I've been using the pocket in my Nathan water bottle pack to carry all of my crap on my runs, although I just got a bigger phone and that takes up a lot of room. I may need to rethink my running pack strategy!

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    1. I have pretty slim hips, and the elastic does size pretty small. I think you'd be ok.

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  5. I have a very similar product, but have never tried it. I plan to test it during marathon training this summer. I've used a RooSport pocket a few times. It holds a good bit. I have no waist either...all legs. NO, to high-waisted jeans. NO!!

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    1. It's so nice not having to button pants around my belly!

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  6. I have to use a belt like that for my mic when I teach which I used to hate but now I think it makes my waste seem smaller.

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  7. I have a SPIbelt too and when I do have to carry things on my runs, I use it for sure. It it also handy some other times when I am only needing keys, or a little snack and some cash. Good review!

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  8. Thanks for this review, Wendy! I've never tried a SPIBelt, but I've heard lots of great things about them. I won a FlipBelt through a blogger giveaway, and I have really enjoyed it; I'm pretty sure I could use one of these, too, though...never enough gear - ha! Thanks again!

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  9. Like you, I always hated wearing anything around my waist. Recently I bought a High5 Gel gel sachet belt and to my surprise it was OK. I'll have a look at this one now and give it a go too!

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    1. I've never heard of the High5. Yep, this one's ok too!

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  10. I wear my spibelt to all my races. It's perfect to carry my phone or gels.

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  11. Nice! I just started using a SPIbelt and love it - actually have a review coming out tomorrow :). Annnnd I hate to break it to you, but high waisted pants are back in... eek!

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  12. Great review, Wendy! I bought my SPIbelt about three years ago at the Virginia Wine Country Half expo. I wear it several times a week, and love it! When I first tried it on, the lady in the booth told me to slide it lower. I did, and she told me to put it even lower. I was so used to fanny packs being up high that it seemed weird to wear it that low. I quickly discovered that low is good, and my SPIbelt never bounces.

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    1. That's exactly what they told me and it was great advice! It never moves.

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  13. I haven't tried a belt around my waist yet! I like my Avantree Armband to hold my phone. So far it's working for me quite well though! It's also large enough to hold other items, keys, tissue, lip balm! However, if I run longer distances than 10 Km in the future, I might need something bigger to hold gels etc.. thanks for the review of the SPIbelt! I'l keep it in mind!

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    1. It's nice because it sits low on the hips. I used an armband in the past but had issues with chafing.

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  14. Oh this sounds perfect, I will certainly be checking out SPI belt! I carry my phone when I run for safety and often have the dog with me as well, I hate having my hands full. Thanks for sharing!!

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  15. I hate things around my waist as well, so I'm hesitant to try, but your review makes me think I should give it a shot!

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    1. It sits low on the hips, which is a huge plus!

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  16. I've worn my spibelt to work - I work on the reference desk at a public library and sometimes need a place to keep my keys and my phone LOL. And I intend to send Jones to an amusement park with it this spring because he needs to carry his epi pen.

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  17. I have a regular spi I use all the time, I love it!
    I didn't realize there was need that came a little larger! I need this :)

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  18. great review! I hae been wearing my flipbelt since last year but my license and money can get a little sweaty - I might need to give this a try!

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