You have a few different options if you want to carry some essentials with you while you run, none of which are perfect. Carrying stuff in your hands is annoying, as is putting it in a pocket where it will slap against your thigh with every step, while a running backpack is overkill most of the time.
A running belt can be a good solution if you have to carry a few things, though they can also irritate if they bounce around while running. But if you’re just looking to carry a phone, card and keys on your run, an armband is probably your best bet.
They sit right against the arm so they don’t move around as you run, and although the increasing size of phone screens can make them a little unwieldy when strapped to your arm, in our experience you get used to it. All in all, an armband is probably the least intrusive option for carrying a few essentials during a run.
Here are the best armbands you can buy right now.
Kalenji Big Smartphone Running Armband
There’s no beating around the bush here. Have a big smartphone? Then you need a big smartphone running armband. Plus-sized iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Notes will fit in this budget armband from Kalenji, which has a transparent front so you can see and operate a touchscreen. The zip seal at the top keeps water out and there are small holes on the bottom you can squeeze your headphones plug through.
Buy from Decathlon | £6.99
Adidas Media Arm Pocket
This armband has a mesh back to help avoid any overheating, while a hook and loop lid on the top of the pocket ensures a good seal against the elements, though it’s not going to keep your phone dry during a thunderstorm. The pocket is big enough for larger smartphones, though if you have especially impressive biceps, you might find the strap is a little tight.
Buy from Adidas | £24.95
There are some products it’s probably not wise to buy from eBay, but small running accessories are definitely worth checking out on the auction site, because you can get very solid options for next to nothing. This band costs £2.99 and comes in a range of colours and sizes – you can even select your exact phone model to make sure you get a band big enough to hold it. It’s not one to use in heavy rain, but it’s cheap and will get the job done.
Buy from eBay | £3.99
Ronhill Stretch Pocket
Unless you have a very small phone this pocket won’t be big enough to take it, but not all of us want to carry a phone on every run – sometimes a pouch that takes a card and a house key is enough. The Ronhill pocket stretches to sit tight to the arm so you’ll quickly forget it’s there, and the fabric wicks sweat away from your skin so it doesn’t become uncomfortably clammy to wear.
Buy on Amazon | From £7.34
Quad Lock Sports Armband
If you buy a Quad Lock case for your phone (not included if you buy the armband) you’ll be able to mount it quickly by twisting it onto either this armband or your bike handlebars (you’ll need the separate bike mount for that). It’s pricy to get all the pieces of the system, but it does offer a very secure mount for your phone that allows you to access the screen without clear plastic getting in the way.
Buy on Amazon | £29.95