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9 best running belts for carrying phones, water bottles and keys

Keep all your bits and bobs safe and secure with these trusty pieces of kit

Lisa Buckingham
Thursday 06 February 2020 12:30 GMT
The best belts offer comfort, no chafing, no riding up and no bounce
The best belts offer comfort, no chafing, no riding up and no bounce (iStock/TheIndependent )

Whether you choose a running belt over an armband for carrying smaller items like a phone, keys and cash is purely preference.

That said, if you’re a distance runner you’ll know that this is where bigger, technical belts can really come into their own for carrying water, food, first aid kit and a waterproof.

Whether it’s for a 5K run or an ultra-marathon, what you want from your belt is comfort, no chafing, no riding up and no bounce.

All of the below met this criteria when we took them for a run, so other things to consider when choosing the best one include budget, what kind of running you need it for and how big your phone is.

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You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

FlipBelt classic

FlipBelt Classic  indybest.jpg

You can’t go wrong with a FlipBelt – just one piece of stretch fabric with no clips or zips. You post your phone, keys and snacks through openings into the four stretchy pockets and then flip the belt over so it sits against your body, which keeps them extra-secure. There’s also a key hook to be doubly sure and it fits large phones such as the iPhone XR. It sits around your hips, rather than your waist, which we find less restrictive than having a belt around your middle.

Be sure to look at the sizing carefully (XXS to L) – go too big and it won’t do its job. It doesn’t move an inch while you’re running and its soft, light, moisture-wicking material doesn’t chafe either. It’s not waterproof but it tends to sit underneath your running top so nothing gets too wet in a shower and the fabric offers some protection too. The only small downside is that it doesn’t provide instant accessibility if you like to look at your phone a lot while you’re out running.

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SPIbelt large pocket

SPIbelt Large Pocket indybest.jpg

This is the brand’s best-selling belt for running and it works a treat. What looks like a very small zipped pocket is actually a tardis that stretches to fit up to an iPhone 12 Pro/Max, a Galaxy Note S10 Plus, and other bits and bobs such as cards and keys. It’s adjustable to fit waists from 63.5cm to 119cm (25in to 47in), the strap is soft and the pocket doesn’t bounce around when you run.

We also tested its newer offering – the SPIbelt Running Belt with Window (£29.99, The pocket has a see-through window at the front and it’s touch sensitive so you can operate your phone without taking it out – the window works well, unlike some that you have to jab at repeatedly. It has an internal divider for tucking, cards, cash, keys etc behind the phone.

  1. £17 from Amazon
Prices may vary
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Eono water resistant running waist pack

Eono water resistant running waist pack indybest.jpg

This budget water-resistant option does the job. The main zipped pocket will house phones up to 6.5in and a smaller pocket is just right for keys, tissues or a gel. The adjustable waistband will fit from 70cm to 108cm (27.5in to 42.5in), so not for very small waists. Also, the positioning of the pockets can be a little awkward, as you can end up with either the small pocket or the clip on your hip (dependent on your waist size, but this was the case with a 27in and 32in waist).

The softness of the strap means you need to pull it fairly tight to hold to the body, so we’re unsure how durable it will be over time, though that’s not something we tested, and it performed well on a 10K run.

  1. £9 from
Prices may vary
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Fitletic mini lycra belt

Fitletic Mini Lycra Belt indybest (1).jpg

This is a simple but effective belt consisting of a single stretch pocket that holds up to the iPhone Plus series or Samsung Galaxy S10, with an interior pocket for tucking in cash or keys. The stretch in the narrow waistband is quite firm, making it more comfortable around the hips than the waist.

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Ronhill marathon waist belt

Ronhill marathon waist belt indybest.jpg

A great little belt for organised races where hydration is available. It has three tiny tabs with poppers to attach your race number, eight external loops for slotting your energy gels into (in two different sizes for 32ml or 60ml gels) and a stretchy zipped pocket for your card, cash and phone (although it may not quite stretch to the very biggest phones). It weighs just 45g and the adjustable waist strap will accommodate most waist sizes.

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Ultimate Performance titan runner’s pack


If you’re on a budget and looking for something simple yet effective to pop your phone and keys into, you can’t go wrong with this. The main compartment is made from neoprene – wetsuit material – which has a lovely bit of stretch and feels comfortable next to your body. It has a smaller front zip for a gel and set of keys, then a main zip from the top for your phone, which also has a handy hole for headphone wire to be placed.

  1. £14 from
Prices may vary
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Ultimate Performance fitbelt

Ultimate Performance Fitbelt indybest.jpg

Another stretch fabric belt, this one fastens with a zip instead of stepping into it. The zip has a soft fabric covering so it doesn’t chafe while you run and it performs well with no bounce or riding up. It’s also moisture-wicking and has one large zip pocket and two smaller ones with a slit opening that are big enough to house everything you need while on an everyday run.

Sizes range from XS to XL – sizing is according to waist measurements but we prefer belts like this around our hips, so go for hip size if that’s your preference too.

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The verdict: Running belts

The FlipBelt is such a simple concept but so effective. It’s at the more expensive end of running belts but it lasts and lasts and it’s so comfortable that you forget you’re wearing it. There are belts for quicker access to what you’re carrying but for everyday, recreational running, it’s spot on. For racing or long runs where you want to carry nutrition, hydration and weatherproof clothing, the Inov-8 is excellent.

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