Nathan Trail Mix Plus vs Switchblade: Which Is Better?

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Both the Nathan Trail Mix Pro and Switchblade are great hydrations belts, but the Switchblade is more customizable. Nathan Trail Mix Plus vs Switchblade: Which Is Better? www.runnerclick.com

When it comes to staying hydrated and having all gear needed on hand, a running belt is a must. But for those who are fans of Nathan Sports hydration belts, it can be hard to decide between worthy buys like the Trail Mix Pro vs. the Switchblade.

Both Nathan hydration belts look great and feel comfortable on mid-run. Both the Trail Mix Plus and the Switchblade feature two flasks for water each and have storage space for other gear.

But which is better?

We broke down the key features of both Nathan hydration belts and put them against each other to see which is the better when it comes to performance, functionality and its features.

Feature Overview: The Nathan Trail Mix Plus vs Nathan Switchblade

Nathan Trail Mix Plus vs Switchblade: Which Is The Better Hydration Belt?
Photo: Lauren Keating

To determine which Nathan product is better, we have to first breakdown its specs.

The Trail Mix Plus has two 10 oz (300mL) flasks that have push-pull caps.

In comparison, the Switchblade holds 24 oz of water with its two 12 oz (355 ml) flasks that also have push-pull caps.

Both belts have pockets, one zippered and one velcro. Although the design of the pockets is different on each belt.

These Nathan belts both come “one size fits most” and are adjustable, and have the same weight. They are also sold for the same price.

Features And Design: Trail Mix Plus vs. Switchblade

From the overview above, it remains unclear which Nathan hydration belt is better.

It might come down to preference for some, but at first glance, these two products seem similar.

But while they have the same features, there are some key differences.

Water Winner: Switchblade

For starters, obviously, the Switchblade holds more water. This makes it the clear winner for long-distance runners. With the ability to store 12 oz. of fluids in each flask, this runner had no worries about needing to refill when on the trail with no water stops in the summer sun.

The bottle itself has an attractive shape that fits perfectly in hand without feeling awkward. The icing on the cake is the embedded grip inserts that don’t slip even in sweaty palms.

In comparison, the Trail Mix Pro’s flasks also have a smilier design minus the grippers. It is easy to drink water with its soft cap and there is no leaking.

Holster Design Winner: Switchblade Again

Another big difference is the customization of the Switchblade. Runners can move the holsters to the position where they prefer.

The Trail Mix Pro feature stationary holsters that are located just off the hips in the center. It sits very comfortable mid-run and causes no chafing or discomfort.

The option to move the holsters is nice to have for those who prefer having water on the back, or offside.

To do so, take off the velcro-attached padding and remove the belt from the plastic holster via its opening. Then replace the hostler where the runner wishes and replace the padding.

Overall Design: Trail Mix Pro

Interestingly enough, this runner prefers the overall design of the Trail Mix Pro. It has a more humble profile that doesn’t seem as bulky as the Switchblade for mid- to long-distance runs.

While the Switchblade is great for moving the holsters, I prefer the design fo the Trail Mix Pro when it comes to the placement of the pocket and flasks. I like just reaching down and grabbing my gear.

Photo: Lauren Keating

Many runners might disagree with this winner, but again it comes down to preference.

Over a few runs of various distances, I did come to really appreciate being able to move the holsters where I wanted. For this reason, I almost made it the winner. However, there is just something about the Trail Mix Pro that is favored here.

Storage Space: Close Tie, But Trail Mix Pro For The Win

The Trail Mix Pro has two main pockets, one large zippered one that can hold most smartphones and a velcro pocket for other gear.

The velcro pocket is much larger than the secondary pocket of the Switchblade. It essentially is the same size as the zippered one.

The main zippered pocket of the Switchblade is the exact size of the Trail Mix Pro. It then has a front pocket that is the perfect size to store an energy gel.

So far this makes both Nathan hydration belts tie in this category.

But the Trail Mix Pro takes home the cake because of its added features.

This is also more of a preference choice. It has two shock chords with a tension lock for extra storage. This means holding more gels or chews or folding over a shirt or lightweight jacket to drape over while staying secure.

The Switchblade also has additional storage, but these are looped spaces. This is ideal for storing additional gels, but other items might just fall through. For this reason alone, Trail Mix Pro takes it for storage.

Functionality: It’s Almost A Tie

When it comes to how well these running belts perform, its hands down a tie.

Both the Switchblade and the Trail Mix Pro function exactly the way they need to. The holsters are not in the way and are easy to take out the flasks for a drink and put back.

There is plenty of pocket space and additional storage with both the belts, so carrying the necessities for a long run or time spent trekking the trails is possible.

Besides the holsters being able to be moved on the Switchblade, the pocket is also customizable. It can be moved along the belt’s strap. This makes this running belt even more appealing.

Some runners might prefer to have the pocket to the side or in front. Because there are more options with the Switchblade it wins in this department by a very small margin.

Comfort And Fit: Close Tie

When it comes to comfort, both belts deliver.

They feel good on, not bothersome or too bulky. The Trail Mix Pro is slightly more comfortable because of the slightly smaller flasks.

The runner feels like flasks more on the Switchblade if that makes sense, but not to the point of discomfort at all. To fix this, it’s best to move the flasks to the back which makes it even more comfortable. This is why the customization is so great.

These both have one size fits most approach, with the ability to loosen to tighten the straps.

There is no bouncing with both belts, which is important for runners. And the bells won’t slip or slide around.

This runner waves the white flag on this one and says it’s a tie.

Conclusion

The Nathan Trail Mix Pro and Switchblade are both great buys when it comes to hydration belts.

It comes down to preference on where the holster and pocket placement is. For those who like the opportunity to move these features around, go with the Switchblade.

Photo: Lauren Keating

It’s also the winner for those who go the longer distance because of more water capacity.

The Trail Mix Pro is among my favorite running belts ever used. It delivers on everything important to this runner like comfort and functionality.

Photo: Lauren Keating

The Trail Mix Pro and Switchblade both are sold for $49.99.