Top Running Waist Packs for Summer

With Summer running comes hot and humid weather which in turn results in the need of hydration on just about every run. And while there are many ways to carry that thirst quenching goodness, from handhelds to hydration vests. The most comfortable and efficient way that I have found for Summer running is through using a waist pack. The waist pack allows you to carry slightly more than the bare essentials; a water bottle / flask, a smartphone, keys, cash and even a jacket or trekking poles, all without the over heated coverage of a running vest or the awkward weight of a handheld. The following waist packs are my top six picks that have gotten me through Spring and the start of Summer and will continue to carry my hydration and running essentials right into Fall.

CamelBak Ultra Belt 17oz.

Conveniently and comfortably carry more than those bare essentials with you on your next run with the CamelBak Ultra Belt 17oz. The Ultra Belt has an architecture that makes the most out of its small design, the pack provides bounce-free stability and utilitarian comfort thanks to the 3D mesh material that stays light and breathable on even the hottest runs. The CamelBak hydration belt stores a 17-oz Quick Stow flask (included) that molds to the shape of your body, a front zippered pocket to secure a phone and stretch pockets keep gels, keys, action cameras, gloves and cash safely tucked away. In addition to it’s nine pockets, the waist pack even includes an integrated trekking pole or jacket carry cinch loop system.

Favorite Features

  • 3D Micro Mesh: Multi-directional air flow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability especially in hot weather
  • Front and Rear Elastic Pull Cord Adjustment: Used to cinch up the pack to snug everything tighter to the body.
  • Storage: Ability to organize run essentials and more with nine separated pocket cells
  • Secure Phone Pocket: Conveniently located right in front with a zipper closure for secured quick access

Sizing

  • Size down to smallest applicable belt possible to eliminate unwanted bounce.
  • My waist is 31″ and I went with a S/M (28″ to 32″) and the fit was Great. The belt does offer a front and rear elastic pull cord adjustment that can be used to cinch up the waist pack, to snug everything tighter to the body, but don’t count on these for large adjustments as they are meant for on the fly small adjustments when items are taken out of the pack or when the flask gets emptier.

For more information on the Ultra Belt and other CamelBak products, visit camelbak.com  MSRP $55

Nathan VaporKrar WaistPak

The Nathan VaporKrar Waist Pack offers slightly more than just the minimalist storage options for running essentials. This waist pack comes complete with a soft 20 oz flask that provides just the right amount of hydration for an average length Summer run. The low profile pack delivers a bounce free build that is hardly noticeable, even on downhill descents that are fast and precarious. The center back pocket has enough space for the flask, but can also hold a packable jacket, gloves or running hat. This rear pocket has an ingenious design that features two nylon pull straps that can tighten down the pocket load, bringing all packed items closer to the core, eliminating unwanted bounce. Additionally, Velcro closure stretch pockets on the side can hold smaller items, such as an action camera, keys, cash and running gels, while a front zippered pocket secures a smart phone and rounding out the waist pack is a set of trekking pole or jacket straps on the front for those more technical runs.

Favorite Features

  • Adjustable compression cinch system on the back pocket that can hold a soft flask (included), nutrition, a light jacket, or other essentials
  • Top perimeter elastic with gripper delivers a secure fit
  • Front zippered pocket fits most large format smartphones

Sizing

  • Size down, for me this belt ran on the large side of sizing.
  • My waist is 31″ and I went with a XXS/XS (23″ to 28″) and the fit was perfect. The belt does not technically offer any waist circumference adjustment, however it does have two nylon pull loops that can tighten up the flask carry pocket as the flask gets empty, which in turn does slightly tighten up the pack to the waist.

For more information on the VaporKrar WasitPak and other Nathan products, visit nathansports.com  MSRP $59.99

UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt

The UltrAspire Fitted Race Belt is constructed with a conical shape and unique stitching pattern that delivers a comfortably close to the body feel and bounce free fit. Its lightweight and stretchy mesh fabric provide fantastic breathability ideal for those sweltering Summer runs. The pack features a zippered pocket to secure a phone, keys and cash, and four additional stash pockets for a flask (not included), nutrition, action cam and other small essentials that might be needed for a run. In addition to the pockets, the Fitted Race Belt offers dual adjustable bungees that easily secure trekking poles or a jacket.

