06 August 2015

Running kit review: Montane Bite 1

Way back in June I won a competition from Accelerate UK for some Montane kit which consisted of a Featherlite jacket, hydration belt, t-shirt, and 3/4 tights. The jacket is awesome, I've worn it several times but as of yet I've not tried out the shirt or tights--it's summer (sort of) so I'm wearing vests and shorts or running skirts as much as possible right now.  The Bite 1 hydration belt also didn't get tested out until last week because I've not gone on any runs long enough to justify the use of one since it arrived.  I finally decided that I should take it out for a spin on a short run to find out if it would cause any issues on a longer one.

Montane bite 1 hydration belt

First impressions:  It looks heavy.  Even my friend who I was meeting for a run the day I tested it out commented that it looked heavy.  It doesn't feel it once you get moving but it's hard to get past the psychology of it appearing that way.

Looks like I'm getting ready for a quick draw!

Next thing you notice is the pocket material, it's crinkly. And noisy as you are loading up whatever gear you are taking along.  Again, once you are moving it's not noticeable until you need to get something out and then you are reminded of the crinkliness (yes I know that's not really a word) and noisiness.

Roomy pocket

The pocket is nice and large though, big enough for a phone, gels, tissue, keys, a peanut butter sandwich, whatever you think you might need. It's large enough to fold up the Featherlite jacket and stow it away as well if you omit the sandwich from the aforementioned items.  But there is a downside to that roominess, it needs a smaller pocket within to kind of separate things out otherwise it's like a bottomless purse where things disappear never to be seen again unless you dump everything out.

Fiddly bottle

Is it going in yet?

Still trying to get it in place

Last step! But still not quite fully seated

I also wasn't impressed with the water bottle, it has a flat side that is meant to fit flush against your back but while on the run it's fiddly trying to get it back into place because it isn't different enough from the other sides by feel. It also started leaking around the lid during today's picture taking session. Amphipod totally wins with their shaped bottles because you don't have to take too much attention away from running to get the bottle back in place, if I decide to keep the Montane belt I will simply use those bottles with it rather than the one that came with it.

Excess belt

What I did really like about the Bite 1 is that it stayed in placed while running thanks to the stretch belt.  Only very minimal adjustments were needed which is miles better than the majority of belts I've tried out.  I have the excess bit of belt looped over and tucked under in the photos but there is a bit of blue strapping there to loop it through--something I didn't notice the first 2 times I wore it! Definitely a d'oh moment for me.

Belt wrapped over and tucked in

The mesh fabric on the inside of the belt is quite comfortable and according to the hang tag it is coated with an antibacterial treatment (no stink!).  Haven't tested it out enough to find out if the anti-stink actually works though.

Mesh on the inside of the Bite 1

One last thing that isn't normally an issue for the UK is that the black version can feel hot if you are running on a warmish day.  Normally not a problem for here but if you live where it stays warm I would suggest opting for the light blue version of the belt because the black absorbed the heat quite rapidly.

As of right now I'm not sure if I will keep the belt, I do like that the pocket is waterproof and large enough to fill with the necessities of a longer run but the water bottle being so fiddly might be a deal breaker if my amphipod bottle doesn't work with it.  The Bite 1 also rides further up on the waist than I usually prefer but at least it didn't bobble about like a Salomon belt does that I have.

Thank you again Accelerate for running such awesome contests! 

1 comment:

TWBrit said...

I think with all these things, they're a long term "work in progress".
The fact it grips so well will be enough for many, but the bottle does seem a little fiddly at best.