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Updated Aug 8, 2022 8:33 AM

Praying that your phone doesn’t slingshot out of your hand on a jog is enough to get you sweating before you even start, but an excellent running belt will help you focus on that journey. Running or jogging belts, or as I prefer to call them, slim-fit fanny packs, serve as ingenious storage solutions for athletes needing to carry their goodies on the go. A few dozen products primarily occupy an admittedly niche product on the market, but each makes a case for itself as a standout worth your time, so allow us to sort them out for you.

Enter our buyer’s guide to the best running belts on sale today, with an athletic waist pouch to fit every road warrior. Need extra storage for the long haul to carry that much-needed fuel? You’re in the right spot. Or perhaps you’re a young service member who clumsily lost their reflective belt and needs a new one before the next PT test before your sergeant grinds you to atoms. Whatever the reason, we’ve got a running belt for you.

A premium waist pouch for a premium crop of runners, the FlipBelt Zipper Running Belt is a lovable addition to an athlete’s wardrobe. The belt itself is constructed out of a micro polyester fabric akin to those in athletic shirts, meaning it’s soft, breathable, and flexible — but not waterproof. Extra extra small to extra large sizing spanning 18- to 48-inch waists means there’s a fitment for darn near everyone, and it’s available in an artsy selection of vivid color schemes.

The big party trick for the FlipBelt is the suite of zipper pockets seamlessly blended into the material. They don’t appear to be much, yet they actually offer generous space for small wallets and most phones. One particularly clever owner noted its usefulness as a waist pack for music festivals.

As the design would suggest, however, the FlipBelt’s pockets may not be enough for the long haulers who need extra gear. There’s no space for water bottles, and some larger phones can be cumbersome to store. It’s arguably a tad expensive, stickering at anywhere between $38 and $46 depending on colors, which may or may not be available in every size.

Product Specs
  • Waist size: 18 to 48 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Materials: Micro polyester fabric
PROS

Available sizing casts a wide net

A fun, vivid selection of designs

Sleek yet usable storage pockets all around

Ultra-soft material akin to activewear shirts

CONS

Storage can get tight

Not every design is currently available in every size

Steep price for a slim-fit fanny pack

A hidden gem in the Amazon listings, the MoKo Sports Running Belt is one hell of a bargain for a genuinely exciting and viable belt. Like its pricier competitors, the $9 MoKo rocks micro polyester construction for a comfortable, flexible fit, and is adjustable. Flanking the logo are two zippered pouches for carrying all your goodies, which may lead buyers to believe it’s a bloated, clumsy belt to lug around. Fortunately, consumers have proclaimed that it’s not the case, and the delivered product is quite compact yet still roomy enough for most pocket-born goods. It has served buyers well as both an athletic tool and a slim alternative for fanny packs in day-to-day life.

As expected for the price point, the MoKo is not the end-all-be-all for running belts. While praised for its undoubted practicality, there have been a few reports of poor build quality here and there, typically regarding a broken or stuck zipper or a seam coming undone. They are few and far between, but the reception has been positive overall.

Another knock against the MoKo is its abysmal adjustment despite being a partially elastic belt. It’s one-size-fits-all with six inches of wiggle room, which led to some interesting testimonies.

Product Specs
  • Waist size: 29 to 35 inches, stretches up to 55 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 ounces
  • Materials: Micro polyester fabric
PROS

Undeniable bargain

Flexible and stretchable material extends sizing

Stitched-in reflective material for low-light safety

Available in a wide selection of two-tone color schemes

CONS

Narrow range of waist adjustment

Minor build quality issues upon delivery

The 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt is a uniquely practical adjustable band, quick to satisfy long haulers, outdoors folk, and marathoners alike. This stormtrooper’s belt is sold in a blinding palette of multi-tone color schemes, ensuring that traffic and other pedestrians see you from another star system. The singular, reflective front pouch allows for carrying small items as four eight-ounce water bottles flank it.

