One of the many different color combinations of SPIbelts.

Not every pair of shorts I have has pockets or a key pocket, but I always need to carry something on me during my runs.  Often it is a set of keys, but other times it is fuel if I feel like running long.  To fix this issue, I picked up a SPIbelt (Small Personal Item belt).  Here are my thoughts on the small pouch you wear on your waist:

Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Randi Lackey's belt is a little muddy but still functional.

Design:

The concept is relatively simple, an elastic band for your waist and a small pocket for your personal items.  When the is zipper closed and the pocket is empty, it looks almost like a normal belt.  However, once you add in your items (cell phone, keys, gels, etc.) the pouch expands to fit whatever you need to carry.  With over 20 color/design choices, you are sure to find one that fits your personality.

OCR Nutritionist Luc Labonte knows to carry fuel to maximize performance using his SPIbelt.

Function:

The SPIbelt works great.  Throw your items inside, go for a run and enjoy yourself.  I have yet to find an item I wanted to carry on a run that didn’t fit efficiently inside the SPIbelt.  I’ve thrown a protein bar and five gels in one pouch without issues closing the zipper.

However, I have found that if you start putting lots of items or heavier items in there, the best place to put the pouch is between my hip and butt (so like in the back ¼ quadrant of your body).  I found this to be the place that had the least bounce even with a packed belt.

SPIbelt color choices

Cost: 

SPIbelt has a couple of different designs including the original (what I have), a larger pocket variation, a double pocket version and endurance versions with external elastic loops for additional gels.  The original version starts at around $20 and the other versions go up to $30.  Regardless of which model you choose, I think you’ll find the value exceeds the cost by far, especially when you consider durability.

SPIbelt looking good at BFX around 2015.

Durability:

Obstacle Course Racing is known for being very rough on clothing and race kit.  I can’t even tell you how many shorts, shirts and socks I’ve completely ripped through in the last half-decade.  Add in the countless pairs of shoes I have worn down to the point where the grips become useless.  Overall this time, only one item has survived it all…my SPIbelt.  I bought my original one a long time ago– 2004 if I remember correctly.  Over the last couple of years, I have a cumulative 18 days of Ultra-OCR experience (when adding things like OCR America, BFX, Toughest Mudder Series, Endure The Gauntlet, Ultra-OCR Grand Slam, etc.).  Despite putting my SPIbelt through the worst conditions, it still works.  No rips, the buckle still closes and even the zipper still works.  After all these years everything is 100% functional.  However, I decided to upgrade based on style and get something besides the plain black color I originally bought to add some flare to my racing kit.

Same SPIbelt from the BFX picture after a cumulative 18 days of Ultra-OCR still looking good.

Whether you are running an Ultra-OCR like Conquer The Gauntlet Continuum, training/racing for more than an hour or going for a run around the block with your phone, you may be interested in a SPIbelt.  It is a training and racing item that has proved its worth several times over.  I carry mine at every OCR that is nine miles or longer in length, which means you are going to want to pick up one if you are heading to something like a Tougher Mudder or an event like North American OCR Championships.

 

 

Photos taken by Amy Perperis of Strength & Speed

Luc Labonte photo provided by Luc Labonte

Randi Lackey photo provided by Randi Lackey taken by Spartan photographers

SPIbelt color choices pulled from SPIbelt website