Going out for a run? Don’t want to take too much with you? If you are not planning on running far enough to warrant a hydration vest or running backpack but still need some essentials, here are our top tips for carrying essentials when running:

What Are the Essentials?

Popping out around the block for a few miles is a bit different to heading out on the trails. You may be able to get away without carrying anything for a short road run other than perhaps your front door key. As we are normally heading out on to the trails and off the beaten track, we usually always carry the following;

• Phone – safety, pictures, nav
• Car or house key (depending on where we are running from)
• Debit card (Apple Pay on phone comes in really handy)

Your Options

How much you plan on carrying, will determine what kind of solution you need. In this article, we take a look at the following options:

  • Hidden pockets
  • Running belts
  • Running vest phone holder
  • Running armbands
  • Wristbands
  • Hydration Belts

Of course, in addition to what you are carrying, personal preference and comfort also need to be considered. While a running holster may be perfect for some, others may prefer an armband.

Hidden Pockets

If you are just looking for somewhere to keep your key, many shorts and leggings come with a handy built in pocket that is perfect for stashing your key safely. And it’s not just shorts. Other items of running clothing, including sports bras, also come with hidden pockets. Gloves have a handy pouch for your key too but I often carry my key inside my glove so I have my hand around it.

If you do use a pocket, make sure that it is a secure pocket. Some leggings for example feature an open pocket at the top of the waistband and, while I have never lost a key, I often find myself checking that it is still there. I prefer the shorts with the zipper on the back or the really secure zipped internal pockets.

Running Belt

There are many running belts to choose from and new, innovative versions are always being introduced. The more popular ones tend to be the ones you can wear under or over your shirt that like flat to your skin so that they feel secure. Nothing worse wearing something cumbersome that just bounces around as you run. Our recommendation is this Eono Water Resistant Running Belt from Amazon. At less than £10 it’s handy for carrying any make or model of mobile phone, a car key, debit card and even a Snickers if you get hungry!

Also worth checking out this Build & Fitness Running Belt

Both of the above come in a range of colours

Running Vest Phone Holder

The Runitude Running Vest Phone Holder goes over the shoulders. There is a zip pull cord to quickly open and close your phone pouch holder. It fits many brands and models of phones and is water resistant too.



Running Armband

Strapped around the  arm, the running armband is great for storing the aforementioned items. Be sure to get the right size for your phone though.

Wrist Bands

Kill two birds with one stone with these running wrist bands which not only make great sweatbands but also have handy pockets in for stowing your keys

Carrying Water – Hydration Belts

If it is a hot day and you are planning on running a bit longer but don’t want a vest, you can use a hydration belt. There are a few to choose from and they don’t have to break the bank. We tend to either go on recommendation from friends or look on Amazon for the most popular products with the best reviews. A quick read of the reviews will tell you what other runners have found to be their experience with products.

Choose from the one bottle belt or something with two bottles which we find to be more balanced. The bottles usually come with the belts but it is worth checking out if this is the case before you check out.

For those who like to listen to music on the run, many running belts have a small hole for your ear phone wires although many headphones now tend to be wireless. Still, I’m never sure if I want to risk losing my AirPods besides, I don’t like to listen to music while I run. I am either running with someone or, if running on my own off road, I like to be able to hear what’s going on around me.

Bag it Up

If it is absolutely hammering it down and you are still heading out on a run but need to be carrying essentials when running we recommend bagging up your stuff in a sandwich, ziplock back and putting it inside your belt. Many running belts, holster or arm bands, while they claim to be water resistant, aren’t waterproof when it comes to heavy showers and the plastic bag will prevent your phone getting damaged. If you are carrying a packet of tissues for ‘incidents in the woods’, you definitely want to protect these with a plastic bag!


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