It appears gimmicky, but the Hydration Running Belt has carved a decent customer base for itself, especially among its target audience of athletes running considerable miles. The belt has proven itself by functioning exactly as advertised, leaving behind only a few (mostly) minor nitpicks.

For starters, and one that may have some buyers scratching their heads, is that sizing is not disclosed anywhere. Vague assumptions regarding whether this hydration belt can fit are primarily deduced through consumer discussions, ranging from 28-inch waists to larger, 220-pound individuals. While sizable enough for most phones and wallets, a single carrying pouch doesn’t make it the most spacious option on this list, and it can get quite heavy with four full water bottles.

Product Specs
  • Waist size: N/A
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Materials: N/A
PROS

Four water bottles included

Still retains a small pouch up front

Blinding color palette aids style and safety

CONS

Can be bulky and heavy with full bottles

A single carrying pouch

Sizing not disclosed

Posing as a strike between our Best Overall and Best Hydration winners sits the Runtasty Winner’s Running Fuel Belt. Loaded with storage nooks, it serves as a practical middle-ground between oversized waist pouches and slim, elastic running belts. The two 10-ounce water bottles included with the belt hang conveniently off the sides. Tucked close to the inner portion of the belt is a zipped storage pocket with generous space for whatever you may need, while the outer see-through pocket can house a phone or small e-book. Two cavernous pockets front and center make for easy access to not only electronics, but possibly utility knives or snack bars, as well.

Weighing into its ability to perform outside suburbia is its no-bounce construction. Primarily composed of plastic and neoprene, it won’t be as breathable or stretchable, but it will have improved waterproofing and resiliency to damage when trailblazing through the tree line.

Buyers should acknowledge that this is a niche product in an already-niche field, and it’s one of the bulkiest and heaviest belts on this list. Its stronger construction inevitably leads to a product that’s not as comfortable to wear, and sizing is limited to as high as a 37-inch waist.

Product Specs
  • Waist size: 27 to 37 inches
  • Weight: 10.5 ounces
  • Materials: Plastic, neoprene
PROS

Cavernous storage space

Large, see-through front pocket

Water bottles included

Waterproof for sweat, sprinklers, or river crossings

CONS

The bulkiest of the group

Larger individuals, look elsewhere

Won’t be as cozy as its slimmer polyester peers

Nathan’s Zipster Fit Running Belt is an internet favorite and another entry in the premium, stretchy running belt league. Similar to its close peers, it dons a stretchy, breathable polyester construction with a nylon waistband that’s also adjustable for added sizing range. Four seamlessly-integrated pockets offer storage for electronics and other valuables, while the form-fitting design of the belt ensures a cozy fit with minimal bouncing. A highlight of this product is its common availability at in-person outdoor stores, meaning you could plop right into your local REI or Dick’s Sporting Goods and find one sitting on the shelf, should you choose.

While the size range is broad enough for most people, the specified numbers suggest that especially small or large individuals should look elsewhere. And speaking of that elastic band that this belt prides itself on, ensure yours is strapped down tight. There have been a handful of reports from annoyed owners regarding straps that easily come loose during running, suggesting that the Nathan running belt isn’t the most secure choice, even if it is cozy and practical.

Product Specs
  • Waist size: 26 to 47 inches
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Materials: Nylon, polyester
PROS

Stretchable material with an adjustable elastic band

Four separate pockets

Maintains a compact and lightweight profile

Common at in-person outdoor stores

CONS

“One-size-fits-all” may bar especially large or small people

Adjustable band may loosen over time

Pockets may be too small for larger phones

So, you’re a young service member who lost your reflective belt, and now you’re here. Thankfully, the Stuart Promotional Products Reflective Belt is an exact carbon copy of said belt, so you can snag one for the dirt-cheap price of $11 before your sergeant harnesses their thu’um to shout you out of existence. If basic and impractical, this belt surely is safe, with its unforgettable reflective plastic that can get blindingly bright in the right lighting and is available in multiple colors at no extra cost. The waistband is highly adjustable, able to fit my scrawny self (I was 123 pounds in Basic Training), up to a 52-inch waist.

