I picked up this running pouch at the expo for the Boston Marathon from a young lady who suggested that it was the perfect alternative to a running belt. I was an easy sell because I was high on marathon weekend excitement (and I wasn’t even running it! God help my wallet when I do! ).
I’ve tried it out on a few long runs now in lieu of my belt.
I have an iPhone 5 and it fits with the case on, but it wouldn’t hold a much larger phone. The pouch goes inside your pants and the magnetic flap folds over your waistband to clasp the magnet in the pouch. I usually wear it on the back of my shorts – i just photographed it on the front because it was too hard to snap a pic of my own back.
The magnet is very strong and I haven’t had any problem with it coming undone over my 6-8 mile runs which is as far as I’ve tested it. Actually the magnet is so strong, my biggest worry is the magnets tearing through the fabric of the pouch when I pull them apart.
I haven’t had any trouble with chafing, but I have body glided around the area just to be safe. I think it is best used with shorts or pants or skirt with a drawstring because you can keep the pouch from sagging at all by tightening your drawstring a little. In general it is very comfortable and I don’t think about it at all while I’m running. I’ve had the problem of my belt causing my shirt to ride up while I run, which is terrible for modesty and, more importantly – race photos! For races that I run with my phone, I’ll be rocking this pouch from now on for less midriff.
I really like that the pouch has a hole on the side for headphones. It is definitely easier to use when listening to music than my belt. It takes me a little longer to get the phone in and out of it than my belt because it’s more snug, so if you take a ton of pics while you run you might get frustrated with this pouch, but why are you taking so many pictures?! Get running!!
If you chose not to run with your phone, the pouch would hold quite a few gels and may solve the problem of those Cliff Bloks that come in a line and don’t fit nicely in a pocket. Because of that strong magnet, it might be a little more work to get your gels out of there mid run, but you are unlikely to lose them, so that may be an upside. There is also a zipper pocket on top where you could fit one or two gels, so this pouch may be sufficient for up to a half for holding phone and nutrition.
The woman who sold it to me also claimed that it is water proof, but one of the reviews on the website and the amazon product description both say water resistant. Still not too shabby – I’ll just stick to the old fashioned Ziploc bag phone protection system if I’m running in a downpour. [After checking the FAQs on the website, it says that the larger model has a water proof lining, but on extra sweaty runs they recomend you Ziplocing it up.]
Ultimately, you may be able to fit more stuff in a belt, so if you carry all your nutrition and your phone in your belt this may not be for you, but for carrying my phone and keys I definitely choose this pouch.
UPDATE: I went on ten mile run on Sunday and packed my Roo pouch with my phone, one Honey Stinger gel, and my keys to answer a few questions about storage space. I found that everything fit just fine. That being said, I first but the gel in the top zipper pocket and it felt a bit bulky, and my boyfriend said I looked like I had a bubble butt. SO, I moved the gel to the inside pocket, standing up next to my phone. It fit fine and felt (and looked) less bulky, and was easy to pull out while running. The more you put in the pocket, the more you need to tighten your drawstring to prevent any feeling of sag, but I have to say, once I tightened my drawstring, I really didn’t notice the pouch at all while running. If I didn’t have my phone with me, I definitely could have fit 3-4 gels (or blocks) standing up in the pouch and they would have been super easy to get out while running.