I would really like a Garmin watch for when I run. A lot. But they are a million dollars (OK, several hundred), so I’ve been experimenting with alternatives.
I have an HTC Evo (an Android phone) and downloaded Runkeeper Pro, a cool app that will track your route via GPS and give you splits. You can also program interval workouts, etc. It works really well and seems accurate enough for my purposes. The problem is that most of my running shorts don’t have pockets, and I hate, HATE carrying things in my hands when I run. Everything gets sweaty and it makes me feel imbalanced (more so than usual). Also, I’m always dropping things.
Enter the Nathan Shadow Pak:
Don’t be fooled by its small size. The storage compartment is made of sturdy, stretchy mesh. I was easily able to fit my phone in it and could’ve smashed some gels in there, too. The waist band is adjustable and elastic, and there are reflective details on the belt for running in low light. There’s also a little slot with an ID card, which is handy.
I ran a little more than 6 miles yesterday, and this sucker never bounced. Not once. Even better? I didn’t have to wear it so tightly that it cut off circulation to my lower extremities. Once I put it on and adjusted it, I forgot it was there. It settled nicely into the small of my back and stayed put. It’s not bulky or cumbersome, and I think it looks cool… considering it’s basically a glorified fanny pack.
The best thing, though, is the material the little pouch is made of. My phone fit in it nicely, but let’s say I only wanted to carry a couple of gels. In other packs I’ve used, there would be too much slack and it’d end up bouncing. With this one, you can tighten up the straps and the mesh pulls snug over whatever is in the pocket. So no bouncing! It’s awesome.
The only downside I can see is that because the pocket is mesh, this wouldn’t be great to wear in the rain. My solution would be to put anything that can’t get wet into a Ziploc bag before packing it in the belt.
It comes in a variety of colors, but I chose green, of course. I got mine for $20 at my favorite running store, Big River Running. Definitely check them out if you live in the St. Louis area. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in the Lou, you can snag one on Amazon here.
This is the perfect way to carry essentials on your run, bike, hike, whatever. I would actually use this to carry stuff in any situation where I would be walking around for a long time and didn’t want to haul a purse (zoo, amusement parks, fairs, etc.), but I make questionable fashion choices sometimes.
Oh, and I ran 9:06 splits :)