As expected for most things even remotely affiliated with the military, this belt is cheap but not that cheerful. Eleven dollars buys you a strange-colored strap with zero storage of any kind, stiff waist adjustments, and a material akin to rubbing toothpaste bottles on yourself.

It’s certainly not the most graceful product on this list, but it does the job, makes you visible, and keeps service members out of the crosshairs of their supervisors during mandatory PT.

Product Specs
  • Waist size: Up to 52 inches
  • Weight: N/A
  • Materials: Plastic
PROS

Dirt cheap

An easy pick for service members

Highly adjustable waist

CONS

No storage of any kind

Sometimes cumbersome adjustment

Plastic material is not the most comfortable

Things to consider when buying a running belt

Storage

This is the straightforward matter of how much storage space there is. Casual runners may only need the sleekest, slimmest-fitting belts with snug pockets for their phone and maybe a tactical wallet. Hardcore marathoners and trail runners may call upon the more practical, yet less comfortable, fanny-packs-in-disguise for their generous space. Some may sport enlarged phone pockets for e-books or larger models of phones and even water bottles. However, they will inevitably result in added weight and bulk that would only be of benefit to serious long haulers who need the extra goodies.

Sizing

No different than fitting a new pair of running shoes, it’s essential to have a belt that fits nice and snug. A heavier, bulky belt that’s a perfect fit will still be far more preferable than a slim, lightweight belt that flops and bounces all over the place; no-bounce running belts can’t compensate for poorly-matched sizing. Ill-fitting belts can cause the contents of their pouches to get mangled and disarranged and, in nasty cases, cause chafing. 

Some belts will be adjustable with buckles, but they will mostly be some degree of the elastic running belt. Whether the belt sports an elastic band in its adjustable buckle or the entire belt is made of a stretchy material, you’d be hard-pressed to find a belt that won’t give you a slight degree of wiggle room. Most product listings will have waist sizes disclosed, whether shared by the manufacturer itself or from consumer discussions.

FAQS about running belts

You’ve got questions, Task & Purpose has answers.

Q. How much do running belts cost?

A. Expect many of them to hover between $20 and $35, with some premium models, such as the FlipBelt or Nathan, to run between $30 and $45. Our Best Value-winning MoKo blows them all out of the water at roughly $9, with the Stuart reflective belt not far behind at $11.

Q. What are the advantages of running belts?

A. Running belts are added storage for runners carrying water, snacks, or phones. Storage nooks are often snug to reduce the bouncing that would inevitably occur in regular fanny packs or most pockets, and they’re far more secure than holding in your hand, especially if you’re the clumsy type.

Q. How do you properly wear a running belt?

A. While it varies between belts, most running belts are best worn sitting above your hips and below your belly button, where it’s most secure. If adjustable, tighten it until it’s snug to mitigate the bouncing of any pouches or packs dangling off the sides. 

Final thoughts

If you can stomach the price, the FlipBelt Zipper Running Belt is a superb and premium choice with cozy materials, a snug fit, and attractive designs. Despite the slight hiccups in quality, the MoKo Sports Running Belt is overall a fine, usable package with practical storage at a bargain deal that no one can ignore. And don’t forget the trusty military reflective belt from Stuart Performance Products. It’s a surefire choice to keep you safe and visible after hours and away from your sergeant’s mercy. For those looking to better quench their thirst on especially grueling jaunts, consider hydration belts from 247 Viz or Runtasty, with the latter combining hydration belt usability with extra storage and strength for trips into the wild.

Methodology 

This guide has been primarily curated through extensive research, with dives into manufacturer specs and, most importantly to buyers, real-world consumer input. The best running belts were the most well-made and practical examples in their respective categories, with focuses shifting between niches — i.e., adjustability and storage needs. Belts with little-to-no consumer input or rampant quality control problems were ignored for products that can be trusted.

In a market that’s just not as crowded and saturated as other products, Amazon was able to serve as our heavy lifter in scavenging for specs, listings, and consumer testimonies. However, supplemental information was also found at Wal-Mart and REI.

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