A frequent question we get asked this time of year at John’s is “How can I carry fluid when I run?”. We’re at the peak of summer heat here in Kentucky and it just happens to coincide with the middle of half marathon/marathon training for a lot of you out there. We carry a few options at John’s in the form of bottles carried on the waist and bottles carried in the hand. A standout in the hydration belt category is the Ultimate Direction Endure. This is a two bottle belt designed by Scott Jurek who knows a thing or two about what equipment works on long runs. I have personally used all of the hydration products we currently carry and I have found this to be the best hydration belt we have ever sold. It’s just the right size for a medium to long run and is low profile enough to race in. Some of the key features are:
Weight. The Endure tips the scales at less than 6oz and that includes the water bottles and an accessory pocket. Only the lightest mesh and sil-nylon have gone into making this belt literally as light as a feather.
Carrying Capacity. You get two 10oz bottles which are equal to one standard size bike-type water bottle. You also get a pocket in the rear between the bottles which can hold food, gloves, phone, etc. You also have a bungee cord in the rear so you can attach your jacket or extra shirt if you need to peel off layers. This bungee cord is also used to lock the bottles into their holsters so they don’t come flying out mid-run. In front you get a water resistant pocket that is sized just right for a smartphone but can also hold more nutrition or small items. The fact that Ultimate Direction could pack all this capacity into a belt that weighs less than 6oz is truly amazing.
The Buckle. Here is the true genius of this belt. It is so obvious I can’t believe other companies hadn’t thought of it before. The buckle is off to the side of the belt so that it doesn’t sit right in front of your waist. If you’re not built like a 120lb Kenyan this makes it a lot more comfortable to wear. It also has a fabric tab behind the buckle so the plastic doesn’t ride against your skin. Also attached to the belt are two snaps so you can wear your bib number on the belt.
There you have it, what I think is just about the perfect hydration belt for carrying enough liquid for most of your training runs this summer and fall. Price is a reasonable $40.