A number of companies have created various belts, packs and handheld doohickies for us outdoor fanatics to utilize in our quest to maintain hydrated. As a long distance runner, I’ve tried a lot of them and generally, hated them all. The belts dig into my hipbones, or it stretches out so immensely that it rides up to be around my ribs – not particularly comfortable. The packs slosh around and bounce on my back and the whole handheld thing just irks me. This presents a huge conundrum when one considers running with an I.V pole just wouldn’t be feasible either, so I reluctantly invested in a Nathan Hydration Speed 4 belt.
The Speed 4, like all of Nathan’s hydration “belts” offers moulded holsters for the 10 oz. flasks, which means that getting the flasks in and out, was actually easy. The easy access stash pocket at the front has a zip and is just big enough to get a key a couple TTC tokens and some change in without it all jingling around. Meanwhile, the larger pocket at the back is large enough to put several gels or packages of sports beans in and with the Velcro flap makes access a fast and effortless. The flasks are evenly distributed around the belt, regardless of size and because the elastic belts permit only a limited amount of stretch, they actually stay put! After two seasons of consistent training, the belt has retained its original size and needed no replacement or fixing of any parts.
I’ve reformed so much so, that I’ve invested in a Nathan Speed 2 for my shorter runs and it’s just as fabulous. For those outdoor enthusiasts who swear off hydrations systems, you too can be reformed and become happily hydrated!