Sunday, February 15, 2009

GEAR GUIDE: Fuel Belt (Nathan Speed 4)

Introducing the Nathan Speed 4...

Product Specs:
  • Molded holsters for quick Flask access
  • Four 10 oz. Nutrition Flasks
  • Front and rear stash pockets for small essentials
  • Airmesh moisture-wicking backing
  • Limited-stretch elasticized waistbelt with soft perimeter binding
  • Weight distributed evenly around belt
  • Three sizes: SM 26-32", MED 32-36" & LG 36-42"
My Need:
Last time on the 14.5ish mile run, I was thirsty on the way back and had to stop at Target, even though it was below freezing. I usually also get hungry at around mile 10, depending on how much I fueled up prior to the run. I knew that I'd need an easy way to stash water and food for these runs, and hopefully longer runs in the future as I train for the marathon. The backpack may do the trick, but it slows me down and doesn't promote the best form, since I tend to twist at the waist less (resulting in strain on my knees, I think, somehow) when I wear it and forget to maintain good form.

Road Test:
For the 14mi run on 5/15, I brought 16oz of water for this "feels like 36/37 degree (acutal probably 42ish)", and had about 2oz left at the end, so it worked well. I have a capacity for 40oz of water to be used in far higher temps and hopefully longer distances, although that would add 2.5 pounds, not to mention any food or gear I'd want to bring.

I filled each of the two front flasks w/ 8oz of water, had a baby pack of gummy bears in the small front pocket, had a camera in the larger back pocket, had a PB&Honey WW Flatbread Sandwich in one of the back flask holsters, and my prox/credit card and my Survivor Buff in the other. I ended up not needing the sandwich or the bandana, and I would've eaten the gummy bears (which I've heard one guy using as a cheap substitute for Clif Shot Bloks), but they were rock-hard due to the cold.

Conclusion:
It's nice to have all of that carrying capacity in a no-bounce, good-fitting way. Chafing wasn't even an issue when my shirt would move out of place. It turned out to be pretty flexible in what kinds of things you could stash. I kind of felt like a car, with gas tanks (water) on one part of me, and the trunk (empty holsters) in the back.

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