Garagegympower is reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
18 Best Running Belts & Runners Waist Packs for Keys, Phone & Small Items 2020
Are you tired of holding your phone while you run?
Are you afraid your keys might bounce right out of your pocket mid-race?
Need a place to store your cash, ID, and Chapstick?
Then it sounds like a running belt is just what you need!
But what are the best running belts?
There are a lot out there, but choose wisely or else you might end up with a belt that bounces or flops around, won’t fit your smartphone, or worse, allows your keys to slide out, never to be seen again.
Check out this list of the top 18 running belts for small items and see what the best running belts are – and what you should avoid, so you can run confidently.
Review: The Fitletic running belt has lots of useful extras other belts don’t have such as number or bib toggles to hold your race bib, loops to hold energy gel packs, an insulated zipper compartment, sewn in reflective loops and a small key holder.
This belt stays in place and won’t move around.
Water resistant (not waterproof).
Stays secure, won’t bounce or move.
Lots of places to hold your essential items.
Not small enough for really petite frames.
The key compartment is small.
Best running waist pack for half marathons and short races.
Review: This slim profile minimalist running belt is the original SPIbelt and holds a little less than the SPIbelt Large Pocket running belt but if you only like to carry a few small items, you might prefer this belt.
The zippered pocket is stretchy and expands to hold a phone, keys and other small items. The width of the belt is just one inch, and it is a stretchy elastic so it is comfortable, yet snug and will not bounce as you run.
Pocket stretches to expand and fit a phone.
Band is elastic and is body-hugging.
The belt will not fit waists over 47 inches, and is tight at that measurement.
Most comfortable running belt with a minimalist feel.
Review: The Tube is a wide fabric waistband with three pockets to store and conceal your belongings as you run, jog, walk, or go about your day. The wide width means this running belt holds large or oversized smartphones-no problem.
It can be worn under a shirt and you won’t feel it on. One pocket has no zipper, just small openings so you can get your phone or other small items out quickly with one hand.
The other two pockets do have zippers to keep important items like money, ID, keys and credit cards secure.
Holds large and oversized smartphones.
Extra wide belt is comfortable and form fitting.
Will not bounce
3 pockets, two with zippers, one without.
Things may slide out of the pocket because it has no zipper.
Really versatile, really comfortable, tons of room, yet body hugging running belt.
Review: The SPIbelt endurance running belt is different from the SPI large pocket and original belt.
The Endurance Race belt is water resistant, holds three energy gels in outer loops, the pocket is a bit bigger than the original SPIbelt, the elastic waistband is wider at 1.5 inches, and this model has race toggles and can hold your race bib.
Large zippered front pocket.
Room on the outside for 3 energy gel packs.
5-inch wide elastic waistband – wider than the SPIbelt original.
Holds your race bib.
Pocket does not have as much stretch as other models.
One of the best running belts for marathons and longer races, more space than a minimalist style running belt.
Review: The Neo Fitletic Race belt is slightly lighter and less bulky than the Fitletic Ultimate II race belt, but is has many of the same great features with a slightly smaller profile.
It has race bib toggles, a water-resistant zippered, neoprene pocket that fits large cell phones, reflective tabs, an adjustable elastic belt, and an interior credit card pocket to keep your money separate and easy to get to.
The stretchy adjustable waistband will not bounce.
Internal pocket for organization of credit card, ID and cash.
Water and light rain resistant (not waterproof).
No headphone port.
Very comfortable running belt to wear on race day.
Review: The Apparatuz running belt is one of my favorite running belts due to its simplicity and minimalist design. It is a fabric waistband that you can adjust to fit using Velcro.
The pockets have no zippers, yet still hold your items secure, it can hold larger phones like the iPhone 8, and it is easy to listen to music using earbuds since the open pockets allow a cable to port out easily.
Review: The Avanto is a useful and affordable tube style running waistband. The front pocket has two openings, one that loads from the top and one that loads from the side.
The Avanto fits close to your body so it does not bounce or shift much. This belt has a slim fit and you can conceal it under a shirt if you use it for travel, plus the front pocket is big enough to hold a passport.
Upright passport-sized pocket and side lying slide in the front pocket for your phone.
