Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Product Review: SPI H2O Venture Series Hydration Belt

The Components of the SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt

"Disclaimer: I received a SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!"

The SPI H20 Venture Series Belt is a great little piece of gear offering some interesting options.  Since the bottles attach to the 2 inch wide belt by slipping onto it and being held firm against the body, it can be used as a hydration belt with a little bit of storage, or simply as a mini-pack belt when you have no pockets but need to take your keys, phone, a bit of money, and so forth with you on a run.  
Note the large black plastic piece that slides over the wide 2 inch belt.

This makes the SPI Belt a great accessory when running those early morning runs when you need just a small amount of storage and a little bit of hydration, especially in the early morning Summer Sun that will be hitting us shortly.  Since each of the two bottles holds eight ounces, you can decide if you need to carry one or both, or perhaps even add more for longer runs.  I think this version of the "Small Personal Item Belt" (hence SPI) is great for driving to the trailhead on an early morning, storing your keys and a gel (and there are two loops for gels next to the pocket where you can attach them) and taking just enough hydration to help get you through a tough run.

I do need to note one thing: many of us are use to wearing belts with the pocket in the back, the hydration oriented towards the back, and the belt clip in front.  The SPI Belt reverses the pocket and belt clip, putting the pocket in front and the clip in back.  If you can make this work, then you are good to go.  If you primarily use the pocket as storage for keys, phone, and other things you don't really need during a run, then you are good to go.  If, however, you like putting the pocket in the back but also expect to turn the belt around mid-run to access any food items, then there is one snag, and that's that you will have to also move the bottles around carefully or they will fall off.  That's the only con I can see with the belt, but it's more of a user issue, not a manufacturing or product issue.  You have to rethink how you are planning to use the belt and where to best position the belt and bottles for each run you are doing.  

The pocket is very good sized and will store a large cell phone.  I shoved in several Gin-gins and a full sized double crunchy granola bar on one run and it was plenty of room.  The bottles are easy to put together and use, just squeeze and they pour right out but they do not leak while running.

A good sized pocket, you can see my granola crumbs in it!

Overall, the SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt is a great tool to add to your summer arsenal for running in the heat, especially if traveling and you just want to take something light and easy to head into the woods for an hour or two.  You can save 10% right now when you use the code: brad10.

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