What's the best way to carry all my stuff outside when I work out?
July 6, 2009 7:33 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to carry keys, water, mp3 player, and wallet when you're working out outside? Do you have a favorite fanny pack (how...not chic) or have you come up with some alternative arrangement? Would you please share?

I've decided to try to run around Philadelphia and start exercising outside. Except I keep my wallet and keys and phone and iPod in my pocket -- and carry my water -- and everything jangles about like a bell ringer at Christmas.

I was wondering if there's a brand of belt pack or backpack that works especially well with people doing things like running, skipping, and running stairs. The belt packs I encounter on the street are particularly hideous -- and I'm looking for practical, not aesthetic -- but I'm not even sure those belt packs stay put should their owners decide to race around a track.

So...how do you secure your stuff? Thank you.
posted by melodykramer to Health & Fitness (32 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Ultimate Direction is popular among trail runners and folks like that.
posted by box at 7:36 AM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: I should also say that I'm a 5'2'' lady and so a large pack would look and feel funky on my tush.
posted by melodykramer at 7:49 AM on July 6, 2009

When I run, I have a pair of shorts with 1 small internal pocket. In there I put 1 house key, my ID, 1 credit card, and my iPhone.

With such a small amount of stuff, it doesn't really jangle all that much, if at all.

One thing you could do is get an arm band for the iPod, and then leave the 1 key, ID, and Credit Card in your pocket.

For the water, just carry a bottle of water in your hand, or use your credit card to buy one on your journey. :)
posted by xotis at 7:51 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: My brother is in the military and hooked me up with a camelbak via shady supply sources. Your tax dollars at work people.

I honestly would have never used one due to the ugly camo look but after trying it out, I won't use anything else. They have other colors and styles available, come to find out. I love it as it is very lightweight, has a few extra pouches for holding stuff and has a huge reservoir for fluids. Don't let the size in the link fool you, it is actually very small. It is shorter, narrower, and thinner than a standard backpack. I replaced my heli-pack for back country snowboarding with it and can wear the thing under my hoodie without looking like a hunchback.

Might that be up your alley? Here is a nice looking version specifically for the ladies also.
posted by Gravitus at 7:58 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some of the camelbaks have pouches and whatnot for stowing things. You might be more comfortable with a load on your shoulders/upper back than across the hips/lower back.
posted by jquinby at 7:58 AM on July 6, 2009

(dammit, should have previewed. what gravitus said)
posted by jquinby at 7:58 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: Are you able to carry a little less when you're running around outside? For example, if you're outside for less than an hour and you drink plenty of water throughout the day, you don't need to carry a water bottle during your workout. Unless you're running errands immediately after your workout, you probably don't need your wallet, either - maybe just pull out an ID card to have on hand in case of emergencies. And if you can pare down your keys to just the ones you need to get in and out the door (and car if you're driving somewhere) on one ring - no unnecessary keys, no novelty keychains or fobs - that helps a ton, too.

Likewise, if your current iPod is bulky, consider investing in a smaller clip-on MP3 player. I have an iPod shuffle - not the latest version, but the one before that - and it's lightweight and clips on, and I love it for running.

Other than that, all I carry during a solo run is whatever keys I need and sometimes an ID card. I will carry these either in a pocket, sometimes tying the keys to my pants drawstring to secure them, or in a wrist/ankle wallet. (This one looks pretty good.) I find wearing my stuff around my ankle is less distracting than having it on my wrist, but YMMV.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:59 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I use a Quickdraw bottle holder from Nathan if I'm only carrying enough water for a short run, and an Ultimate Directions two bottle fanny pack for longer runs. The Quickdraw has a small pouch in which I put keys and money/ID. If I carry an MP3 player I carry it in my other hand.
posted by OmieWise at 8:00 AM on July 6, 2009

I was going to suggest what xotis said. Purchase water on your route. Don't carry one.

Just about every store I shop for carries running tops that have built-in ipod pockets. Everybody from Nike to no name brands. Put your ipod here. Sometimes I just clip one of those little ipods (can't remember the name) on my shirt.

