The best running belts: top waist packs for runners

Run with your essentials in comfort with a secure running waist belt

four runners run along a trail in the sun with packs and waist belts

by Trail Running |
Updated on

A running belt or waist pack is a handy way to carry the kit you need with you as you run. If you don't like wearing a running pack on your back, or only need to bring a few items, then a running belt could be the perfect solution.

What does a running belt do?

Running belts provide a means to comfortably carry your valuables and nutrition as you run. A good waist pack will offer plenty of storage with different sized pockets to stash items such as keys, money, a phone, and some gels or bars.

Some run belts will also have capacity to stash a run jacket and carry water, such as holders to fit small water bottles that you can fill with energy drink to stay hydrated on the go. You might also choose to run with a waist pack if you like to carry your phone with you on your run for navigation or safety and your run shorts don't have suitable a pocket to secure it.

Running belt features

Pockets: The main feature in a running waist belt is the storage capacity it offers. Make sure your belt has plenty of room for what you need to carry. That could mean a pocket large enough for your smart phone, a smaller pocket with zip closure for your valuables and space to stash food for refuelling on the move.

Adjustability: Choose a belt that's either incredibly stretchy and sits tight enough to you to reduce bounce, or one with straps that have enough adjustability in them to get the required fit.

Materials: Look at run belts with breathable materials and panels with ventilation as it's likely you'll work up a sweat with the belt sitting so tight to the body.

Safety: Some waist packs will have reflective strips or even a whistle for attracting attention in an emergency attached to boost your safety as you run.

Best running belts reviewed

This soft, stretchy waist belt from Salomon fits a smartphone, keys, card and gels comfortably. It can also carry a pair of poles and a superlight jacket or soft flask, so it would work well for shorter races or in conjunction with a pack. However, it could be improved by including a smaller compartment or two. Soft and very comfy; great for daily use or superlight race kit.


  • Comfortable
  • Stretchy
  • Lightweight


  • No smaller compartment

A waist belt in this style allows you to carry all the essentials comfortably and unobtrusively without relying on your clothing’s pockets. The Ultra Belt features a large, zipped pocket, eight stretch pockets (two have elastic sinch cords) and elasticated loops to hold poles. It comes with one of the best 500ml soft flasks available. A simple and unobtrusive running belt which allows you to carry all the essentials comfortably.


  • Simple
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Pole loops

This larger capacity waist pack carries race day essentials without the weight or constriction of a pack. It’s cheaper than most vests, durable, well-padded and comfortable, but does bounce when it's loaded up. It’s well featured, with stretch and zip pockets and a bottle holster (750ml bottle included). All in all, the OMM Ultra Waist Pouch is a durable pack ideal for large storage needs and fell running.


  • Durable
  • Well padded and comfy


  • Bounces when fully loaded

One of our go-to items of kit for daily training, running with the dog or supported races, this stretch-style belt combines superb comfort with ease of access in several small compartments around its length, one with a secure zip. Fits a smartphone, keys, gels, hats, gloves and anything else small and necessary. Well thought out belt, superb comfort and durability.


  • Super stretchy
  • Comfy
  • Easy access pockets


  • Pricey

Light, comfortable and easily adjustable, with good, variable storage. The Raidlight waist pack is ideal for supported races, it carries two ergonomically-shaped flasks (included) or the mesh pockets double as extra storage. Elastic pole holders, plus zipped pocket offers safe stowing for a phone and other essentials. It’s a comfortable waistbelt and very stable, unless bottles are full which causes some bounce.


  • Lightweight
  • Adjustible
  • Includes water flasks


  • Some bounce when bottles full

When you’re out for a shorter training run or a fully-supported race you’ll only need the minimum of kit. Montane’s brilliantly designed one-size waist pack has a 1L zipped main compartment – perfect for a jacket – and two good-sized mesh pockets for easy-to-reach items. The elasticated waistband with Velcro fastening means the fit is secure and comfortable. Great to run in – compact yet enough space for the basics.


  • Large main compartment
  • Secure fit

It’s not a new concept but – geez – is it handy! Nathan's stylish The Hipster is like a belt but boasts four stretchy pockets big enough to hold an iPhone 6+. We squeezed an iPhone 6 with a chunky Lifeproof case in ours! Leggings don’t always have useful pockets, so this is the perfect device for holding all the little things you want on your run, including extra gels, keys, the kitchen sink… They help hold your leggings up too – bonus!


  • Stylish
  • Four stetchy pockets

Top image: Andreas Amplatz Fotografie

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