For everyone from the most casual jogger to the committed cross-country marathon runner, the issue of where to store all those everyday items – wallets, purses, I-pods and I-phones – has long been a common problem. Wearing enough clothes to accommodate these essentials can not only be an annoyance during a serious workout but downright dangerous while the fitness industry’s previous attempts to address the issue have largely fallen flat; the market already filled with fanny-packs and hydration belts that quite simply aren’t fit for purpose. Noticing this very modern need for an effective means of exercise-time storage, the good folks at FlipBelt have offered up a rather fascinating solution. Enter the FlipBelt Fitness Belt.
So how does it work?
In this respect, the FlipBelt is far from revolutionary. It seeks to replicate the formulae long established by exercise belts but now combining it with a sleek, straightforward new design and superior materials that pushes it ahead of its competitors. Simply slip it on, load up its four sizeable pockets with your necessities and you’re good to go. No fuss, no muss.
It looks kind of simple…
And this precisely is the FlipBelts main attribute. Unlike many of its competitors, the FlipBelt is not laden with unnecessary compartments, meaning not only that it is uncomplicated in appearance but it also ensures that you do not waste valuable exercise time searching through its pockets if ever you do hear a message tone. Despite its apparent minimalism however, it is roomy enough to fit keys, I.D’s, wallets and all other necessities that one might reasonably require and even has enough space left over to fit an I-phone 6.
The simple design also ensures that it is extremely light weight and is practically invisible when worn beneath a t-shirt, however should you choose to keep the FlipBelt visible, you have seven colours from which to choose – simple black and white to more garish pinks and greens – the more vibrant of which are reflective for those of you who prefer night-time runs. Each of these continue to look smart even after a particularly arduous session on the treadmill, its sweat-resistant material ensuring that all of your valuables and electronic gizmos remain untouched for as long as you require.
Yeah, that’s all well and good. But how does it perform?
For anyone who intends on a serious workout, by far and away the most important consideration is comfort. It is in this area that the FlipBelt excels. Coming in five sizes from 18 inch to 38 inch, the FlipBelt caters for a range of sizes and made from a hugely flexile micro-poly and lycra material, it is capable of expanding and contracting to the contours of your body, ensuring that neither your muscles nor your breathing are restricted when you are really working up a head of steam.
Despite this elasticity however, it remains tight enough to prevent bouncing, almost to the point where you forget you are wearing it entirely. Its tubular design and accommodating material forgo the need for belts, buckles and zippers, completely avoiding any risk of uncomfortable chafing or irritating pokes and prods, while the breathable fabric goes some way in preventing excessive perspiration around the area on which it is worn (although it is entirely machine washable if you do).
So you’re telling me it’s perfect?
Well, not exactly. Although manufacturers have taken great pains to ensure comfort, there have been reports from several users that their FlipBelt has become loose as their exercise session has worn on, either riding up around their chest or slipping down beneath the waistline. Unfortunately this seems to disproportionately affect ladies, most probably due to the more pronounced hips and extravagant movements they display while running.
The manufacturers however are keen to stress that most of these problems stem from customers buying sizes that are not suitable for their body type and urge customers to take a visit to their site to get a more precise idea of the size that best suits them.
But that’s everything, right?
For the most part, yes. However, a small number of users have expressed frustration at the need to flip the belt from inside to out each time they want to retrieve something from its compartments. Whilst potentially irksome, it is nevertheless difficult to imagine how this perceived problem could be addressed and frankly, this seems like a minor inconvenience, one which is a small price to pay for the comfort and security that the FlipBelt affords.
The compartments, whilst efficient have also been criticised as their horizontal shape is said to have been responsible for the occasional dropped I-pod or smashed phone although if we are honest, if such an inconvenient and potentially expensive misfortune befalls you, it’s hardly surprising that you might look around for something to blame.
Yeah, but is it worth it?
A few more economically-minded customers might be a little perturbed by the notion of paying a premium for what appears to be little more than a simple, stretchy piece of material but the occasional wardrobe malfunction or mishap aside, the FlipBelt has firmly established itself as a market leader in the field of exercise belts and for the serious runner, is an near indispensable piece of kit.
Promising ease of movement and peace of mind while never inhibiting your workout, it is easy to see why the FlipBelt has received rave reviews and near universal acclaim since it was introduced to the public in 2012, its fashionable yet functional design elevating it to the level of standard bearer for the modern exercise belt.
With many other companies incorporating the FlipBelt’s design into their own products, it seems difficult to envisage a time when fitness aficionados are once again expected to endure outdated belts and buckles. Simply put, a must have.