Put the rest in your shorts' pocket as xotis has suggested. I only carry one house key and a five dollar bill, but I run close to home in suburban streets. You may feel more comfortable with your ID and one credit card.
posted by Fairchild at 8:01 AM on July 6, 2009

Since hipsters have co-opted everything about the 80s, fanny packs have been revolutionized to be more fashionable. Search etsy for "belt pack" and you'll come up with tons of options, including some hiking belts that may work well for running purposes.
posted by scarykarrey at 8:02 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

suggestions for paring down: I clip on my iPod and in a kangaroo pocket I carry: one key (house key) on a ring, $20 in cash, and a plastic water bottle.
posted by heather-b at 8:03 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

They might also be known as "hip pouches".
posted by scarykarrey at 8:04 AM on July 6, 2009

I don't like to disagree with other respondents, but the suggestion to buy a packaged bottle of water every time you go running? Seems like it might potentially be just a tiny bit wasteful.
posted by box at 8:37 AM on July 6, 2009 [8 favorites]

I absolutely agree with Metroid Baby above that you don't need a better bag, you need less stuff to carry.

Purchase water on your route.

Please don't do this, it's so wasteful. Actually, unless you're doing long-distance running, you shouldn't need to carry water with you. A 30-45 minute run is easily doable without a water break.

Also, leave your phone at home. Who are you calling on your run?
posted by mkultra at 8:42 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

The phone's for dialing 911.
posted by box at 8:44 AM on July 6, 2009

box: The phone's for dialing 911.

Run in a public place, in daytime. There are people and phones everywhere.
posted by mkultra at 9:00 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: Here's a tiny runner's belt you might like.

I run with my iPod Shuffle (no need for an armband), I tie my housekey into my shoelaces, and if I must have my phone, I just carry it in my hand. 95% of the time I don't run with water. If I'm doing more than 6 miles, I carry one of those 8oz gatorade bottles.

You might also look into Road ID so you don't have to carry wallet/ID.
posted by peep at 9:05 AM on July 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

Don't carry or "wear" water.

fanny packs have been revolutionized to be more fashionable. Search etsy for "belt pack" and you'll come up with tons of options

Lipstick on a pig. Never wear anything hanging off your waist.

When I run I carry one ATM/debit card, wrapped with a couple of bills and two keys. All fit neatly in that little front inside pocket of the running shorts. Leave the phone at home. Mp3's are small enough to clip on your waistband and cannot be seen under your shirt.

And what do you need a wallet for when you're running?
posted by Zambrano at 9:12 AM on July 6, 2009

In the carry-less-stuff vein, do you need to carry keys? This won't work for everybody (apartment dwellers, those who drive to a running place) but you can get lock boxes which keep your house key secure and you never have to carry it with you.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:16 AM on July 6, 2009

spandex shorts and your stuff in a plastic baggie in your waistband. Teh spandex can be worn under looser more fashionable shorts if you prefer. This is how I used to hold onto extra balls when playing tennis, in addition to my ID and key. The water bottle can be carried.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:16 AM on July 6, 2009

I personally have found a small backpack to be ideal. Those camelbak things look pretty reasonable; I myself use an awesome Yoda backpack, but that's not for everyone ;).
posted by Jacen Solo at 9:19 AM on July 6, 2009

When I was running a lot I used one of these. It held my housekey, ID and ATM card. I didn't carry a phone or water, and I ran without an iPod.

