Disclosure: I received a SPI H2O Venture Series hydration belt as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.
Summers in Texas are hot! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you can understand that hydration during summer runs is not just important, but a non-negotiable to continue running throughout a season of temps as high as 110°F. That’s where SPIbelt’s SPI H2O Venture Series comes in!
For both my first marathon and half marathon, I was training through very warm parts of the year, having a blast, of course. I wisely invested in a hydration belt. However, I quickly discovered that this particular hydration pack was very bouncy… and I hated wearing it! My midsection would actually get sore from wearing my hydration belt. When I researched the SPI H2O, I realized there were better-designed hydration belts out there (thank goodness), so I was excited to give it a go!
SPIbelt was born out of one woman’s needs for a place to store items during runs, other than her sports bra. The elastic nature of the SPIbelt’s design drastically reduces bounce, even with the added weight of full water bottles, essentially using tension to keep your stuff secure at your waist. You can adjust the elastic to your preference; I wear mine at my natural waist because it stays in place very well (and it’s most flattering). Another fun fact is that SPIbelt is located in Austin, like me, so you know they have to understand how to beat the heat!
When you test this belt, you can tell much thought went into design (it was designed by runners, after all). The water bottles themselves holster anywhere on the belt, and they carry up to 8 oz. of water. You can also purchase extra bottles, if you need them. The water bottles are leak-free, thanks to the Jet Nozzle; you have to press them to release the water. While being wet doesn’t matter in the heat – you’re soaked in your own sweat – I am hesitant to use sports drink with other hydration belts for fear of a sticky waist. I have no reservations about doing that with my SPIbelt H2O because smart design prevents this issue.
Other notable features include:
– WeatherGuard fabric design keeps small amounts sweat and water out of the pocket (though it’s not waterproof, so don’t dunk it).
– Energy gel loops save space in the pocket for your phone/keys.
– Wide mouth bottles allow you to add ice.
– Includes race bib toggles (so you don’t have to safety pin bibs to your shirt).
– Reflective trim helps keep you visible during early morning/evening runs.
– Buckle design is nice because velcro wears out and gets stuck to things!
– Versatility: during cooler months, you can use the SPIbelt on its own.
With all of these fantastic features, there are a couple of things that I would modify, if I could. First, I found the holsters on the bottles to be a little loose. While this isn’t problematic when I’m standing/running, when I bent down, the bottles slipped off. While this makes sense, because physics, it is something that I wouldn’t worry about with other holster methods. and I’d be the clumsy person to drop my bottle mid race because I needed to tie my shoe and not realize it. While I also liked the color from a design standpoint, I wish they offered lighter colors for practical purposes. I try to stay away from it as much as possible when the sun’s out.
I am so thankful to have this new piece of gear, as I will likely start training for another marathon towards the end of the summer and will NEED it. Thanks to the SPI H2O, I am looking forward to wearing a hydration belt for the first time!
The SPI H2O Venture Series is also reasonably priced at $44.99 and they offer free shipping at www.spibelt.com. And get this – you can take advantage of 10% off with the discount code “sarah10”! Seriously, go get yourself one before the heatwave hits, because it is the best hydration belt I’ve ever tested, and it offers the most bang for your buck.
What’s your hydration routine during the summer?
Cheers to good design and better runs because of it!