3 pockets in total.
Does not bounce – slim wide, body-hugging fit.
Challenging to access your stuff while running.
Keep your belongings safe and your hands free with this comfortable running belt.
Review: The Soren running pack is designed by an ultra-marathon runner so it is made with your needs in mind.
It converts to a hydration belt by unzipping and expanding the water bottle pocket. It has a zippered front pocket that you can open from either side, a key clip, two side pockets, reflective trim and bungee that loosens of tightens to secure a water bottle.
Converts to a hydration pack.
Zippered front pocket opens from both sides.
Fits large phones.
Bungee cinch cord holds water bottle securely in place.
Looks a little fanny-pack like, but more hip.
Smart design! No bounce, large phone holding, water bottle securing running belt.
Review: The Nathan Peak hydration running hydration pack is a minimalist style running pack. It has a small zippered pocket that is capable of holding your smartphone, and a water bottle pouch and flask for hydration.
This belt also sports an attached bungee loop that can hold a layer if you need to remove a layer during your run.
Zippered pocket holds your phone.
18 oz Speed Draw Flask included.
Bungee cord holds the water bottle securely in place.
Not for large or oversized phones.
Best running belt with a water bottle.
A Quick Guide to Running Belts
What Factors to Keep in Mind Before Buying the Best Running Waist Pack?
What do you want your waist pack to carry? If you are like the average runner, you want it to hold your phone, keys and maybe some cash or an ID.
Find a pack that holds your items securely.
The best running packs use zippers so you don’t drop your phone into the porta potty at a race event, a key clip so your keys don’t slip out leaving you stranded, and holds some cash so you can buy some merch or a snack pre or post race.
Make sure the material the belt is made from is both comfortable, yet tight enough that your belt will not bounce.
A bouncy belt is an annoying distraction during a race and totally interrupts your flow.
Pay Attention to Details
Not all race belts are created equal. The best race belts have key clips to secure your keys, reflective tabs to make you more visible as you run, loops to hold your race bib, zippers to hold your stuff secure, internal organization pockets so you can find your stuff easily, and holes or ports that allow you to attach earbuds to your phone so you can listen to your music as you run.
How to Choose the Best Running Belt? What to AVOID!
Here is what you should avoid when choosing the best race belt:
Avoid a belt that slides, rides or shifts around. The belt should lay flat and not bounce or move as you run.
Avoid a belt that will not fit your phone. Find a belt that is known to hold your specific phone, especially if you have a plus size phone or use a large case like the otterbox case.
Avoid belts with pockets that are hard to get to. The last thing you want to do during a race is stop – that kinda defeats the purpose of being in a race. If you have to stop to get your stuff out-look for a new running belt.
Avoid the inclination to carry too much stuff. Seriously consider if you really need everything you plan to carry. The more stuff your stuff into your running belt, the more likely it is to shift and bounce, and more stuff makes it hard to find things fast.
What are Running Belts For?
Simple running belts are designed to hold just your essentials as you race.
That means your phone, keys, cash, and ID. In some cases, they hold your race bib too.
Hydration belts are different from running belts.
Hydration belts are designed for holding water or other hydration beverages as you run. If you are looking for a hydration belt, we have some reviews here.
Running Belt FAQs
Are Running Belts Comfortable?
Some are, some aren’t.
The best running belts should be worn, but not felt. They should not bounce or slide. My personal favorite is the Fitletic Ultimate II because it is comfortable and holds everything I need as I run.
How to Keep Your Running Belt From Riding Up – How to Use or Wear a Running Belt?
The best way is to but a brand that is known for not riding up. Some other tips to prevent the belt from riding up:
Wear the belt around your waist instead of at the hips (best tip for ladies).
Use a smaller than normal size or cinch the belt really tight.
Wear it backward, with the main pocket over your rear. It works!
Carry less stuff in it.
Don’t wear it over slippery material (cotton shirts are less slippery).
The Finish Line…
These reviews of the 18 best running belts are focused on small running belts to hold your number, keys, phone, and other small items.
If you are looking for reviews of hydration packs and running belts that hold water bottles for flasks, be sure to sign up for the newsletter to be notified. The hydration pack reviews are coming up next!