Review: Belkin Sport Armband
figure 1: the Belkin Sport Armband. Note the absence of the holes by the key slot
I quit smoking over a year ago. I didn't like how expensive it all was (a pack a day gets expensive quick), so I started rolling my own cigarettes; which is probably way worse for you. I liked smoking, but I knew I had to quit. I was going to be moving in to a house, meaning my tiny little monthly rent was going to jump up to a ginormous monthly mortgage. So I quit. Boy, did that suck. I mean, it sucked at first. Eventually I was done with smoking and that's great, nothing bad about that. Except for the 30 pounds I packed on. The charts don't say I'm overweight, but I started running anyway. It's either that or buy a whole bunch of pants.
I can do a mile without killing myself, so that's great. It takes a while; long enough that I sometimes wish for music or podcasts as I jog. But, I'm not really excited about dumping an iPhone to flop around in my running shorts. Ergo, the need for the Belkin Sport Armband case (store link, $24.95).
And what a case it is. It took me about a half-mile to get used to the new weight of the iPhone wrapped around on my bicep, which isn't bad at all when you think about it. The case is very light. It's a snug fit to get the iPhone in, and the iPhone likes to get stuck on the plastic screen in front a little bit, but it's not really a big deal. The plastic screen doesn't really affect the use of the touchscreen.
There really isn't much to the build of this case, but that's not a bad thing; it means that there's less to mess up. And I'd say that Belkin delivers; they pretty much nail the basics. The fit for the iPhone is snug, but the neoprene has enough give to slide it in fairly easily. The places where there are slits in the neoprene (key slot, slot for iPhone) are reinforced with some rubbery flexible coating.
The strap with velcro isn't uncomfortable and left nary a mark. The velcro is situated so that even if part of it does come in contact with your skin, it's the soft side of the velcro, and the soft side of the velcro on the Sport Armband is softer than any other velcro fastener I've seen. In the end, I found that once I had adjusted the velcro armband to the right fit, I just slipped the sport armband on and off and didn't bother with the velcro anymore. You can fit the armband to a max circumference of up to 15 inches with a secure fit; I was able to fit the armband up above the calf of my leg.
Based off the placement of the key ring, this case was definitely designed to be worn on the left arm. If the armband is worn on the right arm, the key is pretty much inaccessible. I'm not going to ding any points for this; 90% of the target audience will probably wear the armband there anyway.
I should say that the key ring is a bit small for your standard house key; I had to poke the end of the key through one of the mesh holes to get it to go in at all. If you need to store a larger key, like a modern car key, you probably won't be able to store it in the key pouch. It would make me happy if the key pouch was a bit bigger, but you can circumvent this issue by threading the key through the mesh holes in the key pouch.
All in all, I'm very happy with this case. It does everything that it really needs to do for a running case. It's very comfortable, and very much worth its price.
- comfortable fit
- great armband
- key slot
- key slot kind of small for normal house key