Well the back seemed to enjoy its run last week – so much so that it’s now (touch wood) feeling normal so I’ve managed to run three times now – it’s a lot harder than I remember! Still this did give me a chance to test one of the things that appeared on my desk during my long absence – the FlipBelt
They say the simplest ideas are the best and this kind of fits that remit. It’s 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.
Despite this though, worrywort here was still nervous. I decided to test it using the things I normally take during a race – my inhaler, my iphone and my keys. 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 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.
I did find my phone could fall out when you take the belt off though so be careful with that if you remove the belt to carry it (likely after a race when everything is a bit sweaty). My only other caveat might be what happens in a year’s time if the slits start to stretch, but I guess time will tell on that one.
So, my verdict – it’s a nice addition to your running wardrobe. It didn’t bounce as much as my fuel belt, nor was I as aware of it’s presence – although of course, it doesn’t have any spaces for water bottles so I’d still need to use my proper belt on long runs. It would 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. To see more visit theflipbelt.co.uk – it comes it heaps of colours and all the styles cost £25.00