In days gone by, I used to run purely with a set of keys tied to my shoes with my shoelace – but as distances went on, I decided I might also need some money or a travelcard for the bus home, if it was cold I might need my inhaler, I then decided to start taking my phone.
It was like going out on a day trip, I was close to needing a handbag, and so I started investigating running belts to stash my stuff. And one, day, through the letter box appeared one such item, The FlipBelt. Review time I thought – so, here it is, my review of the FlipBelt Classic.
This post contains affiliate links and I get a small commission if you make a purchase. Buying from these links does not involve any extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Also, as mentioned above, I was gifted the FlipBelt for the purposes of review – although, see below. I still have it – that’s a good sign.
What is the FlipBelt?
They say the simplest ideas are the best and this proves it. The FlipBelt is basically a long stretchy tube that you wear around your waist/hips to stash your stuff while you run (or walk, cycle, swing a kettlebell etc – according to the pics on the website anyway).
The belt contains slits in one side that you slide your items into, then you flip it over (see what they did with the name there) so the slits are covered adding a little layer of security that things won’t careen off down the High Street as you jog past.
Why Do You Need a FlipBelt?
Now, you might not need to run with quite as much stuff as I did – and so you might be asking yourself do you really need a running belt?
Well yes, if you run with your phone, as so many people now do, you probably do need some kind of running belt.
Firstly, because running holding your phone affects running form. You might not necessarily notice it, but you will move the arm holding the phone slightly differently than the one that’s freer and that then starts to affect how you move your legs as well. It won’t matter on the odd run, but do it day in day hour and as you start to rack up the miles, it will make a difference.
You might also find it easier to run wearing a Flipbelt. Holding your phone causes you to expend energy on your grip – and more tension there is any type of your body when you run, the more energy you’re using up on things that aren’t putting one foot in front of the other.
(While we’re talking form you might also want to check out this post on reasons to wear a sportsbra that explains how the affect form and speed)
I was once given a tip by my running coach to try and run as if I was holding crisps in my fingers to reduce tension in my neck and shoulders – I’m not sure about you, but if I’m running holding my phone, I tend to grip it at a level that would crush the average crisp in seconds.
(If you didn’t know that either, you might want to check out this post on other running tips which is full of such gems)
Of course, you can get arm bands that hold your phone – but again, they too will slightly affect the arm angle and personally I just can’t get on with them. I keep thinking it’s going to ping off any second.
The FlipBelt keeps your phone centred around your middle and as such, assuming you get a FlipBelt that fits properly, you won’t have any issues with it impacting your form as you run.
My FlipBelt Review
So, that’s the theory, but what actually happened when I wore the FlipBelt running. I decided to test it using the things I normally take during a race – my inhaler, my phone and my keys.
That’s the FlipBelt on. I have my phone in the front and then my asthma inhaler and keys in the back.
Now, despite the assurance of the FlipBelt team that flipping the belt made things super secure, worrywort here was still nervous.
One of the slits has a little hook in it to attach your keys which did give me a level of reassurance. I put them all in, slipped on the belt which fitted nice and snugly round my hips and flipped it over. I decided to wear it under my running shirt thinking that would also give another layer of security if my phone did make a break for freedom.
For the first 10 minutes, I did spend a lot of time checking everything was still in place and other than shifting about a centimetre to the left that seemed to be the case. I couldn’t feel my inhaler at all and nothing was tinkling or jingling in the key department.
After 10 minutes I realised nothing was moving and pretty much forgot about it. It didn’t chafe or ride up and all in all I was pretty impressed.
On the site they do recommend that if you’re putting money or small items in it that you secure them in a small bag to minimise the chance of them falling out. I think I’d secure that little bag to the hook too if I was carrying my emergency tenner that I take on long runs (if anyone asks it’s in case I need to buy an extra drink, in reality it’s for if I ever decide I can’t face going any further and call a cab!)
The only thing that I was wondering about was whether how well it would work if you used your headphones on your phone as you run. I use my shuffle so don’t normally have my phone connected but I did try plugging some headphones in when I got home (and was on the relatively safe softness of carpet) and did pull them about a bit and the phone seemed to stay put – in fact the headphones detached before the phone moved that far.
Not that I’m any kind of engineer but I think you’d have to be fairly unlucky with your angles for the phone to fly out of the slits once it’s in place, especially if it’s turned over. Just make sure there’s plenty of movement left in your headphone wires.
A few years have passed since I first wrote this post, and during that time, I used the Flipbelt a lot in both 5k races and on my shorter runs. And I still think it’s an absolutely brilliant product considering it’s simplicity.
I stopped using it when I was training for marathons as I needed to carry extra fluid and the original FlipBelt that I had didn’t allow you to carry fluid as well – but, as you see in a minute, times change!
One Word of Warning
I did find my phone could fall out when I took the belt off though so be careful with that if you remove the belt to carry it, say after a race when everything is a bit sweaty and you want to cool down.
So, my verdict on the FlipBelt for running. It’s good – and a nice addition to your running wardrobe. It didn’t bounce as much as my fuel belt, nor was I as aware of its presence.
