If you follow along on Instagram you may have seen me running Naked recently on a few runs. No not the full frontal type of naked running, I mean running wearing the Naked Running Band. I normally run in the Arizona heat which means that I have to carry a ton of water, but there are shorter runs where wearing a vest is overkill. I was looking for a solution to carry a phone and a water bottle. Of course there are tons of handhelds available, but a majority of them don't fit a a larger phone very well, and if you use wired headphones it doesn't work. I came across the Naked Running Band which appeared to solve my needs and also maintain a minimalist design. Over the last few weeks I have been putting the running band to the test on my local trails to see if it stands up to the claims.
-Comes in six sizes depending on your waist.
-My size size 3 weighs 2.5 oz on my home scale
-Retails for $45.99.
-Have used the band for 50 miles of local trails.
The Short Story-
The Naked Running Band has replaced by bulky running vest on shorter/water lite runs. Unlike handhelds or vest you actually step into the band and pull it up above your legs, positioning it around the abdominal region. The running band has a slight amount of stretch that allows you to slide it into place but then sucks down against your body. The band has to large pockets that easily accommodated my Motorola Droid with room to spare. These pockets easily held soft sided flask (16oz), allowing you to carry two. Additionally there are two more pockets around the band; which are ideally sized for energy bars. One of these pockets cleverly houses a key clip. All the pockets are deep, extending the entire vertical width, allowing the band to really be loaded down. The pockets open up using small yellow tabs that a finger easily slides into. Moving to the exterior the Naked Running Band has two clips for attaching race numbers and two large gear loops on the rear side. These gear loops were perfect for stashing a jacket when the temperature warmed up. Naked recommends these loops to be used to store trekking poles also (although I never use trekking poles).
The Naked Running Band really shinned when it was loaded up and taken on a run. Even loaded with a 16oz soft flask, a few bars and my phone, the band hardly moved. On technical terrain the the band felt like an extension of my torso and really became unnoticeable. The part I enjoyed most about the band was that on the cool mornings I could run shirtless, while still carrying a phone and water. There is no doubt that the design allows cooler core temps, then running in a vest.
With all the positive attributes, I did find a few limitations to the Naked Running Band. The band is perfect for short warm weather runs where lots of water is unnecessary. On longer runs I found myself supplementing the capacity with handhelds. In a race with amble aid stations this band would be perfect. Also we all have experienced the mid-run BM. The very slight additional pressure on the abdomen contributed to a increase in urgency (if you catch my drift).
Final Verdict- It is a great time to be a runner. New gear innovations are coming out all the time, but sometimes the simplest ones are the best. The Naked Running Band allows the runner to carry more with less. I loved the fact that I could carry what I needed on a run in a bounce free device, while still feeling like I was, well.....running Naked. The lightweight design creates the ideal solution for carrying water, food, and your phone on most runs. I also found the band to be incredibly useful while riding long distance on the road bike. Sometimes jersey pockets just don't cut it. If you are looking for a gear carrying solution that won't bounce, is versatile and allows you to minimize then the Naked Running Band is highly recommended. You can find out more about the Naked Running Band or buy one for yourself at their website.
*This product was provided by Naked Running Band for testing.