Exercising away from home always presents me with the problem of jingling pockets, when I am lucky enough to have pockets. I carry an inhaler and an Epi-Pen, as well as the usual paraphernalia – a key, a phone and a few coins. The SPIbelt is an elasticated, stretchy waist belt that holds a collection of small personal items. It expands to fit a wallet, smartphone or passport, but it can also carry less without the contents rattling around.
It comes in a variety of shapes and colours as well as two sizes – adult or child. Large pocket, small pocket, double pocket, front or back fastening and a few more creative options – the H2O carries two proprietary water bottles that clip onto the belt, the shielded SPI has an attachable Anti-RFID/EMF liner and the diabetic version has a keyhole to thread through insulin tubing. It is available in a variety of colours, including some bright designs, a non-logo unobtrusive plain black version as well as black with coloured zips or a reflective pouch.
We tested the original SPIbelt with a single pocket in both adult and child size as well as the dual pocket SPIbelt.
Price: ± £15 – 350
SPIbelt – Small Personal Item Belt – the company was started by runner and entrepreneur Kim Overton to fix her own problem in 2006. She’d gotten tired of jogging with her key tucked into her bra and thought there has to be a better way. They launched with a single belt that held a water bottle and keys and quickly became popular with runners, travellers and those who have to carry medical devices.
The SPIbelt is elastic throughout, both the pockets and the strap and it really does not bounce or shift at all. It is the first waist pouch I have worn that is comfortable to wear when running, hiking, sitting, standing and even lying down. It has dual use as a travel or fitness band, but be aware that the original is not waterproof.
The Original SPIbelt does not have a pass through hole for headset cables or pump tubing, but we tested it with a Medtronic insulin pump and fit the tube through the zip opening which worked fine. I used the dual pocket belt with one pouch for medical supplies – Epi-Pen and a reliever inhaler – and the other for my phone, front door key and cash. We found the single pocket SPIbelt optimal when not carrying medical supplies, whilst the additional pouch was a huge bonus for me.
Environment & People
The Original SPIbelt retails for $25, around £20 and it’s good value for money. It is well-made, durable, ridiculously comfortable to wear and has an excellent reputation in both fitness and diabetic communities for being a valued and much used accessory.
The metal zips are painted and do not make direct skin contact, making it a good choice for those with a nickel allergy.
The SPIbelt does not move, slide, bounce, jiggle, ride up or fall down and the contents are secured well, even when it includes a few coins and oddly shaped items like an inhaler. It has a very comfortable fit and it is obviously made to a high standard. The pockets aren’t huge – and they shouldn’t be – just big enough to fit the things runners take along with them – phone, cash and a front door key. As a medical accessory, it’s been excellent for carrying an Epi-Pen and inhaler and it’s a great place to keep Dextrose tablets handy.
The type 1 diabetic in the family gave it ten stars for comfort during the day, but the tubing kept getting in the way for her when removing the pump and by the end of day one she was ready to cut her own through hole into the pouch. I don’t think this will be a problem for everyone, the tubing does fit by leaving a small gap in the zip opening, but it is not as neat and tidy a solution as it could be with the diabetic SPIbelt.
It fits comfortably over as well as under clothes and on rainy days it stayed nice and dry underneath a waterproof coat. As a travel pouch, fitness belt and medical accessory, we give it a thumbs up.
Recommended in particular for frequent travelers and avid runners, as well as an excellent accessory for active days out, trips to the gym and carrying life-saving medical supplies with you at all times.
The review is based on the Original, Double pocket and Kids’ SPIbelt kindly provided by SPIbelt. This article was first published on 14 October 2016.