First Impressions of the Naked Running Band:
Super minimal and streamlined – nice! It looks really breathable and it has a step through design – double nice! Then I picked it the Naked Running Band and examined it closer…
…wow, it’s really lightweight (2.3oz to be exact) and the 4-way power mesh material feels and looks really breathable. It really stretches when I pull and twist it. I sure hope it can carry 500ml soft flasks or bottles without bouncing as advertised. Let’s see.
Presenting The Naked Running Band.
Now for more details. In this review we’ll break things down in to five areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the product.
- What’s decent: the features or aspects that are OK but not particularly new or differentiating.
- What could be improved: tweaks or improvements that could be made to make the product better.
- When to use it: the situations or scenarios where the product excels.
- How it compares: my current go-to competing products and how this compares.
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
- I really prefer products that are not overbuilt and this running band is perfectly simple: step-through design (to remove buckles and attachment points), four pockets that surround the waistbelt, two elastic storage straps, and two bib attachment points.
The ‘front’ of the Naked Running Band with the bib attachment points. If you never use these I would simply cut these off to make the band even lighter.
The ‘back’ of the Naked Running Band with the elastic storage straps. These straps are advertised to be used as jacket loops for a rolled-up jacket. Silicone grippers on the underside of these straps help keep things more secure. I’ll be testing these straps with z-poles soon.
- Expandability of the pockets. This waistbelt can store 3L of stuff – 3L! That’s as much as minimal race vests nowadays. The 4-way power mesh really expands nicely. Kudos to the designers for making use of nearly every centimeter of the belt. The four pockets wrap around the belt perfectly and you can easily rotate the belt on the go (although this becomes more difficult when the band is wet since it’s fits so snugly).
Four pockets surround the Naked Running Band perfectly.
- No bounce. This is what absolutely nails it for me – the fit is simply rad. I gotta admit, when I read about yet another waistbelt that offered “no bouncing while running” I was skeptical. I’ve worn 4-5 other waistbands that once loaded up with a full soft flask or bottle they each bounced every time or kept riding up my hips. Especially when bombing downhill. Not this band – it’s awesome! Note: the band comes in 6 sizes (soon to be 12) so it’s important you get the right size. I recommend communicating with the folks at Naked about what size is right for you before purchasing so it fits the way it should.
Load up the front and/or the back pocket with a 500ml soft flask or bottle of your choice. It won’t bounce! Note: no bottles or soft flasks are included.
- The breathability and drying time. You can go swimming with this thing, literally, and it dries fast. It’s without a doubt the fastest drying waistbelt I’ve ever worn.
- The value. Originally, I was going to suggest the cost of $45.99 was in fact a good value (and to be clear, I think $45.99 is a very fair price for this product). However, until the next version comes out and Naked addresses some of the quality control issues with the stitching I’m worried the product will break down and need to be taken to the seamstress prematurely (see below).
What could be improved?
- The seams & stitching. I saw some loose threads when the product arrived and one of the pull tabs came loose quite quickly after only a few runs. I’ve spoken with Lindsay, one of the co-founders and co-designers, and he promised me they are addressing this with the next version coming to market very soon. Every stress point will be bar tacked (like what you find on a backpack) and new stitching will be used
Some loose threads upon arrival that should be addressed in the next version.
After only three runs one of the pull tabs is about to come loose.
When to use it?
- Whenever you want to quickly and easily carry up to 3L of stuff! The Naked Running Band has so many uses I am struggling to narrow down the use cases. I find myself reaching for it on nearly every run now since I don’t even notice I’m wearing it. Want to carry your oversized smartphone for that all important trail-selfie? No problem. Want to carry two soft flasks and 10 gels? Check. Since it works with nearly anything you can stuff in to its pockets you get to decide what to carry and when.
Similar products to compare with:
- None. It has no equal. For the storage capacity and fit compared to the breathability and cost it’s the best waistbelt I have ever tried. I will be wearing it for all of my races this summer. Note: I own or have also used the following waistbelts: Ultimate Direction Groove Mono Belt, Ultimate Direction Jurek Essentials Belt, Ultraspire Quantum, Flipbelt, Simple Hydration Bottle, and a homemade waistband bottle using a thera-band strap.
So, the $45.99 question – should you purchase The Naked Running Band?
In one word, yes. As I mentioned earlier, you may need to bust out the sewing machine or see the seamstress prematurely for a few lose threads but I think that’s a small price to pay for such an awesome waistbelt.
Questions, comments, or feedback on this waistbelt? Please share! And thanks for reading!
If you’re interested in purchasing the Naked Running Band, please first check availability at your local, independently owned running specialty store. They need your business and are a great resource for the community.
If that’s not an option, please use this link to purchase directly from the Naked Running Band website. Thank You!
Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf
I am an avid running gear junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running or racing around the local trails in Marin County, California or talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras the last few years.
Disclaimer: This pack was provided to URP/Ben for testing purposes. All words and thoughts are ours and no compensation was offered or received.