Salomon Hydro 45 Belt
Water is very important when running. Proper hydration is the key to not only getting the most out of a running session but to ensuring you avoid causing damage to your body in the process. Although the exact amount of water needed while exercising varies from person to person, a general guideline that has been outlined by medical professionals is to drink eight ounces for every 30 minutes of intense physical activity. In order to facilitate this hydration during a running session, many runners will carry a water bottle with them during their exercises. However, this can become inconvenient in certain situations where a runner will want both hands free for balance or decreased air resistance. In order to mitigate these issues, manufacturers have designed accessories for runners that allow for easy storage of their water bottles while running. Salomon, makers of very popular trail running shoes, created the Hydro 45 belt for this very purpose. With a design focused on stability and easy access, a few additional benefits make this belt a terrific accessory for runners looking to properly maintain their fluid levels during their exercises.
- Angled water bottle pouch allows for easy access
- Capacity for enough water for most running sessions
- Lightweight and made from breathable materials
- Bonus pouch for storing small items
- Water bottle included at no additional cost
- Bottle can be difficult to store while running
- Uneven weight distribution and flimsy rear strap can cause discomfort
This belt features two storage pouches made from a lightweight yet highly resilient synthetic material. The larger one is meant to securely hold a water bottle; it is placed at a 45-degree angle, which is where the Hydro 45 derives its name. The second pouch is smaller and secured with a zipper, offering a meager amount of additional storage for small utilities like a watch or some energy gels. These two pouches are intended to be worn on the front of the wearer’s body, with one single buckled strap connected to the rear. Although this design may cause problems with weight distribution and stability, they allow for the wearer to easily access everything stored without much fuss or difficulty.
As a running belt, the Salomon Hydro 45 doesn’t cover enough of the wearer’s body for breathability to be a significant concern. If this were a hydration vest or hydration backpack, it would be more important for this item to offer solid ventilation due to the increased space it takes on the body. However, the majority of this belt’s material is concentrated around the front of the wearer’s lower torso with barely any material placed on the back. Because of this, even a complete lack of airflow would be relatively insignificant for the wearer and their perspiration habits. However, Salomon still saw fit to incorporate breathable materials into the design of the Hydro 45, with some portions of both pouches being made from a highly perforated synthetic mesh material that allows for air to flow freely and prevent heat retention.
The primary purpose of the 45 degree placement of the water bottle pouch is for ergonomics. In addition to purportedly being easier to access and store, this angle is also meant to minimize excessive movement while running. In practice, however, this doesn’t seem to work out quite as expected. According to reviews left online by verified customers, the angled bottle pouch is easy enough to access when pulling out the bottle to take a drink but can be surprisingly difficult to store the bottle afterward. Another reviewer mentioned that the thin straps can dig into the wearer’s sides when the bottle is filled, although they also mentioned that this becomes less of an issue as the water is consumed. Yet another reviewer mentioned that the bottle still managed to move considerably while they ran, almost completely negating this aspect of its design. Ultimately, it seems that this is far from the most comfortable option in regards to hands-free water bottle storage.
The Salomon Hydro 45 belt comes with a water bottle that can easily fit inside the belt’s water pouch. This 3D bottle from Salomon has a maximum capacity of 20 ounces, which is roughly enough to facilitate a workout session of 1 ½ hours according to the estimate outlined in the intro. This is more than enough water for the vast majority of exercise routines performed by the casual runner and is certainly capable of providing enough hydration to accommodate a 5K or half marathon. For comparison, the average hydration vest can usually store double this amount of water due to having two water bottle pouches, and a hydration backpack will often come with compatibility for water bladders with storage space of 1 to 2 liters. This is significantly more water than is stored on the Hydro 45 but is also superfluous for most casual runners. With the exception of hardcore hikers, campers, and marathon runners, the Salomon Hydro 45 offers more than enough hydration to service most individuals.
Although it resembles a much more sturdy material such as nylon, the thin fabric used predominantly in the construction of the Salomon Hydro 45 is a ripstop polyurethane. While not as resistant as nylon or taffeta, this material is more than enough to handle common road hazards such as contact with brush or the odd fall. The strap and buckle in the rear are made from less sturdy material and appear very flimsy; however, not one customer who has left a review for this product online has stated that they ran into any issues with this portion of the belt. Consequently, it appears that the durability of the Hydro 45 is adequate but not breathtaking.
Aside from the included water bottle, this belt is more focused on providing compatibility for certain accessories than it is in providing them or in being an accessory itself. This is the purpose for Salomon including an additional zippered pouch for the Hydro 45. This pouch is smaller than the one used for storing the included water bottle and isn’t placed at the same 45-degree angle. It’s just large enough to hold a few very small accessories, such as a smartphone with a screen under 4 inches in size or a few small snacks. This pouch offers about as much storage as the common pants pocket, if not a bit less. This lack of storage space helps to keep the belt at a lower weight but it also feels like a redundant afterthought due to its limited effectiveness.
Although it isn’t expressed to quite the same degree as with their running shoes, Salomon still offers a visually distinctive style in their design of the Hydro 45 that helps to set it apart from other offerings. The main one is the 45-degree angle at which the bottle pouch is placed on the belt; while it is ostensibly designed in this way to facilitate easy access and prevent excessive movement, neither of these effects are present in practice. Therefore, it seems that this placement was mostly implemented for marketing purposes, a theory that is further reinforced by the advertisement of this design facet in the product’s official title. This water belt is offered in two different color schemes, red and black, with no clear implementation of reflective elements for increased visibility.
- 45-degree placement of water bottle pouch to improve access and stability
- Extra pouch for storing smaller accessories
- Breathable mesh accents on both pouches for extra ventilation
- Bonus water bottle allows for storing up to 20 ounces of liquid
- Option to choose between either black or red color scheme