Nathan Switchblade: Dream Hydration Belt For Customization
Dodging tree roots, ducking under branches and dancing through the wilderness. That’s what it’s like to be a trail runner. But being a trail runner also means having the proper gear when it comes to hydration needs. That’s why Nathan Switchblade is nothing less than a dream come true.
The Switchblade can carry 24 ounces of water with plenty of pocket space for a smartphone and nutrition.
But what makes this hydration belt a dream come true is its customization functionality.
Nathan Switchblade Design: Attractive And Functional
The greatest part of the Switchblade hydration belt is its design. That’s because it’s up to the runner how they want it to look for the run.
For starters, it’s available in a few attractive colors. This includes a deep marine, black, sangria, and corral.
It is equipped with two holsters that come with two 12 oz (355 mL) flasks.
The SpeedShot flasks itself fit great in the hand. The biggest difference with the flasks here compared to other models is the fact that it has new embedded hand grippers on the back of them. This means no slipping in sweaty hands.
The flasks have a push-pull cap that is large and is soft to the mouth. Drinking mid-run without slowing down is so easy.
Seamlessly take the flasks out and back in without any fumbling.
Next up is the main pocket that is large enough to fit most smartphones. The pocket is zippered and is separated by a divider to keep things inside organized.
There is also a front velcro pocket that is the perfect size to fit an energy gel. This is easily opened via its loop design.
There are also loops on the sides of the stash pocket for storing extra gel or other gear like headphones.
Design Continued: Runners Have Options
Nathan’s Switchblade is unique because both the holsters and the pocket are movable.
This allows the runner to place the flasks in the location that feels the best to them.
To do so, remove the detachable holster backs and move the belt in and out of the holsters in the designated slots. Then reattach on the belt to the desired spot such as the sides or back. Then reattach the backing before putting on the belt.
This runner has always been used to having water right in front. But wearing the flasks on the back was much more comfortable for long miles, especially since this belt holds a larger volume of water.
It does take a run or two to get used to for those who typically don’t wear their belts like this. But once the runner does, they won’t want to wear a belt any other way.
During runs, this runner would move the holsters from the back to the sides as need be to access water later on. Having the freedom to customize this is a game-changer.
The pocket moves easily by just pulling it to the desired location.
Comfort And Fit: Minimal Bounce
The good news is with its larger size flasks, the runner can bring plenty of water with them on the trail. The bad news is it might seem a bit heavier when carrying a full load.
This is where the beauty of the back design comes in. Wearing the flasks on the back make it much more comfortable.
Even still, the Switchblade hydration belt is lightweight in its own right. It weighs 9 oz with the bottles (not filled). Not too bad for a hydration pack with plenty of room.
The bounce is minimal in general. Of course, it is noticeable with full flasks but over the miles, this isn’t distracting or uncomfortable.
There is also no chafing or discomfort with running with this belt at all.
The Switchblade comes in “one size fits most.” It can fit those with a waist from 24- to 44-inches. There is the option to loosen and tighten the belt for that more secure and true-to-size fit.
Because the pocket is large enough, it’s easy to grab energy chews or the smartphone mid-run. There is no need to slow down.
Final Thoughts: A Worthy Buy
The best part of Nathan Sports’ Switchblade 24 oz. hydration belt is absolutely the ability to move water where it’s most convenient and feels good.
But that is just one major selling point on a list of many others.
This includes its extremely large pocket space, plus the added side loops for more gear. The only downside here is it’s best used for gels, so those who prefer chews might never use them.
Being able to have 24 oz. on hand during a long run is priceless. No worrying about needing to fill up when out on the trails.
From it’s great colors to its attractive design and overall durability and comfort, the Switchblade is one of the best running belts for mid- to long-distance runners.
The Switchblade is available for $49.99.
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