Nathan Speed 4R Waist Pack

Training for longer distances has always been made a little difficult because of the problem of dehydrating during the run. This used to mean plotting a course that would take me past water fountains or locations where water was easy to access. Carrying my own water supply was not really an option because it would have to be done by hand with no comfortable or easy to use method of holding the bottle.

The introduction of the Nathan Speed Waist Packs have changed all of that with a range of different belt sizes as well as a variety of bottle numbers that may be carried. Training over longer distances, the use of the Nathan Speed 4R Waist Pack is ideal because it allows four 8oz drink bottles to be carried in comfort. There is also a zippered pocket that provides added storage for gels, chomps or personal items.

It has been shown in studies that consuming around 300 to 350 calories per hour while performing continuous exercise will help the athlete’s endurance and intensity. Having immediate access to carbohydrates and electrolyte drinks is important in maximising your training efforts as well as minimising the possibility of running out of fuel.

Belt Features

  • Streamlined (to reduce weight) Molded Holsters for quick, one-handed Flask access
  • Four 8 oz. (235 mL) Nutrition Flasks; two with Race Cap
  • Race Cap with high-flow, one-way valve opens and closes automatically and offers a quick shot of fluid
  • Dimensional Power Stretch Mesh pocket expands to hold items snugly in place
  • Zippered Power Stretch Mesh front pocket for small essentials
  • Interior flat pocket
  • Waterproof pocket
  • Identity card / emergency card holder
  • Canted, limited-stretch elasticized Velcro-fastened waist belt
  • Airmesh moisture-wicking backing
  • Silicone grips inside holsters prevent Flasks from popping out
  • Reflective detail
  • Three sizes: Large – 36-42”; Medium – 32-36”; Small – 26-32”

Buy A Nathan Speed 4R Waist Pack Here

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Common complaints about various types of hydration belts or waist packs include their tendency to move and bounce around when running leading to chafing or to the belt slipping from the hips up to the waist. Runners have also complained that the positioning of the flasks interfere with the natural swing of the arms as part of the running motion. The Nathan Speed 4R Waist Pack deals with both of these problems.

The Waist Pack Stays Put

Thanks to the elastic waist band and Velcro closure the belt can be easily adjusted to the size that you need and when you place it around your hips and tighten it, it stays in place throughout the run. This is key for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, if the belt starts to move during the run, the place it will move to is the waist and this means the pack will start to bounce around. Not only will it feel uncomfortable with water sloshing around but it will start to chafe and become even more uncomfortable.

Secondly, and I don’t know if others are the same, but when I’m running with some kind of pressure around my waist I find it very difficult to breathe. A hydration waist pack that has slipped up and around my waist would virtually stop me in my tracks as I gasp for breath.

Finally, if the belt moves you are going to become distracted as you fiddle around trying to get it to a more comfortable position again and this will simply ruin the run. You don’t want to be worrying about your equipment for the majority of the run as it moves from place to place around your body.

Flasks and Positions

One of the key features of the Nathan Speed Waist Packs is the construction of the flasks. They are not shaped like a regular water bottle with vertical sides leading to the drinking spout. Instead, they have been bent, or canted, at an angle so that the spouts point away from the body. The reason for this is to ensure they do not interfere with the swinging arms of the runner.

There is nothing worse than continually flicking solid objects with your arms as you are running along and it would rapidly move from annoying to downright painful should it happen on a regular basis. The shapes of the flasks ensure they sit down low to the tops of the holsters and stay clear of the arms.

Another thing to note about these flasks is that there have been no reports of the bottles leaking while running. This has been a problem that was reported with bottles from other brands but the Nathan flasks are reliable in their seals. Two of the flasks with the 4R Waist Pack have Race Caps which means the flow is greater giving you faster access to the contents.

Flask Holders

The flask holders are positioned at the four “corners” of the body and provide you with easy access to the flasks. They are made from a flexible molded plastic and allow the flasks to slip in and out so that you only need to grab them one-handed. The holders are also lined with silicon grips to stop the flasks from jiggling about and falling out when they are empty.

Breathable Material

I’m sure we’ve all used products that appear to be quite sound when we’ve bought them only to find that when wearing them during a run they don’t allow sufficient airflow and become extremely uncomfortable. The mesh at the back of the belt promotes moisture wicking to draw the sweat away from the body to prevent chafing.

The material used for the Nathan Speed Waist Packs is breathable and so it remains comfortable throughout the entire run. Sure, it will become sodden just like the rest of your clothes as you progress into the second and even the third hours of your run but it will still feel comfortable around your hips or waist.


These belts are more than simply a way of carrying your fluids with you. The pockets can be used for other nutritional items such as gels, chews and bars. There are a number of different types of pockets too. The larger external pocket sits at the front and can be accessed on the run if you need an energy gel or a chew. This is also a great place to store your keys, MP3 player or phone if you like to carry those items.

Carrying some form of identification is recommended for all runners, particularly those who run alone and who are training over long distances. Should an accident happen or the runner finds themselves requiring medical assistance, carrying identification or a medical card could prove to be vital. There is a holder for these details to be kept safe and available if needed.

Some people like to take tablets with them on their runs too. Things such as salt tablets must be kept dry or else they will simply disintegrate and so the waterproof pocket is very useful for holding these pills.

Other Nathan Waist Packs

There are a number of different styles and configurations of Nathan Waist Packs for those who are looking for slightly more or slightly less hydration storage.

Nathan Speed 2 Waist Pack with 2 x 10oz Flasks
Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack with 4 x 10oz Flasks
Nathan Speed 2R Auto-Cant Waist Pack with 2 x 8oz Flasks
Nathan Hydration Trail Mix Hydration Belt

You might also like to read the review of the Amphipod RunLite 4 Hydration Belt.

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