Pint-sized and smaller-framed runners who are looking to carry fluids on the go without the bulk of a back-mounted (backpack style) hydration pack have a number of lightweight hydration carriers to choose from today.
Waist-mounted bottle packs are one lightweight option which can be a great pick for kids. They allow kids to carry their own hydration fluids during a run, freeing mom or dad from having to lug around extra supplies.
Some waist-mounted bottle packs accommodate one to several bottles, and some feature a pocket or space to store a small energy snack. Newer waist hydration packs tend to feature more comfortable, breathable, and lightweight designs with smaller bottles than those of earlier hydration waist belts. These new designs are more manageable for tiny bodies on runs, even when bottles are completely filled. Waist bottle hydration packs are a great pick for short, kid-friendly training runs. They also are a good pick for kids to wear while racing, allowing them to stay fueled between aid stations.
The FuelBelt Helium H20 ($39.95) is one such super lightweight, kid-friendly waist-mounted hydration bottle belt. FuelBelt markets the Helium H20 2-Bottle as the “lightest weight hydration belt ever designed and matched only by it’s incredible comfort and flare.”
Helium H20 Features:
- One Size Fits All
- Lightweight Helium Hex-Foam
- Specially designed air channels to increase breathability
- 14 Ounces Total Fuel Capacity
- 2 (7 oz each) Ergonomic BPA-Free Bottles
- Molded Holsters
- Roomy and Removable Storage Pocket
- Adjustable Waist with S2 Soft Touch Velcro
- Soft-silicone P2 Push-Pull Bottle Caps
- Available in several different colors
Kids Trail Running Tests FuelBelt Helium H20
The Test: Kids Trail Running put the FuelBelt Helium H20 to the test on Vermont’s beautiful, rugged Kingdom Trails Network. Two runners, a 13 year-old and an 8 year-old, wore the Helium H20 2 Bottle Hydration Belt up and down hills, over roots, gravel, dirt-packed, and pine needle covered trails. Here’s what they each had to say about the totally revamped Fuelbelt Helium H20.
The 13 year old: After testing the FuelBelt Helium H20 on a trail run, she shared these thoughts:
“I think the Helium is really comfortable, lightweight, and is well-padded, which is really nice. The bottles are really cool. They didn’t get in the way at all on the run. I really like the storage pocket. It has another secret zipper pocket inside of it. The velcro doesn’t hurt when you touch it and the Fuelbelt is easy to put on. Honestly, it was more comfortable than I expected it to be, for something that sits on your waist. I still prefer a hydration backpack, but I would use this if I didn’t have a backpack or couldn’t find mine. I think other kids who run would like this FuelBelt because it’s easy to run with and it’s comfortable.”
The 8 year old: After testing the FuelBelt Helium H20 on a trail run, she shared these thoughts:
“I thought the FuelBelt [Helium H20] was okay. It felt a bit heavy for me when the bottles were full and it jiggled around. I think a belt with one bottle would be even more comfortable. It fit well though. It tightened right up to fit me. I LOVED the pink and purple colors. I think other kids would love this belt. I actually felt like a professional runner wearing it.”
Pictured above: The girls tested the FuelBelt Helium H20, the “lightest hydration belt in the world,” on an award-winning trail network in New England.
The Mom: First off, when you have kids, like it or not, aesthetics play a big part in gear decisions. FuelBelt knows how to please in the color department. The FuelBelt Helium H2O comes in several colors, and the pink/purple design is sure to especially please kids who love pinkalicious accessories.
The two ergonomic bottles are lightweight and feature soft push-pull caps. Sometimes caps can be a pain for little ones to open–and require grownup assistance. Not these. My kids had no trouble getting to their hydration fluids. The bottle openings are small, but not too small. They are similar to the openings of popular stainless steel water bottles. A bottle brush or washcloth pushed into the bottle and swirled around are probably the best bet for a thorough bottle cleaning.
The waistbelt is super light and comfortable. The honeycomb shaped foam design adds to the lightness, allowing the belt to sit comfortably against the waist. The waistbelt closure is made off soft velcro, which is sticky enough to keep the belt securely fastened while running, but isn’t so prickly to irritate skin or clothing. The waist belt is fully adjustable, and it easily adjusts to fit a tween, teen, and grownup.
The removable FuelBelt zipper pouch is a really cool feature. It’s roomy enough to hold kid-friendly snacks, gels, energy treats, or even a phone (if it is small or without a big case).
While running, the FuelBelt Helium H20 sits comfortably on the waist and rides well over varied terrain. The bottles are conveniently positioned, so it’s easy to reach the bottles mid-stride, yet they sit far enough behind on the back so they don’t get caught up in sweeping arms.
My kids and I loved testing out the FuelBelt Helium H20. Not only does it make a practical accessory for young runners and racers, but it is a fun, comfortable, and visually pleasing accessory for getting kids excited about running and out the door.
Disclosure: Kids Trail Running was not compensated for this post, however we did receive a sample for my review. This is an honest mom & kid review of the product. All opinions are our own and not influenced in any way.