I first saw these at the Philly Rock n' Roll half marathon expo about 3 weeks ago, and they looked like they'd be good for helping you carry stuff on longer runs, but I held off and was good and did not impulse-buy. (I also wasn't going to pick it up and use it the next day for the half marathon without trying it on a longer run first). They gave me a card with a code for free shipping (EXPO2010).
At first I was waffling between the neoprene single pouch and the lycra mini sports belt (it was cheaper after all). But then I noticed the neoprene means it is waterproof, which is great for if you get stuck in rain or if you are sweating a lot. So I was leaning toward the neoprene single pouch.
I did a little research and read some reviews of the single pouch here, and here (lycra version).
Some reviews of the double pouch here, here, here, and here.
Another style called the ultimate race belt has slots for gu and ways to attach your racing bib (I personally don't want the number over my crotch though). Here's a review of that style, and another review here.
One of the reasons I wanted one of these belts is for longer runs where I'd be carrying shot bloks (before I had put some in a ziploc baggy and shoved them in my back shorts pocket - not super easy to access; I have also stuck the tube of shot blocks in my shorts waist band, and just check periodically to make sure they haven't fallen out - not the most comfortable). I really should also be carrying my ID should anything happen while I'm out, and maybe even my phone (I should really just run with a purse at this point!) Also, as fall is here, and I am not training for any set event, I want to just run at a leisurely pace and bring my compact little camera along for some pretty foliage pictures - but I don't want to hold it because I am clumsy and I would probably drop it multiple times.
So after reading some reviews and thinking about the maximum amount of stuff I might carry, I began to lean more toward the neoprene double pouch. I went with the grey/pink combo.
I wish ifitness had thought to include some measurements on their website for any of their products (besides what size waist it could fit). Here are the measurements I found with my handy dandy ruler:
The zippers open up to reveal 5.75" wide and 5.5" wide openings. The wider of the two (the one with the ifitness logo) also has a little inner pocket to snugly hold on to your license and/or a card. The little pocket is just over 3" wide, and you have to stretch it a bit to fit your card in there, but that's fine, because I'm not going to need to access it while I run. The pouch is about 2.75" tall when empty and laid flat, but it easily stretches.
The corners of the pouches are squared off. The width at the widest point of the two pouches is 6.5" and 6". The width at the narrowest point (top or bottom edge) is 5.5" and 5". The belt that goes around your waist is just over 1.25" wide.
Kodak M341; it measures 3.8 × 2.3 × 0.8 in.
I really like the reflective tabs on either end of the double pouch. I'm all for visibility while running!
Here is the belt being worn in front, over the top of my tank top:
If you don't want the whole thing in front or in back, you can wear it to the side (just have to position it comfortably if you have two flat objects in the pockets - i.e. phone and camera. Not an issue if only one side has a hard flat object). Here are some shots of the belt being worn to the side:
I would recommend just not trying to hide it under your top. If it's bulky and your tank lays over the belt, it's just going to look funny and bulgy. If you had the pouches a little on the emptier side, you could probably try to hide it underneath your shirt without looking funny.
And just a couple more pictures I took of the running belt:
Side view with camera and phone inside:
My preliminary testing (jumping jacks in my bedroom, and a couple laps doing a light jog between my kitchen and my living room) indicates that it does not ride up, and is surprisingly comfortable. I have the belt so it is snug but not tight enough to create any extra muffin top, and I was wearing it on my pelvic bone.
Does anyone reading this use a running belt?
Do you have experience with the ifitness, spibelt, or other brand?