Maybe when you first read or hear of the Naked Running Band you get all kind of imaginary visions of … a Band playing music whilst Running around Naked or … Runners who are Running Naked with a Band around their waist?
However, I need to disappoint you. It is all less ‘strange’ than you might think but that said the Naked Running Band is a great piece of Running stuff!
I really like trailrunning, I also really like using and writing about trailrunning ‘stuff’ and especially when it is by design simple but efficient, it does the job you want it to do and also looks ‘cool’.
So what is it?
The Naked Running Band is a specially designed waist band for (trail, ultra, marathon, commuting to work) runners to carry a lot of ‘stuff’ without having it bouncing up and down or falling out. With some ingenuity and minimising it has enough room to carry the needed, or sometimes mandatory gear for a mountain or ultra trailrun which than by definition also allows you to take the things you need for your morning or evening run to and from the office or your own (multiple) day trailrun.
To be honest, I feel really lucky that I stumbled over this Running Band. In an earlier blog I wrote about my experiences with different trail waist bands or belts and trailpacks. Given the choice I would like to carry as little as possible in a waistband allowing my back to ‘breath the fresh air’ so to speak. And the Naked Running Band allows me to go a long way before needing to use a trailpack.
So why am I so enthusiastic about the Naked Running Band?
Smart design to keep everything inside.
A few clever design features makes sure nothing fall out. For example: (1) the outside layer is just a littler higher than the inside layer creating an ‘automatic’ covering; (2) the band is divided in three pockets creating enough stretch power to keep ‘stuff’ inside; (3) each pocket has an easy to find tab to quickly open the mesh to get stuff out or put it back in; (4) a hook allows you to secure your keys safely; (5) a wide range of twelve different sizes allow you to really choose the best fit for both your body size and the way to want to use the band, i.e. up high on your waist, on your hips, or low over your butt.
Smart design to add things.
(1) Two built-in race number shock cord attachments at the front; (2) two silicone backed elastic straps at the back allow you to add additional gear. Naked Running provide as examples a set of foldable running poles or a rain jacket.
However, I found it rather cumbersome to get my running poles securely fastened in the straps. You either need to take your time or train this whilst on the run. It obviously helps that you can easily turn the band around your waist so you can see what you are doing. Also when you add your poles you cannot use the pockets between the straps to their maximum content. I ended up holding my poles in my hands during a day long trailrun when I needed a the pockets for other ‘stuff’.
Smart design to keep your cool.
The mesh is open enough to leave sweat through whilst it also repels rain or sweat, and maybe the best thing … the mesh does not create any chaff after miles of running and sweating. At least not with me and although I am not hyper sensitive to chaff I do need to take for example the usual precautions of putting anti-chaff on my nipples when going for a long run.
Smart design of softflasks.
Obviously you can use any type of (soft)flask to carry your fluids. But that said, I found that the Naked Running Band softflasks are for me the first which have large enough opening at the top to allow easy cleaning with a normal cleaning brush. If you not already have you own set I would definitely advice you to consider these.
Is the Naked Running Band worth the money?
Everybody has it preferences so I will give my opinion which may help you to decide what your final choice will be.
Yes, if you compare this running band with for example another high performance brand running band: the Compressport Free Belt Pro which you can buy for almost the same price. I would argue (having used the ‘normal’ Free Belt extensively) that the breathability, easy access and twelve versus three sizes tips my choice to the Naked Running Band.
Probably, if you compare it with some cheaper models like for example the Flipbelt or The Hipster Running Belt from Nathan. Both are approximately half the price but are less breathable (no mesh but ‘solid’ fabric), do not have a key hook, additional straps for poles and race number shock cords.
A tough competitor could be the Salamon Pulse Belt. This belt also has additional straps for poles but is not made of a breathable mesh, has only four sizes and is less stretchy to really put in a lot of ‘stuff’.
So, for me it is worth the money.
It allows me for most runs to leave my trailpack at home. But it has its limits as I wrote above, especially when you also want to add your poles to the Band. That’s also realised by Naked Sports Innovation I think whilst they just introduced a vest from similar material.
What are your experiences with Running Bands? Any preferences?
What did I carry so far with the Naked Running Band?
Groceries I bought for my evening meal when running back home.
Eight ‘Krentenbollen’, my favourite Dutch bread treat, known in the rest of the world as Raisin buns, see video :).
Mountain trailrunning pack when I explored the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District in three days days.
For these day long trailruns in windy and wet weather I packed I think the maximum I could fit in in (keeping my poles in hand):
- a set of water proofs (jacket and trousers);
- first aid kit;
- map and compass;
- some energy bars.
The Bob Graham Round is a circular tour around Keswick following 106 kilometres, 8200 meters height gain over 42 fells tops in order to prepare myself for the ultimate endeavour next year to do it in 24 hours and become a member of The Bob Graham 24 hour club.
Just another crazy idea in the trailrunning world that started already way before we called it trailrunning. The round was first done just within 24 hours way back in 1932 by Bob Graham, a hotelier of Keswick, Cumberland, at the age of 42 (!).
Besides trying it within 24 hours you can also add: ‘doing it in winter, do it twice’ or do it as fast as possible like the ‘inhuman’ trail phenomenon Kílian Jornet just proofed setting a new record of 12.52 hours! For me within 24 hours would be great, I will definitely write a blog about my effort!