Aug 23, 2010

Gear Review: Amphipod Runlite 4 Hydration Belt

In my last post about the Nathan Quickdraw Plus, I mentioned that I started searching again for higher capacity hydration pack since I decided to take on longer distances already. This decision was actually motivated by my plan to join the 21K category of the Adidas King of the Road Race 2010 on October 24.

Besides handheld hydration bottles, the next kits I saw were the hydration belts. I thought before that these belts were overkill since I was only running 5K and 10K races. On the other hand, now that I am moving to the 15K marker and beyond, I have started looking into these belts again.

I was able to found 2 of the popular hydration belts locally. These are the Speed 4R from Nathan and the Helium 4-Bottle Belt from Fuel Belt. Unfortunately, these two belts did not appeal to my form and function standards. Don't get me wrong, these belts get the job done but I just don't find the "it" factor in these belts.

One day, Carrie showed me a picture of the Amphipod hydration belt and from then on, I knew I found my hydration belt.

Luckily I was able to find a local seller of the Amphipod. Here's his Multiply account for those who are also looking for one. What I bought was the Run Lite 4, the one pictured above. I already made sure that I have enough even up to when I decide to run my first marathon.

What endeared me to the Amphipod is the simplicity of its design via the quick-click access to the bottles and the versatility of the bottle locations depending on your needs and/or preferences.

I have used my Amphipod once in a 15K race and 3 times during training and I am all thumbs up for this product. Comfort and usability are all top-notched. The bottles themselves are all well-made and leak-free since my current configuration is the bottles are placed horizontally along the belt.

I do have some words of caution though which I listed below.

1. Make sure that you hear a click when you snap the bottle back to its holder. I read several stories in the Web that, for whatever reasons, they were not able to put the bottle back properly, the bottle popped off from its holder and got lost. With this in mind, I normally get my bottle during my walk breaks. I tried getting and or returning the bottle while I was running and it was a bit more challenging and admittedly more prone to error.

2.  Make sure that the cap of the bottle is fully closed when you return it to its holder. This is most applicable if your bottles are placed horizontally along the belt. When the cap is not properly closed, the liquid inside the bottle will leak when you run. Of course, this is not a design problem for the bottle but rather a user problem.


  1. I like hydration pack but the bladder is really hard to keep clean and fill on the fly! Although for now I am back on hand bottles! The belt seems to be best to use instead of bottles.

  2. Hi Din, thank you very much for sharing your blog and opinions. May I ask where you were able to buy the Nathan4R and Helium4 locally and how much they would cost? Many thanks again, T.

  3. you're welcome. thanks also for visiting our blog.

    unfortunately i did not buy anymore the nathan and helium belts. on othe other hand, i saw some nathan belts at the runnr store in bonifacio high street.

    i hope this helps.

  4. Yes it very helpful, thank you very much for your prompt reply. Good luck on your next run. T.

  5. you're welcome. good luck too. =)

  6. Hello, this might be a bit too late, I just bought this same hydration belt. I am wondering how you got to place the bottles horizontally? coz I can't get the bottles through the belt because of the "harangs", the one that controls the adjustment (sorry don't know what it's called hehe)


    1. hi,
      where did you bought the item?

    2. hi,

      thanks for visiting our blog. i bought the hydration belt from a runner's circle philippines: I hope this helps.

  7. hi whye. thanks for visiting our blog. what i did is to remove the bottle from its holder and then move the "harangs" inside the hole of the holder by inserting one end and then slowing twisting it until the other end fits through the hole. i hope you can visualize what i mentioned described above. good luck!

  8. hi! thanks for this review. been comparing for 3 days what to but, either the nathan 4r or the amphipod runlite 4.. so many positive and negative comments when you search the web. and i think the users are somewhat to blame nga for carelessness.. anyway, I'm ordering the amphipod also.. ask ko lang if the belt does not chafe or move from hips to waist? thanks a lot!

  9. hi chase. thanks for visiting our blog. yes, the belt does chafe if it comes into contact with your skin. what i do is to apply body glide in my skin areas which will potentially come into contact with the belt.

    if you have secured the belt around your waist, it will not move. this will require some tests though from your end to find the right adjustment. if it will move, this is most often than not the cause of skin chafing.

    i hope these helps.