By Jason Boyle
The Uno Belt is part of FuelBelt’s new Helium line. All belts in the Helium line feature Helium Hex-Foam that “has specifically designed air channels to increase breathability and performance, which allows the athlete to stay cool during warm conditions.”
FuelBelt was founded in 1997 by Vinu Malik, when he made the first hydration belts while training for the Boston Marathon. Today the brand is a part of the Implus conglomerate which features “innovative footwear, athletic, and outdoor accessories” brands. FuelBelt continues to promote the “best and lightest in hydration and performance gear.” You can find more information on the company and their products at their website.
The Uno Belt is feature packed for a small lightweight belt. The rear of the belt has an elastic holster for the 16 ounce BPA free contour bottle with a softsilicone burst valve, an angled zipper pocket and elastic mesh pocket.
The front of the belt features a removable rectangular shaped zipper pocket. The pocket is zipped onto the front of the belt and held in place with a Velcro closure on the lower edge of the back of the pocket. The back of the pocket also has a small elastic pocket that can be used to store trash and a hole for a headphone wire to pass through. Both the front and back zippered pockets look like they have waterproof style zippers for weather protection.
The belt also has reflective decals and piping on both the front and back to help with visibility when running in the dark.
The belt is held in place via two straps that connect through a buckle under the front pocket. There are 4 buckles that the straps can pass through to customize the fit for any waist size. The straps are held in place via Velcro fasteners.
I tried on the belt, and it is pretty intuitive to put on. One of the straps has to be pulled out of the buckle and then refastened to put it on. The Velcro fastener seems to hold tightly.
The front pocket is smartphone compatible. I can easily get my iPhone 6s with my UAG case into zippered pocket. I have a hard time getting my work iPhone 7 into the pocket with the discount case that is on it. The case for my work phone is a little larger than the case on my personal phone. There seems to be plenty of room in the front pocket once my phone is placed inside. I think the limiting factor for getting in a large phone is the zipper. It is short and only runs along the top. If it made the turn it would be much easier to get a phone in the pocket.
The elastic bottle holster is a little challenging to use while moving. I am hoping that it is just extra tight because it is new, but on a practice run, I had to slide the back of the belt in front of me to get the bottle in. This is an area I will focus on during my review.
The angled zippered back pocket is large. I easily fit my iPhone 7 in the pocket with room to spare. The elastic mesh pocket on the front of the zippered pocket is large as well. I can easily fit in a package of chews and several gels. The access to the mesh pocket seems small, and +this is another area I will evaluate closely in my field testing.
I will be using the FuelBelt Uno Belt over the next couple of months hiking and running here in New Orleans and abroad. I will evaluate the Uno running belt on comfort, durability and usefulness. This concludes my initial review, please check back in about a month for my update.