Saturday, September 29, 2012

SPI belt & an urgent board meeting

I'm always looking for new bits of gear to make my adventures on water and land go a little smoother.  A friend recently turned me on to SPI Belt, which stands for 'small personal items' belt.  It's a pretty cool little pack for bringing essential items on a run, hike or paddle.

There are two versions of the SPI Belt... one for dry land activities and one with a waterproof pouch for folks who stand a chance at a dunk in the old H2O.  You can guess which one I went for.

The pouch is made of stretchy fabric so it expands to hold your cell phone, wallet, ipod or whatever other small items you need to bring along.  

In my case, I brought along my GPS to record mileage and speed on today's training run.  I usually don't run much, but in a moment of weakness let my sister convince me to join her in a 10-mile race in Minneapolis next week.  In typical fashion, I figured 6 days out was the appropriate time to start training (procrastination is a particular skill of mine).  I ran 3 miles today, half at a moderate pace and half doing sprint intervals.  I found the SPI Belt comfortable... I barely noticed I was wearing it.  During the sprints the GPS got to bouncing a bit, but I tightened up the belt and it held fast.  Overall the belt performed perfectly.  The one criticism I have is that the waterproof pouch is just a single ziploc type seal.  All the dry pouches I have, especially for electronics, have multiple seals... either a double ziploc or a zip along with a rolled seam held with velcro.  As it is, I wouldn't trust the SPI Belt with my cell phone on a paddle where I was likely to take a swim.  No worries though... when I want to use it for a paddle I'll just put my cell phone in my tried and proven dry-case then put that inside the SPI Belt. Good to go.

Here's the label... look for SPI Belt at your local running/outdoor shop or online.  But be sure to do it tonight, because tomorrow is looking pretty epic.  It's been blowing out of the North since mid-afternoon today and it's expected to persist through the day tomorrow.  There should be a nice wave by morning and enough wind to sail or kite, so load your gear and get some rest for tomorrow's 'board meeting'.  

See you on the water!

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