My favourite piece of gear this season is Salomon’s Advanced Skin S-Lab Belt Set. It’s a lightweight, flexible and form-fitting belt that can comfortably carry gels, flasks and any other small items needed during a trail run or race.
Each year, Salomon releases new shoes, clothing and gear that have been crafted by their designers in consultation with their top athletes. Prior to public release, the S-Lab products are rigorously tested in training and race situations by top Salomon athletes. If the products don’t perform at the highest level, they don’t make it to the market.
The Advanced Skin S-Lab Belt is one of the newest S-Lab products. The belt features two halves (front and back) that connect together with quick-release fasteners located on the both sides. The sizing of the belt can be easily adjusted on either side to fit your waist.
At the back, the belt has two large pockets, each of which can hold an 8oz soft flask (note: the belt comes with one 8oz flask included). There is a stretchy band at the top of each of these pockets that can help secure the flasks or other items. Alternatively, you can use the rear pockets to store gels or other larger items.
At the front, the belt features two large zippered pockets that can hold items such as gels, phone, iPod, keys, etc., without them easily falling out. On top of each zippered pocket is another smaller pocket that can hold gels or other small items.
As the belt is soft and flexible, you can rotate it around your waist whenever you want to easily access the pockets. This is helpful in longer races when you are adding new items to the rear pockets and you want to ensure you pack them efficiently. As well, the mesh material keeps the belt lightweight, breathable and fast drying.
The design of the belt offers many options for use. If you’re going to be running for a short period of time, you can carry one or two 8oz flasks of water in the rear pockets and store your keys, phone and a couple of gels in the front pockets. If you want to carry a bit more water, then you can combine this option with the Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set and carry an additional 8oz flask or two easily in your hands. This will enable you to carry 24-32oz of water in flasks that can be flattened and stored in the belt when empty. If you are running or racing for a longer period of time, you can use the rear pockets to store gels and other food items that you will need and rely on larger handheld bottles or a hydration pack for water.
If you’re a Canadian resident, you could win a free Advanced Skin S-Lab Belt. Details at the Salomon Canada website here.