Product Review: SPIbelt and SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket

Saturday, 14 January 2012  |  Gear + Gadgets

If I could choose my favorite running gadgets for 2011, these two would definitely be in the top five: the SPIbelt and the SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket.

The SPIbelt is a sleek, expandable, secure pouch that does not bounce at all.  Key word: expandable.  It can hold a smartphone, camera, keys, energy gels, and other small personal items.  It is worn like a race belt or hydration belt slightly below the waist and can be used during training or racing and other activities aside from running.  It fits waist sizes 24” to 40”.

2Original Spibelt black body w colored zip
- Original SPIbelt black with blue zipper -

The SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket is slipped over the wrist or ankle for a convenient way to carry your cash, keys, I.D., credit cards, gels, chapsticks, tissue, and so much more in a secure and fashionable way.  No zippers, snaps, or clasps.  It features a dual-fold design made of soft yet durable materials to provide the ideal accessory for exercise, travel or general everday use.

1spiband blk-turq
- SPIband Wrist and Ankle Pocket -

TBR REVIEW

Last last year, I was fortunate enough to be given samples for road testing.  I already had my own SPIbelt which I purchased in 2010 abroad, but I was astounded to see the SPIband, a nifty product which made me scratch my head in deep regret to say: “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  I road tested both products during my long runs and since both passed with flying colors (with bonus non-stop chatter to my friends about how simple yet amazing that SPIband idea was), I subsequently used both products at the California International Marathon.

During training in Manila, I could conveniently carry my Blackberry with Otterbox casing, plus a gel, tissue, and cash in the SPIbelt.  My Canon S100 with its case could fit in there too.  Sometimes, for shorter runs, I would leave the SPIbelt at home and only use the SPIband on my wrist to hold my car keys and emergency cash. This was certainly more convenient than stashing it in my pocket where it would often bounce.

IMG_0520
- SPIbelt with my Blackberry in Otterbox case. Still enough room for probably 2 Hammer Gels in there -

IMG_0522
– SPIbelt holding my bigger and bulkier Canon Powershot A100. It can easily fit my Canon S100 which I now prefer to carry for runs -

IMG_0523
- Can you guess what else this nifty SPIbelt could hold?… -

IMG_0524
– Yes, even Li’l Miss Bull Runner’s stuffed poodle! Hey, you’ll never know when you’ll need some cuddling during a marathon! -

During the marathon, in the SPIbelt, I was able to fit three Hammer Gels, tissue (hey, it was so cold there!), and cash.  In the SPIband, I decided to insert those that I needed quick access to while on the run: chapsticks (due to the cold again), more tissue, plus one more Hammer Gel.

IMG_0518
- SPIband with a Hammer Gel in it. There’s still room on the other side for another gel, car keys, or other items -

Put simply, don’t be deceived by these tiny pouches.  They sure can carry a ton of essential running items. I heard it can also hold essential medical items such as asthma inhalers, insulin pumps, and other items for those with medical needs.

Another thing I loved about them?  They don’t bounce, move up and down, or slide sideways.  Now, I own quite a number of belts: Nathan, Amphipod and Fuel Belt for hydration, Ultimate Direction and Nathan for pouches only, and a number of local brands to hold race bibs only.  I would say that the belt of SPIbelt is the best.  It just doesn’t move AT ALL.  It just fits me snugly and comfortably.  In fact, during my marathon, I would sometimes forget I was wearing a belt. Oh, by the way, if you just add race toggles, then this SPIbelt can hold your race belt too.

I also liked the fact that it comes in various colors. In 2010, I purchased the black/yellow belt as proof of my unconditional devotion to Lance and Livestrong (okay, fine, call it obsession).  This time, I got the blue/black SPIbelt with matching Wrist Pocket, which I absolutely loved because they matched my Kwicky Blade Light. There’s a wide variety of colors to choose from to match every runners’ personality or crazed love affair with a sports celebrity and his advocacy.

Lastly, the SPIblet and SPIband are both washable. I washed mine myself abroad, but you’re also allowed to machine wash on cold and hang to dry.

The only downside to SPIbelt is the fact that, if you’re planning to carry a hydration belt, then it would be much too inconvenient to wear two belts.  You gotta choose one and usually hydration will win.  So, I would say the SPIbelt is more for short runs where you won’t need hydration or longer runs where hydration will be adequately provided.

SUMMARY

PROS
– Expandable pouch can accommodate a lot of essentials for a run
– Snug and comfortable fit of the belt, doesn’t bounce nor move
– Comes in various colors
– Also has water resistant and waterproof models
– Can hold your race bib if you get race toggles (sold by the same distributor)
– Washable

CONS
– Only for runs where one won’t need to carry hydration

VERDICT
I highly recommend both the SPIbelt and SPIband. Get one for yourself and another one as a gift to your favorite running friend.

Water Resistant SPIbelt is P1,190.

For other inquiries and products, please see below.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

For now, SPIbelt products can be purchased at:

Splash Underwater Imaging, Inc
Level B, Store # 2003 Shoppesville Arcade
email: sales@splashuwimaging.com
phone: +632 7249803

Visit SPIbelt Philippines website HERE for more details and other products.