The Good: Stores A LOT of stuff without bounce, and the extra foldover flap helps keep it secure.
The Bad: Personal opinion is the size chart is slightly off (recommending sizing down).
The Medal Worthy: If you order one size smaller it adds a compression style fit, which is great for the lower back.
The following review is for the: PakRat Running Belt
For the second week in a row we had a lot of bad weather, but were still able to test the belt via the following activities:
- Running on a treadmill
- Walking dogs
- Trail running the Deschutes River
Design and Quality
First off, the PakRat is made out of a 4-way stretch fabric. It’s got 2 rear pockets (1 of which has a key clip) and 2 front pockets. I ran with my wife and carried the following easily:
- Galaxy S7 with wallet case
- iPhone 6 with Lifeproof case
- Car keys
- Credit card and $20 (because we got ice cream after our run!)
There was still room in the pack…
The tight fit and added foldover flap, are I believe, the two features that prevent bounce.
PakRat also makes a claim that the belt has “no roll.” Unfortunately I don’t think this is 100% accurate. I think it depends on your clothing mostly. I had a drawstring waist band, and the top of the belt did roll down a little around that section. Not a big deal at all, just wanted to point it out.
Lastly, straight from the PakRat website, they say: “Just toss it in the washer and dryer for easy care.”
This is a big deal, especially for slip on packs, because sometimes you’re sticking your dirty feet/shoes through the belt. We haven’t had a chance to test this yet, but wanted to mention it. Will report back soon!
Comfort And Fit
The first thing I want to point out is we used two testers. One was a female with a 28″ waist and the other a male (me) with a 31″ waist. We tested size “S” which is designed for 26-30″ waists. After testing this for a week, my personal opinion is to go a size down when you order.
(Note: What I’m about to say is not medical advice, I am not a doctor)
There are really two reasons I like the tighter fit:
- Less to no bounce
- Compression fit
I have sciatica pain from time to time, especially if I’m running rocky trails (which is often in Oregon). One thing I never considered was how a compression fit would actually help. I know some people don’t like a tighter fit, but with this belt it’s a plus.
With that aside, I tried the belt both above and below the waist.
Definitely recommend a below the waist fit, so that the top of the pack is even with your waist line. It was super comfortable that way.
If you wear it under the shirt, which I recommend, it’s completely hidden as well.
We tried not to mention it above because we wanted to review the PakRat without comparisons, but I think the best comparison we can make is the FlipBelt (which happens to be our #1 pick for running belts in 2016).
In terms of quality and fit I think the PakRat wins out. The only place the FlipBelt wins is possibly design, and even there it’s close. What it comes down to is do you want a slimmer belt (the FlipBelt) or the extra security and look of the PakRat?
We’ll be updating our best running belts list in early January and I have a feeling the PakRat is going to be a contender.
Disclaimer: We have been paid to review this product; all opinions are ours and based on an actual product test.