I'm unclear on the need for the phone. If it's truly a security issue, then really you *don't* want to be wearing an iPod while running. I understand that workouts are a lot more enjoyable with a soundtrack, but if you want to be outdoors, skip the music so you can keep your wits about you w/r/t traffic and other potential bad actors. A couple of years ago a female runner was killed by a hit&run driver in San Francisco, and the only way they managed to ID her was by tracing back the iPod. There was a fair amount of speculation at the time that she never heard the car that hit her. When paring down, I'd prioritize the phone over the iPod, but really do you need to be reachable even on a run?
posted by ambrosia at 9:46 AM on July 6, 2009

How about amphipod's stuff? Either a small hip pocket or a bum pack.
posted by aeighty at 10:08 AM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: I carry a phone in case of emergency. Even though I tend to do this stuff during daylight hours, I want to make sure I have a phone, particularly because I plan to jog around a track at a college stadium in West Philadelphia (safe, daylight, but sometimes it's better to have a phone -- just in case...)
posted by melodykramer at 10:25 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: ipod = armband
water = not really necessary for workouts of <1> key = separate key on a necklace tucked into sports bra
ID = RoadID
Money = I only carry it on bike rides, and then I just tuck it into my sock.
posted by Miko at 10:27 AM on July 6, 2009

not really necessary for workouts of <1> *

Make that "not really necessary for workouts of less than one hour. If you really need water, just get a metal bottle and hold onto it as you run."
posted by Miko at 10:28 AM on July 6, 2009

I do similar to what several others have posted: iPod nano in my hand, RoadID in my shoelaces, and housekey tied to my drawstring and tucked in the waist-band. This is partly by necessity, since my running shorts don't have pockets, and partly because I hate stuff moving as I run.
posted by smackfu at 10:37 AM on July 6, 2009

If you are jogging around a track at a college stadium, just leave your water somewhere along the side of the track. Maybe I'm being lazy or tempting fate, but I usually leave my id (always an old expired one in case I lose it) stashed underneath the water bottle in that situation. Key goes either in a pocket or laced into one of my shoes.

I've never carried both an mp3 player and a phone for the reason people mention--if I'm in a place where safety is an issue, I'd never feel comfortable tuning out the world with my headphones on. And one of those is enough for me to carry. I have a belt clip for my ipod or I do the underwear waistband tuck on one of my hips. A lot of times I carry my keys that way on the other side if I dont' have a pocket. For the times I do have pockets, I put a rubber band around the keys so that they don't jingle as I run.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:58 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: I use an Amphipod belt. It's got an elastic band so it's pretty snug around my waist and doesn't move around much. I don't have the belts with water bottle clips, but if you check the link, there are models available.

What helps keep the belt snug, I think, is the fact that I only carry the basic necessities. I have one housekey, removed from my keyring since I don't need the rest of them. I also bring my ID card, not my wallet, and generally I don't bring any cash. The rest of the space inside that belt is for my smartphone (with keypad locked).

For my iPod Nano, I use the iSkin Duo case and clip the player to the belt, running the headphone cords under my shirt. However, I keep the volume of music down so that I am still able to carry on a conversation whilst the music is playing, just so I can hear traffic or other people when necessary.
posted by CancerMan at 11:23 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: I used to safety-pin a fabric pouch that was just big enough to hold my ID and some cash to the inside of my shorts, then tie my keys onto my shoes and hold my ipod. I recently got a Belkin Dual Armband for my iPod Touch- iPod and ID, cash if I need it go into the Ipod slot, and there's a case in the back for my keys. If you really need water, get a bottle with a handle that you can hold in your hand.
posted by kro at 12:32 PM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you all for your help. I'm probably going to order one of those waist belts -- and here's why: even though I'll be jogging slash limping around a college track, occasionally shady characters enter the track and would have no issue swiping a water bottle or something of that nature. It's best to have everything on my body based on where I live. :P Thanks again, and I will let you know how it works out.
posted by melodykramer at 2:15 PM on July 6, 2009

get an ipod nano. they come with built in clip, weigh next to nothing and very comfortable for workouts.
ditch the phone at home, leave it in your car, or hold it in your hand.
bills are folded into the shoe.
keys (2 max) go into the tiny key pocket in my running shorts or get tied into the shoe laces.
id goes into the back of the waist band of my shorts, inside my undies. a bit gross, i wash it afterwards.
posted by ye#ara at 2:17 PM on July 6, 2009

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