So you’ve decided to take up running. You might have been on some runs and you’re holding your smartphone in your hand. After a mile or two of playing hot potato with your phone tossing it from hand to hand, you realize that you need something to hold your phone while running. Luckily dozens of companies have put forth great effort to make some of the highest quality products to hold your smartphone. Products like a phone armband, running armband, or maybe even a running belt is where you’ll want to begin looking. When running with a smartphone you’ll need to consider a few of these criteria before making your purchase.
You’ll need to use a transparent running armband. There are some armbands that actually rotate your phone so that it’s not in an awkward position to read all of those Facebook posts. If you select a running belt or another storage device you’ll wear out the zippers and become frustrated to no end from pulling the phone out every 2 minutes.
You can use any running smartphone storage device
You can use any running smartphone storage device.
You’ll want to consider that running with an armband you switch arms every week. Switching your arms every day might be a pain. This to prevent awkward suntans or sunburns. Also, although this is minimal, running with your smartphone strapped to the same side every time could cause a slight imbalance in your gait. If you use your hand to hold your smartphone then consider switching hands every 10 minutes or every mile/km you run.
You’ll want to wear a hydration belt, running belt, hydration pack or use your trusty hand to hold/store your smartphone.
You can select probably the best solution to store your phone which is a running armband.
You’ll want to wear a hydration belt, running belt, or running armband. Stay away from the hydration packs and running vests.
You can go with a hydration pack (water running pack) or hydration vest to store your smartphone while running. You’ll probably only want to use a pack or vest on a much longer run or race such as 9 milers, half-marathons, and marathons.
The biggest difference between a hydration belt and a running belt is that a hydration belt allows you to store small water bottles (sometimes up to 4) for a long run so that you can hydrate. A running belt normally doesn’t have specific slots for water bottles and is primarily used for shorter runs or someone who doesn’t want the extra weight of carrying water while running.
A running hydration pack has an extra compartment that sits on your back where you can store your water bladder (pouch). The water bladders can be purchased individually and sometimes they come with the running hydration pack. The water bladder sits flat against the back. A hose about 3 to 4 feet long extends up the back of the pack and comes over the shoulder and rests within a fastener on the front of the chest area. This allows for easy access to fluids during a run and decreases slowdowns significantly.
The running vest and running hydration pack should both come with pouches to store the water upfront and another pocket to store your smartphone. Look carefully when purchasing a running vest because some are minimal and don’t provide any other pockets beside the pockets for your water bottles.
sport2people Running Belt. This belt is the best all-around running belt you can buy.
If you’re looking for a close-to minimal running belt check out the SPI Running belt
Both the sport2people and SPI running belts can store your iPhone 6, 7, 8, and X. The sport2people running belt can carry a quite a bit more than the SPI running belt such as your keys and energy gels.
There are hardly any contenders for the best hydration belt. URPOWER hydration belt is inexpensive and gets the job down.
The only runner up mention in this category is the Runtasty Hydration belt. Both of the running hydration belts store your iPhone all the way to the X model. The one mention that might make you lean toward the Runtasty Hydration belt is the tilt-up transparent phone pocket with a touch screen ready window.
VUP Running Armband is a second mention for easy viewing access to your smartphone. Its screen rotates 180 degrees.
For the price, you can’t beat the Mubasel Hydration Pack
If you’re going to be running marathons, ultrathons, and/or relay or staged races I would go with a Camel Bak. You’re going to pay 5 times the price but Camel Bak guarantees this product for life.
For more info on hydration packs check out this article here.
Uninova Reflective Running Vest – For the price this no-nonsense vest is minimal. It offers just a few pockets for water bottles, smartphones, and keys.
“Are you crazy?” you might ask? Of course, I do!
I’ve run 12 half marathons and I’ve never run with my smartphone. I have run 9 of my half marathons with a hydration pack (Camel Ultralight hydration pack). The choice of whether to run with a smartphone comes down to personal preference. Here is a list of pros and cons to running with a smartphone:
I have tried to run with a phone and I can’t-do it. The only time I will bring my phone on a run is when I am wearing a hydration pack and the phone can be slipped into one of its pockets. Otherwise, the phone stays behind. So what do I use to track my runs? Simple, I run with my GPS enabled Garmin Forerunner 235 and a clip-on SanDisk Sports mp3 player. The SanDisk sports model is waterproof and if you sweat a lot this will come in handy. They are both lightweight and I hardly notice that they are attached to my body. The one drawback of having multiple devices is the cost of each individual device vs a single smartphone unit with a single cost.