Gear Review – Nathan Elite 1 Plus hydration belt
This past summer I replaced my old belt with the Nathan Elite 1 Plus belt. The Nathan belt is clearly designed with inputs from runners, compare to my old hydration belt; several simple features of this Nathan belt have made it much more comfortable and user friendly.
The slightly elastic straps make adjustment a bit easier, as I set it to be slightly tight to start my run; I have to adjust it less frequently during my runs compare to non-elastic straps. The large triangular body of the belt fits the contour of my back well; the padding and the mesh also feel comfortable.
My favourite feature is the spot for the gel flask, without it, I would have to wear shorts with pockets on long runs and continue to put gel flask in the pocket, which is uncomfortable and troublesome. Another great feature is the cradle for the water bottle, the flap at the top makes taking and returning the bottle very easy. On my old belt, the cradle was only half-way up the bottle. It was sometimes difficult to put the bottle back in the cradle during the run with the bottle half full, the belt out of position and fatigue setting in. However, these two great features have a tough time co-existing, with the gel flask in; it was harder to put the bottle back to the cradle. This is my only complaint about this Nathan belt, and looking at the picture of the new version, the company has addressed this issue by separating the gel flask from the water bottle and putting it on the opposite side of the belt. http://www.nathansports.com/our-products/hydrationnutrition/raceelite-series/elite-1-plus.
The zipper pocket is handy and is similar to most other belts. There is a elastic cord that is meant for stuffing a jacket or gloves while running, this feature seems definitely handy, but I haven’t have a chance to try it.
I have always preferred taking a single large bottle over several smaller bottles for long runs, I prefer to wash just one bottle, and the sloshing sound of a half bottle doesn’t bother me. So, if you are like me, I would recommend this Nathan belt, or perhaps wait for the new version to be available at the store. If you prefer the smaller bottles configuration, I believe Nathan has a good selection as well.