As any serious fitness fanatic will tell you, there are few more products more indispensable to a modern workout regime than an effective running belt. With our day-to-day lives evermore dominated by technological gadgetry, in addition to the everyday essentials of keys, wallets and I.D’s, there have been a huge influx of companies offering products that promise to keep your belongings close to hand whilst also ensuring they do not impede your pursuit of good health.
There are however, two brands which have distinguished themselves from the pack. The SPI Belt and the Flipbelt consistently rank highest amongst independent reviewers and both have proved equally popular amongst customers. Here, we pit these two market-leaders against one another to find out conclusively which one is more deserving of your money.
Which Belt, the Flipbelt or the SPI, Provides Greater Storage Space?
When considering which running belt is for you, perhaps the most pertinent question one needs ask themselves is ‘how much storage space do I really need?’ Some users – those who are reliant on hourly Twitter and Facebook updates – may require a belt that provides space for larger items while others will be content with enough space for only the bare essentials.
Thankfully, on this front, both the SPI Belt and the Flipbelt provide ample storage space for anything you could conceivably require, the stretchable material from which they are made capable of expanding to accommodate items as large as an I-phone 6. But, whilst both belts can rightfully make this claim, many SPI users have noted the difficulty in fitting these bulkier items into the belt’s compartments, something that could prove rather irritating if your run is continually interrupted by business calls or attempts to change songs on your mp3 player.
The Winner: Flipbelt
Which Belt Fits Better?
All of this matters little however, if the belts do not prove comfortable whilst in action. This indeed, is perhaps the biggest reason for the Flipbelt and SPI’s success, as each are practically without compare in providing users with an unencumbered run. Both are made from a highly elastic material that can be stretched to accommodate virtually any body-type while their snug but never constricting fit guarantees that your belongings are held firmly in place while you are on the move, entirely negating that annoying bounce that so defined earlier exercise belts.
There is one aspect however, in which the Flipbelt sets itself apart. Made up of one long, tubular compartment, the Flipbelt entirely foregoes the needs forbuckles and zippers, thusly guaranteeing that your valuables remain secure without the continual annoyance of metallic pokes and prods. This unfortunately, is not a claim the SPI can make.
The Winner: Flipbelt
Which Belt is more Cost Effective?
The SPIBelt is hardly likely to break the bank. This price places the SPI very much within the mid-price range for exercise belts and given its consistently high rating and undeniable superiority to other similarly price belts, for those who are looking for a no frills, no spills kind of belt should look no further. The Flipbelt however, is rather more expensive, and certainly, given its apparent simplicity, some more price-conscious customers may feel resentful of paying such a price for what appears to be little more than a single, albeit very effective, piece of lycra.
The Winner: SPIBelt
What about the Appearance of the Flipbelt and SPIbelt?
Although aesthetics are an entirely subjective aspect to these running belts, it is difficult to deny that the Flipbelt and SPI are two extremely attractive pieces of equipment.
The Flipbelt is incredibly sleek, almost futuristic in appearance, its minimalistic design and complete absence of buckles and zipper means that it remains looking sharp even if you are working up a sweat. The simple black design has proved most popular amongst customers but for those who prefer to go a little louder, six additional colours are available, from pink to blue to green, these more vibrant options having the added benefit of luminosity, perfect for anyone who prefers night time runs.
Although the SPI does appear slightly more cluttered, its manufacturers offer a huge number of designs and colours from which to choose, from stars and stripes and camouflage to altogether more feminine alternatives. It is this sheer range of options and the ability to personise your belt that means the SPI gets our vote.
The Winner: SPI Belt
Is There Anything Else I Need to Consider?
Far less glamourous however, is the practical consideration of maintaining the cleanliness of your belt. Although both the SPI and the Flipbelt are made from state-of-the-art, breathable materials designed to minimise perspiration, sooner or later they will require a thorough washing.
Although the SPI belt does make the claim that it is machine-washable, reviews from users have suggested that this can adversely affect the belt, resulting in frayed edges and a lacklustre exterior and instead advise hand-washing. The Flipbeltin contrast, does not suffer from such issues and is perfectly comfortable being tossed in alongside your regular clothes, its functionality and appearance remaining just as you left it.
The Winner: Flipbelt
So what are the Overall Impressions? SPI or Flipbelt?
As can be seen from these the above recommendations, our clear favourite remains the Flipbelt. It meets all the criteria of a superb exercise belt, excelling in every area that a customer need consider as well as adding its very own minimalistic panache. Ever since it hit shelves in 2012, it has been earning raves reviews from virtually all who have tried it and seems set to be the industry standard-bearer for some time.
While it is not quite so impressive, the SPI is still a very reputable belt and as it is cheaper, it may just be ideal for those looking for their first exercise belt or for those who are not quite ready to take the plunge with a more expensive piece of equipment.
Regardless of what belt you choose however, you can rest assured that you are the proud owner of one of the fitness industry’s premier products and one certainly that will benefit your workout routine.