Running and Swimming with a Flipbelt

Running and Swimming with a FlipbeltMy husband wanted a Flipbelt for Christmas, so naturally I got one for myself, too. These stretchy belts slide on like a pair of knit shorts to sit wherever is comfortable in the hip zone. There are no clips or straps to adjust for fit. The fabric makes a complete circle. There is one small, plastic clip inside one of the compartments, to attach something like keys to. (click on any photo to enlarge)

Pros and cons of running with the Flipbelt

Slipping my room key and towel card into my Flipbelt. This is the same way and place the phone goes in. This is the part of the belt worn against the body.

Slipping my room key and towel card into my Flipbelt. This is the same way and place the phone goes in. This is the part of the belt worn against the body.

I have run with my Flipbelt a few times now. I kept an iPhone 6 and an electronic car key fob with attached key. The Flipbelt stayed in place, the objects stayed secure, and I never felt them move around or poke into me.

It took only a little practice to be able to get my iPhone out of the hidden pocket while running. I like to do this sometimes to either check my mileage or adjust what I might be listening to. It is a bit harder to get the phone back in while moving, but I expect to get more adept at this.

Here I am wearing the Flipbelt and holding it out from me, looking at the slots. You can barely see the outline of one of the cards to the left of the pocket opening.

Here I am wearing the Flipbelt and holding it out from me, looking at the slots. You can barely see the outline of one of the cards to the left of the pocket opening.

The Flipbelt manages to feel secure without feeling too tight. Trying to figure out the formula for that was one thing that discouraged me from trying to make my own. Plus, the material for the flip belt is high quality. The time it would take to problem solve how to sew it just right didn’t seem worth it compared to the price (currently $28.99 for the classic one I got). There is a lot of detail work.

While the Flipbelt doesn’t bounce around like a hip pack, it is four layers of fabric. I expect this to be tolerable in hot weather, especially compared to the raw spots I have had regularly from the strapping of a hip pack.

The other main drawback to my Flipbelt is that it doesn’t have a way to hold my water bottles. I happen to like my Nathan water bottles, both for how easy they are to get in and out of their holders, but also because their race caps work by just squeezing the bottle. The Flipbelt website shows bottles made to fit inside the flipbelt, but I’m not ready to try that yet. I have a hard time imagining that being comfortable. Since I only go on one long run a week, I don’t carry water that often.

The pros and cons of swimming with the Flipbelt

A sideview of the Flipbelt with my bikini bottoms. You can see it is sleek, just giving the bikini more of a sporty look.

A sideview of the Flipbelt with my bikini bottoms. You can see it is sleek, just giving the bikini more of a sporty look.

Swimming with my Flipbelt was unexpected. When I went un-snorkeling, I needed to take a hotel room key, since I am always done snorkeling before my husband is. It occurred to me that my Flipbelt might look like it was part of my bikini, which, as you might expect, does not have pockets.

Having items get dislodged while swimming in the ocean seemed more likely and more of a problem. I would likely be moving my whole torso in more ways than I do when I run. There would be wave action. I made extra sure my room key was tucked well past the opening and that the openings were all to the inside of the belt, against my body.

And a front view of the set-up.

And a front view of the set-up.

I forgot about having it on as soon as I was in the water. Not only was I pre-occupied with dealing with the ocean, but the Flipbelt was quite comfortable. It didn’t sag or twist or relocate.

My only complaint is that it took forever to dry. This may have been a particular problem in the humid, tropical climate. Our swimsuits also took a long time to dry. The Flipbelt never got dry between uses, even as far apart as two days. At least I was putting it on over a portion of my bikini bottoms and the weather was warm enough that such moisture was not too chilly.

The final analysis

I will definitely be taking my Flipbelt on any future tropical vacations. I will also be using it for any runs without water bottles. I will probably be considering Flipbelts as gifts for any of my active family or friends. Shhh!