I got especially excited after watching this review that showed how much you could stuff in one, including a full water bottle!
For me I could see two advantages in getting a belt:
- For training runs around 15-20k I rarely need more than a bit of water and some gels: more than I can fit in the pockets of my shorts, but carrying a full running vest feels overkill
- As we get into Autumn most morning runs starts with gloves, hat and a headtorch, but as the day brightens up I can take them off. Without a running vest I had nowhere to put them
About to get real nerdy about a bit of fabric so bear with me.
For those unfamiliar with Salomon's Adv Skin vests; they have these stretchy pockets all around your waist that can open easily enough to put loads of gear in, but then shrink back to keep them snug and sound. This reduces movement (stopping chafing and generally getting annoyed at things hitting you in the ribs) and helps you feel confident all your gels aren't about the fly out the back of your vest.
The Adv Skin Belt uses the same material, all around your waist, giving you decent places to stash your gear without the need for a full running vest.
On the belt you have:
- A looser front pocket designed for a water bottle, with a secure hook inside to attach your keys to
- A long large stretchy back pocket with lots of room for gloves, hats, a flipping coat, you name it
- A large zip pocket that's good for gels, phone, valuables
- Loops on the back to stash walking poles
Packing It Pre-Run
I wanted to give the belt a solid shot when I needed to carry some gear, but not so much it called for a vest. This ended up being a nice chilly morning half marathon where I wanted to carry:
- Head torch
- 2x Gu gels
- House keys
- 500ml water with electrolytes
- Some spare space to put my gloves and hat in if it got hotter out
Stashing it all in the belt felt like a challenge, but here we go:
Front pouch held the keys and would be where I'd stash my headtorch, gloves and hat as the day brightened up.
In the back I had my phone on the left, feeling nice and snug in the stretchy fabric, then stashed the water bottle on the right.
In the zip pocket I had the 2x gels stowed away.
On The Run
Feeling a bit like a pack donkey I headed out.
First notes were that with the water in the back it bounced around a lot, the full 500ml weight (roughly 0.5kg) did move on each step.
Having said that the belt stayed firmly on my waist, and no amount of sloshing was moving it down or made it feel like it would fall off.
I had worried that actually getting the water out and back in would be a challenge, but it was surprisingly easy to access and didn't result in it squirting out everywhere.
When the water was down to 300ml the bouncing had stopped and felt more comfortable.
Zip pocket was useful to stow the gel wrappers as well as they got used up.
Headtorch came off when the sun came up and fit nicely in the front pocket, as did the gloves later on.
Ended the run with no chafing or evidence of rubbing, and thoroughly happy with the result.
Salomon have a solid video showing the features with some tips on sizing here.
Turns out I had the water bottle in the wrong area of the belt 🤦♂!️ This makes a lot of sense as the front pouch would make the water easier to access and give you all that room at the back to stow away gear.
Will try again with the water in the right place, however ultimately a very happy bunny and know I'll be using the belt a lot through winter.