A few weeks ago Mountain Equipment Co-op emailed me a coupon code for $10 off a purchase either in-store or online. At first I was going to let it pass because free shipping requires a $50 minimum purchase. Picking up at the store would necessitate a trip to Halifax and I didn’t know when that would happen. Fortunately, I received another email about a one day promo for free shipping with no spending requirement. So I looked around the website and discovered an interesting potential purchase.
I was looking for some kind of small lightweight travel bag. I like the day bag I have but it isn’t always ideal depending on the planned activities. There are times when I just want to carry the essentials and not tote around a bag with a cross-body strap. I wasn’t really sure about a waist pack but I thought I’d take a look anyway and noticed the SPIbelt as a possible alternative.
The Large Pocket SPIbelt
These SPIbelts are primarily designed for and marketed to runners. I am not a runner although I once nearly completed the NHS “Couch to 5K” program/podcast before one foot gave out. I will say that having a pleasant British voice in your ear dishing out encouragement definitely makes it a little easier. Anyway, a big selling point of this belt is the lack of bounce when running. But this is a product that can also be used for travelling.
The pocket on the belt stretches to fit several small items including a phone, credit cards, cash etc. Here’s a little photographic demonstration.
I went with the large pocket version. There are other types available such as the original smaller one or the dual pocket. Mine was $29 so the $10 off code was a nice discount.
Wait – Should I have Bought A Different Belt?!
I tend to seek out a variety of options when I’m going to buy something online. I then read reviews and agonize for a while. But this time I clicked on “Waist packs” where I saw this item and purchased without much pondering. Only later did I discover that if I had clicked on the “Money belts and wallets” section of the MEC website I would have seen the PacSafe Cashsafe 25 Belt Wallet. It appears to be a similar style of product albeit slightly heavier and larger. It’s aimed at travellers so the description (and explanatory name) highlights its ability to safely hold items when travelling. I’m not sure if it fits only in the category of a money belt that you don’t access when out and about. Perhaps it could also be used in a way similar to the SPIbelt which is an athletic accessory with an alternate use. If I were shopping in the store I’d size them up side by side, but online the choice is less obvious.
The SPI stands for “small personal item”. Apparently it’s pronounced “spy belt” but I just can’t bring myself to say that. I’m no secret operative. I haven’t taken this on a trip yet but so far I’m quite pleased with it. I think it will be a useful way to carry around a few small necessities. I like the fact that it can easily be hidden under one’s clothing. I expect that it won’t be all that easy to quickly remove an item with multiple objects in the stretchy pocket but maybe I’ll get used to it after a while. It’s sort of a nice updated version of the much maligned “fanny pack”.
I also learned to be a bit more thorough with my online shopping. Sometimes items with similar uses are placed in different areas of the store …or the website as in this case.