Trail Tested: Utility Belt by Ultimate Direction
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Utility Running Belt by Ultimate Direction
Materials: Rugged Mesh
Weight: 2.25oz/ 64 grams
Best Features: Trekking pole holsters, very little bounce, impressive amount of storage capacity, no adjustability.
Room for Improvement: Feels slightly restrictive when hammering uphill, no adjustability.
The Utility Belt definitely lives up to its name. There is a growing popularity of fanny packs and hydration belts, but the Utility Belt takes it one step further. It has a sleek, minimalist design that is very reminiscent of the Naked Running Band with a seemingly infinite amount of storage space.
The UD UB sits comfortably either on the hips or above the hips, depending on preference. Having a phone in the front pocket keeps it easily accessible for tunes and pictures and a soft flask in the back tends to be the most secure with the least amount of bounce. After you’ve emptied some of the flask, try to fold it over itself to maintain some pressure; this will help negotiate the bounce even more.
The material is comfortable as well as breathable. At 5’10”, 145 pounds, I sit in the weird space between a men’s small and medium. For this product, I am a small. Select as size that is as close to your waist size as you can.
The best use for this waist belt is any effort under 50 miles. It works well to use it in conjunction with a handheld for more water availability. It would also work for longer efforts, when combined with a simple vest. Some great racing vests don’t have trekking-pole compatibility and this is a great way to add extra storage with out sacrificing much at all.
—Tim Nooney placed third in the Grand Mesa 50 Miler and runs 80 miles per week, typically with a new piece of gear that Trail Runner makes him take along and review.