The 10 Best Smartphone Armbands

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This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in June of 2016. It doesn't take an astute observer to see that we are more attached to our technology than ever. Let's not be curmudgeonly about it. Rather than lament the past, why not embrace the present and use it to improve our lives? The armbands on our list will help you do just that by keeping your smartphone safe and secure on runs, hikes, trips to the gym, or walks around town. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Bone Collection Run Tie

2. Tribe Fitness AB66

3. Tune Belt AB89

Editor's Notes

June 27, 2020:

Smartphone armbands can make or break certain activities, as one that fits perfectly makes for an excellent companion on hikes, runs, camping, cleaning the house, and more, freeing up your hands, keeping your device safe, and providing you with music and entertainment. They're also helpful from a safety standpoint, as anyone who's gone jogging and gotten lost or ended up in an odd part of town can attest. For our selection, we prioritized armbands that accommodate myriad phone models, even ones with bulky cases, and selections made from breathable, comfortable, washable, resilient materials. We liked features like universal port access, cable management, adjustable sizing, and designs that allow for easy access and wick away sweat.

This is a category that turns over fast, and so we gutted this list and kept only the MyBand Elite, RevereSport Extra, and Tribe Fitness AB66. The rest of our selections we supplanted with newer, better models that can accommodate some of the latest devices.

For those who want a ton of extra storage and don't mind having something a bit bigger on their person, the Armpocket Mega and Watache Unisex are both great options with zippered pockets for your cards, keys, some cash, ID, and more. On the flip side, if you're looking for something slim and unobtrusive, the Trianium Large and Bone Collection Run Tie are both solid. The Run Tie holds phones in an extremely secure position, making it a smart choice for rigorous tasks like cardio, running, manual labor, and more. The VUP Hiking uses a similar stretch-band design to hold devices in place, with the added benefit that it can turn to orient your phone in landscape or portrait mode. This is helpful if you take your phone everywhere and plan on using it often.

Special Honors

Koala Clip Original For women who want the security of having a phone present but would prefer to keep it out of sight while running, the Koala Clip is a convenient option. You tuck the pouch into the back of your sports bra and secure it via a magnetic clip. A zipper enclosure keeps your phone from falling out, while the sweat-resistant fabric protects it. It comes in several colors and sizes, accommodating small devices and those in bulky cases, and there's a Lux edition with added storage.

4. Armpocket Mega

5. Trianium Large

6. VUP Hiking

7. Watache Unisex

8. Lifeproof Lifeactiv

9. RevereSport Extra

10. MyBand Elite

A Brief History Of Wearable Technology

The Walkman would be replaced by the Discman when CDs replaced tapes, and mp3 players killed off both of them in the first part of the 21st century.

Pinpointing the origins of wearable technology is a tricky proposition, one that depends entirely on what we mean by "technology." After all, the first caveman who threw a saber-toothed tiger pelt on his back technically invented wearable technology.

For our purposes, though, we're going to skip all the basic stuff like early eyeglasses and wrist watches. We're going to focus on wearable electronics (although we'd be pretty impressed if we saw you wearing a saber-toothed tiger pelt).

The first wearable computer was made in the 1960s, and like all great advances in technology, it was designed to cheat at roulette. A math professor named Edward Thorp and his partner, Claude Shannon, created a computer that could fit inside a shoe and had a timing device that predicted where the ball would land.

The next decade brought the calculator watch, which was like a Batsignal for nerds everywhere. These accessories were surprisingly expensive, and would eventually give way to video game watches, and even wrist computers.

In 1979, the Sony Walkman hit the scene, allowing people to take their music with them wherever they went while also avoiding any unnecessary human contact. The Walkman would be replaced by the Discman when CDs replaced tapes, and mp3 players killed off both of them in the first part of the 21st century.

That's when most wearable tech took off. Apple debuted the iPod in 2001, which could hold thousands of songs in a small, unobtrusive device. Fitness companies took this new breakthrough and ran with it, as manufacturers like Nike and Fitbit created wearable devices that tracked fitness goals.

All of these new gadgets had an unforeseen impact on society. Suddenly, many people became obsessed with documenting every aspect of their lives. This led to wearable cameras, like the GoPro, and devices like cell phones and fitness trackers logged an obscene amount of personal data — everything from where you go and what you see to how many calories you burned on the way there.

It's probable we're just scratching the surface of wearable tech. The healthcare field will likely incorporate it more and more, and security personnel should expect to start needing to wear cameras that chronicle their interactions with the public.

Most importantly, though, Instagrammers will find it easier to record every single plate of food they order.

Benefits Of A Smartphone Armband

You already know you need to work out, but it's just so boring. Logging mile after mile or lift after lift can make you feel like you're losing your mind, which is why trying to entertain yourself at the same time is such a smart idea.

Unfortunately, carrying your phone around is incredibly cumbersome. That's where the armband comes in — it lets you have all the benefits of your phone without having to constantly keep up with it.

You already know you need to work out, but it's just so boring.

The benefits of having your phone close at hand extend beyond just keeping yourself entertained, as listening to music can actually improve your performance.

If you have an app that tracks your progress, your phone can help you push past barriers in your training. This also comes in handy if you're the type who forgets what exercises they did yesterday, and in what amounts.

Even better, they can free up time for you to hit the gym. You can take calls or answer emails while you're running on the treadmill or pedaling the elliptical, so there are no excuses for missing a session.

If you exercise outside, having your phone with you could literally save your life. If you get injured or attacked, being able to quickly call for help is of critical importance. Also, if you get lost on a jog, you can map the way back to your house (and avoid any questionable neighborhoods along the way). Just be careful not to get so focused on your screen that you ignore your surroundings.

The best part, though, is that having your phone lets you call an Uber instead of having to run all the way back home.

Other Ways To Make Your Workout More Palatable

Listen: we're not going to try to convince you that having your phone on will magically make your workout a bunch of fun and games.

However, if you're struggling, one of the best ways to combat that is to literally change your workout to fun and games. It's much easier to get your cardio in when you're playing a game of basketball, or to build muscle while scaling a mountain. If you enjoy the activity, you're more likely to keep doing it — and that means you'll see results.

The bottom line is, it's no longer acceptable to skip the gym just because you hate working out.

Don't work out alone, either. Having a buddy can keep you motivated, as you can each challenge each other to push harder. Also, it gives you someone to talk to, and that can make the time fly by.

If none of your friends are interested in sweating alongside you, consider joining a class. You'll meet new people (probably attractive new people), and you can try a variety of classes to keep things fresh.

Plus, if you're the competitive type, having others present will help you challenge yourself. Even if you're alone, trying to beat a personal best can be all you need to convince yourself to hit the gym after work every day.

There are a variety of apps that can help with this, as well. You can test yourself against strangers around the world, or download one that lets you pretend you're running from zombies or aliens. You might even find one that pays you to work out — or punishes you financially when you don't.

The bottom line is, it's no longer acceptable to skip the gym just because you hate working out. If you dig a little bit, you're sure to find something that makes hitting the gym fun for you — like judging everyone who isn't there.

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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