Almost universally, hydration belts include with themselves the means of hydration. That sounds like a sports-themed paraphrase of Karl Marx, but it’s also an undeniable fact. Whether you’re buying Nathan, FuelBelt or even (most belts by) Fitletic, you’re going to get that brand’s bottles with the belt, and due to molded-plastic holster shape, will be forced to use said bottles. If they leak, you’ll probably have to get a brand-specific replacement. And like it or no, your favorite non-hydration-belt-included bottle will have to stay home. Unless, that is, you’re wearing the Fitletic Quench.
This belt is designed to work with your own hydration preferences. Like 12-oz. bottles? Great. Don’t feel like carrying water at all but just want the storage capabilities? Also fine. Going for a long run in the woods or tackling the ultramarathon, and want to carry, say, 48 total oz. of water? No problem. The belt doesn’t come with the usual plastic bottle/plastic holster combination. Instead, it’s a pair of zippered cloth bottle pockets with silicone grippers for bounce prevention and pull-tension cords to hold your bottles securely in place. Any size bottle from 12 oz. up to 24 will fit, allowing you to use what you like best.
The Quench has quite a bit more to offer, besides. The standard smartphone pocket is also present—small but versatile, and capable of cradling your iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4 in water-resistant neoprene safety. This part is basically identical to other Fitletic belts, so if you like their pouches you’ll like this one. Race bib toggles are a nice inclusion, and the two external gel loops double as reflectors for dusky runs.
But there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding between the Quench and another hydration belt option. The bottles hang horizontally, which means that depending on the size of your bottles, your waist diameter and the way you run, they might impact your arm swing slightly. Hard holsters, though limiting in bottle size, are also much faster to use—you may find that you have to slow down to a slow jog to get the bottles in or out. It all comes down to the kind of running you like doing. The Quench is ideal for long tough runs requiring a lot of water, and in which periods of walking aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If you like to hike as well as run, it’s also a great option, but for shorter, faster runs something more conventional might be best.
An unequivocal perk, though? Nine different zipper-color options.
The belt can be purchased at several real-world retailers like Amazon.com, from the company, and from numerous online stores.