Gear Review: Fuel Belt Helium 4

Helium 2 & 4 from Fuel Belt

A while back I got a 4-bottle pink Fuel Belt. PINK!!! It’s sooooo cute… I may have mentioned this on here before, but I don’t usually run out buying pink stuff all the time. But for some reason when it comes to workout gear I am drawn to the pink items. But color can’t be the only deciding factor when it comes to gear, right? There has to be some kind of benefit to owning something as well. And now that I’ve done several runs with this Fuel Belt, I finally feel I can post a review about my experiences thus far.

What the Company Says:

• Lightweight helium 3-D Ventilated Foam Pads provide highest level of breathability and comfort
• Four 8 oz. bottles evenly distributed
• Knit elastic with velcro closure
• Detachable race pocket
• Reflective piping keeps you visible
• Bottles are dishwasher safe

My experiences with the Fuel Belt:

I was excited to use this because I could carry more liquid on me than I could with my other pack that holds one 20 oz. bottle. Plus, since it had 4 bottles I could carry a mix of sport drink and water. I really prefer a water chaser when it comes time to gel. Unfortunately I discovered that the little bottles don’t really hold 8 full ounces. Even though they have a metered guide on the side that marks the ounces, they’re not accurate. I guess if I filled the bottle all the way to the very top they might hold 8 ounces, but then I wouldn’t be able to get the lid on or open them at first without spilling all over myself. I found the bottles held about 6 ounces when leaving room to put the lids on. (Yes, I weighed them because I’m a nerd like that.)

The Fuel Belt also doesn’t fit around my waist very well. I have to pull the velcro strap around and do a strange overlapping set-up so it doesn’t spin around while I run. I tried to follow the advice that was offered of just wearing it lower on my hips and that lasted about 2 minutes. I’m a female, thus I have curvier hips than a male and pushing something down on my hips doesn’t work. At least not in this instance. So to get the belt to sit at a comfortable place without moving, a little extra manipulation was in order. This would probably be different for people who have a waist size that fits within the specified dimensions on the various sizes.

The pocket it comes with is tiny. Microscopic… I can fit one gel, maybe two in there. That means I can’t haul my cell phone, car key, lip balm or anything else I may need/want on a long run. They do offer additional pocket sizes for sale on the website, so maybe the medium or large would work, but I can’t see that there would be much room for those in between the bottle holsters on the belt.

The holsters are a stretchy elastic and I really don’t think I could maneuver getting a bottle back into them while running quickly. I have to be walking to manipulate the bottles in and out of the belt. It is very possible that I’m just completely uncoordinated though.

And the worst thing I’ve found is that the belt rips little holes in my skin around my waist. Perhaps I need to use a bunch of Body Glide around my waist anyway for these long distances, but I am actually still nursing these open wounds back to health and I will be putting Mederma on them as soon as they are all healed because several of them look like they will scar. This side effect could also be due to the fact that the sizes don’t fit me properly.

As much as I wanted to love and use this belt all the time, I just don’t think I can like it enough for continued use. I know other people in Team In Training who have really liked these belts. I also love their entire purple Team In Training line of products. But again, I can’t judge all of my running gear purely on looks. It has to be functional and for me, this one doesn’t make the mark.

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