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Review: Nike Hydration Belt

Review: Nike Hydration Belt

The Hydration Belt is a great concept. Four water bottles containing a total of 24oz of liquid; a padded belt; a decent pocket for keys or a cellphone; and reflective strips to keep you safe.

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As I say, a great concept. Unfortunately, it is poorly executed.

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Looks great. But isn't.

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I’ll start with the positives. The belt is snug, comfortable and secure. It doesn’t bounce or jog around, even with a full load. And it distributes the weight wonderfully, so that you can hardly even feel the two pounds of water you’re carrying.

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The pockets are generous, easy to access and offer a variety of padding options, including one that’s spill-resistant to keep your sun cream in. The bottles themselves are pop-tops and take no time at all to transfer from the belt to your mouth.

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So far, so good.

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I took my belt up the Artist’s Drive in Death Valley, an elevation gain of around 1,000 feet over three miles. It’s a tough course, and 125 degree heat didn’t help. However, it’s hardly fast, as you can imagine. I crept up the hill at snail’s pace, which makes the fundamental flaw even harder to comprehend.

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I only ended up drinking from two of the bottles. And when I reached my car, they were gone. The ‘snaplock’ feature simply doesn’t work. I had thought that they were safely returned to the holster, but apparently not.

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Remember: this was my first run with it, and I was plodding along slowly.

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In conclusion – for all the well thought-out features, a hydration system is completely useless if it doesn’t provide a vessel for carrying water. The Nike Running Hydration Belt patently fails in its most basic task.

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Overall Rating: 2/10 – the two points are because a more fastidious runner may be able to retain the bottles better than I could.

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Jon Rice
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Jon Rice

Jon is a highly-experienced runner who adopted the sport of heat running in 1996. He visits Death Valley every year to participate in his bizarre creation, The Darth Valley Challenge - a one-mile charge through the desert in the height of summer, dressed as Darth Vader.

To prepare for such silliness he takes extraordinary precautions. He trains year-round in the sauna, runs countless miles in extreme temperatures, and has crewed the Badwater Ultramarathon twice.

Jon's only request as you read this site is that you prepare carefully, tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, and take more water than you think you'll need.
Jon Rice
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5 comments

  1. You’re a great writer. That was an interesting post.

  2. Running trail events can be very taxing on the athlete, but we often forget how important it is to have clothing and products that can also withstand punishment.

  3. Treadmill running is also a good instrument for doing some physiological and biomechanical testing because it gives a possibility to standardize the condition of running and to control different technical and physiological parameters.

  4. What a shame you had such a bad experience. I have had the exact same belt since 2008 and I have never lost a bottle. Maybe yours was not fitting correctly or a faulty one?. I have run many many long runs (every sunday 20kms) since purchasing it and never had a problem, except that now I require a new bottle – as the plastic has worn at the neck… I love that it never bounces – I have yet to find another belt as comfortable and snug to wear…
    But that’s just my experience.. 🙂

  5. Same problem as reviewer. I run at at 8 to 9 min mile pace. I’ve been on a few long runs with my belt . I lost one bottle on the 2nd/3rd run and despite being extra careful, have subsequently lost another one. The bottles simply don’t stay in place securely despite being placed firmly into the holder.

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