If you’re like me and you hate putting safety pins through your running shirts you know the benefits of a good race belt and bib holder. There are lots of options out there from magnets to non-puncture clips, and tons in-between. I tend to gravitate to belts because of the added bonus, depending on the style you choose, of being able to carry my phone and nutrition.
I’ve used the same FuelBelt Get Ready Race Number Belt for several years and though it’s held up pretty well, it no longer works for holding my phone since I upgraded to the iPhone 6. The model I have from FuelBelt has some interchangeable pockets and accessories that you can slip onto the belt but with age the elastic has also given way. So I decided to try a new belt altogether.
So here are my criteria points for a good belt:
- Comfort – since my belts tend to ride high I want something that is adjustable and that stays where it’s supposed to without twisting around as you run.
- Carry Capacity – I want to be able to carry my iPhone 6 in its case and my car key fob, and extra nutritional gel as needed without feeling like the pocket is going to pop open.
- Bib Holder – This is must-have since I don’t like putting holes in my shirts. Must be able to fit multiple bib sizes since not all bobs are created equal.
- Durability – I’ve got high standards since my FuelBelt lasted for over 5 years.
- Sweat/ Water Resistance – this is a want not necessarily a need; it would be nice to not have to put my phone in a Ziploc bag if my pocket/pouch could withstand the rain.
After spending a couple solid hours trying to find a race belt that met all of my wants and needs, I landed at the Avantree Wallaby Fuel Belt with Race Bib Clips. At $12.99 on Amazon Prime with free Two-Day shipping it’s quite a deal. I ordered my belt on March 30th and had it at my door by April 1st just in time for me to try it out at the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon on April 2nd.
Below is what the Amazon listing for this belt has to say:I’ll give you my feedback based on each of my criteria points:
Comfort – I am pretty particular with my race belts as I’ve got a true hourglass figure so every belt I’ve ever tried inevitably ends up riding just below my rib cage at my natural waist. As I do with all of running belts I tried to wear the Avantree around my hips first and jogged a little to see if this would be the unicorn that stayed there. Sadly, it didn’t. Though, if I were wearing this in a theme park (I hate purses) or for a walk or hike, it would definitely stay there. It’s the bounce of running that makes the belt ride up. So once I figured that out I adjusted the belt to fit snugly around my waist. The elastic band on the belt is wide so it never felt like it was moving or bouncing around too much. I’ve never had a belt that had the pocket in the front but it was actually nice to have everything easily accessible. I give this 4.5 out of 5 only because the clip is a little strong which makes it a tad difficult to get off but definitely not a deal-breaker.
Carry Capacity – When I first took the belt out of its packaging I was concerned at the size of the pouch but after further inspection you’ll notice that the construction is such that the fabric folds into itself when there’s nothing in it. There is also a rubberized interior to keep sweat and moisture at bay if you run with your phone or iPod. I wanted to see just how much the pouch could possibly hold and as you can see below it’s quite a lot.
In the first round I put in as much as I felt the pouch could hold comfortably while running which was my husband’s iPhone 6s Plus (not in a case), my ID and a credit card, my full set of keys, and two PowerGels. It took a little coaxing but the zipper closed without too much trouble and the pouch did just fine.
For my second round I put in the most I would ever actually run with – my iPhone 6 in its case which also includes my ID and credit card, two PowerGels and my key fob. This definitely fits without any trouble and doesn’t bounce around at all. 5 out of 5!
Bib Holder – The bib loops are on either side of the pouch and based on the pictures online you can have your bib so it hangs under the pocket or, as I chose, you have have it just over the bottom portion of the pouch so my number would be clearly visible for race photographers! The loops are long enough to accommodate multiple sized bibs and the bib is secured by spring-loaded cord locks which held without any problems. 5 out of 5!
Durability – I can’t speak to what the years have in store with this belt but I can say that the elastic is high-quality and seems like it will hold up for quite some time without becoming overly stretched. The zipper on the pouch is also reinforced with rubberized weather stripping which adds to its strength. 4 out of 5.
Sweat/Water Resistance – The pouch itself has a rubberized interior and as I’ve already mentioned the zipper is also weather reinforced. While I haven’t had a super rainy runs to test this out in yet I can tell you that it has been successfully sweat resistant. 4 out of 5, for now.
All in all I am pretty satisfied with the Avantree Wallaby Fuel Belt with Race Bib Clips – for the price you really can’t beat it. Keep in mind though that this particular brand does not have any optional accessories or add-ons that I could find so if you prefer a belt that allows you to carry all the above AND your hydration needs this is not the belt for you. Otherwise, I would definitely recommend this product.