The 10 Best Hydration Belts
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Maybe your fitness routine has you going for regular long runs, or you could just be an outdoor enthusiast who’s always hiking, climbing, and enjoying nature on foot. Either way, you'll want plenty of fluids during those activities. Keep water bottles handy at all times with these hydration belts, most of which offer storage space for items like keys, wallets, and phones, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best hydration belt on Amazon.
What Do I Need To Know Before Purchasing a Hydration Belt?
It's important to strike a balance between a belt that's going to fit comfortably, and one that is durable enough so that semi-constant movement won't result in any wear.
The majority of hydration belts are adjustable, but they also have a maximum and minimum length, with certain belts being sold in small, medium, and large.
If you're in the market for a hydration belt, the first thing you need to consider is your waist size. The majority of hydration belts are adjustable, but they also have a maximum and minimum length, with certain belts being sold in small, medium, and large.
Next, you'll want to give some thought to what you plan on using the belt for. Doing so will provide a sense of whether you need a hydration belt that can accommodate one water bottle or two, along with whether you should choose a belt that comes with a zip pack for storing keys, first aid items, or a phone.
If you're purchasing a hydration belt for distance running, chances are you'll want a lightweight model (i.e., less than 1 lb) that carries a single canteen. If, on the other hand, you're purchasing a belt for any type of mountain climbing or hiking, chances are you'll want a heavy-duty model (i.e., 2-4 lbs) that's capable of holding a pair canteens, while providing extra cushion so you can avoid any type of skin burns.
It's important to strike a balance between a belt that's going to fit comfortably, and one that is durable enough so that semi-constant movement won't result in any wear. Most top-of-the-line belts are made out of either nylon or polyester (both of which are waterproof). Any belt with an elastic rear-band will provide a tight all-around fit, while a Velcro band will allow the belt - and, more importantly, its owner - a little extra flexibility to breathe.
'Oh, The Places a Hydration Belt Will Go'
Most people tend to associate hydration belts with physical fitness, and with good reason. It's common to see a runner or a hiker pulling a bottle from one of these belts. But the idea of a hydration belt can serve an even greater purpose. These belts are ideal for any type of all-day activity that entails a person being outdoors.
This is why water and other soft drinks are sold at such an exorbitant cost.
Take a theme park, for example. Most people travel to theme parks when the weather is warm, which means hydrating is a must. Theme park owners know this, just as they know that every customer represents a captive audience. This is why water and other soft drinks are sold at such an exorbitant cost. Wearing a hydration belt to a theme park means that you can refill at fountains throughout the day. The same goes for any outdoor concert, along with any promenade, or beach.
If you're a parent, a lot of all-day outings tend to focus around the kids. This could mean chaperoning a field trip, or it could mean spending an afternoon at the playground. Either way, bringing along a hydration belt could keep your kids from getting parched. On top of which, most hydration belts feature some type of zipper pack, which means that you can store some essentials, whether they be wet wipes, a child's asthma inhaler, or your phone.
Assuming you're an outdoor enthusiast, a hydration belt can make an overwhelming difference. Communing with nature is not only beautiful, but taxing. A hydration belt will allow you to counterbalance your body's exertion. It may also allow you to refill your canteens at any spring.
A Brief History of The Hydration Belt
Belts, as a concept, have been around since The Bronze Age, and the idea of hydrating actually predates the dawn of man. That being the case, it seems odd that the first patent for a hydration belt wasn't awarded until 1979, one year after a trio of California inventors initially proposed "an adjustable canteen device for use by any runner in readily obtaining a drink of water by way of a plastic tube or by hand."
Otherwise, the design for this original hydration belt appears fairly similar to the belts that a lot of sporting-good companies manufacture today.
These three inventors - Peter Glusker, Walter Fontana, and Mitchell Feingold - presented a hydration belt that was slightly limited in that it could only hold one bottle, which was fastened to the hip by way of a cloth pouch. Initial schematics reveal that this first belt included plans for a custom-made bottle with a foot-long plastic tube that a runner could use to sip from. Otherwise, the design for this original hydration belt appears fairly similar to the belts that a lot of sporting-good companies manufacture today.
There have, of course, been innovations over the past 40 years, most notably a transition from the all-elastic hydration belts of the early eighties to the much more functional nylon and polyester belts of the current decade. In addition, the lion's share of modern hydration belts come with a fanny pack and dual holsters for accommodating canteens on either side. Beyond that, the only major change has been the audience. Today's hydration belts are being marketed to a diverse cross-section of athletes, but they're being sold to a lot of everyday parents, adults, and seniors, as well.
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