Edit: I Just Realized it's Tino's Birthday!! Happy Birthday!
With the Boston half marathon quickly approaching, our Saturday long-training runs have started getting serious. We are now in the eight- to ten-mile range, which is long enough that Ellie and I started getting significantly more thirsty toward the end of the sessions. Ellie got the hint that I wanted a way to carry water with us on our runs, as well as a Cliff bar, keys, and a phone. For our anniversary last week, she gave me the Nathan Trail Mix Waistpack! As Saturday came around, I strapped it on, with bottles full of water, and headed out to test my newest toy!
At first, I was less than thrilled. I struggled to get it tight enough to not move around but still loose enough to not give me serious bowel discomfort. After about one-half mile, I managed to figure out the proper setting. I also shifted it to rest on my right hip rather than behind me. I felt like it moved a lot less, and also it allowed me to hear my phone readouts about our pace and distance.
Between Ellie and I, twenty ounces of water wasn't a whole lot, but it was actually just right for the eight-mile run. I realized that I only really needed a little bit to refresh my mouth, and that was enough. The bottles were very easy to slide in and out, and I didn't have any issues with leaking.
I'll admit, by the end of our 1.5 hour run (we were a bit slow on Saturday, but it was brutally hot), the water in the bottles was less than appealing. They warmed up (just like we had), making the water taste rather plastic-like. This is fine really, because I could just add ice cubes and it would stay colder longer. No big deal.
I had no issues with the belt causing chafing or hot spots, even after eight miles, which I am super stoked about. I was a little bit worried early on when I struggled to get the fit right, but there was not even the slightest discomfort after the run.
Things I Like
I really liked the feel. It was comfortable after finding the proper adjustment. As the pack lightened up from water being consumed, it really didn't bounce around at all. I also liked the size of the storage pouch. It was able to fit a Cliff bar, my keys, some cash, and my smart phone in there. Even with all those things, I was still able to dig around and find exactly what I needed from it while I was running. The bottles slid in and out very easily with no leaks—a huge positive, it seems, as some of the reviews I've read of other belts can't say the same.
Things I Didn't Like
I can honestly say that I'm not 100 percent in love with carrying things while I run. It was kind of annoying, though I got used to it. Then again, carrying a phone and keys in your hands for an entire run is also annoying . . . so at least this gives me water, too! The price point (though it was a gift, I wanted to look it up for the review) seems a tiny bit high, but it isn't too bad. Maybe five to ten dollars less would be more reasonable, but after looking at comparable products, $45 around the average.
Should You Buy?
I think if you are looking for a solution to bringing things with you on runs, this is a good idea. I don't intend on using it for anything shorter than about seven miles, so if you are doing those shorter distances, it is up to you. For long-distance work, I really liked it and would recommend it. One word of caution though: for smaller framed people, women in particular, it might slide around more for you.
Overall, I am extremely happy to have this in my toolkit! Thanks, Ellie!