Favorite Features

  • Lightweight Conical Fit
  • Great Breathability
  • Comfortable Stable Ride on the Waist

Sizing

  • Sizing is right on point. UltrAspire offers this belt in 5 sizes to ensure a great fit.
  • My waist is 31″ and I went with a MD (31″ to 33″) and the fit was ideal.

For more information on the Fitted Race Belt and other UltrAspire products, visit ultraspire.com  MSRP $32.95

Salomon Pulse Belt

The Salomon Pulse Belt stores just enough to keep hydrated and nourished while staying light on the feet. The comfortable four way stretch fabric sits securely at the waist providing near bounce free runs. The front pocket will hold a 17 oz soft flask (not included), while the rear pocket zips for secure storage of a phone, cash or keys. The elastic side straps have a silicone grip that allows for quick storage of extra gear such as clothing or trekking poles. The minimalist style and low profile of the Salomon Pulse Belt keeps the load light and allows the miles to be fast.

Favorite Features

  • Breathable 4-way stretch fabric creates a snug fit that stays put during intense activity.
  • Elastic silicone grip straps are sewn on diagonally making it easier to quickly stow and retrieve trekking poles.

Sizing

  • Size down to smallest applicable belt possible to eliminate unwanted bounce.
  • My waist is 31″ and I went with a SM (28.5″ – 31.5″) and the fit was excellent.

For more information on the Pulse Belt and other Salomon products, visit salomon.com  MSRP $35

Ultimate Direction Mountain Belt 4.0

The Ultimate Direction Mountain Belt 4.0 can hold all the essentials needed for Summer trail runs or quick mountain trips (as the name implies) while keeping the load at the rear. This waist pack features an adjustable Velcro belt that makes mid-run adjustments quick and simple while the zippered rear pouch (1.2 liters of space) and an external drawstring cord will hold all the necessities needed for a secure and comfortable Summer run. The large storage pocket has a sewn in internal Velcro secure pocket that accommodates most phones while the belt strap has a small key pocket built right into the front for added security. Hydration is made simple by an easy to reach rear stretch mesh bottle holder and the included 20 oz. FlexForm bottle. The Mountain Belt sits comfortable on the hips with a slight stretch the provides just the right comfort for a snug fit. If the need arises for additional storage the Mountain Belt accepts the Ultimate Direction Adventure Pocket for further storage space .

Favorite Features

  • Secure and breathable fit thanks to the MonoRip mesh and Velcro adjustable waist
  • Large storage pocket
  • Rear Carry

Sizing

  • Sizing is on the money.
  • My waist is 31″ and I went with a SM (26″ – 33″) and the fit was excellent.

For more information on the Mountain Belt and other UD products, visit ultimatedirection.com  MSRP $49.95

UltrAspire Essential Bottle Pack

The UltrAspire Essential Bottle Pack’s angled flask holder facilitates effortless one handed extraction during hot runs. The adjustable strap, quick-clip closure, and conical shape furnish a great fit and will able to accomidate a wide variety of runners. The Bottle Pack features a zippered pocket that’s big enough for a smartphone, gels, cash and keys, as well as an adjustable external shock cord for securing hat and gloves or a packable jacket. The lightweight padding and adjustable strap make this pack comfortable to wear for miles, while the included 550 mL UltraFlask holds enough fluid to keep adequately hydrated in the heat of the Summer.

Favorite Features

  • Lightweight, comfortable and simple
  • Angled bottle holster for easy and quick access to hydration
  • Can hold any half liter bottle for hydration needs

Sizing

  • One Size fits most (26″-43″) – Adjustable Belt

For more information on the Essential Bottle Pack and other UltrAspire products, visit ultraspire.com  MSRP $34.95 

 

Mark Ranum: Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.
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