Handheld water bottles are cool, they work perfectly for those trail runs where you just go long enough to need a drink but not long enough to throw your hydration pack on your back. Many ultra runners also resort to handhelds between aid stations where they don’t need a hydration pack. If you are new to the handheld solution, remember your bicep needs to adjust to the additional weight. Also try to switch hands on every other run… Muscular imbalance is real, just ask Rafael Nadal…
I have been using the Nathan Quickdraw handheld since 2012 but as my smart phone expanded in time I needed something with a bit more pocket space. I found the Nathan Quickview but finding Nathan products in South Africa is virtually impossible and buying through Amazon – what a mission not to mention the current Rand / Dollar ridiculousness. So after a bit of research I stumbled across the UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket that is distributed in South Africa by Native Sport.
First things first, I ordered the UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket online through the Native Sport store and two days later I received my package. Quick and efficient service, a lot like the Native Sport team approach to trail running.
Now with all handhelds… get a decent water bottle. The CamelBak Podium® Chill or the K-Way Polar Insulated Waterbottle are both bottles that are insulted and keeps your drink cool for more than 10 minutes. You cannot go wrong with either of these bottles.
Looking at the tech spec on the UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket, the handheld is made up in a couple of crucial parts.
Soft microfiber hand-strap
Firstly the soft microfiber hand-strap fits comfortably over the hand and can even be used as a sweatband. The strap is quite wide and very soft so it does feel very comfortable especially comparing it to the Nathan Quickdraw. The one slight irritation with the strap is that the actual strap does start to loosen after a while but not so much to cause massive run stopping issues. A quick pull on the strap and then we push forward.
Stretch mesh pouch
Secondly and most important to me… the stretch mesh pouch. For safety reasons I carry my smart phone on the trail along with my car keys and maybe a gel / bar. With the Nathan Quickdraw’s zippered pouch my way-back-when Blackberry Bold would just fit and leave no space for anything else. The Isomeric’s pouch is a stretch mesh pocket with no zip. I can comfortably fit my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact with a car key and also a RaceFood Fast Bar. If you have a larger phone like the iPhone 6 etc. then the Isometic’s pouch will not be big enough. The mesh pouch holds the content securely, even after a proper “neer moer” the mesh pocket kept my phone and keys safe and in place. The stretch mesh pouch is a definite winner.
The UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket is worth the money. Combine it with a decent insulated water bottle and you will run comfortable and still be able to carry valuables without the need to carry your hydration pack unless you have a large smart phone then I would suggest strapping on a armpocket. You can even go for gold by carrying two of these enabling you to ditch the hydration pack and tone your biceps on longer runs. Handhelds are cool but the UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket is cooler.