I first heard about the Naked Running Band several months ago and saw that many runners in Hong Kong, Europe and America were using it, but it was getting very limited exposure in the southern hemisphere. This however is likely to change I believe as we gain more knowledge of the product plus I believe steps have already been taken by many several Aussie trail running stores to start stocking the product. I was initially hesitant about trying the product because traditionally I have avoided running belts purely because they are usually incredibly impractical and uncomfortable with a lot of bounce and minimal capacity for carrying gear.
These issues however were all addressed with the Naked Running Band, which fits tightly around your waist and hugs the body leading to a nice fit and literally no bounce when running.
The capacity of the belt is 3-4 litres and this mainly through the stretchy pockets which can hold all variety of things, such as phones, food, water, lightweight jackets, etc. This makes it perfect for races that have minimal gear or if you have really lightweight compact gear, plus there is a section on the back of the belt for storing poles. This all makes for a great piece of gear if you wish to run light and with minimal gear, and for many it would work well for those low to medium distance trail races. However this would not necessarily be a great choice for those long distance events that 100 kilometres plus that require a much longer list of mandatory gear, for example Ultra Trail Australia (but would work for Vibram Hong Kong 100 due to different gear requirements, so it just depends).
The belt also has two adjustable cords at the front to which you can attach your race bib and given the stretchy fabric of the belt even if it is empty it will still hug the body tightly and not feel loose. There are no zips on the pockets rather they are more like very tight pouches which makes it very easy to use and minimises fumbling around while running, especially in colder weather where you might need to work a little harder to get zips open.
I decided to get a Naked Running Band V2 on a recent trip to Hong Kong and gave it a good test run on a route along Pat Sin Leng, this is a quintessential Hong Kong trail that included stairs, hills and technical sections. I highly recommend this route if your ever in Hong Kong, it is beautiful. I was out for just over three hours and the belt performed very well and at no point did I feel like I had something bouncing around on my tummy. I was carrying water, phone, wallet, beanie, gloves and some food, and even as the belt got lighter towards the end as I drank the water its bounce was still minimal, and to be honest I hardly noticed the belt while I was moving.
Thus as a generalisation the naked running belt is great for trail running events that require minimal gear and for those who wish to travel light and fast, plus it also makes for a fantastic training tool. The pricing of the belt I also think is reasonable and you be looking to pay AUD$70-80 depending on where you purchase. I really hope to see more of these down under as I think they are a great piece of gear for any trail runner. Finally shout out to the guys at Gone Running in Hong Kong for helping me with my purchase, your advice and service was great and I highly recommend them for all things trail running related if you’re in Hong Kong. Happy running everyone.
As reviewer, David has no personal or business interests in the Naked brand and purchased the Naked band with his own hard-earned cash.