Although exercise belts have long been a near indispensable piece of kit to the serious gym-goer,nowadays the plethora of options on display is quite overwhelming. Each new producer promises comfort, each of them promise security but for ever legitimate product out there, there are countless others that will chafe, irritate and eventually be abandoned along with so many New Year’s fitness resolutions. Despite the competition however, several names have risento the top of the pile, one of which being the SPI belt. Otherwise known as the Small Personal Items belt and produced by a Texan company, the belt has been an industry favourite since its introduction in 2007 and receives a steady stream of positive reviews.
How does it actually perform?
Upon first glance of the SPIbelt, one thing is immediately obvious; it is very, very small. Indeed, it can be hard to believe that it could fit anyone but the most diminutive jogger, let alone the 47 inch waist the company claims. Made entirely from nylon however, the material is stretchable enough to expand up to four times its original size and can comfortably accommodate even the more robust user, even when 6 x 3 x 2 inch dimensions of the pouch are packed to capacity.
But of course, this would all be useless if the product did not perform well whilst in use and thankfully, on this front, the SPIbelt excels. Upon first fitting it feels secure without being restricting and it only takes a short while of exertion to forget you are wearing it entirely, the SPI belt’s design holding all items in place and entirely avoiding any distracting bouncing even when you really pick up a head of speed.
It sure is. The construction of the belt is of discernibly high quality, reassuring the more economically-minded amongst you that this is may be the last exercise belt you ever need buy whilst the reflective surface on the pouch and waistband offers better visibility for those who prefer night-time jogs. And that doesn’t even go to mention the huge range of colours and designs that are available, from pink polka dot to the more patriotic stars and stripes, making it one, if not the most aesthetically pleasing belts available today.
Is there anything I need to consider before buying?
Well, unfortunately the SPI belt isn’t without its faults. Although the company claim that the belt is capable of holding items as large as the Iphone 6, this seems to be rather ambitious as it is not without a little elbow grease (and potential broken zipper) that valuables this size can be fit inside.
Perhaps most worrying however is the fact that the main pouch is not waterproof, meaning that if you are carrying anything delicate – expensive electronics and so forth – it might be a good idea to first put them inside an impermeable bag before venturing out on a wintertime run. This certainly seems like a pretty sizeable oversight on part of the manufacturers and one that might be a deal-breaker for anyone who lives in wetter climates or even gym-goers who are prone to the more profuse variety of sweating.
Additionally there have been reports that the reflective surface on the pouch can lose its glow-in-the-dark quality when the SPIbelt has been packed to its limits.
So, what about the overall impression?
Given the intense competition on the exercise belt market, it is impossible to say that the SPIbelt does anything remarkable enough to distinguish it from the rest of the crowd. The SPIbelt is squarely in mid-price range and that quite frankly, is what you get.
There can be no denying that it is exceptionally comfortable to wear and even for ladies (whose body shape often makes exercise belts problematic) it gives both security and comfort while working up a sweat on the treadmill. Its faults however, whilst not exactly disastrous, are simply too big to ignore.
The SPIbelt certainly suffers from space issues and is not as roomy as other belts that are available, meaning that you may have to decide whether to bring your asthma inhaler or your mp3 player out on a run. If however, you are someone who prefers to travel light, taking only the essentials, the SPIbelt might just be the one for you, its unrivalled range of designs are sure to seduce the more fashion-conscious of fitness aficionados.
A solid, if uninspired option.