SPIbelt: The best way to carry your smartphone while exercising

This impossibly slim belt has an expandable pouch that can carry your phone, keys, gels, and other essentials--all without bouncing.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

This photo really doesn't do it justice, but the SPIbelt is great for carrying your phone and other items while running.
This photo really doesn't do it justice, but the SPIbelt is great for carrying your phone and other items while running. Overton Enterprises LLC

A smartphone is all but essential gear for runners, walkers, bikers, hikers, gym rats, and other exercise-minded folks. For one thing, there are the apps. As a semi-regular runner, I can't live without RunKeeper (one of many great tools for tracking your route, distance, speed, and the like).

Then there's safety; it makes sense to keep a phone on hand in case of emergencies, like a twisted ankle or UFO abduction. I've been known to get lost on occasion, too.

But here's the problem: How do you carry something as heavy and bulky as a smartphone? Pockets are no good; too much bouncing. And armband cases are the worst; they're uncomfortable, and they make it difficult (if not impossible) to actually use your phone. Plus, getting a phone in and out of an armband case can be a major hassle.

I've finally found the killer solution. The SPIbelt (short for Small Personal Items Belt) lets you carry a phone and other stuff (keys, ID, cash, even a couple energy-gel packs) with absolutely no bouncing. I've been using one for the past few weeks, and it's fantastic.

The SPIbelt is a soft, stretchy, size-adjustable belt with a tiny-looking zippered pouch embedded in the strap. The pouch magically expands to hold whatever you care to cram in it (well, maybe not a water bottle), but keeps everything snug and secure against your waist.

Indeed, even with an iPhone 4, keys, and ID, I pretty much forgot it was there after I was on the road for a few minutes. What's nice is that you can easily orient your phone so the headphone cord sticks out the top end of the zipper, perfect for listening to your music and/or app updates while you're exercising.

Also, if you need to access your phone, it's a simple matter to pop it out--and then back in again.

The SPIbelt comes in a variety of colors and sells for $19.95. That includes shipping when you apply coupon code shop11 at checkout. I really can't recommend this thing highly enough for smartphone-carrying runners and other active people.

If you've found a better solution for carrying your phone and other goodies while on the move, tell me about it in the comments!