The Nathan 5K running belt is an all-purpose article designed for competitive training and everyday use, designed with an eye toward the combination of both comfort and capacity. It can hold all your essentials while staying out of your way, allowing you to forget about it and focus on your run until you need to pull something out of a pocket.
The 5K is constructed out of neoprene, an extremely lightweight synthetic material that gives the belt two of its most notable characteristics. First of all, it weighs a mere 1.9 oz when empty—so light that you’ll hardly notice it’s there. Secondly, the neoprene is somewhat stretchy, which means that even when the belt’s pockets are full, it will fit snugly against your waist, neither jostling or riding up. The material is remarkably soft, and padded enough to prevent any discomfort hard-edged objects in the pockets could cause.
The main pocket is designed to hold basically any smartphone in a case, and may hold an iPod simultaneously if your case isn’t too bulky. A smaller meshed external pocket is great for holding multiple smaller objects—ID, credit cards, cash, and/or keys. Both pockets are secured with zippers, but that’s their one commonality. The outer pocket’s mesh material means that its contents are visible and relatively exposed, but the larger internal pocket is weatherproof.
One common complaint is the length of the straps—the 5K is one-size-fits-all, which is great for runners of larger circumference, but can cause problems for those who are particularly thin. There are a number of easy ways to remedy the inconvenience of dangling strap ends. You can feed the strap back through the buckle to reduce the length and hide the end on the inside of the belt, or loop the ends around the belt to secure them. A rubber band or hair tie also will secure the strap. Or, of course, you can adopt a final solution, cutting off the excess length and singeing the ends to prevent fraying.
Reflective circles on the wings of the pocket portion of the belt provide visibility for night runs, if you want it, but the belt is thin enough to hide underneath a shirt if you prefer to keep it out of sight. There’s just two color combinations, but either one is sure to look good with your running clothes—choose between solid black or pale lime.
The belt can be purchased at several real-world retailers, from the company, and from numerous online stores.