Best Hydration Belts for Running 2023

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

By The Fleet Feet Editors Updated on
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Look ma, no hands! Hydration belts are a great hands-free option for carrying your water or an electrolyte drink on the run. You can also use these running belts to hold your gear while you workout. A hydration belt stores everything around the hips during your run and is a great middle-of-the-road option for those that don’t want or need a hydration pack, but need more storage or water than a handheld bottle provides. Plus, with nothing in your hands, you can focus on your form as you run.

Hydration belts are a solid choice among many runners because they allow you to carry your hydration as well as give you storage for your running gear, all without having to hold anything. We’ve chosen our favorites:

Tips for Choosing the Right Hydration Belt for Running

There are a couple of different factors that you should consider when deciding on the best hydration belt for you.

1. Storage - what do you want to carry with you on your run?

Do you like to carry your phone with you to listen to music, take pictures or for safety purposes? Do you need an inhaler, epi-pen or another medical device with you? What nutrition will you need to take on your longest run? What other essentials such as keys, money, chapstick, body glide, etc. do you need? All of these factor into how much storage you need in a running belt.

2. Water - how much hydration do you need?

One tip for running in hot weather is to make sure you hydrate and these running belts can definitely help with that. You can always determine your sweat rate to hydrate smarter, and then see which belt best fits your needs. Then there are a variety of factors you need to consider to find the best belt for you: Are there water fountains or places to refill bottles on your routes? Do you prefer one bottle for water or two so you can have one for an electrolyte mix and another for plain water? Some bottles are also insulated to keep your liquids colder for longer. There are also soft or hard flasks—you don’t hear the water sloshing in a soft flask, but the hard flasks can be easier to get in and out of the belt and drink on the run.

3. Comfort - Does the belt slip or bounce or chafe?

There are two different styles of running belts: ones that you step into like a pair of pants and pull up over your hips and ones that buckle or clip around your waist. Some people prefer to carry their water on their hips, while others prefer it in the small of their backs. You also want to make sure that there is minimal bouncing and no friction or chafing.

Pro tip - Stretch any elastic in the belt as you put it on, it will engage the belt and minimize any bouncing.

4. Other Activities - What else do you plan to use your running belt for?

Do you want to use your belt to walk your dog as well? Then it may need to fit doggie bags, treats and a portable water bowl. Do you also want to use it to travel? Then you may want something slimmer that fits closer to your body.

[This is part of our Best Running Gear & Accessories Guide 2023. Not sure a hydration belt is your hydration solution? Check out our Best Running Water Bottles and Best Running Hydration Vest & Packs guides]

An older man pulled his water bottle from his hydration belt and is drinking it.

Nathan TrailMix Insulated Hydration Belt

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The TrailMix Insulated Hydration Belt has everything you need to train for a half or full marathon. It contains two 10oz insulated water bottles that attach on each side to give you cold water all run long. This fully adjustable belt has a large zippered pocket in the front that can hold most phones, keys, an inhaler or other valuables. There are two additional loops where you can carry gels or nutrition for easy access. Looking to save a few bucks? The Nathan TrailMix Plus 2 has all of the same features but with non-insulated bottles.

Nathan Pinnacle Belt

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The Nathan Pinnacle Belt is a lightweight belt that provides a ton of storage options and a 20oz soft flask hydration bottle. Nathan constructed this belt using lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric. The simple step-through design comes in a variety of sizes, stays on securely and does not bounce.

There is ample room for storage with four pockets—two on the sides for nutrition, a large zippered pocket in the front for your valuables and/or phone and one in the back for the water bottle. The 20oz soft flask is easy to access and prevents any sloshing noise while you run.

Weighing just 4oz, the Nathan Pinnacle Belt gives you lightweight performance and storage whether you are running the trails or walking the dog.

Amphipod Profile-Lite High Five-K Pack

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The Amphipod Profile-Lite High Five-K Pack is great for runners who prefer one bigger bottle instead of two. This belt has a sweat and weather-resistant pouch that fits all of your running essentials (including most phones) as well as a 16oz ergonomic water bottle. One of the unique features of this belt is that you carry the water bottle in the small of your back as opposed to the sides or front. This fully adjustable belt clips in the front to give you a no-bounce run.

FlipBelt + Water Bottle

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Step into comfort, the FlipBelt is comfortable, easy to use and carries everything you need while working out or traveling. You can easily slide in your essentials through any of three access points that fit most phones, keys, cards, medical devices and more. It wicks away moisture and is machine washable. Plus, you can also use this for more than just working out—this belt works great for traveling (it holds a passport perfectly), going to concerts and more. There is also a zippered version, the FlipBelt Zipper for even more security.

FlipBelt designed separate Arc water bottles that are ergonomically engineered to fit into the FlipBelt and come in both 11oz and 6oz sizes. They don’t leak and are top-rack dishwasher safe. If for some reason you forget your FlipBelt, these bottles also fit perfectly in many running tights, capris or shorts pockets.

How We Picked the Best Running Hydration Belts

With over 45 years of experience, Fleet Feet is the expert in running. What makes the perfect hydration belt for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, preferences and style of that runner. At Fleet Feet, we have been helping runners pick out the right gear for decades and want to pass that knowledge onto you.

We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best water bottles. With all that in mind, we picked gear that lived up to our personal (and professional) expectations and we think they will live up to yours as well.

Standing Behind Our Picks

We picked the best hydration belts based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy any gear from us and you don’t love the way it looks, fits or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund.

Plus, we offer free shipping on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.