It would also be great for trips to the gym though if you just want to get in and out – I never quite know what to carry things in if I’m not showering, or not wearing a jacket, so end up taking a bag I don’t need. This would solve the problem.
FlipBelt also suggest that it makes a great, easy to wear (and easy to pack) belt to keep things a bit more hidden when you’re travelling.
If you’re already sold, you can order the classic FlipBelt by clicking on this link or the product picture above, if however, you have a few more questions – read on. The FlipBelt review continues with some useful advice about your FlipBelt…
How to Choose the Right Size Flipbelt for You
The key to the comfort of the FlipBelt is that it fits tightly against the body – so the one you pick has to do the same.
If your belt is too loose, it will move around and bounce. However, have too tight a belt and it will constrict your running and mess with your form (and I’ve just told you why that is bad).
To find the best size FlipBelt for you, decide where you think you’d most like to wear it – waist. top of your hips or around your mid hips and measure that – then choose the size that’s best for you. For an idea of FlipBelt sizing…
An XXS FlipBelt is 21″ unstretched, 28″ stretched.
An XS is 25″-33″
A Small is 26″ to 36″
A Medium is 28-38″
A Large is 31″ to 43″
An XL is 34-48″
An XXL is 40-58″
Remember, the stretched distance does have to include what you’re putting in it.
What Happens if You Gain Weight?
I still have my original Flipbelt. I don’t have the abs I had in the picture above (watch this space on that though) so I am extremely experienced in the answer to this question.
I would stay I’m a stone heavier than when the picture above was taken and I can still use the FlipBelt, but it doesn’t go around my hips like it used to – I now have to wear it around my waist but it still works for me and keeps everything secure.
So, the answer is, so long as your FlipBelt has a bit of stretch left to go when you buy it, you can just move it around if your weight fluctuates.
What Phones Fit in The FlipBelt?
I have a small phone – right now it’s an iPhone SE and so it’s always worked fine for me – but, FlipBelt say that they carry nearly any phone – including the larger ones like the iPhone XS Max, Samsung Note 10,9,8 etc and the Google Pixel 3XL.
One important thing to note about the FlipBelt if you are using it to carry your phone. It’s fabric. That means it’s not waterproof and so if it rains on your run and you get soaked, your phone might also get wet.
If you’re running in bad weather, and you don’t have a waterproof phone, you might want to put your phone in something waterproof inside the FlipBelt.
How Should You Look After Your FlipBelt?
If you wear your FlipBelt next to your skin, it’s going to get sweaty – and so, every so often, you will need to give it a wash.
The FlipBelt is made of Polyester with eight per cent Lycra. Any product that contains more than five percent Lycra needs a little bit of extra care to keep it in good condition.
Lycra can be damaged by hot temperatures and so you should wash all high Lycra items in cold water, or a cool wash of under 30 degrees. For the same reason, dry it on a cool setting on the tumble dryer and don’t leave it in direct sunlight or in very hot cars. Also, don’t iron anything with Lycra – although, it doesn’t crease so I’m not sure why you would!
You also shouldn’t pull or stretch items with Lycra when they are wet as that too can damage elasticity and avoid washing powders or liquids with any kind of chlorine bleach which can also degrade the fibres.
And don’t use fabric conditioner – in fact, you shouldn’t use fabric conditioner on your exercise kit at all, ever (check out why here).
FlipBelt – the New Generation
The product I’m wearing in the picture and the one I tested is known as the FlipBelt Classic and it was the first product that the brand brought out.
Since then they’re really ramped up the product range and you can now buy all manner of handy holding devices in the FlipBelt Range so, if you want to improve on the simple brilliance that is the FlipBelt Classic, here’s what else is on offer.
The FlipBelt Zipper: This slight upgrade to the FlipBelt classic cancelled out my initial worry of items falling out as I was exercising – it basically includes a zippable pocket to which you can add anything you really want to be secure – like your phone or housekeys. Click here to see more about it.
The FlipBelt Reflective: Reflectives are an absolute must if you’re running at night or in the early morning when it’s dark and the more places you can glow the better. It’s only available from their own website.
FlipBelt Running Shorts: I really like leggings and shorts that have a pocket at the back for things – but most of them don’t have pockets big enough to carry phones. The FlipBelt shorts do.Click here or the picture below to see more details. They also do leggings on the FlipBelt site.
FlipBelt Water Bottles: As I said, the reason I didn’t use my FlipBelt on my longer runs was the need for extra hydration. Obviously other people felt the same as FlipBelt have now bought out bottles that slip into the back of the belt.Click here to see more about those.
So there you have it. My running FlipBelt review – plus some other info that might come in handy if you choose to buy one. Hope you liked it. Let me know if you have any further FlipBelt questions in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer them.
A Flipbelt is also a great gift for a runner – and if you need any more ideas of those, then have a look at this post on the best runners gifts to buy.
This post was originally written in 2015 when the FlipBelt launched and updated in 2019.