It's like they made a fanny pack ... sexy

 By Jarrett Bellini | @JarrettBellini 
 Apparently This Matters 

I was doing a review for the RunPhones wireless audio headband and needed to test its Bluetooth capability in a real-world, high-intensity athletic scenario. But no actual athletes were available. 

So I braved the possibility of sweat and/or injury and, with a bare minimum of effort, did it myself.

The horror. The horror.

Unfortunately, I've never used Bluetooth for a workout - I'm always wired to my iPod Classic - and, thus, didn't have an armband to securely bring along my iPhone. The only option was to just put it in my shorts pocket like a complete idiot. 

So I did that. Because I am.

And about halfway through my regular run - roughly sixteen feet from the front door - I quickly realized that, during a vigorous workout, the pocket is a terrible place for an iPhone. What with all the shifting and swaying and bouncing and man-parts.

I walked the rest of the way. And that was nice because it didn't require heavy breathing. Which, in turn, didn't require vomiting on somebody's front lawn. 

But I still wanted to give the RunPhones a proper, full-motion Bluetooth test, and remembered a product I had recently heard about called the FlipBelt. It was supposed to be the answer for exercising with a cell phone.

Eventually, I got my hands on one, and now I'm completely sold.

First Look:
FlipBelt describes itself as "the original tubular belt." Which is accurate because it is, in fact, a belt. And it's also a tube. 

Apparently the "original."

Either way, it's stupendous. And it fits like ... a belt.

Now, I'm not a particularly large man - people and animals don't fear me in nature - but I still ordered a large. Because I enjoy fudge. 

Typically, though, I consider myself a medium. However, large is what the FlipBelt people recommend for a size 32" - 35" waist.  So, that's what I got. And it was perfect.

The material is a soft (but sturdy) lightweight micropoly/lycra fabric, and it's well constructed into the shape of the aforementioned tube.

Leading into this tube are four separate exterior openings in which you can shove stuff. In an ideal situation, an athlete might take a phone, keys, ID, and maybe some energy gels. 

Of course, you can also fill it with Jolly Ranchers and never leave your front porch.

That's an option. Just throwing it out there.

On the newest version, the main exterior opening - situated just above the reflective logo - is fitted with a secure zipper. This is an updated improvement, and probably where you should put your phone. 

Another opening has an internal hook for your keys.

The other two are empty. And by my estimation, they can each hold about 17 Jolly Ranchers.

Again, just throwing it out there.

The Big Test:
I first tried to put my FlipBelt on by pulling it down over my head. Which was admittedly pretty stupid. 

After about the tenth failed attempt and four desperate calls to 911, I finally pulled it up from around my feet. 

Pro Tip: That's how you do it.

Secured inside the belt, in addition to my house keys, I had my phone. I initially positioned it in the front, resting comfortably between my belly and my gonads.

And it wasn't uncomfortable. The FlipBelt felt good, and I barely even knew it was there.

The only major problem was that the Bluetooth couldn't make a solid connection to my earphones, suggesting that, perhaps, I'm completely filled with lead. Which would raise serious questions about my childhood. And would also explain pretty much ... everything.

We're talking about a distance of three feet, so I was a little surprised by the poor connection. Though it almost certainly says less about the FlipBelt, and more about the Bluetooth strength and positioning of the RunPhones. 

When I adjusted the FlipBelt so the phone was reversed, now resting above my butt, the connection was perfect.

The reflective logo was also now facing out from my back, which means this is probably how I should've worn it in the first place. 

I don't always get things.

The run was perfect. At least insomuch as a run can be an enjoyable experience. The FlipBelt didn't move. It was never uncomfortable. And it allowed me to exercise with my iPhone for the first time ever.

And, as an unexpected bonus, I felt a new sense of mobility from not having anything strapped to or tethered from my arms. I was free to do whatever I wanted with them. 

Like clutch my chest.

Overall Thoughts and Suggestions:
There was nothing I didn't like about the FlipBelt. Wired or unwired, it's the perfect accessory for working out in these modern times when we're no longer capable of breaking a sweat without being within inches of our phones. 

You know, so we can tweet about it.

And speaking of sweat, it's worth noting that the FlipBelt isn't waterproof. The company makes this very clear. So, if you are prone to heavy perspiration - gross - wear the belt outside your pants to avoid moisture getting into your items. And in rainy situations, you should probably just stay home and watch Netlfix.

That, or pack your phone inside a Ziplock bag.

I did that during one of my recent runs because apparently we're never going to see the sun again in Atlanta. 

In a fine afternoon mist, I tested the Ziplock strategy and was good to go. 

Back at the house, I celebrated this small victory by pulling off the FlipBelt and dropping it to the floor with a thud. The thud being the sound of my iPhone hitting hardwood. 

Not very smart. I blame the lead.


glenn said...

holy crap balls! this is exactly what i've been looking for. thx!

Anonymous said...

This was the funniest review ever.

Bucketyearlady said...

I've been really curious about the flip belt for shorter runs where I don't need my fuel belt, but does it jostle? I keep thinking I'll feel my keys flying with every step and end up with a rub rash all around my waist.

Jarrett Bellini said...

I'm telling you - nothing moved! I almost forgot I had my keys with me. I was aware of the phone at first, but after just a short bit I forgot about that, too.