Staying hydrated when you are running is important. You obviously want to stay hydrated before and after your run. Having water or electrolytes handy during a run is also helpful especially this time of year with all the heat and humidity!!
There are several different options out there to choose from. Today I will go through the hydration packs/belts/options that I have used and considered and the pros and cons of each.
These come in all kinds of colors, sizes, styles, etc. I have an UltrAspire handheld bottle with a small pocket, big enough for keys. Above is a picture of several of Nathan Sports handhelds. I do have a handheld bottle, but I will say that I only ever use it on light and easy runs, because half the time it drives me nuts to have something in my hand!
- They are small
- Most are made to fit well in your hand
- Fairly inexpensive compared to other options
- Some come with pockets big enough for your phone
- You have to carry it! lol (you may be someone like me, who just doesn’t like to carry a bottle when they run)
- The pockets that are available, are small, so there isn’t much else you can add to it
Pictured above are two different types of water belts. I actually own both! The obvious difference between the two is the size of the bottle. The belt on the left is the Nathan Triangle and the one on the right is the Nathan Mercury 2. The Triangle has a bigger bottle and therefore the belt is bigger and stiffer in order to hold the bottle “in place”. The bottle placement on the pack is done so that it sits in the “right spot” on your back. There is a small pocket big enough for your keys, ID, and a gel packet. The Mercury 2 obviously has two smaller bottles. They each carry about 8 oz. There is a side pocket, that does have some stretch to it, that you could carry your keys and a gel or two. If I only put my house key in the pocket, I can squeeze my iPhone 6 into it with a little force, lol!
- Bigger bottles = more water
- You wear it on your waist, so no carrying anything in your hands! yay!
- Pockets fit more than the pockets on the handhelds
- “Flopping”, most models are made in such a way to eliminate a lot of the flopping and flapping when you run, but there is always that chance that it will or that it drives you crazy!
- Waist size/belt size, the belt length could be too long or too short depending on your waist. I would definitely suggest if you are looking to buy a belt to make sure you try it on before you buy.
I also own one of these! lol The picture above is a CamelBak Charm. It carries about 50 oz of water as well as has a zipper pocket for fuel, ID, keys, etc. This is worn as a back pack with adjustable straps. There are several brands/companies you can choose from for these: Nathan, CamelBak, UltrAspire and I’m sure there are more that I’m not thinking of!
- Much more water! Something good to have for really long runs and such.
- It’s not in your hand, it’s not “flopping” around your waist, it’s on your back!
- Bigger pocket area and as the water bladder empties, the space in the back gets ‘bigger’. There have been a few times when partway through a run I toss my shirt or hat into the CamelBak.
- If you don’t get the one that “fits you best”, you can run into chafing, rubbing, uncomfortable straps, etc. My first CamelBak was not made for running and the first summer I used it to train for a half, let’s just say, I didn’t have much skin on my back by the end of the summer! >.<
- They bigger which means they weigh more, if you feel like the added weight is too much, then look into one of the smaller options.
- They are more expensive; there are a lot more features to these and therefore, the cost is higher.
I hope this information was helpful to you! If you have any questions or any possible options for hydration that I didn’t mention please comment and share your thoughts! 🙂
Also, here are links to some of the brands I discussed above: